'66 SS bumper waaay left, how do I bring it right? - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 6th, 19, 8:47 PM Thread Starter
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'66 SS bumper waaay left, how do I bring it right?

Good day,
My father and I attempted to install the front bumper today. We have a new bumper from AMD, and the factory brackets, blasted and painted. The pics pretty much tell the story, the brackets currently push the drivers side to sit around the fill panel, while the passenger side is left hanging in the air. I've taken the fill panel off to paint the underside (body shop did the non silver top side, I didn't look that up and ask them to paint it silver before they painted it)and can't see any ability to adjust that left to right, but not sure on the bumper itself?

The body did come off the frame, however all the gaps look "GM good", where the hood lines are straight, and the gap on the drivers side front door to fender is wide, but even, and the fender, at the top, is against the cowl, so that can't be brought back in toward the door, and not sure that would solve my left to right issue anyway?

Any thoughts appreciated.
Thanks
Greg
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 6th, 19, 9:49 PM
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Re: '66 SS bumper waaay left, how do I bring it right?

Each Bumper Bracket is attached to the frame at two locations, one location in the front of the bracket and a second location in the rear. Place a body shim/body washer between the Frame and the Bumper Bracket at the two front locations. This action will shift the bumper in the direction of the gap you want to increase (driver's side). You may have to use a body shim/body washer at all locations. You'll determine how many are needed by experimentation. Be sure to use plenty of masking tape to protect your paint job while working on the issue.

Some bending of the bumper brackets may also be necessary.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 19, 12:03 AM
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Did you x the Frt frame horns for upper cowl to the frt of frame f did it algn piror to tear down?
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 19, 12:18 AM
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Re: '66 SS bumper waaay left, how do I bring it right?

I had the SAME " GAP " with the front bumper of my 1970 El Camino.
I was ready to cut ,,shim,,play with,, or Do what ever to center my front bumper and have it EVEN on each side.
After talking to a smart body man ( I was driving it, One thing left install the Front bumper)
HOW DID I CORRECT MY SCREW UP????? Remove the fenders and hood, Grill, Etc.
NOW most important...Get the body bolts loose,,, SQUARE the BODY to the frame! Get your rule and start measuring. When the body is on the frame SQUARE, EVERYTHING will fit.
Your manual will tell you how. Many simple tricks to get the body in the correct position. YEP, You can/do shortcuts. I did not want to go that route. I wasted two days and used a lot of very bad language. The end result the car is 100% correct and perfect. Bottom line,,,,,, I was the dumb AZZ who set the body on and said............ LOOKS GOOD TO ME !
Drivers side " Bumper dam near touching fender,, Pass. side about a 3/4"-1" Gap ???? ".......... Time for the yardstick!
Bob
If what I did sounds like a lot of work, ( It is a lot of work) I would ask for a 2nd & a 3rd opinion from some other folks.
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Last edited by Robinls5; Jul 7th, 19 at 12:40 AM.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 19, 1:52 AM
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Re: '66 SS bumper waaay left, how do I bring it right?

If the rest of your body gaps look good and the hood fits well then I would go with the Bruce method.

Shim, bend, and ream out mounting holes to make it fit.

I had the same issue when I went with a "new" bumper. My hood and all gaps were good, The new bumper was drilled a little differently, so I modified the brackets until I was happy. I think it took a full day of F'en and S'en to get it right.

Make sure your front end body panels are set and the hood is set to your satisfaction before you install the bumper. Then do what you have to to gitter done.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 19, 8:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: '66 SS bumper waaay left, how do I bring it right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by donald d locklear View Post
Did you x the Frt frame horns for upper cowl to the frt of frame f did it algn piror to tear down?

Honestly, I didn't. We had the body work done by a shop, and we were finishing the engine, electric, and interior. I'm not even 100% sure what that means, and is there a way to check at this point?
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 19, 8:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: '66 SS bumper waaay left, how do I bring it right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robinls5 View Post
I had the SAME " GAP " with the front bumper of my 1970 El Camino.
I was ready to cut ,,shim,,play with,, or Do what ever to center my front bumper and have it EVEN on each side.
After talking to a smart body man ( I was driving it, One thing left install the Front bumper)
HOW DID I CORRECT MY SCREW UP????? Remove the fenders and hood, Grill, Etc.
NOW most important...Get the body bolts loose,,, SQUARE the BODY to the frame! Get your rule and start measuring. When the body is on the frame SQUARE, EVERYTHING will fit.
Your manual will tell you how. Many simple tricks to get the body in the correct position. YEP, You can/do shortcuts. I did not want to go that route. I wasted two days and used a lot of very bad language. The end result the car is 100% correct and perfect. Bottom line,,,,,, I was the dumb AZZ who set the body on and said............ LOOKS GOOD TO ME !
Drivers side " Bumper dam near touching fender,, Pass. side about a 3/4"-1" Gap ???? ".......... Time for the yardstick!
Bob
If what I did sounds like a lot of work, ( It is a lot of work) I would ask for a 2nd & a 3rd opinion from some other folks.
Really appreciate the feedback. We had the body taken off/placed back on by the body shop who painted the car. We also had the frame boxed with a Hellwig kit, wondering if that may have pushed something around without being visible until now? I'm assuming if the body isn't square to the frame, it will show up in the opposite way on the rear bumper?

