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  1. #1
    FEP Supporter roush235's Avatar
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    Default front bumper cover replacement project

    My original front bumper cover had been painted at least four times. The last two times (over the past two or three years), the paint started to crack a few months after it was applied. Having moved to TN, I needed a new shop to work with. I dropped in on a shop (local chain operation) and asked them about repainting it again. They were very reluctant to do the job, being worried that, for whatever reason, it would happen again. They instead recommended starting with a "new" bumper cover.

    I started on this forum looking for a "new" cover. It wasn't long until I had a couple to choose from. I chose one from Rich (Fearnot) which looked like this. He sold it at a fair price and shipped it to me with no issues or problems. Great guy to work with.








    The body shop went to work. Originally they sent me on a goose chase looking for a soda blaster who would do prep work. Not finding anyone very close, they instead said "just let us do our own prep work." I ended up talking to the body shop guy who did the work, he said he actually enjoyed it as it was something different. Here it is, reconditioned and repainted. Note: these pictures show the shop erroneously painted the bottom grille area black. They later corrected this error as it is supposed to be body color.






    This project seems straightforward but actually is quite a bit of work. I took the opportunity to do some detailing while it was disassembled... bumper cover header repaint, reconditioning various hardware, etc. So here is a trivia question: how many bolts, nuts, rivets etc. were taken off, and put back on, to do this job?




    And here is the finished product. Hasn't looked this good since it left the factory. Sure hope it stays looking good.






    Here are a couple other tidbits from this project. The reinforcement bracket at the bottom side edge of the bumper cover was different: my old one had three screws, the new one had two. And the side marker cut-out on the new cover was about 1/4" wider than the old one. These manufacturing differences would be of high interest to folks with the high-dollar Mustang restorations; to us, just oddball detail.


    And the trivia answer is: 75.

    Just think about the assembly line workers doing this work back in the day. Kudos to them. And somehow, I don't think the equivalent piece of work on new Mustangs would be near as complicated or elaborate.
    Bob in Lebanon, TN
    79 original owner six cylinder coupe
    MCA Gold Card judge for 3rd Generation cars

  2. #2

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    I've never seen a fender stand that clean... I would be highly suspicious of their work. it looks great! I'm a week or so behind you with my nose job

  3. #3

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    Turned out great Bob! Glad the shop was able to work with you.
    86 SVO 2R Comp Prep
    86 SVO 9L Comp Prep

  4. #4
    FEP Super Member JTurbo's Avatar
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    Looks awesome. Better than new.

  5. #5

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    Looks great. I very well understand you had to work with what you had. I guess just as an FYI for posterity though, it much faster easier to replace the header panel and cover at the same time IF that is possible. It isn't always.

  6. #6
    FEP Supporter 82GTforME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roush235 View Post
    Here are a couple other tidbits from this project. The reinforcement bracket at the bottom side edge of the bumper cover was different: my old one had three screws, the new one had two. And the side marker cut-out on the new cover was about 1/4" wider than the old one. These manufacturing differences would be of high interest to folks with the high-dollar Mustang restorations; to us, just oddball detail.
    Interesting info Bob. Thanks for sharing the experience also along with the great results!

    I noted during the current project of replacing the front cover on our early 79 that the bumper cover had really tight side marker light holes also. So tight I worried I would crack the paint getting the lights in after painting! Luckily I did not. It seemed on these older ones that the cover held the lights in place. With the "later" 79-82 covers (the original part number was superceded 2/3 into the 79 model year accorcing to my parts book - probably due also to the crappy urethane that really deteriorated!) and the "later" 79-82 header panels; the holes got a little larger and they added the marker light frames that join onto the header that holds the light.

    The original install:
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    Side by side our early 79 header on left and an 82 on the right:
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