Attaching A Corvette Bumper
Are you doing the installation of a New Corvette bumper?
The original C3 Corvette Urethane bumpers were a real stigma to the industry as the government required Bumper changes to meet impact requirements. The urethane bumpers have a reinforcement mounted behind the soft urethane to absorb impact and provide shape that was stretched over the reinforcement. The suns heat and light bumps as well as age caused imperfections and small duck ponds on the top and sides robbing it of its smooth lines.
In answer to a better replacement Corvette Bumper the industry produced theTruflex Bumpers which were born using modern technology with a specially formulated resin. This provides both a combination of fiberglass and a flexible material that could absorb small bumps and retain that smooth surface eliminating any imperfections.They are 70% more flexible than an ordinary fiberglass bumper, but incredibly tougher than a urethane bumper. I recently purchased both a front an rear for my 1976 Corvettes restoration.
This shows aCorvette bumper with a rough install for the photos.
The c3 Corvettes in the 1970s used a urethane rubber bumper with a heavy reinforcement bar in an attempt to meet new government regulations.You will have to remove the reinforcement and either purchase new retainers with nuts or use an appropriate fiberglass adhesive like the adhesives used to attach fiberglass quarter panels and other Corvette parts or you can drill holes and use small bolts all the way around.
The tail lights do not require any original brackets, but bolt straight on to the bumper itself. The old retainers were needed because of the soft urethane both on the lights and the edges. The use of factory retainers is an option around the inside edge when bolting it on.
The use of clamps and a second hand will be needed. You can do it alone and I wish you good luck in the adjusting process if you do. Once secured you may need to lightly grind to obtain the best fit around the edges although the attachment is usually 95 percent. Here you can see a gap between the bumper and quarter panel with no clamps as of yet. I only have 3 clamps on the bumper and none was applied here for these photos.
This side shows a slight difference in theCorvette bumper attachment, but that is easily taken care of as it is probably only about an 1/8 to 3/16 difference. A good board sanding will bring everything into a flush mount evenly smoothed out and ready for prime.
Here is a small illustration of a front bumper attachment on a Corvette.
The biggest problem? The static will pull the hair off your arms if not out of your nose. Try washing it down with water and using a static cleaner. You can also make a flat steel reinforcement to bolt to the bumper shocks if you want since the original reinforcement will not fit. That is also an option, but if not then remove the shocks as they are not needed if it is going to be a weekend show car driven with care.
Of course if you are attempting all original then you will have to resort back to the urethane bumper covers that can be cleaned and repaired at a bumper facility and reinstalled. Good ones are getting harder to find. Just don't expect as perfect Corvette bumper as the Truflex.
See a Truflex seller and other bumpers HERE