We’ve all seen this. A full-scale restoration meticulously performed, yet something just isn’t right. Bumper installation and alignment can make or break a restoration. No one wants to see a Camaro with a frown or its keister drooping at an angle. Bumpers are among the first things people see when they look at your classic Chevy. If they are crooked … game over. People move on and they don’t even know why.
We’re at Hot Rods by Dean in Phoenix for a lesson on how to install bumpers and a front chin spoiler to achieve that perfect look. Auto Metal Direct is where we decided to go for the bumpers and chin spoiler. These are nice pieces that look sharp and are easy to install, especially if you have a friend or two available to help. The main things to keep in mind during the install is to take your time and use a sharp eye to ensure your bumpers are centered correctly before cranking the fasteners down. CHP
1. Reproduction classic Camaro bumpers from Auto Metal Direct arrive at your doorstep carefully packaged and ready to go. These are nice pieces that defy detection from original.
2. The bumper brackets are installed first and set up for adjustment. Do not tighten the fasteners until the bumper is attached for reference.
3. Here’s a basic Chevrolet illustrated parts breakdown for the front bumper on the 1967-’69 Camaro, which gives you an idea of how it all goes together.
4. Use the front stone guard (fascia) as a bumper alignment reference. The front bumper should be positioned where it runs parallel to the stone guard. It’s good to have a helper at each end to provide support and a second opinion. Center the bumper on the stone guard.
5. This is the optimum situation, shown here at Hot Rods by Dean. They have one person at each end and someone in the middle to handle the fasteners. Get the bumper positioned, gently snug the fasteners, then do a fitment check before fully tightening the bolts.
6. Auto Metal Direct has provided us with nice cad-plated fasteners like Chevy used a half century ago. The main thing is to be gentle with these fasteners to where you don’t score the surfaces. This is the threaded insert for the front bumper bracket at the frame, just below the subframe mount.
7. Each side should run parallel with this front fender body line, as shown. And again, the bumper should run parallel with the front stone guard.
8. This front chin spoiler from Auto Metal Direct is a must for any first-gen Camaro. It adds that special “sportiness” to any Camaro restoration.
9. This illustration shows you the chin spoiler installation and all the mounting hardware that goes with it. This is an easy modification you can make to any first-gen Camaro.
10. Because the chin spoiler is a bolt-on factory item, Chevrolet has made all of the provisions available to you already. This thing looks sharp.
11. The rear bumper installation is similar to the front with the exception being bracketry and how it fastens to the tailpanel. And like the front bumper, the rear bumper is fully adjustable. Do a fitment check with the fasteners snug and with the aid of a helper. The bumper should run parallel with the tailpanel. Once you have properly adjusted the bumper and brackets, tighten the fasteners completely. In some instances, you may have to use shims to get the proper alignment.
12. This illustration demonstrates 1967-’69 Camaro rear bumper installation. The brackets are secured to the bumper first, then the rear bumper assembly is secured to the tailpanel. Bumper adjustment is performed primarily at the tailpanel. You are free to use shims as necessary to get the bumper adjustment parallel with the tailpanel and quarter-panels.
Photos: Brian Brennan