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Austin Vert's '73 Front Bar Problem Solved


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Hi to All,

 

It's been awhile since i was on, and last posted. Hope everyone is keeping well. In my absence, i don't know if my topic today has been discussed or dealt with. In any case i will tell my tale in the hope it will benefit others who own 1973 Mustangs only. 

Up until 2016, my front bar was in good original condition all 'round. In 2016, i had a tiny accident, and nudged the drivers side corner of my front bar into a street lamp pole while trying to do a three point turn on a narrow street. My speed was around 1 mile per hour on impact. This caused the corner of the bar to get pushed back close to 22 mm or 7/8 of an inch inwards. Most of you will know that the front bars of the '73s, are factory designed to telescope and crumple inwards for low impact collisions , by the use of compressed rubbers fused into box channel sections. My thinking on this damage was , if the bar bracket channel telescoped in, why can't it be pulled out again back to normal.

This was a job i ended up putting off until now.  I purchased a Come a long device to try and winch the bar bracket back out again. Last week i got a second opinion from a local repair shop. The owner though i may need something stronger to pull the channel back out. I took the car to him, and he experimented  with a Porta Power unit, and a chain to tie down the back of the car to the ground. This did not work in pulling the channel back out. He then removed the entire bracket channel assembly, and with the help of a twenty ton shop press, succeeded to pull the channel back out the 7/8th of an inch displacement. Success!!!

 

So, the bottom line is, if this happens to you on your '73 Stang, you will have to remove the entire bracket channel assemblies, and use a similar press to coax out the pushed in channel. The good news is that you can revive or repair a pushed in damaged channel/ channels, but it will take a crazy amount of force to achieve it with a big press.  Forget Come a longs and Porta Power machines, as they won't do the job required. I will of course end up respraying the entire front bar again myself to finish off the job. Please see my photos.

Many thanks,

 

Greg.:classic_smile:

2021-08-25 15_54_07-Window.png

2021-08-25 15_52_54-Window.png

2021-08-25 15_18_03-Window.png

2021-08-25 15_17_27-Window.png

:whistling: LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED

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Greg, 

awesome to hear from you again, hope all is well :thumb: 

Thanks for the write-up, that's good to know! So hopefully the rest will buff out, these bumpers are repairable at least! Is it twisted?

Tim

 

Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly :runninpony:

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Hi Tim,

Thanks for your reply and good to hear from you too. Yes, all is well  with me thanks. I have been retired from Auto Spray painting now for 2 years  now, and i am enjoying my retirement very much:banana:

Hope you are keeping well too. Regards your above comment on buffing out the bar - well no, it will need to be repaired with flexible filler, primed/ puttied and then base coat color/ clear coated to finish off . I will end up refinishing the whole bar again. It is not twisted at all, as the impact was straight on the front face of the bar. The way the bar protrudes outwards by design, saved the rest of the body from getting damaged. (such as the hood or the front leading edge of the fender). By the way, the pics of the old bar channels, are not the original ones that are on my car. They are original used spares i bought in from America in case i needed a backup set.

 

Cheers, mate!!

Greg.:thumb:

  • Great post!  Let me buy you a beer (or coffee!) 1

:whistling: LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED

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Greg, 

that's good to hear - now you have time enough to baby your vert - or probably not, too much things to do when retired :biggrin: 

You had luck the bar is not twisted,  that would have been the end for it. I did the same with mine, filled the gaps and slices and it worked out perfect, looks like new again. I have bought some bar spares too, which I will use on the build, the old ones are a little twisted from a slight side impact of one of the previous owners. Btw: my car is know golden again, reassembling it from time to time if I have the time :biggrin: You know, big family, big projects, happy wife... :whistling: 

Cheers, my friend!

Tim

 

Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly :runninpony:

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Hey Greg, Long time no see.  Great to see you back again.  Good info on the 73 bumper bracket.  I'm sure you will get the bumper back into pristine shape in no time. 

Kevin
1971 Mach 1

408C Stroker - C4 w/3,000 stall - 8.8" Rear w/3.73's - Disc brakes all way around.

 

 

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Great to hear from you again. You ears must have burned once in a while, your remote mirror, stereo, and speaker projects have been referenced occasionally.

Amazing the amount of kinetic energy behind a moving car, even at one mile per hour, to require that much power to reverse the movement.

 

 

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”

--Albert Einstein

 

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Hi there Kevin and Don.

Kevin ................ Thanks for your warm welcome. Hope life is treating you and family not too bad. Your Mustang is looking very sharp i see, and you video of the beast tearing up the road tells me she's loaded with power! Great ride Kevin - you must be very proud of her.

Don - Thanks too for your welcome. I hope you and family are going ok too. Are you still enjoying your cigars. How's the body healing after your unfortunate mishap a while ago? Glad to see other Forum members have touched base with my projects over the years as you say. My aim was to benefit other members, and help enjoy their Mustang ownership as well. Regards the front bar repair - yes, the amount of force needed to move the channel back out was crazy. To be more accurate though, my mechanic told me he used a 20  ton press. He did not give me an accurate force measurement needed to move the channel back out. That would be interesting. I suspect that the channel bar assembly was designed to let the bar crumple and move in, not go back out the other way. I could be wrong there, but it shows that the back force pressure greatly exceeds the push in collapse force pressure. Therein lies the clue. In any case, my experiment and results, gives Forum members a way out of trouble if this situation happens to them with their '73s. I don't believe you can buy new front bars or bar channel assemblies still for '73s.

