77 to 78-81 Front End Conversion

Elliott Taylor

Veteran Member
Nov 24, 2020
205
Hey fellas,

I know a lot of guys out there have converted the aluminum bumper 2nd gen Camaro to an earlier split bumper front end. Have any of you ever looked at what it would take to convert a 74-77 to the 78-81 urethane front end?

The reason I ask is because I have a 77, and would like to do something with these big bumpers.

There is a Car Craft article circulating out there where a shop trimmed, tucked, smoothed, and painted the front bumper on a 76. I'll put the link below. I'd love to do this, but:

1)I don't weld, unfortunately.
2) No one around my area is interested in taking on this project.
3) I find someone or a shop who agrees to do the work (This has happened 3 times now), but never actually does anything.

Let me know what you guys think. Thanks a lot!

 

Twisted_Metal

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
31,660
Bloomington, MN
The article you linked is about tucking the aluminum bumpers, not switching to a 78-81 front.

It's not just the front nose, bumper and grill etc.
The fenders, inner fenders and radiator support need to be changed in order to install a 78-81 nose.
There are a lot of parts involved.
Basically EVERYTHING in front of the firewall, except the hood.
 

Zspoiler

Veteran Member
May 6, 2012
4,365
Federal Way, Washington
You could look at the SCCA and IMSA race cars of our era for ideas Look at our gallery for ideas .I put a IMSA nose on my 1979 Z-28 ,And or get a later model donor car .An assembly manual .Or even think outside the box.
 

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Elliott Taylor

Veteran Member
Nov 24, 2020
205
Great advice, guys.

I just talked to a friend of mine who says I can fill the bumper strip mount holes on my factory bumpers with panel bond. The front bumper, as you might know, has some front to back adjustability once you remove the steel springs. The rear doesn't look to have any adjustability.

So, I "could" fill these holes, paint the bumpers body color, and push the front bumper back on those tubular mounting brackets.

Any thoughts on this?
 

Twisted_Metal

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
31,660
Bloomington, MN
I think you're looking for a "Bumper Tuck".

 

Elliott Taylor

Veteran Member
Nov 24, 2020
205
Yes, that was my original plan. The link you sent is basically what I think I'm going to do, and I'll just paint them body color.
 

Elliott Taylor

Veteran Member
Nov 24, 2020
205
The article you linked is about tucking the aluminum bumpers, not switching to a 78-81 front.

It's not just the front nose, bumper and grill etc.
The fenders, inner fenders and radiator support need to be changed in order to install a 78-81 nose.
There are a lot of parts involved.
Basically EVERYTHING in front of the firewall, except the hood.
Right, I know. I'm weighing my options in regards to what I can do. As of now, I' leaning towards just using my bumpers and doing something similar to the article you linked.
 

berg2695

Veteran Member
Nov 13, 2011
640
I have an idea that I want to try on my 77Z before the bumpers are repainted. I am going to use a router to put a little radius on the lower edges of both bumpers. I like the bumpers but I'm not a fan of the hard sharp edge at the bottom. I think a nice radius of just the right size would soften the visual impact of bumpers and make them look less like girder beams. It's subtle but I think it would improve the look.
 

Elliott Taylor

Veteran Member
Nov 24, 2020
205
I just realized something upon inspection of these bumpers. It looks like the mounting bracket bolts were covered up by the bumper strip. Now that the strip is removed, it seems I will have to come up with a way to hide the heads of these bolts? With the strip off, the heads will be exposed.
 




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