Thanks much!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 19, 10:16 AM
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Re: '66 SS bumper waaay left, how do I bring it right?

not necessarily.it could be centered at the back,just slide over to the pass side in the front,if thats the case the drivers side at the back would be forward just a hair and you could take that up in bumper adjustment,go under the car behind the front tires and measure the gap between the body and the frame,my guess is you will have about 1/4 inch more on the pass side.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 19, 9:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: '66 SS bumper waaay left, how do I bring it right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cherokeepeople View Post
not necessarily.it could be centered at the back,just slide over to the pass side in the front,if thats the case the drivers side at the back would be forward just a hair and you could take that up in bumper adjustment,go under the car behind the front tires and measure the gap between the body and the frame,my guess is you will have about 1/4 inch more on the pass side.
Thanks, not certain what I was measuring, but when I started poking around, the radiator support and radiator is absolutely not centered between the two frame rails.
Ugh, but do appreciate the help, at least now I know what the problem is.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 19, 8:27 PM
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Re: '66 SS bumper waaay left, how do I bring it right?

  1. Open Hood all the way. If your springs are weak, find a way to keep it from accidentally closing.
  2. Open both doors all the way.
  3. Put some soft towels between your back bumper and body all around both taillight extension housings. But don't stuff them in too tight - you want it to be able to move without the towel getting clamped in there and squeezing too hard on the body.
  4. That front bumper is so close to your fender I would remove it before readjusting the body. Or if you are willing to risk it, put some soft towels between it and the valence and fenders all around too.
  5. Loosen every body-to-frame bolt.
  6. Loosen the two rad-support to frame bolts.
  7. Use a small porta-power spreader (with lots of tape on it so it doesn't mar any paint) between the frame rail and the rocker to slowly and carefully move the body around to get the gaps between the frame and the rockers to match on both sides of the car. You want the gap at the front ends of the long straight part of the frame to match left to right, and likewise at the back ends of the long straight part of the frame. However front to rear down the side may not be exactly "straight" as the gap may grow or shrink from front to rear, you just want the two side to be the same. That is the best starting point for "square". But have someone watching both your bumpers while you do it to make sure nothing gets in a bind.
  8. Once that is square, tighten the four corner body bolts.
  9. Then re-square the front clip. The distance from the back inner corner of one fender to the front inner corner of the other fender should match from side to side. Have someone watch the fender to A-pillar joint to make sure nothing starts to bind.
  10. Snug the radiator support bolts.
  11. Carefully check your doors to make sure they will still close without hitting the fenders. Adjust the fender forward if necessary to get door clearance (but if that has to be done then you have to resquare the front clip again because that will throw it off).
  12. Carefully close your hood to make sure it does not hit the fenders, and readjust it as necessary.
  13. Now loosen and realign your bumpers if necessary. They should be decently close at this point. If they are not close enough to suit you, then you can loosen the body again and nudge it a tiny bit either way, but if you do that then you have to deal with resquaring the nose, and your door and hood gaps all over again.
  14. Once you are happy, retighten everything!

Good luck!
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 19, 6:38 AM
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Re: '66 SS bumper waaay left, how do I bring it right?

If you don't have a porta power, I used a ratchet strap from frame to body to scootch mine over. It worked great.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 19, 8:57 AM
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Re: '66 SS bumper waaay left, how do I bring it right?

Time to get the file out and elongate the holes for some side to side adjustment..
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 19, 10:03 AM
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Re: '66 SS bumper waaay left, how do I bring it right?

You don't need a port-power, any large pry will work. The gap between your frame and inner rocker is around 2 inches and fairly deep so you'll come up with something. Make it broad and dull and wrapped in soft rags. To aid the body movement, once you've loosened all body bolts, take a floor jack and raise the body a half inch or so in each inner corner using a foot long 2x4 on the flat so you won't dent the under body. This is just to break the mold so to speak, set it back down at rest and do your adjustment.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 19, 10:43 PM
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Re: '66 SS bumper waaay left, how do I bring it right?

Don't listen to the advice on shimming and bending the bumper brackets. That is a hack move and NOT the correct way to do it. From the looks of it, the body and or radiator support are not square to the frame. The easiest thing for you do do is to tape the edges of the doors and fenders along with the edge of the bumper. Then loosen the core support bolts (I would loosen ALL of the body mount bolts) and move the core support over to the right side of the car (passenger side). Then snug them back down. You can use a 3' pry bar strategically placed through the bumper to do this. Once the support is tight, CAREFULLY and SLOWLY open the doors to make sure they do not come into contact with the fenders. YOu may need to shift the body over on the frame as well. That's why I would loosen all of the mount bolts.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 19, 6:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSS454 View Post
Don't listen to the advice on shimming and bending the bumper brackets. That is a hack move and NOT the correct way to do it. From the looks of it, the body and or radiator support are not square to the frame. The easiest thing for you do do is to tape the edges of the doors and fenders along with the edge of the bumper. Then loosen the core support bolts (I would loosen ALL of the body mount bolts) and move the core support over to the right side of the car (passenger side). Then snug them back down. You can use a 3' pry bar strategically placed through the bumper to do this. Once the support is tight, CAREFULLY and SLOWLY open the doors to make sure they do not come into contact with the fenders. YOu may need to shift the body over on the frame as well. That's why I would loosen all of the mount bolts.
Agreed,
Also have the hood open but make sure you close the hood part way and check gaps as your bringing it down, most likely will need adjustment.

Steve
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