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DUB 101: Rigid Fiberglass Bumper Installation - Lessons Applied - RESULTS INSIDE

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DUB 101: Rigid Fiberglass Bumper Installation - Lessons Applied - RESULTS INSIDE

 
Old 02-11-2018, 03:25 PM
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Default DUB 101: Rigid Fiberglass Bumper Installation - Lessons Applied - RESULTS INSIDE

First off, I would like to thank DUB for taking the time to outline his methodology and share visually his process for for rigid fiberglass bumper installation, as outlined in his linked thread here:

Installing a RIGID fiberglass front bumper cover for a 1975 Corvette

I read that thread with great interest because I knew I was going to need to replace the dry/cracking covers on my 1976...and I did not want to go back to urethane. In addition, my car still sports it's original paint and I was not looking to repaint the car, only the covers once complete...which is EXACTLY what DUB did on his customer's 1975 in the thread I linked above.

So here we go....


Here are pictures of the front bumper cover installed, after installing the factory brackets and mounting to the car. As you can see, the fit was not so hot, and not anywhere near what kind of fit I was wanting.






























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Old 02-11-2018, 03:31 PM
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Here are shots of the front using DUB's method for taping the body off -- BEING SURE to mate the tape end to end at the corners of the recess in the middle of the nose. This point was highly emphasized. I didn't question it...I did it.













After installing the tape I applied the mold release wax and installed the bumper cover. I would like to note that this was after grinding the mating edge of the bumper cover.













You can now see what I had to work with at this point.
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Old 02-11-2018, 03:39 PM
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Next up was applying the VPA, again a product outlined in DUB's original thread. I was told by DUB to make sure I spear a sample out as a test before going live with the product, as VPA dries GRANITE HARD once cured, and has a somewhat shorter work time than good old traditional Bondo or the tiger hair fillers I'm accustomed to. At 68 I had about 3-4 minutes of work time.

Here is the VPA applied:














...and here are pictures of the bumper once removed after the VPA was applied:

















At this point in the operation I am in the process of removing extra flashing and test fitting to make sure I have the fitment I like. As you can see, I am only working with the top at this point. Again, this is per DUB's procedure as outlined in his thread,


More to come....
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:22 PM
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OFF THE CHARTS AWESOME!!!!

It is super cool that you posting your process.

YES...That VPA gets hard. It is funny how so many people often times do not give it the credit it deserves as being an awesome body filler. It can do repairs that other fillers would fail in accomplishing.

DUB
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Orange76L48 View Post
Next up was applying the VPA, again a product outlined in DUB's original thread. I was told by DUB to make sure I spear a sample out as a test before going live with the product, as VPA dries GRANITE HARD once cured, and has a somewhat shorter work time than good old traditional Bondo or the tiger hair fillers I'm accustomed to. At 68 I had about 3-4 minutes of work time.

Here is the VPA applied:














...and here are pictures of the bumper once removed after the VPA was applied:

















At this point in the operation I am in the process of removing extra flashing and test fitting to make sure I have the fitment I like. As you can see, I am only working with the top at this point. Again, this is per DUB's procedure as outlined in his thread,


More to come....
That is so sweet !

I love how DUB can explain how to do this stuff in such a way that if you have experience in it he makes it easier and faster and if you don't if you listen to what he says and you follow the directions he gives it will work for you just like it did for him !

Not many shop owners will do something like that nor can they tell someone else how to do what they do with good success!

I can show someone how to do it but I don't have that gift to speak like he does !

I'll be checking back in on this to see how it's going !

Couple questions,

1. is the fit on that just because that's the way bumper is made and they just don't have a good way to manufacture they so the fit better ?

2. each time you bolt it up does it bolt into the same spot each time , or , does it have to be adjusted each time ?

My question is more about mine , the fit on it is perfect and I'm curious if I take it loose if I have to fight to put it back where it is or not !
I don't think mine is original but not sure , its fiberglass and not urethane with a hole in the nose that I have to fix !

Thanks for the invite to the thread!

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Old 02-11-2018, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by SPCL FX View Post
That is so sweet !

