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Author Topic: Removing 55-Year Old Bumpers: What Tools & Methods Are Best?  (Read 718 times)
OldChargerGuy
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« on: September 16, 2021, 08:06:22 PM »

Greetings, Charger Dudes and Dolls.

I have to remove the front and rear bumpers from my '66 Charger, the Gray Ghost.
The Ghost is a survivor, so these bumpers have been in place since April 1966. I don't expect them to come off easily.
I have been applying penetrating oil every couple of days for the past week on fasteners on each "side" of the brackets; that is, fasteners holding the bumper to the brackets and the brackets to the chassis.

If you have experience with removing '66 bumpers, what works well, and what doesn't? Thanks for sharing your sage advice.

Oh . . . why am I removing them? Sadly, the Ghost suffered its first serious collision ever on September 4th . . . tragic for a survivor car. The front bumper must be replaced. The rear bumper has bourn dents since my brother bought it in 1973, and several years ago I added a few nasty ones. It's a good time to put a straight rear bumper on it.


* 20210904_153329 2MP.jpg (287.47 KB, 1672x1254 - viewed 201 times.)

* IMG_4672 (2).JPG (173.01 KB, 1168x778 - viewed 203 times.)
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OldChargerGuy

1966 Dodge Charger | AACA HPOF Original
1968 Dodge Charger | restoration-in-progress
b5blue
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2021, 07:34:12 AM »

Sad to see it so bent.  Shocked  Just keep soaking in penetrating oil.
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AKcharger
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2021, 07:58:16 AM »

My experience on "70 and '72 bumpers is they arent that bad. One of two things is gonna happen the nut is gonna come off normally or the Carrage bolt is going to shear off (due to corrosion) either way bumer comes off.
Good Luck and sorry for crash, glad you arent hurt pity
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armor64
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2021, 11:13:25 AM »

on my buddies truck, we borrowed one of the inductance heater units that basically boils any metal inside the coil, super heated the nuts and spun off with an impact. i don't know now close they are to painted surfaces on your car, but hopefully something will work to get it off safe! sorry to see the damage,...
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tan top
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2021, 03:58:54 PM »

 Hello & welcome  OCG  cheers  
sorry to see the damage on your survivor ....
as well as wrenches , use good quality six pointed / sided sockets !
 use suitable breaker bar .. would not use any air powered devices  Twocents
if any threads are showing  above nuts , wire brush the threads first  before undoing  the nut , then same as  below .
 if the bolt nut cracks off go a few turns then spray more penetrating oil , if it becomes tight while undoing go back & forth  tight loosed  give it a good dose of  penetrating oil as you do this then let it sit before carrying on .
 can use a gas torch Mapp type or similar to heat up nuts etc
 is it just the bumper & brackets your trying to remove ?
never taken a first generation apart so not sure of whats involved  scratchchin
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OldChargerGuy
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2021, 01:43:56 AM »

Sad to see it so bent.  Shocked  Just keep soaking in penetrating oil.

Thanks, b5blue.
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OldChargerGuy

1966 Dodge Charger | AACA HPOF Original
1968 Dodge Charger | restoration-in-progress
OldChargerGuy
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2021, 01:46:54 AM »

My experience on "70 and '72 bumpers is they arent that bad. One of two things is gonna happen the nut is gonna come off normally or the Carrage bolt is going to shear off (due to corrosion) either way bumer comes off.
Good Luck and sorry for crash, glad you arent hurt pity

Thanks, AKcharger.
By the way, what's up with the "dancing" track athlete?
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OldChargerGuy

1966 Dodge Charger | AACA HPOF Original
1968 Dodge Charger | restoration-in-progress
OldChargerGuy
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2021, 01:53:15 AM »

on my buddies truck, we borrowed one of the inductance heater units that basically boils any metal inside the coil, super heated the nuts and spun off with an impact. i don't know now close they are to painted surfaces on your car, but hopefully something will work to get it off safe! sorry to see the damage,...

