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jrhone

Need help on shortening my 76 bumpers..

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I have decided not to go the euro bumper route and keep my diving boards. But I do want to move them closer to the body. Whats the best way to shorten them? I have heard to compress the shock and thats it...I have heard about the TEP kit, and I have heard of compressing and drilling....so whats the easiest and best way? Thx....

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The BEST way?

Do you want to retain, lose or impact the rebound action?

My '76 has them "ungassed" and welded. They are shorter, but there's no "cushion".

Also, remember, the accordian things on the sides will become useless because they will no longer fit properly.

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The accordions can be shortened to fit the new length; just a bit of good plastic epoxy and a redying works.

The easy way is definitely to drill/degas them. It only takes about 30 minutes, and sucks the bumpers in nicely. However, as mentioned there is no longer any extra protection to the bumper; you suck them in by drilling out the shocks. That means that any low speed damage will be much more severe than it would be with unmolested diving boards. I'm not sure if I've heard of a way of tucking the bumpers without giving up some collision protection; the euro bumpers or aftermarket pieces bypass the shocks entirely, from what I've seen.

It basically comes down to weighing the coolness of tucked bumpers vs the likelihood of being tapped by the cell phone wielding soccer mom in the Camry/SUV/Prius/Saturn.

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I drilled and hammered them with a sledge hammer. Mine were pretty stuck so even after they were drilled i still had to take the bumper off and put it on the lawn and lumberjacked the poop out of it :)

The fluid inside is nasty stuff under pressure, so wear eye protection.

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I think Top End Performance sells a kit for doing this exact thing.

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Just did my '76 last week, and it looks great! I used the TEP kit for the front and did the drill and depressurize for the rear. I'd recommend using the drill/depressure for both. All the TEP kit does is replace the shocks with metal tubes - not a bad design but there's no need for the extra expense. I found it easier to remove the bumper/shock units from the car before drilling - just easier to access and drill - and not having to lie under the car. Measure beforehand how much you want to shorten. Mine ended up about 1-1/2" from the sheet metal.

For the rear, take out both trunk floor panels. Remove the three large bolts which hold the three shocks. Unbolt the accordian pieces from each bumper end - leave attached to car. With a buddy pull the bumper and shocks out - it may take some doing. Measure and drill out each shock with a sharp bit. IMPORTANT: WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES, GLOVES AND FACE MASK as the fluid will spew out. Compress the shocks to the new position. Drill each shock again (you can use same holes) and insert metal screws or bolts to hold in the new position (I put two in each one). With a buddy re-install the bumper/shocks and reinsert the three bolts. The bumper will slide over the black plastic cover without modification. You may have to gently tap it in with a large hammer. Carefully cut and glue back accordians to fit. I found it best to make the cut at the bumper end where the accordian meets the flat piece.

The front is similar but has two shocks. Remove battery (watch those terminals!) to access and remove large bolt beneath it holding left shock. Right side is accessible. Follow same procedure as rear.

Viola, you're done! Cool looking, huh? But you've lost some bumper protection, so watch those soccer moms beind you!

Here are a couple of pictures from Vintage @ the Vineyard.

post-9429-13667606871735_thumb.jpg

post-9429-13667606874168_thumb.jpg

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