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Endura bumper distortion
Today I swapped out my grille for a new one as the old one had quite a few cracks in the middle, and the previous owners plastic welding had started to fail.

This gave me an opportunity to look at the front bumper while it was off the car to try to understand why in the centre the bumper sits about one inch further back than it should. My feeling is that the car has had a hit on the front as some stage which has bent the bumper metal frame, which probably also explains the damaged original grille.

My question is, looking at the first picture of the guts of the bumper there appears to be crinkles in the centre area - are these supposed to be there from factory, or is this the result of a hit to the front??

Another question, assuming it is damaged as I suspect, if I remove the rubber bumper from the frame to rework the frame back into shape, is the paint on the bumper likely to crack when replacing it onto a frame that that has been reworked into a slightly different angle? (i.e. is the normally a bit of flexibility in the paint?)

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There is suppose to be flex added to paint when used on plastic or rubber but no garentee. It will most Likly crack the paint. Also it is very hard to bend the rubber bumpers back into shape. I gave up on my old one sold it to soembody else then waited for a replacement which took 1 year.

I had to replace my reenforcement plate that the bumper sits on also.

That plate is very thick steel and also I found impossible to bend back into shape.

I again waited and got a NOS renforcement plate. I didn't know how bad my old bumper was bent until the new plate showed up. It was 3-4 inches bent backwards. Which spread the sides of the bumper out.

Even with a come along I could not figure out how to bend the bumper or plate back to original shape and I used a torch on the renforcement plate could not budge it.

If you bend the bumper somehow back into shape, the paint will most Likly crack but the reenforcement plate will then not bolt up to the bumper. That steel is thick and designed with crumple zones so bending it back well it was beyond my skills.

The reenforcement plate was easy to get I think it cost me 250$ for a NOS ford oem piece.
The bumper was 350-500$ I don't remember exactly.

Now I did try bolting my old bumper to the new plate. I used 6 bar clamps and using the 2 bolts in the center I tried to bend the ends in. Well it didnt work lets just say and I started the search for a new bumper.

That steel is designed to take a hit and change shape so it will be very hard to get into original shape. My recommendation is save that project take time to fix other things if needed like the grill and source a New bumper and new renforcement plate. You will also find the bumper supports are most Likly bent also. Scott Drake makes the bumper supports left and right but no one makes the renforcement plate I emailed scott drake about it...

Now I would talk to don at Ohio mustang he may be able to help.

I just know I wasted like 2 months doing what you want in an effort to save money and I wasted more money tring to make a repair verse just waiting for replacement parts.

I even attempted a chrome front bumper at one point tring to save money.

Your bumper looks good now nobody would really notice better leave it be work around it for now and if it really bugs you save up for replacments
Bumpers are really hard to straighten even for professionals. Better to replace. Contact Don at Ohio Mustang. While it may cost you a couple hundred to have prepped and painted it'll be a painless bolt on and your car will look even better instantly. You'll go madtrying to push on your bumper without cracking the paint. Given the force needed to move the steel inside the rubber will compress and crack the paint far sooner.
Brett you may want to get ahold of Peter Winn in Hobart, TAS and see if he still has his bumper.

He replaced his other one with a fiberglass unit and I imagine that he will be doing the same with his newest car.

It would sure beat the shipping cost!
Thanks for the very informative reply's guys!

I think I'll give the straightening a miss now based on the advice, and be thankful that even though the bumper is pushed back a little, it really isn't that noticeable unless you're looking hard.

Steven, I think Peter Winn's old car was a '73 with the different bumper. Not sure what his new car is, but if he's got a 71 - 72 model then I'm pretty sure there isn't a fiberglass alternative for non-73 cars..

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Brett, Yes, Peter's old car was a 73 and he made the fiberglass bumper himself.

His new car is a 72. He plans to make a carbon fiber bumper for it.
One other thing the bumper repair would effect is the front fenders the new bumper would be narrow and you would have to pop the bolts on the fenders to bring in the bottoms which would also effect the lower valance. And possibly the hood. There are inches and inches of play in the sheet metal and the bumper causes a ripple effect of body adjustments.

Another reason to just leave it be for now.

A couple of years ago I got correct 1971 rear caps for my car somebody installed 1973 version
I spent days pulling the 73 versions I go to put the 71 caps on and they would not fit correctly at all.
Discovered it was because my quarters were basically remade from bondo and the angles were shaped to fit the 73 caps the 71 was totally different. Then I had to figure out how to go back and repair the damage I caused to put the 73 versions back on. Dear god I wish I never attempted that project it was an utter failure and caused me money and tons of lost time.
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