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Username Post: 59 2 piece front bumper assembly order        (Topic#352370)
stevelegel 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 100
stevelegel
Loc: Detroit MI
Reg: 09-27-09
08-07-18 04:31 AM - Post#2742183    

I took lots of photos when I did the disassembly of my 59 El Camino, and they have been helpful to see what goes where. But I remember struggling taking it apart piece by piece. I did a good job labelling the baggies of bolts and hardware.

Now that I am on the other side, the order of assembly perplexes me.
On one hand, it seems logical to assemble the whole assembly on the bench then mount it to the car, but it also seems logical to assemble it on the car from frame brackets to the outside. either way, I get stuck somewhere along the line, either running into bolts I can't access or pieces I can't lift alone.
My gosh, they built a car a minute in the factory!

I am open to guidance from other's experience on the order of assembly.



 




Aussie_Chevy_Nut 
"4th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 543
Aussie_Chevy_Nut
Loc: Australia
Reg: 11-26-02
08-07-18 06:39 PM - Post#2742275    
    In response to stevelegel

Hi,
I did not have a lot of space but I put the bumper assembly together sitting on a couple of card tables so I could then bolt the whole thing to the front of the car. I even managed to get it into position myself using some small children's chairs to rest it upon and then gradually raise it into position by placing some old cushions or thick cardboard boxes.
Obviously better with someone to assist the lifting.
Also, use a lot of masking tape and covering paper at critical places on the fenders and valance panels to avoid scratching the paintwork.
Trying to assemble the bumpers piece by piece on the car would be way more tricky in my opinion.
Good luck,
John



 
Aussie_Chevy_Nut 
"4th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 543
Aussie_Chevy_Nut
Loc: Australia
Reg: 11-26-02
08-07-18 06:47 PM - Post#2742277    
    In response to stevelegel

p.s.
I also bought a complete kit of nuts and bolts from one of the regular suppliers. That made it a lot easier than trying to reuse the old parts. (I did keep the old parts in case I ever felt the need to reinstal original parts.)



 
SS540 
Contributor
Posts: 690
SS540
Loc: Down in Texas
Reg: 03-29-03
08-08-18 10:40 AM - Post#2742343    
    In response to stevelegel

It has been 6 years since I put the front end back on the 59, so memory is somewhat fuzzy. But looking at pictures I took, I put the main bracket inside the bumper with the frame horn brackets loosely bolted. Then I put on the valance panels and the filler panel then installed the assembly. Seems like I tried to put all the pieces on separately and it was too hard to access some of the bolts.

Wayne & Sherri Scott
59 Biscuit LS3 Restomod


 
corvesy 
"2nd Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 640
corvesy
Reg: 08-07-08
08-09-18 06:22 AM - Post#2742449    
    In response to SS540

Its been 3 years since I put my 59 front bumper on but it went better than I expected. I bought the bolt kit as mentioned above ( about 100 bolts, nuts,washers) and that was worth it. I assembled the front bumper as an assembly first and then put it on the car. It takes 3 people to do it this way but we got it on without damage or scratches.



 
stevelegel 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 100
stevelegel
Loc: Detroit MI
Reg: 09-27-09
08-12-18 04:04 AM - Post#2742793    
    In response to corvesy

Thanks for the tips.
So you attach each half of the chrome bumper to the big steel bumper bar first?
Do you add the 2 small brackets to the chrome bumper first, and the side brackets last?
Then bolt the 2 halves together?
Then add the smaller brackets that go to the frame to the bar?

It's more the order of individual pieces that I need help with, please



 
SS540 
Contributor
Posts: 690
SS540
Loc: Down in Texas
Reg: 03-29-03
08-13-18 04:49 AM - Post#2742912    
    In response to stevelegel

I don't recall the order of bracket attachment. I did it in whatever order made it easier to access each bolt and nut. I recall it took some trial and error to get it done.

Wayne & Sherri Scott
59 Biscuit LS3 Restomod


 
martiny 
"11th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 277
martiny
Age: 61
Loc: Columbus OH
Reg: 08-27-06
08-13-18 07:43 PM - Post#2742989    
    In response to stevelegel

Advice i got years ago (from Jens) was to assemble the entire unit on a bench. Save the fender extensions and put them on after the bumper assy is bolted up. I also did not make any connection very tight (except for the large bar inside the bumper)until I had all of it together.



Jim Martiny
59 SDL

"Contradictions are complimentary, not contradictory" Bohr


 
Aussie_Chevy_Nut 
"4th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 543
Aussie_Chevy_Nut
Loc: Australia
Reg: 11-26-02
08-14-18 12:14 AM - Post#2743004    
    In response to martiny

Biggest problem was with fitting the inside long bar into the one piece Calif. outer bar. Needed to exert some pressure to open the gap enough to slip it through. This problem not an issue for two piece bumpers.
I always keep the old fasteners and bolts, even if I never use them in future. Having them all there lined up on the shelf sitting in their own takeout containers ensures that I won't need them in the future and recycles the plastic food containers. The moment I discard them it is all over.
John



 
junky 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2684

Loc: Northeast CT
Reg: 06-27-10
08-14-18 07:44 AM - Post#2743029    
    In response to stevelegel

One of the problems we struggled with when I worked in a shop, was that re-chromed bumpers were usually straightened, however, they were usually not exactly correct. When it was a front end collision, with all new bumper parts, everything went together without a problem. Mixing new and used parts was somewhat of a problem, if the used part had a slight alignment change as a result of the accident. When we were working with all re-chromed parts, we struggled to get everything into alignment.
I know that this doesn't answer your original question, but thought that it might help you understand why, if you have an alignment problem. Once the bumper is together, if the car was ever in a front end accident, and the frame horns were bent, that also can give you difficulty. We had a Kansas jack, so giving it a tug here or there, would usually work to getting the car back together. If the car had a second front end collision, off to the frame shop it went, for them to do the frame alignment. They usually got them back into factory alignment. Today, there are not many frame shops left that have "old timers" that know this art.

Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level, then beat you with experience.


 
stevelegel 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 100
stevelegel
Loc: Detroit MI
Reg: 09-27-09
08-16-18 04:22 AM - Post#2743214    
    In response to junky

I finished the assembly and install of the front bumper. What an incredible combination of parts and hardware! I can see why no one was able to give an list of step by step instructions. It is a herculean task, fraught with peril. Such a hard experience that one would blot it from memory of unpleasant life experiences. I was sure it was remaining penance from a missing Hail Mary from one of my 8th grade Catholic School confessions with Fr. Kevin.

First we tried assembling the whole unit brackets and chrome (sans the lower valences) but the combined wrap around bumper tips scratched the paint. so I removed one side of the chrome bumper, leaving the bar, brackets, license holder and one side of bumper attached, then installed the second half. I have the auxiliary "Dagmar" bush bar and assembled and installed that.
Installing the lower valences was another big challenge. There is no access behind the heavy lower front license plate holder once installed on the car, so I added "u" nuts to the 3 holes on the inboard side of the valence. The driver's side was very hard to align the holes and fit the valence. While the passenger side bolted right up, including the very last nut and bolt, when I realized I had not installed the bumperette. Indeed the thickness of the bumperette and the u nut clamp was enough to throw all the alignment off and assured both sides a difficult install.

So many times I had to assemble then loosen and adjust and reassemble. No room to work, awkward position, everything falls down on my face and when I lay down it is usually on a nut bolt or tool!



 




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