C3 Tech/Performance V8 Technical Info, Internal Engine, External Engine, Basic Tech and Maintenance for the C3 Corvette

1980 Rear Bumper Fix and Stereo Upgrade

 
Old 07-21-2018, 05:21 PM
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Sharky II
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Default 1980 Rear Bumper Fix and Stereo Upgrade

My 80 C3 bumper has the worst ripples across the top I have ever seen. Anybody ever tried to improve the wavy distortion of a stock eurothane rear bumper with a heat gun? I really have nothing to lose by trying this since it needs replacing anyway. Just hoping for some improvement for now. Will swapping to a fiberglass replacement hurt the resale value of the car? Not looking to sell it any time soon. It is an all original L-48 matching #s factory 4-speed, #22 red ext on #722 red leather with 93'000 miles. Does have a 3.36 rear axle but I love how it drives. I am also considering an after market stereo. Amazingly the center bezel has not been butchered. Any thoughts on the better choice: A factory fit stereo (expensive) or saving the original gauge trim piece and installing a used one with the hole cut out already.( time consuming) I have one that I could use but it is pretty scratched up. I would have to repair it and paint it or it would bug the crap out of me. I'm also looking at a 12' self amplified ultra low profile sub woofer. I want the interior to look stock at a cursory glance. Any stereo stuff would have to be installed with out drilling holes or cutting up the car. I know this sounds silly for a semi-daily driver car with nearly 100 K but who knows what the future market value for these cars might be in 10 years. I have a friend who in 1970 swapped the rear split window of his 63 for a 64 one piece rear glass. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
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Old 07-21-2018, 06:16 PM
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BlackC3vette
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The rear bumper/spoiler on my 80 also has serious waves in it and I was going to replace it with a fiberglass one. I was told to stay away from the flex bumpers.
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BlackC3vette View Post
The rear bumper/spoiler on my 80 also has serious waves in it and I was going to replace it with a fiberglass one. I was told to stay away from the flex bumpers.
I am amazed that it doesn't look worse in the photos but heres a few pics:

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Old 07-21-2018, 07:25 PM
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Mine looks the same. Different color paint but the same warped waves.

I am considering the ACI - BCF010 - '80-'82 Style Rear Bumper. About $350 plus shipping.

Last edited by BlackC3vette; 07-21-2018 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:06 PM
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Sharky II
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Originally Posted by BlackC3vette View Post
Mine looks the same. Different color paint but the same warped waves.

I am considering the ACI - BCF010 - '80-'82 Style Rear Bumper. About $350 plus shipping.
Have you seen the Flex -Fit fiber glass one? I think Eckler's has it. The regular fiber glass bumpers require quite a bit of modification for a good fit. they are usually slightly too narrow to allow for a build up of body filler to fit flush.Closer to $500 for those.
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:25 PM
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Im just lucky. mine is not warped.

I doubt the solution is with fixing the original. That one could use an upgrade. Anything you do to improve it will make the value higher, and certainly make it look better.

Sound advice - Look at bluetooth radio solutions that fit in the rear compartment. I would not cut up a dash to make it work.
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by stingr69 View Post
Im just lucky. mine is not warped.

I doubt the solution is with fixing the original. That one could use an upgrade. Anything you do to improve it will make the value higher, and certainly make it look better.

