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Old 04-21-2012, 10:55:12 PM   #1
CDesperado
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Repop Parts Review 0004 - Urethane Front Bumper (1978-1981)

Howdy Nasties! Welcome to another official Repop Review! Warning. Not 56k friendly.

Today we will be reviewing the 1978-81 Urethane Front Bumper sold by GroundUp (SS396).

Note: This is not the fiberglass nor the flex-glass version. I chose this product because I liked the fact that it was the same urethane material as the original car and provides a little flexibility, which fiberglass does not.

On with the review!

Test Subject GroundUp Urethane Front Bumper
Compatible Models 1978 through 1981
Manufacturer New Dawn Enterprises (Sold through GroundUp, Classic Industries, etc.)
Reproduction Part #
Country of Origin USA Baby!
Vendor GroundUp (SS396)
Vendor Part # LBC-305
Price $445
Control Group OEM from a 1978 Camaro


First Impressions
My first impression was overwhelmingly positive. The bumper is black urethane that is clearly well machined and well designed. Donít expect fancy packaging Ė the item came wrapped in thick bubble wrap in a thick, plain cardboard box branded with GroundUpís name on it.





Repop Review
I tend to be a very detail-oriented person, so this product description from the GroundUp website really appealed to me:
This is an exact reproduction 1978-1981 Camaro urethane front bumper cover for all models including Z28. Painstakingly reproduced in durable high strength urethane with strict attention to detail.

Measurements
Based on the measurements from the Repop front bumper, I believe there will no issues mounting the bumper to the fenders and lower fender extensions.

There were no appreciable differences in the measurements, but here is a direct comparison for those who are interested. Distances were measured as a straight line from the centerpoint, hole to hole. Bear in mind the holes are bigger than they need to be to allow for adjustments.



Weight
n/a Ė I am sure this weighs within a pound or so of the OEM bumper.


Fit and Function
The images below show some measurements, which show that the mounting points are nearly identical all the way around, and certainly within acceptable tolerances.

I do want to point out one thing that could be an issue, but I will need help from you guys to confirm this.

Several years ago, I bought an upper grille that was marketed as NOS, but which I later came to suspect was a repop of some kind. On a whim, I mounted this to my GroundUp bumper and noticed there was a significant gap on either side of the grille Ė either my grille isnít wide enough or the opening on the bumper is too wide Ė or both. This really bothers me because I donít remember there being such a big gap before.

The opening for the Upper Grille on the OEM bumper is 29 ĺ inches wide, but my OEM bumper is in really rough shape and it is possible the Urethane has shrunk or been otherwise deformed, which is skewing the measurement.
* The GroundUp opening is about 30 1/8 inches wide
* The Upper grille I have (a repop of unknown origin) is 29 1/2 inches wide.

Help!
If anyone can post measurements of their Upper Grille opening, from the angle shown below Ė or post measurements of the overall width of an OEM upper grille, I would be very appreciative. I am really hoping the opening on this bumper isnít wider than it needs to be. I vaguely remember a small gap, but not Ĺ an inch on either side.

We need to measure the distance between the two points as a straight line.


Recommendation (Edited. 15 May 2012)
Early on, I was worried about the fit of this piece. After having it mounted to the car, I can say definitively that it fits well. (I have a gapping issue with a fender, but it has nothing to do with the front bumper. You will likely need to expand a few of the holes to mount the bumper, but other than that, everything fit perfectly.

There is no issue with the upper or lower grille opening.

I will post more pictures tomorrow. Let me know if you have any questions!

Standard Disclaimer
All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review. I post these reviews to help forum members who must choose between OEM, NOS, or Repop items. In my case, the restoration of my í78 Camaro was delayed for years while I searched for NOS or good condition OEM items. I wasted time and money because I was influenced by a chorus of people that I didnít even know who were loudly proclaiming that ďall reproduction parts are junk.Ē I assure you, they arenít.
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Last edited by Batman : 05-16-2012 at 12:00:46 AM.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:16:33 PM   #2
leafs_11
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you spent all this time on this thread for wat?install it and let us know how it fits.all that counts
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:24:03 PM   #3
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I do it because I wish someone had done it for me when I wasted 1000s on NOS parts. In this case, I need other people to provide some measurements of their grill.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:48:02 PM   #4
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Great writeup, CDesperado! Appreciate the time and effort you put into these. I'd rather see writeups like this, than the usual threads that part XXXX fits like crap!

I'd like to help, but since my '79 has a full fiberglass front clip, any measurements would be useless to you for comparison.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:58:16 PM   #5
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Thanks Batman! I definitely put a lot of time and thought into these and I hope they will help others who follow behind me.

Im really pleased with this item and am really hoping that there isnt an issue with the grille opening. Other than that... nearly everything I measured was within 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch or so. With so much attention to detail I dont see how this could have been missed. Im guessing my original is damaged from.the way I stored it the last 8 years because I knew I couldnt re-use it.
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:11:17 AM   #6
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this peaked my interest and i went outside and measured and my opening is a little over 29 1/2 wide.
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:18:02 AM   #7
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Thanks man.!

