Fast Freddie’s Rod Shop at Eau Claire, Wis. , generally has a broad selection of old vehicle restoration and resto-mod jobs filling the store at any particular time. One of the neatest jobs from the works recently included a 1971 Dodge Challenger that the Fast Freddie’s team was switching into a classic SCCA Trans Am road race car.
The Challenger was nicely worn as it arrived in the store and obtained a great deal of body function and rushing mods to allow it to mimic a authentic track automobile, but one of those things that was likely to stay stock was that the factory-type chrome bumpers. The back bumper on the Dodge could not be stored. It was simply too beat up to return to the vehicle, but accredited replacements are offered through providers such as Auto Metal Direct (AMD), which also provided some body panels and floor pans to your Challenger.
Of class, even the easiest jobs are not as simple as they appear, and also the Fast Freddie’s team wound up with to check fit the new bumper many times, shim it on each side and finally bend the bumper mounting brackets with a tiny hefty persuasion prior to the AMD replacement bumper match just perfect.
“AMD has Chrysler-licensed reproduction front and rear bumpers, and they are as factory correct as you can get,” noted Fast Freddie’s proprietor Fred Kappus Jr. “It’s as long as you are likely to get at a reproduction. Every once in a while you need to bend and tweak and form things like this, however, AMD is a really excellent resource for breeding panels.
“There is rather a lot of adjustment from the bumper mounts ) You may observe the tail pan is slotted to your bumper bracket so that you get a up-and-down adjustment and you also receive some side-to-side adjustment. It’s a two-man procedure to get everything setup how you need it, but not overly hard.”
The bumpers were test fitted prior to the Challenger, that had been painted with primer, could select final paint and meeting. The bumpers will come back, clearly, until your system heads into the paint booth, but not until it matches perfectly, gets photographed and then marked so things move smoothly during final meeting.
In that circumstance, the bumper brackets were shimmed using a set of 116-inch spacers on the passenger side, along with one spacer on the driver’s side. When the openings still were not ideal, the team pulled out the “Pogo Stick” drawing instrument, which offers lots of leverage to securely tweak the bumper brackets and flex objects marginally to find all to lined up.
“The biggest thing is just getting your gaps right and making sure the contours on the quarter panels fit the contours on the bumpers,” Kappus said. “All you need are regular hand tools, and you’re gonna want a buddy over with you, so he can hold one side while you tighten the other and help you eyeball it.”
*As an Amazon Associate, Old Cars earns from qualifying purchases. )