Sound advice - Look at bluetooth radio solutions that fit in the rear compartment. I would not cut up a dash to make it work.
Please excuse my ignorance but....Well if the stereo were in the rear compartment how could I tell which station I was tuning to? I have a remote control for the stereo in my 84 Trans AM. I have never seen the point to it untill now. The remote does work from 30 feet away in that car. But you can't access all the features with it. Maybe a remote with numbered preset stations? Yeah that could work. Nobody would want to steal the 80s radio thats in it now. Its not the original but it fits in the factory location. Cassette tape player does not work and its barely loud enough to tell what song is playing on the radio. Yes antennae is hooked up as well as the speakers. Intriging suggestion. I will look into it Stingr69.
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Old 07-22-2018, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Sharky II View Post
Have you seen the Flex -Fit fiber glass one? I think Eckler's has it. The regular fiber glass bumpers require quite a bit of modification for a good fit. they are usually slightly too narrow to allow for a build up of body filler to fit flush.Closer to $500 for those.
At a local car gathering a couple of weeks ago I was told not to buy the Flex bumper, that it was an absolute royal pain. I don't recall the exact reason, but the corvette owner was adamant about not getting the Flex one.
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Old 07-22-2018, 01:19 AM
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the price of a new dash for your 80 is not that much .or you can get one that is already cut that will fit any after market stereo .changing to a kenwood aftermarket was one of the best upgrades .My vote is cut the dash and put in a great head unit with some good speakers.There is no fix for the spoiler other than replacement..pros and cons what ever you choose..A idea that I have thought about is a new fiberglass spoiler , then having it wrapped instead of painted .1978tru 1982 have not gone up verry much past few years.,they made a lot of them.JMO
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Old 07-22-2018, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by BlackC3vette View Post
At a local car gathering a couple of weeks ago I was told not to buy the Flex bumper, that it was an absolute royal pain. I don't recall the exact reason, but the corvette owner was adamant about not getting the Flex one.
First I've heard of this. Thanks for the heads up. I will definitely research this. I want the easiest possible out of the box fit. My factory bumper either shrunk or Bubba spread thick pink bondo on the rear quarters. 3/8" too narrow on both sides.
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Old 07-22-2018, 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by terry82 View Post
the price of a new dash for your 80 is not that much .or you can get one that is already cut that will fit any after market stereo .changing to a kenwood aftermarket was one of the best upgrades .My vote is cut the dash and put in a great head unit with some good speakers.There is no fix for the spoiler other than replacement..pros and cons what ever you choose..A idea that I have thought about is a new fiberglass spoiler , then having it wrapped instead of painted .1978tru 1982 have not gone up verry much past few years.,they made a lot of them.JMO
Wrapped? I thought about a wrap when I was considering having to "settle for an ugly colored 4-speed car. My red on red is factory and love that combo. Very Vintage appeal to it. What colors are your Vette?
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Old 07-22-2018, 03:21 AM
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Are you Guys still up? I've been in the garage tinkering. Can't figure out how to get at the wiring for the cigarette lighter. Need a place to plug my GPS
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Old 07-22-2018, 07:57 AM
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The replacement bumpers will all need to be fitted to your specific car. The way these bodies were originally put together with glue and fixtures means a lot of variation from car to car. Add to that any field repairs and the situation gets more challenging. They will ALL require sanding and filling to mate up evenly with the body. You can't just bolt them on and go.
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:43 AM
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Oh well . No sense paying top dollar for a bumper that needs body work. The bumper on this 1980 needs about 3/16th " build- up on both sides. Any suggestions on materials to use. I'm guessing plain pink Bondo won't do?
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:08 AM
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I suppose it would be worse to have to add the rear quarters.
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Old 07-22-2018, 10:15 AM
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I put a 80 bumper on a 78 that looked just like the one in Sharky II's pictures. Before installing it I straightened it. Fairly easy to do if you are patient. To do this you have to take the cover off. But then you have to do that to replace it anyway. Get some large clamps and a couple pieces of 1” X 4” boards and trim one to fit inside the spoiler and one to fit outside the spoiler. Basically, make a spoiler sandwich. Slowly heat the bumper cover until it is soft then clamp it tight between the two boards. You may have to do this a few times to get it straight. Be careful and not heat it too hot and melt it. Once it is straight cut a piece of ”plywood and trim it so it fits just inside the flat part of the spoiler where the ripples were. Once the plywood is trimmed to fit go to Home Depot, Lowes, etc. and get a tube of industrial strength construction adhesive like they use to put up paneling. Generously glue the plywood backing to the inside of the spoiler and clamp it in place using the 1 X 4’s. Let it dry for about 24 hours and when you take the boards out and you have a straight spoiler with a plywood backing that won’t ripple again.
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Old 07-22-2018, 11:18 AM
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Yes! I knew it could be done. I am Gob-smacked. I would love to see pictures if you have them Triton170. Yes I could buy a fibreglass replacement, but this project, even with only a 75% improvement would be quite a notch on my gun. Guys like you amaze me. This is a Must-Do project. Great job of explaining the "procedure".I think it would even be a good idea to glue the plywood behind a new urethane bumper as a preventive measure.
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Old 07-22-2018, 02:52 PM
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Like I said before it looked very much like yours when I started. Car is in body work now and most of the paint has been stripped off so sorry for the picture quality. You can see how straight it is now.



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Old 07-23-2018, 08:48 PM
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NIce Job! Cool tail lights too. I was looking at some of your past posts. Did you ever have to fix power window regulator. I'm hoping the repair gear and a new motor(s).will do it. Passenger side kind of slow Drivers side i can hear the motor but teeth are stripped out.
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:53 PM
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The tail lights are LED semi-trailer lights (ones with rubber mounting ring). The rubber part fits exactly inside the bumper cover holes. As for the window regulators I got a couple of the window regulator rebuild kits and gear repair kits from one of the supporting vendors. After a lot of cleaning and then greasing the new stuff both windows work pretty well. Didn't have to replace the motors but one of them had a broken mount that I welded back.
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