Repop Parts Review 0004 - Urethane Front Bumper (1978-1981)

Discussion in 'Body Restoration' started by CDesperado, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. CDesperado

    CDesperado Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    Howdy Nasties! Welcome to another official Repop Review! Warning. Not 56k friendly.

    Today we will be reviewing the 1978-81 Urethane Front Bumper sold by GroundUp (SS396).

    Note: This is not the fiberglass nor the flex-glass version. I chose this product because I liked the fact that it was the same urethane material as the original car and provides a little flexibility, which fiberglass does not.

    On with the review!

    Test Subject GroundUp Urethane Front Bumper
    Compatible Models 1978 through 1981
    Manufacturer New Dawn Enterprises (Sold through GroundUp, Classic Industries, etc.)
    Reproduction Part #
    Country of Origin USA Baby!
    Vendor GroundUp (SS396)
    Vendor Part # LBC-305
    Price $445
    Control Group OEM from a 1978 Camaro

    First Impressions
    My first impression was overwhelmingly positive. The bumper is black urethane that is clearly well machined and well designed. Don’t expect fancy packaging – the item came wrapped in thick bubble wrap in a thick, plain cardboard box branded with GroundUp’s name on it.



    Repop Review
    I tend to be a very detail-oriented person, so this product description from the GroundUp website really appealed to me:
    This is an exact reproduction 1978-1981 Camaro urethane front bumper cover for all models including Z28. Painstakingly reproduced in durable high strength urethane with strict attention to detail.

    Based on the measurements from the Repop front bumper, I believe there will no issues mounting the bumper to the fenders and lower fender extensions.

    There were no appreciable differences in the measurements, but here is a direct comparison for those who are interested. Distances were measured as a straight line from the centerpoint, hole to hole. Bear in mind the holes are bigger than they need to be to allow for adjustments.


    n/a – I am sure this weighs within a pound or so of the OEM bumper.

    Fit and Function
    The images below show some measurements, which show that the mounting points are nearly identical all the way around, and certainly within acceptable tolerances.

    I do want to point out one thing that could be an issue, but I will need help from you guys to confirm this.

    Several years ago, I bought an upper grille that was marketed as NOS, but which I later came to suspect was a repop of some kind. On a whim, I mounted this to my GroundUp bumper and noticed there was a significant gap on either side of the grille – either my grille isn’t wide enough or the opening on the bumper is too wide – or both. This really bothers me because I don’t remember there being such a big gap before.

    The opening for the Upper Grille on the OEM bumper is 29 ¾ inches wide, but my OEM bumper is in really rough shape and it is possible the Urethane has shrunk or been otherwise deformed, which is skewing the measurement.
    * The GroundUp opening is about 30 1/8 inches wide
    * The Upper grille I have (a repop of unknown origin) is 29 1/2 inches wide.

    If anyone can post measurements of their Upper Grille opening, from the angle shown below – or post measurements of the overall width of an OEM upper grille, I would be very appreciative. I am really hoping the opening on this bumper isn’t wider than it needs to be. I vaguely remember a small gap, but not ½ an inch on either side.

    We need to measure the distance between the two points as a straight line.

    Recommendation (Edited. 15 May 2012)
    Early on, I was worried about the fit of this piece. After having it mounted to the car, I can say definitively that it fits well. (I have a gapping issue with a fender, but it has nothing to do with the front bumper. You will likely need to expand a few of the holes to mount the bumper, but other than that, everything fit perfectly.

    There is no issue with the upper or lower grille opening.

    I will post more pictures tomorrow. Let me know if you have any questions!

    Standard Disclaimer
    All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review. I post these reviews to help forum members who must choose between OEM, NOS, or Repop items. In my case, the restoration of my ’78 Camaro was delayed for years while I searched for NOS or good condition OEM items. I wasted time and money because I was influenced by a chorus of people that I didn’t even know who were loudly proclaiming that “all reproduction parts are junk.” I assure you, they aren’t.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2012
  2. leafs_11

    leafs_11 BANNED

    Jun 24, 2009
    you spent all this time on this thread for wat?install it and let us know how it fits.all that counts
  3. CDesperado

    CDesperado Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    I do it because I wish someone had done it for me when I wasted 1000s on NOS parts. In this case, I need other people to provide some measurements of their grill.
  4. Batman

    Batman Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Mission Viejo, CA, USA
    Great writeup, CDesperado! Appreciate the time and effort you put into these. I'd rather see writeups like this, than the usual threads that part XXXX fits like crap!

    I'd like to help, but since my '79 has a full fiberglass front clip, any measurements would be useless to you for comparison.
  5. CDesperado

    CDesperado Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    Thanks Batman! I definitely put a lot of time and thought into these and I hope they will help others who follow behind me.

    Im really pleased with this item and am really hoping that there isnt an issue with the grille opening. Other than that... nearly everything I measured was within 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch or so. With so much attention to detail I dont see how this could have been missed. Im guessing my original is damaged from.the way I stored it the last 8 years because I knew I couldnt re-use it.
  6. 3SLO5

    3SLO5 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Jan 7, 2001
    Edison NJ USA
    this peaked my interest and i went outside and measured and my opening is a little over 29 1/2 wide.
  7. CDesperado

    CDesperado Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    Thanks man.!

    Im really hoping this isnt going to be an issue but mine is nearly 1/2 to 3/4th of an inch wider. Im about two weeks away from being ready for paint. Im going to take some more measurements tmrw.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  8. blades67

    blades67 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Oct 22, 2005
    Chandler, Arizona, USA
    I think you need to obtain an original grill before you get too wrapped up in the grill opening measurement. My '78 Type LT grill is a tight fit to the sides of the grill opening, but there are inconsistent gaps at the top of the grill. I'll take a picture of my junk and post it tomorrow when I'll have better light.
  9. Knuckle Dragger

    Knuckle Dragger Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002
    Waddell AZ

    Dude, no one here wants to see your junk! Please just take a picture of the grill and front cover :screwup: :p :p
  10. cruzer33

    cruzer33 Veteran Member

    Apr 28, 2004
    findlay, ohio, usa
    29.75...100% original...never wrecked. hope this helps!

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