I love how DUB can explain how to do this stuff in such a way that if you have experience in it he makes it easier and faster and if you don't if you listen to what he says and you follow the directions he gives it will work for you just like it did for him !

Not many shop owners will do something like that nor can they tell someone else how to do what they do with good success!

I can show someone how to do it but I don't have that gift to speak like he does !

I'll be checking back in on this to see how it's going !
Thanks for the compliment.

I guess I acquired the 'gift of speak' from the years of me training/teaching guys to do this when I had a crew.

Originally Posted by SPCL FX View Post
Couple questions,

1. is the fit on that just because that's the way bumper is made and they just don't have a good way to manufacture they so the fit better ?
The fit from the factory was bad right from the start...which is why they used urethane bumpers. It made to do it could be moved around and take out any abnormalities,

There is NO WAY for any of the manufacturers who make these rigid fiberglass bumpers to be able to make them perfect so they can fit each and every Corvette that needs one. That is just impossible. ESPECIALLY if a person is looking for a precise fit.

And using of the 'flex-glass' type is something I will not use due to I am not impressed with them. Like I have written before....I have been doing this process on rigid fiberglas bumpers WAY before the 'flex' glass came out. I did ONE..and will never do another. They are too thin and light weight which makes me feel they are cheap in my opinion. But others can do as they wish

Originally Posted by SPCL FX View Post
2. each time you bolt it up does it bolt into the same spot each time , or , does it have to be adjusted each time ?

Slight adjusting is possible. But when I do it...by the time I get done the bumper will darn near slide onto the car and lock in like a Lego.


Originally Posted by SPCL FX View Post
My question is more about mine , the fit on it is perfect and I'm curious if I take it loose if I have to fight to put it back where it is or not !
I don't think mine is original but not sure , its fiberglass and not urethane with a hole in the nose that I have to fix !

Thanks for the invite to the thread!

Starting your own thread in the 'paint and body' section would be wise. If I can not see what you have for a problem...I can not comment any further on it. Need to see it.

DUB
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by DUB View Post


OFF THE CHARTS AWESOME!!!!

It is super cool that you posting your process.


YES...That VPA gets hard. It is funny how so many people often times do not give it the credit it deserves as being an awesome body filler. It can do repairs that other fillers would fail in accomplishing.

DUB
Thanks for that DUB. You post a lot of great information on the forum, and I just wanted to share my personal experience using your methodology for the installl. I will be using the same process for the rear bumper install and will post those results as well.

Dave
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by SPCL FX View Post
That is so sweet !

I love how DUB can explain how to do this stuff in such a way that if you have experience in it he makes it easier and faster and if you don't if you listen to what he says and you follow the directions he gives it will work for you just like it did for him !

Not many shop owners will do something like that nor can they tell someone else how to do what they do with good success!

I can show someone how to do it but I don't have that gift to speak like he does !

I'll be checking back in on this to see how it's going !

Couple questions,

1. is the fit on that just because that's the way bumper is made and they just don't have a good way to manufacture they so the fit better ?

2. each time you bolt it up does it bolt into the same spot each time , or , does it have to be adjusted each time ?

My question is more about mine , the fit on it is perfect and I'm curious if I take it loose if I have to fight to put it back where it is or not !
I don't think mine is original but not sure , its fiberglass and not urethane with a hole in the nose that I have to fix !

Thanks for the invite to the thread!

Hi Ray, thanks for stopping in!

I think DUB did a terrific job of answering your questions in post #6.

I can address both questions from the perspective my my car though. In regards to question 1: The fit will definitely be "body" dependent. As DUB stated, no 2 bodies on these cars are exactly alike, so the fitment of the replacement cover will vary from car to car. As an example, you can see in these pictures below how far off the fit is on the driver side vs. the passenger side:

DRIVER





PASSENGER





Which brings me to question 2. In the pictures above, the bumper cover was merely set into place. My goal here is to make the final installation such that all I will need to do is "set" the bumper cover in place and snug it down, without having to wrangle it into place with a push here and shove there.


More progress to follow a little later today...

