Changing the Front Bumper

Project #1 – Swapping the front bumper – June 2011

I’m in the minority.  It seems like everyone loves the RS “split bumper” look on these cars.  These small bumpers are fine, but I prefer the full width bumper with the two small “bumperettes”, or fangs as some people like to call them. 

When I owned my blue 73, I went searching for a full width bumper and found one on Craigslist somewhere near Federal Way, WA.  I met the guy at his work and took a look at the bumper.  He claimed it was mint, but his definition of mint and my definiton of mint seem to be in different dictionaries.  As far as I know, nobody remanufactures the bumperettes for the front bumper so I still wanted it.  I ended up making him a low offer and we had a deal. 

I brought the bumper to Show Quality Plating in Seattle and had it re-chromed.  It turned out great.  The owner recommended that I paint the inside of the bumper to help reduce the risk of rust so my two oldest kids (Carson and Gage) helped me tape it all off and spray it silver. 

I used the bumper on my ’73 until the time I decided to sell it.  I put the bumperettes back on and kept the full width bumper for this project.

Swapping from the RS bumpers to the full width bumper is a piece of cake since they both use the same brackets.  It’s a matter of unbolting about 4 bolts, swapping bumpers and putting the bolts back in. 

I purchased some grade 8 quality bolts to attach the lower bumperettes to the front sheet metal in the original location/holes.   

Here are the photos from the swap:

Car came equipped with split bumpers on a non-RS nose

Car came equipped with split bumpers on a non-RS nose

Removing the RS style split bumpers is a piece of cake… about 4 bolts is all it takes.

Here’s the full width bumper installed, about an hour is all it takes with two “helpers” who were learning how to do this for the first time.

 

I’m in the minority, but I like it!

Here are the cars side by side just before I sold the ’73 and after I did the bumper swap.