Im really hoping this isnt going to be an issue but mine is nearly 1/2 to 3/4th of an inch wider. Im about two weeks away from being ready for paint. Im going to take some more measurements tmrw.
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Last edited by CDesperado : 04-22-2012 at 03:05:24 PM.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:19:30 AM   #8
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I think you need to obtain an original grill before you get too wrapped up in the grill opening measurement. My '78 Type LT grill is a tight fit to the sides of the grill opening, but there are inconsistent gaps at the top of the grill. I'll take a picture of my junk and post it tomorrow when I'll have better light.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:34:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blades67
I'll take a picture of my junk and post it tomorrow when I'll have better light.


Dude, no one here wants to see your junk! Please just take a picture of the grill and front cover
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:58:00 AM   #10
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29.75...100% original...never wrecked. hope this helps!
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:47:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knuckle Dragger
Dude, no one here wants to see your junk! Please just take a picture of the grill and front cover

Fine.

Dave, I'm sending a picture of my junk to you just because you don't want to see it.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:17:23 AM   #12
CDesperado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blades67
I think you need to obtain an original grill before you get too wrapped up in the grill opening measurement.

Agreed - this is why I asked for other people to provide a measurement. I dont have an OEM grille anymore to compare against, but I did do some research on them and it appears most of them appear to be 29.5 at the widest point (across the bottom most horizontal rail). The repop that I have is exactly 29.5 inches wide.

With the GroundUp's front bumper upper grille opening coming in at roughly 30 to 30 1/8... that means that it is potentially hald an inch too wide. That may not sound like much, but I will post some pics so yall can see this... it's a big gap once you look at it head on. (The lower grill opening is 30 inches wide, which appears to mirror the OEM bumper. It's a little difficult to measure, but people who are using an OER lower grille will definitely notice a 1/2 gap on either side of the lower grille.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by blades67
My '78 Type LT grill is a tight fit to the sides of the grill opening, but there are inconsistent gaps at the top of the grill. I'll take a picture of my junk and post it tomorrow when I'll have better light.

I definitely would appreciate as many pics as we can get. It's been 20 years since my car saw asphalt, but I thought I remembered my grille being a fairly tight fit along the sides too, with a tiny bit of play up towards the top. I know for sure it didnt have a 3/8" gap on either side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzer33
29.75" across
Thanks Cruzer! This is definitely validating what I was afraid of.


I am going to take some more measurements and do a test fitting with the lower grille, the parking lamps, and the headlight bezels too so we can see how that shapes up.
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Last edited by CDesperado : 04-22-2012 at 11:32:37 AM.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:59:04 PM   #13
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I have quite a few more pics I want to post, but I have to get some other work done so it may be tonight before I get everything posted.

One thing I want to mention up front is the lower grille opening. The opening on the OEM and GU bumpers both measure 30" inches across (using the angle shown below).



Assuming this measurement is reflective of other bumpers out there, the OER Lower Grille appears to be a full INCH too narrow. As you can see in the shots below, there is more than enough room to place a AA battery between the opening and the lower grille. (I placed a white rag behind the grill so it would show up better in the pictures.)

EDIT. 26 April 2012. There is no issue with the lower grille opening. After mounting the GroundUp bumper to the bumper support frame, the gap in the opening for the lower grille got slightly narrower. Mounting the bumper requires you to "push" in the sides a little bit and I did not take into account how much the lower grille itself would spread out upon being mounted.


This is mostly likely an issue with the OER Lower Grille - not the bumper. (The lower grille measure 29" at the widest point.) I mention this only so you know what to expect. (I dont recall there being a huge gap like this in my lower grille, but maybe there was.)


One other thing I want to note is the tabs on the bottom of the lower grille opening. This isn't a major issue (I hope), but it does represent another departure from the "exact replica" that is advertised. (Full disclosure... I cant even remember what these holes are used to mount or what they clip into, but the Christmas tree plug on the OEM bumper clearly went somewhere.)

EDIT. 26 April 2012. After mounting the bumper to the support frame, I dont think the missing 1/4 inch on the urethane tab will be an issue.

As you can see in the shot below, the "tab" on the lower section for the GroundUp front bumper is 1/4 of an inch shorter than the OEM. This may be an issue later.


Going back to the original issue, here are some shots taken with an upper grille that measures 29.5" at it's widest point (measured from the back, bottom point to bottom point, as shown below).






I want to point this out although I this probably is not an issue In the image below, you will see that there are two small screw holes in the OEM bumper (circled) that are not present in the GroundUp bumper. You will need to drill these holes back into the bumper (possibly before you paint it.). EDIT. These holes may be used to secure the bumper to the filler panel.



I see no fitment issues with the Headlight or Parking light bezels, but I can't really test that until the bumper is actually on the car. If you have any questions or want to see other pics, just let me know!
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Last edited by CDesperado : 04-26-2012 at 02:55:53 PM.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:28:37 PM   #14
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Aren't those holes for the mounting screws for the headlight buckets? I would think they wouldn't have been pre-drilled at the factory. Just created when the mounting screw was put in.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:35:08 PM   #15
CDesperado
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That's what I thought too, but no.. the headlight bucket screws sit further back.

Now that I think of it, these holes might be used to screw the bumper to the filler panel... in which case you would screw it in after assembly. (I edited that section.)
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Last edited by CDesperado : 04-22-2012 at 03:42:38 PM.
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