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Finerglass Bumper Cap???  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: 08-21-2005 01:09 pm
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nvandal
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I am considering making a molded fiberglass bumper cap to replace the stainless cap. ( of course only if the original cap is non-repairable/ as is mine! ) ) I would make a positive out of wood ( I'm a cabinetmaker ). Make a mold from the wood pattern. Then cast a new cap in the mold. The cap could be reinforced on the backside to give it more rigidity, and could be molded thicker that the stainless piece. There's a canoe manufacturing company over the mountain from me and those folks could help me out. Perhaps even gel coat and spray the FG into the mold.

Any thoughts on this idea? Any potential for other folks interested? Let me know.

Norm Vandal

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 Posted: 08-21-2005 03:48 pm
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Mark Rosenbaum
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I'd think that making a fiberglass bumper top would be more expensive than installing a replacement stainless piece, or having a new one made from scratch -- but this isn't an area where I feel I have a good understanding of the costs involved.  On the other hand, it occurs to me that a wooden bumper top might be an interesting and low-cost alternative.

Your post triggered several other thoughts, and as a cabinetmaker you might be the best person to ask.  I've often wondered how much difficulty there would be in adding a wooden framework to one of the dash caps Delta sells, and thus creating a newly-made dash for the car.  And how difficult might it be to create a wholly new dash design, similar to those used in the Jensen GTs.  And, finally, how difficult might it be to make a wood replacement for the crash roll (the padded piece atop the windshield).  (Delta used to offer a fiberglass replacement, but says they did not stand up in service.)

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 Posted: 08-21-2005 07:10 pm
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nvandal
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Problem is...I can't locate replacement stainless steel pieces, Making one out of stainless would be almost impossible, basically because of curves and contours. The originals were obviously stamped, which requires a press and corresponding dies. Perhaps this is why they are so thin... to conform to the contours. Fiberglass is time consuming ONCE. Then you can make one or as many pieces until the mold breaks down. It could be painted black, or to match the vehicle. A fiberglass copy would perfectly match the original, and could be reinforced for more rigidity.

So...if you can find me a good condition stainless replacement, I'll buy that and forget the whole idea, gladly. But i'm striking out and am guessing other folks are too.

I once thought of a wooden dash cap for a Lotus Europa. I gave up on it. Way too complicated. Again, fiberglass would make one or a hundred!

Thanks for your help. Seriously...do you have a source for a stainless cap? If you say British Masters I swallow hard. I know I'm new to Jensens, but their prices are quite high for my wallet. I'm accustomed to a Lotus group where people help one another and the sources aren't so expensive. Oh well...supply and demand!

thanks,

norm Vandal

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 Posted: 08-21-2005 09:47 pm
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Mark Rosenbaum
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Norm,
While I haven't been keeping close track, seems to me a JH steel front bumper shows up on eBay every couple of months, and this may be your best bet.  Prices there seem generally lower for JH stuff than the Lotus equivalents.  And for consumables, and most items still in production, I've found JH parts to be far less costly.

The sort of 'helping each other out' that you mention also occurs, though probably not as often as with the Lotus groups.  I suspect this may be because (a) not too many folks have large supplies of spares, and (b) many JH parts just aren't worth the expense of shipping them.

As for the place in Vista,  I concur with your opinion about their prices.  But there are many other wrecking yards in the US that specialize in British cars that may sell for less, when they have what's wanted.  One of the UK sources has a lot of original tooling which may include the original bumper dies.  A bit of searching on the internet should give you a pretty decent idea of what's currently available, and at what price, and you can use this to assess prices on eBay.

Thanks for the info about how difficult it might be to come up with a custom dash or crash roll.  I'm disappointed that there's so much work involved, but not at all surprised.  And if there were a large customer base, then yes, a mould for fiberglass would be the way to go; but it's almost impossible to find even 20 owners all willing to buy the same expensive item at any one time.

 

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