Dave
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:58 PM
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Did not intend to hijack this thread, I will try to have it relocated!
We can move threads, not really relocate posts. If you want to start a new thread using all that info then do that and we will delete this post.
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:36 PM
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More progress between last evening and today. The front bumper cover is (for the most part) done. I will of course go over it again with a fine tooth comb before paint, but admittedly, I am happy with the "new" fit.















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Old 02-12-2018, 03:50 PM
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And for reference, here are some BEFORE and AFTER shots of what I found to be the worst areas...

LOWER LH FRONT BEFORE






LOWER LH FRONT AFTER






LOWER RH FRONT BEFORE






LOWER RH FRONT AFTER






LH TOP CENTER CONTOUR BEFORE






LH TOP CENTER CONTOUR AFTER






RH TOP CONTOUR BEFORE






RH TOP CONTOUR AFTER






I would also like to note that the fit is so nice now that the finished bumper cover was able to be set on the car and held in place by only 4 nuts that have only been snugged...2 below the headlights, and 2 on the sides. No other adjustments were needed to achieve the new fit...simply set, bolt, and go.

Now it's on to the rear bumper cover.


More to come....


Dave

Last edited by Red86Z51; 02-12-2018 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:45 PM
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Nice work!!!
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:43 PM
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Very nice work. The panels fit perfect!

RVZIO
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:45 PM
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Dave,

HOLY SMOKES!!!!!

For just taking what I wrote and applying it...you front bumper is EXCEPTIONAL!

It is amazing that by the time you get done..the bumper can darn near 'click' into place...and as it should if it was done correctly. Very little to no stress on it when it is being installed.

For what it is worth:

And I cannot remember if I wrote it in the thread about doing this. Even though it is tempting to leave that sharp precise edge where the bumper cover now fits the body so well. I always round it off oh so slightly....and NOT have it be so sharp that it can cut you.

GREAT JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 02-12-2018, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rvzio View Post
Very nice work. The panels fit perfect!

RVZIO

Thank you for the compliment! I have seen your work as well both in your restoration thread and above, and I would like to say that your work is nothing short of VERY impressive and inspirational to any and all who have seen it!!
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DUB View Post
Dave,

HOLY SMOKES!!!!!

For just taking what I wrote and applying it...you front bumper is EXCEPTIONAL!

It is amazing that by the time you get done..the bumper can darn near 'click' into place...and as it should if it was done correctly. Very little to no stress on it when it is being installed.

For what it is worth:

And I cannot remember if I wrote it in the thread about doing this. Even though it is tempting to leave that sharp precise edge where the bumper cover now fits the body so well. I always round it off oh so slightly....and NOT have it be so sharp that it can cut you.

GREAT JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DUB

Thank you DUB, that compliment means a lot coming from you, and I really appreciate it.

I'm not sure I remember reading about sanding those edges, but that was definitely the last step I took before installing the bumper cover. I know that leaving that "knife edge" in place would be a huge invitation for potential chips...plus, paint does not like to grab on those super sharp edges. I cleaned up the edges with a little 220 grit and ran my finger over the edges to ensure they were satisfactory. No blood left on the edge and finger tip intact = smooth clean paintable edge!


Dave
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:12 PM
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I will be posting progress shots of the rear bumper cover tomorrow.

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Old 02-12-2018, 09:17 PM
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nice job!

you can add an extra layer or two of tape to create a tiny gap. To leave a mil thickness for sealers/paint/clear.
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:43 AM
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Very nice work! When I did the rear bumper I inserted thin washers to account for all the future painting: https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...post1595343600
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by RBrid View Post
Very nice work! When I did the rear bumper I inserted thin washers to account for all the future painting: https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...post1595343600
Wow...and I thought I had a project with just these bumper covers???

Thank you for the tip! You have made phenomenal accomplishments on your '77. I noticed that the bumper cover you used was made for a '74 and that you modified it to be correct for your '77...and I had to do nearly the exact same thing for mine. I got a screaming deal ($100 delivered) on one made for a '75 with a couple of small cracks. I had to fill in the recessed emblem indentations too -- I just didn't have that "pseudo-separation" vertical indentation to deal with.

Again, terrific work! Thanks for the compliment and the tip!!


Dave
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