71-72 bumpers on a 73


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Ok. This is what I did; right, wrong or indifferent..... it came out pretty nice and the bumper sits close to the body. My car is in pieces at the moment but I took some pics of what I did.

1. First and foremost.... kinda mock everything up to get an idea where everything lands on the car. Use C clamps or large vice grips to clamp the brackets into place. Its going to look really, really, really bad. But you will be able to see where everything has to move to get it about where you want it. Adjust the position of the brackets by loosening the clamps until you get at about right. I will warn you... I had to do some bending and tweaking, (after the bumper brackets were modified and bolted to the car with the bumper assembly attached) as my bumper was kinda, "nose up" after everything was finially bolted up. Nothing major, just used a rather large crescent wrench to bend the bumper, "nose down" to get it to look straight. I will explain what I did below in more detail. My end result was a bumper that hugged the fender at the proper angle. Yes, you can tell that it isn't quite, "perfect, made for the car OEM". That said,.... it looks real good and will pass the sniff test for just about everybody who looks at it. AND IT DOSENT WEIGH 100 POUNDS! It's not about trying to get a 50/50 weight balance.... it's about removing a massive boat anchor weight hanging out in front of your tires.... which is absolutely horrible for handling characteristics for those of us who are more inclined to engage in track or more spirited driving styles.

Sorry.... rant over.... I digress......

2. I took the bumper bracket and drilled a 7/8 hole at the end of the bolt hole slot. See pic. You can kinda see where this needs to be on your mock up with your C clamp setup.

3. I then cut two notches in the front of the bracket and bent the metal down... to make a mounting tab and drilled a 7/16 hole in it for a through bolt and nut for the front mount. See pic. I picked up the hole that was already existing on the bumper bracket mounting surface.

4. At this point you bolt everything up (not overly tight... just mock up) and see where you are. My bumper, as mentioned earlier was kinda nose up.... not the right angle. Your mileage may vary here. I took a big ass crescent wrench and bent everything down equally on both sides. This kinda also bent the mounting tabs that are on the mating panel between the bumper and the two bumper brackets. This needed to happen to get my bumper straight. Just a little, "tweaking". It didn't take very much, actually quite minor. Still bolts up fine and looks good. See pic.
Hope this helps.
It may be all wrong.... but it's what I did and it is solid. I repainted my parts and called it done.
Awesome, thanks. I can't tell from the pictures where your holes are in the frame. Were there 4 like mine above with the Red and Yellow arrows?
Going to try it out without changing any of the holes in either the frame or the mount. I don't have the front mounting bracket yet (delayed in shipping) so I am not sure how the bumper is going to sit. I may have to come back to this post and edit it if I have to lengthen any of the mounting holes.
Instead I shaved off one side of the hex head on the '72 mounting bolt and installed it from inside the radiator mounting rail. First I tried to grind off one side of a washer and install the nut and washer from the inside but after an hour of holding my tongue in every direction I gave up and went with the bolt being installed from the inside instead. This technique has the distinct advantage of using the shaved side of the bolt head to lock the bolt up against the front side of the radiator rail so you don't even need to use a socket on the inside of the radiator rail. Don't forget to give the shaved side a little spray of primer to keep rust away.


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Why not just take the heavy 73 urathane bumper off, take a lighter standard 73 chrome bumper and strip it and paint it body color? I assume that would bolt right up and work with the 73 fenders, would it not?
I don't think solid bumpers were available in 73...
Yeah, because of the mph crash laws that took affect that year..... the front and rear bumpers on 73s are a complete scramble by ford to meet a new safety requirement.
Why not just take the heavy 73 urathane bumper off, take a lighter standard 73 chrome bumper and strip it and paint it body color? I assume that would bolt right up and work with the 73 fenders, would it not?
Half the weight loss is the '73 bumper brackets. those things weight a ton.
I have a 73 White front bumper and Grill on my White 72 Convertible. Was like this when we bought it. Looks a bit like Joe Kelly with the pouty face...lower lip sticking out. But...we love the Franken-Stang1972-ford-mustang-convertible3.jpg1972-ford-mustang-convertible1.jpg
Looks like 73 bumper brackets and fillers in the rear as well
we are still learning new things all the time....hence the Franken Stang---
Here is a '71 bumper installed on a '73 with the rest of the parts (other than the bracket) being '73. There are gaps, but I am fine with it as-is.

They put on the wrong stripe kit, but I will deal with that later if I choose to.
Don't mean to hijack the post, what what size magnums are you running?