Author Topic: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations  (Read 476 times)

737driver

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2061
  • "Life is hard, It's Harder when you're Stupid.."
    • My Trans Am - Restoration Project
Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« on: March 28, 2021, 11:52:39 AM »
I am looking recommendation for anyone who has replaced the urethane bumper cover with a fiberglass one ( or other composite material) .
Specifically I have to replace the original bumper covers on a 77 TransAm . The car has sat outside for 30 years and both the front and rear bumpers are absolutely roached.  I’d like to replace them with fiberglass ones and wanted to know if anyone has any recommendation.
Thanks,
Jim
1979 Trans Am- Heritage Brown -W72 (Pontiac 400) -4Speed-WS6
1972 LeMans Convertible
1977 Trans Am
1972 Firebird
1971 Firebird
1977 MGB  Roadster Convertible

TonysTA

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 147
Re: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2021, 04:11:52 PM »
I tried to replace my original with a fiberglass one from stingerfiberglass.com. It was $700 and for me, a very expensive wall ornament.  I couldn't get it to align or fit right, it was a huge PITA. I was drawn to how straight the lines were but in the end, gave up and fixed my originals. In hindsight, I wish I bought a new after market urethane bumper. There is more give with them.

YMMV - provided you are willing to work with fiberglass, you may be ok. For me, after spending $700 the last thing I wanted to do was cut and form a bumper the vendor said would fit. They also included a scorpion inlay with the bumper, their marketing I guess, yet another thing I would have needed to smooth over. Pass.

stros

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1676
Re: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2021, 05:33:46 PM »
I've had no luck with the fiberglass replacements or even the reproduction urethane ones for the same reasons mentioned by Tony. 

I ended up having a urethane bumper restoration company restore my original bumpers instead.  So far so good. 
Darryl

'77 black TA Hardtop LS3 / 4L70E swap
Build thread:
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=61066

737driver

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2061
  • "Life is hard, It's Harder when you're Stupid.."
    • My Trans Am - Restoration Project
Re: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2021, 11:28:09 PM »
I've had no luck with the fiberglass replacements or even the reproduction urethane ones for the same reasons mentioned by Tony. 

I ended up having a urethane bumper restoration company restore my original bumpers instead.  So far so good.

What company did you use? My front bumper may be salvageable, but the rear is really toasted.
Jim
1979 Trans Am- Heritage Brown -W72 (Pontiac 400) -4Speed-WS6
1972 LeMans Convertible
1977 Trans Am
1972 Firebird
1971 Firebird
1977 MGB  Roadster Convertible

Wallington

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 894
Re: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2021, 11:54:04 PM »
 I don't have direct experience with these, but many comments seem to say that the fibreglass or urethane copies are often undersized. I bet they copied them off  a shrunken original.

Re: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2021, 11:54:04 PM »

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 11305
Re: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2021, 06:34:13 AM »
A good original is better than the best repro, but  you know that already Jim.  I wouldnt have a clue who rehabs the originals but I have read on other forums that its quite expensive, very labor intensive. I have also not read anything good about the fibreglass replacements. From my understanding from people like Tony,  they require a lot of work to get them correct. IMO fibreglass is pretty easy to work with and I wouldnt be afraid of the task, however I would not buy the most expensive product out there. May even be able to find an unused one that someone tossed off to the side after not getting it to fit right. 
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

DeVilliers

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 368
Re: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2021, 07:32:33 AM »
As part of my rebuild, I made my own. Well not me alone though........

I tried al sorts of things to get the originals back to top condition. Paint would last a week or so and then cracks started showing. Different primers didn't help much. Bondo is not going to last. Elastic primer, elastic repair glue, man I can't even remember all of the products and brands.

Being on the other side of the world importing new wasn't an option. First a mould was made for the rear. That one went ok and came out great. You can sand and use filler on fibreglass with the correct products, so this helped.
The front was a different story and took two tries. Ended up making a top and bottom half mould, and made it much easier. The two halves were joined after they came out of the mould. 

I'm pretty happy with the fibreglass over the original urethane. The fit came out great and painting was way easier to deal with. Almost 6 months now and not a crack in sight! 
1979 Trans Am

stros

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1676
Re: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2021, 11:03:40 AM »
I've had no luck with the fiberglass replacements or even the reproduction urethane ones for the same reasons mentioned by Tony. 

I ended up having a urethane bumper restoration company restore my original bumpers instead.  So far so good.

What company did you use? My front bumper may be salvageable, but the rear is really toasted.
Jim

Front bumper I tried was the repop urethane one from OER.  The fiberglass rear bumper I tried was from Eckler's. 
Darryl

'77 black TA Hardtop LS3 / 4L70E swap
Build thread:
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=61066

robcat2

  • Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2021, 04:31:47 PM »
I ordered a fiberglass front nose from Stinger as well for my 79. Body shop refused to use it claiming that the hours needed to get it to fit correctly would not be in my best interest. I went to with original and now have a $700 garage orniment as I wouldn't feel right selling it to some one else knowing how it fits

JJ 109

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 299
Re: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2021, 06:11:58 PM »
I used my original urethane and they came out pretty good but not perfect.

The car is really straight and nice.

You just can’t get urethane that nice. If I had it to do over I would use fiberglass. You can block it super flat.
JJ
76 pro tour project
Twin Turbo LS1
Detroit

aussieta

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 678
Re: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2021, 06:37:40 PM »
i bought front and rear from year one
rear needed a little modifying
front was almost unuseable
grill openings were wrong shape, no provision for headlight buckets to mount
studs pulled out when mounting to fenders
being in australia, cost me $1,400 plus $1,400 shipping, yearone offered me $100 off my next purchase but then renegged when i next ordered parts, so last time i bought from them
« Last Edit: April 18, 2021, 06:39:29 PM by aussieta »
1978 Y84 W72 WS6
A Camaro looks like it could kick your ass.
A Trans Am looks like it's coming over to do it

Wallington

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 894
Re: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2021, 08:18:47 PM »
100 dollars is nothing to sneeze at, very generous of them, briefly!

TammyTA

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 229
Re: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2021, 06:59:38 AM »
New urethane skin for my 78 was too small also. Heat & bottle jack helped stretch it a bit.  This seems to be an issue with too many repop parts.  Wish I had the $$  and smarts to create and sell better fitting parts.

jugalo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 63
Re: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2021, 09:23:57 AM »
New urethane skin for my 78 was too small also. Heat & bottle jack helped stretch it a bit.  This seems to be an issue with too many repop parts.  Wish I had the $$  and smarts to create and sell better fitting parts.

I constantly have the same thought!
1980 Turbo Trans Am Restomod (in work)
Fiero Bronze 400/200-4r

737driver

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2061
  • "Life is hard, It's Harder when you're Stupid.."
    • My Trans Am - Restoration Project
Re: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2021, 09:53:09 PM »
I’ve heard the rear fiberglass bumpers fit well. For the nose  I haven’t heard anything positive. The flex glass bumper cover from OER have been out of stock for a while and Stinger Is one of the only other ones I have found. My original front cover is mostly shot from being outside in the heat . 
It does seem either way, urethane or fiberglass, there will be fitment issues.
Jim
1979 Trans Am- Heritage Brown -W72 (Pontiac 400) -4Speed-WS6
1972 LeMans Convertible
1977 Trans Am
1972 Firebird
1971 Firebird
1977 MGB  Roadster Convertible

Re: Fiberglass front and rear bumpers recommendations
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2021, 09:53:09 PM »

 

You can help support TAC!