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Discussion Starter #1
I'm doing a frame off restoration on a 70 Chevelle SS. I replaced all the sheet metal from the doors to the bumper including a complete trunk floor and wheel wells. Have found a wealth of information on this site and thought I'd share my fix for rear bumper fitment that I wasn't happy with. I've included a pic of the fit after massaging all the new metal as much as I could to improve the bumper to rear quarter gap. Thought I would include some pics to help someone else out with the same issue. I used an air wheel to cut the bumper brackets and then overlapped them by 3/8 of an inch and tacked welded them up for a test fit. Very happy with the fit now and hope this can help someone else out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Terry. I played around for a week tweaking everything I could, but couldn't make significant improvement on the bumper gap. I will never see the modified bumper brackets once finished and leaving the gap as it was would of irritated me every time I looked at it.
 

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BRAVO ED!!! I had a big hassle with the rear bumper on my 70 SS Clone. I bought three "new" bumpers and all three of them fit differently. Which leads me to believe that these bumpers which are being sold as "new" either aren't new at all, and are simply re-chromed used bumpers, or they're manufactured in China, Mexico, or in the Zimbabwai jungle under the worst quality control conditions possible. But where ever they come from, they're all coming from the same place and they're all screwed up completely, and they're anything BUT perfectly straight. The three that I bought as "new" all have a slightly different twist to them.

The biggest problem I had with all three of the rear bumpers I bought was the fact that none of them had a contour that followed the rear valance body piece correctly, as my original rusted out rear bumper did. So all three of them left big gaps between the rear valance piece and the bottom edge of the bumper which big gaps of day light shown through, and it looked terrible and was very obvious.

Fortunately for me, I work with a guy who does body work on the side. He has his own shop, and he does very good work, but like any very good body man, he isn't cheap. He came out to my home where I have my Chevelle in my garage up on jack stands. He held the rear valance peice up to the bumper I decided to use, and took some measurements and made some marks in the valance. He brought it back to his shop with a pint of touch up paint that I gave him. He cut shark gills into the valance and literally altered the countour line of the top edge of the piece, and then filled in the shark gill slices he made with body filler. Sanded it all down, primered it, and re-painted it, and brought it back to my home to make sure it was correct. It not only looks great but fits great.

Each one of those three "new" bumpers cost me $300 and the body work to have the rear valance piece modified cost me $500 for the labor, but it worked. Yeah, those bumpers just plain SUCK but there's nothing else I could do about it.
 

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My problem Billy wasn't caused by the aftermarket bumper as my old rusty original bumper fit the same. After many hours analyzing and tweaking the sheet metal and the new one piece trunk floor I came to the conclusion the issue was the new trunk floor that the bumper mounts to. I was able to achieve a good fit as well by putting ratchet straps on both ends of the trunk floor top lip where the patch panel mounts and pull it towards the front of the car. The upward rear bend of the new one piece trunk floor wasn't quite right. In order to keep the geometry I would of had to modify or rebend the new trunk floor and modifying the bumper brackets was a much easier fix.

I think that all the aftermarket parts are now made overseas where quality is not the number one priority to the manufacturing. The car I am restoring is not a numbers matching car as the engine and tranny are not original and my goal is a nice looking Sunday driver. I also now understand why body shop restoration work is so expensive because of the massaging needed to get a good fit on today's aftermarket body panels.
 

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My problem Billy wasn't caused by the aftermarket bumper as my old rusty original bumper fit the same. After many hours analyzing and tweaking the sheet metal and the new one piece trunk floor I came to the conclusion the issue was the new trunk floor that the bumper mounts to. I was able to achieve a good fit as well by putting ratchet straps on both ends of the trunk floor top lip where the patch panel mounts and pull it towards the front of the car. The upward rear bend of the new one piece trunk floor wasn't quite right. In order to keep the geometry I would of had to modify or rebend the new trunk floor and modifying the bumper brackets was a much easier fix.

I think that all the aftermarket parts are now made overseas where quality is not the number one priority to the manufacturing. The car I am restoring is not a numbers matching car as the engine and tranny are not original and my goal is a nice looking Sunday driver. I also now understand why body shop restoration work is so expensive because of the massaging needed to get a good fit on today's aftermarket body panels.
You make some good points Ed. I understand what you mean about the trunk floor. My brother ran into some issues with his 67 Chevelle when he purchased a new trunk floor. He had lots of tweaking to do before he was able to get it to fit correctly. It's a shame what has happened to the quality of aftermarket parts. I'm glad to see that you've conquered the trunk floor problem. It DOES look good. Obviously this aftermarket stuff takes lots of patience and perserverence! :thumbsup::thumbsup:
 
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