73’ Convertible Front Bumper

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PeteMiller

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-302 original motor matching numbers

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Hello,

Need some advice on a 73’ front bumper. Unfortunately 73 has a plastic front bumper and the expansion/contraction causes the paint to crack. In fact I’ve had it touched up twice and keep getting cracks. Does anyone make a chrome metal bumper for a 73 that is direct plug and play without any fabrication required? Some sites show aftermarket front bumpers for 71-73 but others show for only 71-72. If no metal bumper any suggestions on what to do/how hard would the fabrication be to get an earlier bumper to work with a 73.
 
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All the old paint needs to be removed, and repairs need to be done with Bondo/3M flexible repair material, primer with a flex agent must be used, then top coat as usual. If you can find it there is a detailed post on how to do it. Search on c9zx bumper repair. I believe there is a fiberglass version of the bumper available as well. Chuck
 

CLT73C

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I had my '73 Front Bumper swapped for a '71. I did not do it myself, but had the restoration shop that was doing a lot of other work do that at well. You could call them and ask what was involved, but I do not think they did much, if any fabrication. I think they did have to find a way to mount the brackets, but it could have been just drilling some holes.
 

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CLT73C

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The brackets for the '71-'72 are different. It will not be as easy as just taking off one bumper and putting on the other. Oh yea, the name of the shop is ForgeSpeed in Mooresville, NC.
 

giantpune

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The brackets for the '71-'72 are different. It will not be as easy as just taking off one bumper and putting on the other. Oh yea, the name of the shop is ForgeSpeed in Mooresville, NC.
The front edge of the fenders and fender extensions is also different for 73. If you use a bumper from a 71-72, the bumper wont fit the same over by the fenders.
 

tvsavino65

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I have my original plastic front bumper on my ‘73 convertible with its original paint in fabulous condition with only minimal scratches and it’s never cracked or peeled.The paint won’t peel if applied properly with the flex additive as was done from the factory but it must be done properly especially if it needs other repairs. I wouldn’t advise switching it out for a chrome bumper because not only is chrome nowadays not the same chrome which was applied prior to 1973 but the ‘73 Mustang is unique much like the ‘73 Corvette in having a rear chrome bumper and a front painted bumper matching the cars color. This is quite unique and the only year this was done for both the Mustang and the Vette so it’s best not to alter that unless the car has other such modifications wherein it wouldn’t matter. All original is best including original paint if it looks good but short of that there’s no need to modify anything from the original look and parts. Minor changes like a non Motorcraft battery or radial tires is ok because it can be easily changed back to original for a show if needed but an obvious chrome bumper would likely devalue the car significantly making it look more like a ‘72 model which is then confusing. It would end up as a confused ‘73 and it will have lost its unique appearance. Restomods are ok if original parts are not available or if the car is full of makeshift replacement parts and/or if the engine numbers don’t match the car. Otherwise I think it’s important to preserve the beauty of the past and enjoy the car for what is is and was. The car has a lot of under steer typical of Fords of that era but I wouldn’t upgrade to R & P steering as it completely destroys the heritage. Such a car could then never be a “lady” as my cousin puts it. I’m sure there are those who would disagree with me but true die hard Mustang enthusiasts would likely agree.
Tom
 

Hemikiller

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If the bumper is properly prepped and painted, it should not continue to crack. Only exception may be a bumper with extensive sun damage and the urethane is just too damaged to save. If you want a direct plug n play, then finding a good condition bumper from a northern car might be your best bet.

The 71-72 chrome bumper can be retrofitted with a little bit of work. You'll need the bumper, the back brace and the two arms. The bumper is attached using the rear two bolts, then lifted up and aligned with the fender cutouts. You'd then make two new holes for the front bolts and secure in place. Shims may be needed to make the bumper level, and you may be able to use the 71-72 bumper fillers to complete the look.
 

DSwan

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I had my '73 Front Bumper swapped for a '71. I did not do it myself, but had the restoration shop that was doing a lot of other work do that at well. You could call them and ask what was involved, but I do not think they did much, if any fabrication. I think they did have to find a way to mount the brackets, but it could have been just drilling some holes.
Did the same on my 73. Didn't like the open space in the front valance so I added lower turn signal lights like what was in 71's. IMG_20220328_130605435.jpg
 
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