Custom Rear Bumper

I like the look of smoothed and shaved bumpers, so here's how I did it.

240z Rear Bumper Chrome is pretty. It adds some nice bling, but if the chrome is dull and pitted and rusty, it can be an eyesore which is what 240z bumpers typically look like after 50 years. The obvious solution is buy new ones or have the existing ones replated, but neither choice is cheap.

For a overall sleeker look, you can remove the government-mandated overriders but it leaves some empty holes. The rubber corner trim is usually rotted (and expensive to replace) so the easy fix is to throw it away, but that leaves even more holes. You can use chrome-plated carriage bolts to fill the holes, but I decided to eliminate the holes altogether.

The front bumper is a single stamped piece but the rear bumper is three pieces bolted together. I never liked the look of the seams, so they had to be addressed.

For the holes I cut some little pieces of 1/8" steel to act as plugs. I did some grinding around the holes (front and behind) to clean off the chrome plating and any rust. I used magnets to hold the plugs in places while I gave them a quick zap with my welder. A flap disc on a grinder flattened the welds.

In the rear I took the bumper completely apart and ground clean the parts where the pieces connected, then bolted it back onto the car. With everything aligned, I tacked the pieces together, then removed the bumper and finished the welding, filled the remaining holes and used the flap disc to grind it flat.

Some body filler and block sanding made everything nice and smooth. A coat of primer, several layers of satin black and some wet sanding finished it off.

The result is a set of bumpers that look brand-new and add a custom appearance.

If you don't have a welder, or access to one, you can do the prep and take the bumpers to a body shop and let a professional do the work. Another option is look on Craig's List for someone who does welding in their garage. I did that for a motorcycle project where the welds would be seen and the guy did a beautiful job for just $40, which was a bargain.

It's little things like this that set a car apart from the rest.

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