Sprint front bumper and rocker trim mounting

My goal for the black Sprint right now is to get a lot of the big delicate stuff mounted on it, like bumpers, grills, and trim etc so I don’t have to find places to store it.  You probably saw the front bumper on the ground in front of the Sprint in the pictures of my new space -well, on the car seemed like the best place to store it, so I got to work mounting it.  Of course, it wasn’t straight forward, I had to chase a lot of threads, straighten some parts and go on and off a bunch of times with it until I was happy with how it fit.  It took several hours and went something like this.

Starting at the middle.  These grills and bumper are original, warts and all, I just polished them by hand as well as I could with steel wool and Mothers mag polish.  I’ll get some electricity involved and polish the heck out of them at some point.  Note the spacing between the grills and bumper is fairly even -took a lot of bumper mount bending to make that happen.  Grills will have to come back off to fit the lights but this was a good exercise.

These were in pretty bad shape when I started.  The upper one had been tweaked a lot and required a half an hour of tapping and bending to get it to the pretty good state seen here.  Both had a lot of over-spray -vestiges of which can still be seen.  A quick wet sand with 1500 and some polish has them looking really good. 

All mounted up.  I don’t know what was originally used to mount them so I used stainless M5 x 16 Cheese-head screws.  Nice reflections!

Next task was getting the bumper to align.  These mounts take a lot of abuse and are not very rigid.  Threads were in bad shape so I chased them with an M10 x 1.5 die.  The orientation of the stud in relation to the flat part dictates the angle of the bumper to the car.  I bent this a lot of times before I was happy with how the bumper fit.  There are carriage bolts in the top of the bumper at about the right spacing for spot lights, so it may mount some.  I just have to figure out how to get the rusty nuts off!  Should I neutralize the rust and brush paint the inside of the bumper silver?

A little closer.  Looks good no?  I need a set of the bolt hiders for my red Sprint.

This picture is near the end of the process.  The car came with two of the original 16 little clips that hold these trim strips on.  What to do.  I had this vision of capturing a screw in the hollow backside channel that I could send through the hole in the body put a nut on. 

They sell strips of aluminum in bulk as OSH so I grabbed a 6 foot length, thinking I would chamfer the edges so they could be slid in the trim piece.

Once the piece fit I tapped a hole in it and sent this M5 through the hole.

Cheese head screws are not ideal for this application, but get the job done.  I made these four quicker than the first one since I discovered if I angled the hacksaw at about 45 degrees for the cuts I wouldn’t have to file the chamfers in.  I’d only have to dress them as needed a little bit.

Ready to mount.  Does it matter that there’s overspray on the backside?  I love this rubber topped 1960’s Steelcase table.  Very sturdy.  And someone else already ruined the top so I got it cheap and don’t have to feel bad about any stains or gouges I create.

It feels embarrassing, but it took about 3.5 hours to get this far.  I had to come up with a method for making the little mounts, the trim pieces all needed a massage, and the holes in the body had to be drilled clear of filler.  I should be able to get the rest of the pieces on the car pretty quick now that I have a system.

I’m curious to know what any of you have done to mount this trim.  I imagine there are easier ways to do this, but I went with what I know and it seems to be solidly mounted and look good.  If any of you could use a set of these little mounting pieces I suppose I could make you a set.  Each car takes 16 so it would probably be about $50 for a set.



10 thoughts on “Sprint front bumper and rocker trim mounting

  1. Your car looks great. Love the sprint in black.

    I never planned on installing my bumpers, I like the 750 body’s clean look but figured for this year at Monterey I would go with a “finished” look.

    As far as the bumper mounting goes, I just finished doing the same thing. Lots of fitting, washers, retries etc.

    I painted the insides a nice dove gray. Somewhere in foggy past I seem to remember something like that.

    Good luck, Alan

    • Thanks Alan -I too seem to remember the inside of the bumper having some sort of finish. I happen to have some POR 15 silver.


      • Matt, I feel your pain! I just did this same thing on my ’57 Sprint about 2 months ago. I’m not even sure how many hours I spent on these trim bits. The ’57 has aluminum side spears, with similar clips. Getting everything to fit right is a labor of love. It sure looks great when it is done!

  2. Good call to paint the insides of the bumper with POR 15 silver (or grey) as it prevents rust & secondly the reflection off the body looks way better if the inside of the bumper is clean & tidy.

    When sorting out the side spear clips, use stainless bolts and a little bit of heat shrink on the top of the threads where they go through the doors / body, then make up a washer out of bitumen waterproofing sheet (Derbigum or Indexx torch-on) to fit under the stainless or alloy washer on the inside – seals up the holes and helps to prevent rust.


  3. You are one determined fella ….. proving once again that when there is a will there is a way. Good job Matt!!

  4. I like that idea of the heat shrink on the exposed threads. Personally I use anti-seize on the threads for the next time they have to come off. That person will thank you for doing that, even if it is you. Also make sure the door drains are clear while you are in there. The POR-15 is a good thought as everyone who gets down to look underneath is definitely going to be looking at the back side of the bumpers. I have seen a black Berlina that was gorgeous, and my spider was black lacquer when it was on the road. I can’t recall having seen a sprint coupe in black, it should be stunning.

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