 

So all the best for now guys, and hope to catch up not before too long.

Greg:classic_smile:

:whistling: LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED

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Interesting write up.  I have to wonder if the excessive force required was in some part due to the age of the 'rubber compound' sandwich.  Photo also shows a bit of what appears to be corrosion between rubber and steel which would certainly increase the adhesion.

The original push/pull force required may have been considerably less when the components were only 1-2 yrs old (which was probably the design intent)

Austin; glad to hear you are enjoying retirement.

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Hey Greg.  The car runs great, unfortunately it’s gonna need a little paint work.  The video is from 2 summers ago.  Last spring on the first drive of the year some jackass blew a stop sign and totaled my car.  I’m hoping to tear into it this winter and at least get it straightened out.  Probably no paint till my new garage is built.  I may throw a vinyl wrap on it til I’m ready for paint.  
 

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  • Sad 1

Kevin
1971 Mach 1

408C Stroker - C4 w/3,000 stall - 8.8" Rear w/3.73's - Disc brakes all way around.

 

 

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Hi Bill. Good to hear from you.

Thanks for your feedback. You make some good points there. I agree, that age would have some influence to help increase drag resistance, but to what degree i could not be sure. Also note, that the photos of the channel assemblies i put in, are not my assemblies that are on my car. They are a rusted out second hand pair i bought in from the States to use a a back up, in the event that my originals could not be readjusted.

I think the best thing i am enjoying about my retirement is getting off the merry - go - round of life, and how that grinds you down over the years. Hope you are still enjoying your Mustang like myself.

All the best,

Greg.:classic_smile:

:whistling: LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED

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Hey Kevin,

Oh my gosh, that is a tragedy man. What a most unfortunate, terrible thing to happen to you. I hope that you were not injured or hurt in this accident to any degree. You must have been heart broken to say the least.

Looking at the basics, may i make a few comments in passing. First, if the other driver caused the accident, does he have insurance to cover the claim on your car? Also, that is a big front end collision. Your car will centainly need to be put on a pro body alignment rack to make it right again from front to back. I wonder if you will be able to get all the parts you will need to completely repair the car. The paint job will need to go all the way down the sides of the car to get the color/ metallic effect right. Lastly, being in the crash repair game most of my working life, i have found that once any car is damaged to this extent,  it can never be bought back to the exact level at where it was originally. That said, it would be interesting to know how you feel about the car now, and what your thoughts would be on future ownership. I feel resale value could suffer to some extent, as the general public see major damaged cars as a negative, no matter how good and professionally repaired they were.

Speaking for myself, if Goldie suffered a similar fate as yours has, i would get it repaired and then sell it on, as i would never feel the same way about the car again. But that's just me.

Greg.

 

:whistling: LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED

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Greg!  Brother!  Great to hear from you again!

Bummer on the bumper crunch, but I know you'll get it sorted soonest.

Kevin's already working an angle to have his Mach 1 back (maybe even with a different VIN - just hafta wait and see what he comes up with.) - just sucks that he has to go through it in the first place.

Eric

mach1sig2.gif

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Hi Eric!

Great to hear from you. Hope you and family are going ok. How's that legend Mustang of yours going?

 You must have just about most things sorted out on the old girl by now i guess. Are your paint and panel repairs holding up to the test of time?

Kevin's Mach 1 story sounds interesting. Must catch up with that.

All the best for now Eric,

 

Greg.:classic_smile:

:whistling: LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED

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So far so good, however it's easy to keep it nice leaving it in the garage all the time.  This past year's been a bit of a whirlwind for me - highlights: Boss retired (and I was selected to replace him - yes, with a promotion), bought another Jeep (to harvest the driveline to upgrade mine about a year ago), my dog died just about year ago, then Mom got sick and wound up in the hospital and later nursing home, had to clear her apartment from Sep-Dec, then she died on 15 Jan, right when my buddy showed up to do the engine swap on the Jeeps (his is now running, mine's still apart), then the whole 'Texas Snowpocalype' thing in February (we only had 2.5 hours or power over 5 days during snow and sub-zero temps), then some major water main breaks in town right after that, then decided I needed a new truck over Jul 4th, then went to OKC to pick up 2 rescue dogs, and waiting for the temps to come back down before I start working on stuff again.

Eric

mach1sig2.gif

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Eric, Hang in there friend. Victory goes to the determined, the prepared, and persistent, you have all of that. Chuck

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Thanks for the feedback Eric. Wow, times have been really  hard for you in many ways. Sorry to hear about your mother passing. Loosing a parent is always a very hard thing to come to terms with. The loss of your family pet brings great sorrow as well.  Please accept my sincere sympathies Eric.

Sounds like you are happy enough to keep on working for the forseeable future. Weather and temps over where you are have been pretty bad i hear.Power outages as well - not good. Good to hear your Mustang is sound and well though.

I think what Chuck has said above covers it very well. Hang in there champ!

Greg.

:whistling: LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED

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