Thanks, armor64. I'm still soaking the fasteners with oil. I may have to brush off the factory undercoating to be sure the oil is penetrating to the metal threads.
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OldChargerGuy

1966 Dodge Charger | AACA HPOF Original
1968 Dodge Charger | restoration-in-progress
OldChargerGuy
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2021, 02:04:20 AM »

Hello & welcome  OCG  cheers  
sorry to see the damage on your survivor ....
as well as wrenches , use good quality six pointed / sided sockets !
 use suitable breaker bar .. would not use any air powered devices  Twocents
if any threads are showing  above nuts , wire brush the threads first  before undoing  the nut , then same as  below .
 if the bolt nut cracks off go a few turns then spray more penetrating oil , if it becomes tight while undoing go back & forth  tight loosed  give it a good dose of  penetrating oil as you do this then let it sit before carrying on .
 can use a gas torch Mapp type or similar to heat up nuts etc
 is it just the bumper & brackets your trying to remove ?
never taken a first generation apart so not sure of whats involved  scratchchin

Thanks so much for the advice, tan top, and your sympathy for the ol' Charger's damages.
Yeah, removing just the bumpers. I'm replacing front and rear bumpers and I need to bring the "cores" with me to the parts supplier. I don't see any way to remove just the bumpers; it looks like the brackets have to be unbolted, then with the bumper-bracket assemblies off the car, I can access the bumper bolts.
A couple of guys mentioned using heat; I had forgot about that, that should help a lot.

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OldChargerGuy

1966 Dodge Charger | AACA HPOF Original
1968 Dodge Charger | restoration-in-progress
HANDM
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2021, 09:58:56 AM »

If you're replacing the bumpers just grind the heads down to almost nothing at just use a big screwdriver or punch and smack em out.

Why is everyone overthinking this?

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JB400
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2021, 02:32:28 PM »

I'd unbolt the brackets and bumper as one assembly, then transfer the brackets to the new bumper if not bent, and reinstall
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Kern Dog
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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2021, 06:55:29 PM »

If you're replacing the bumpers just grind the heads down to almost nothing at just use a big screwdriver or punch and smack em out.

Why is everyone overthinking this?



I see simple questions get asked frequently. I resist the urge to berate the OP because we ALL have to start somewhere. Some of us were born with natural talent in terms of problem solving but others need some guidance.
Stuff that seems easy to some of us is going to be the first time for someone else.
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OldChargerGuy
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« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2021, 09:15:59 PM »

I'd unbolt the brackets and bumper as one assembly, then transfer the brackets to the new bumper if not bent, and reinstall

That's the plan, JB400.
I can't visualize a method to access the nuts of the bumper bolts, at least with my tools and limited experience.
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OldChargerGuy

1966 Dodge Charger | AACA HPOF Original
1968 Dodge Charger | restoration-in-progress
OldChargerGuy
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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2021, 09:29:37 PM »

If you're replacing the bumpers just grind the heads down to almost nothing at just use a big screwdriver or punch and smack em out.

Why is everyone overthinking this?



Yes, I'm replacing the bumpers; but I don't need to replace the bumper bolts. The chrome heads are still very good.
But, perhaps I ought to install all new bumper bolts, too. Do you have a 1st-Gen Charger? I can't get my hand behind the bumpers to install new bolts on the brackets.
Am I missing some tools that can fit behind the bumpers?
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OldChargerGuy

1966 Dodge Charger | AACA HPOF Original
1968 Dodge Charger | restoration-in-progress
OldChargerGuy
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« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2021, 09:34:33 PM »

If you're replacing the bumpers just grind the heads down to almost nothing at just use a big screwdriver or punch and smack em out.

Why is everyone overthinking this?



I see simple questions get asked frequently. I resist the urge to berate the OP because we ALL have to start somewhere. Some of us were born with natural talent in terms of problem solving but others need some guidance.
Stuff that seems easy to some of us is going to be the first time for someone else.

Thanks, Kern Dog. I appreciate the experience that the Old Timers share here to guide us guys that are just learning.
This is a simple task, but with the experience available here, I like to check for common mistakes before I try something I've not done before.
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OldChargerGuy

1966 Dodge Charger | AACA HPOF Original
1968 Dodge Charger | restoration-in-progress
Kern Dog
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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2021, 09:50:11 PM »

You are welcome, Sir.

On a car with decent paint, this is actually a smart question to ask. A few wrong moves and the bumper can scratch the paint. Who the hell wants that?
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