The rear bumpers, boy,
did I have trouble with these. First, the instructions are not very
helpful when it comes to placement. Two, they don't really fit the
frame mounts, or at least, mine didn't.
First thing was to get
the proper placement and to make it the same place on both sides.
Since the bumpers stand out, if they are not located in the same location
relative to one another, that fact will become readily apparent to anyone
behind you. So it was time to get out the laser level and some plumb
bobs and go to work. At this point, I have the body fit into it's
final position on the frame INCLUDING the rubber body cushions, and the
trunk support mounts in place and the truck screwed down to them.
I used a plumb bob to
find the center of the trunk support mounts. I wanted the holes for
the bumper rods to be centered on the mount. That placed the bumper
midway between the taillights and the trunk openings. This is slightly
outside of the marks on the body for the bumpers, which the instructions
tell you to ignore anyway. On the prototype, the bumpers are closer to
the trunk opening than the taillight. The top line on the tape is the
bottom of the trunk liner. No holes can go above that line or your
bumper mounts will intrude into the trunk and that won't look cool.
Vertical placement is
pretty much a given since you have to be below the trunk floor.
Honestly, I think the bumpers look better up higher. That's the way
they are on a lot of the other kits out there, but there's no choice here
unless you want to mess inside the trunk with different mounts, etc. I
drilled my holes as high as I could and then used my laser to point through
the pilot hole to mark the location of the holes in the trunk support mount.
I used a drill bit extension to reach through the holes in the body to drill
the holes in the mounts the bumper extensions.
The placement of the
bumpers out away from the body is pretty much a personal choice. I
looked at a lot of pictures and found them everywhere from right up against
the body to almost a foot away, which I thought looked a little funny.
The top of my extensions are about 1 1/4" away from the body and mounted so
the inside edge is vertical when the car is level.
Unfortunately when I
have the bumpers places vertically where I want them, the mounting holes are
not level. The mounting plate welded inside the rear bumper is not
vertical, so the bumper extensions missed my mounting holes. My
solution was to cut a piece of angle to weld to the mounting plate that
would match up to the bumper extensions.
Here is the angle tack
welded in place. You can see that the forward face is cut at an angle
to match the angle of the extensions. The extensions were shortened to
match the new mounting location. Now this took almost two days to get
right. I installed, clamped, measured, removed, cut, re-installed this
assembly more than 6 times before I got it where I wanted and I got both
sides the same.
I'm glad they are
finally done. I will finish weld these mounts once I break down the
body and frame for paint.
The first step in
mounting the side pipes is to get an opening cut in the body in order to
trial fit the pipes. I used my laser level again. I set it on
the air filter and set a line down each edge of the pipes and onto the
inside of the body. Then using tape, I transferred those lines to the
outside of the body. This allowed me to get a very accurate location
marked. I cut just outside of the lines to give me a little clearance
to mount the pipes. I do not want to cut the final clearance in the
body until the pipes are bolted into their final position. Then I will
cut in a 1/2" clearance all around.
I knew this was going
to happen based upon posts from other builders. The pipes do not
follow the lines of the frame evenly. In order to correct this, I had
to grind on the mounting flange.
I would love to have a
surface grinder to very accurately adjust these, but since I don't, I'll
have to do the best I can. The gasket should cover up the minor
I used my metal ruler
to look for gaps and high points and I ground the flange just about as far
as I felt comfortable. I ended up lower than this picture shows after
three or four trial fittings.
After trying to get
the right fit by grinding, I finally gave up and ordered some extra gasket
sets. I cut an aluminum spacer and tapered the gasket towards the cut
I then sandwiched the
spacer between two sets of gaskets. This finally gave me the angle I
was looking for. I'm no sure how this will hold up over time, but I'm
willing to give it a try for now.
I borrowed this
mounting suggestion from another builder. Rather than bolt the end tab
of the side pipe directly to the frame mount, I used my torch and cut the
frame mounts off of both sides. I used some angle to make up a
mounting flange that will get welded to the underside of the floor pan and
The whole assembly
looks like this and once mounted, I can weld in the angle to the frame.
This is the final fit
I was able to achieve. I think this will work out fine. I have
some guards to add to the muffler. I will do that during the final
installation after paint.
next step is to mount the gas cap to the body and connect up the filler tube
to the tank. That work begins on the next page.