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Thread: DIY Bumper Guard Strips?

  1. #1
    Registered User Hardway's Avatar
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    Default DIY Bumper Guard Strips?

    I actually have a pair of NOS bumper guard strips for my 240z. However I am hesitant to use them since the last pair that sold on Ebay went for $250 and the left side has been NLA from Nissan for sometime. Since I have a mint pair I would like to use them as a pattern to make some more. Has anyone ever done this? From a concept stand point I think I would need two layers of rubber and either find or flatten the heads of some small bolts and sandwich the bolt heads in between the rubber strips. If anyone has any experience trying this I would love to hear about it. Thanks!
    08/1970 240z Series-1 #8011 - Silver, black int., 2.4L I-6, 5spd, 90% restored.
    06/1973 VW Karmann Ghia - Black convertible, 4spd, 1600cc air-cooled engine.
    11/2013 Scion FR-S - Silver, 6spd, a car with the soul of a Z for the modern times.
    Restoration thread of my old '72 240z -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/o...1972-240z.html

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    Frogsquisher Zup's Avatar
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    This reminds me of the quest for the center chrome trim strips for the tail lights----that took about 5 years for it to happen, but it did thanks to member Randy Lewis, aka "Randalla", and they turned out perfect!
    I am interested in finding a source for the fabrication of these strips as well, Hardway.
    The 70-72 types for the front and rear bumpers and over-riders are readily available, but the 73 versions are not.
    Steve Nix (nix240z) has done fantastic reproduction work on all the other rubber bits for our cars, but has told me he is limited in the size of the pieces he can reproduce.
    The rubber on my 73 is in really good condition currently, but they are already 40+ years old and eventually WILL need to be replaced.
    If DIY can be done and look acceptable I'm for it---and I don't doubt your abilities, as I have seen your posts and the great attention to detail that you achieve--but I'm inclined to think that a rubber fabrication company with the proper equipment could do the job for considerably less than the Ebay prices.
    I haven't researched for fabricators---maybe some members will have suggestions or leads.
    Maybe interest can be drummed up as regards a "Group Buy" that would reduce the cost and make these available again for all who need them at "reasonable" pricing.

    Here's hoping that this thread starts something, and thanks to you for bringing it up!

    Jim D.
    "Zup"

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    Registered User Randalla's Avatar
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    Jim, thanks for the kind words about the tail lamp bars I reproduced. You've raised my curiosity about the possibility of reproducing the bumper guard rubbers. I have an excellent off-shore supplier (the same that did my tail light bars) who also specializes in rubber parts. Size is not an issue as you've indicate it might be for Steve. I need to do more research to see if there's enough demand to warrant the sizable investment. I know the 70-72 models are one size and 73's are different (both front and rear I believe). What I don't know is the availability and potential demand for each. I seem to recall that some were available, at one time, from MSA, Banzai and/or Black Dragon. I need to research what's currently available, at what cost and from whom. I'd be interested in using this post to gauge interest from members.
    Last edited by Randalla; 08-11-2014 at 09:15 PM.

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    Interested in 1973 front and back!

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    Also interested in 1973 front and back, mine are pretty badly worn.

    I've read some tips for cleaning up the layers of oxidized rubber, but I'd love to replace with new if some were available.

    edit: I'd be interested in the front vertical strips as well as the horizontal corner strips; my verticals have holes from a previously installed overrider bar.
    Last edited by bacarl; 08-12-2014 at 06:53 AM.
    Brian
    73 240Z HLS30-151534

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    Registered User an_unusual_eye's Avatar
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    MSA has repro vertical guard strips for the '70-'72, and OE horizontal bumper strips available for those cars as well. the problem with their repro vertical guard strips is quality. when you tighten the nuts on the back of the guard enough to secure the rubber, there are notable dimples in the face of the rubber from the studs. they needed to use a bigger internal stud "head", a barely flexible layer (metal?) in their sandwich, or better compound of rubber. maybe a combination thereof. i'd be in for all 4 vertical strips ('70-'72 type) if they install dimple free, appear as original, and fall into a fairly reasonable price group. might be too much to ask. i also have a NOS nissan front set hanging around, but i'd be more likely to sell them than install them with what the last couple sets sold on eBay have brought. as far as i know... none of the '73 rubbers are available in either OE or repo.
    ~ rob.
    harrisburg, pa / raleigh, nc
    triangle z club

    1974 260z (early) ~ 302 green/black (sold)
    1971 240z (late) ~ 901 silver/black (sold)
    1978 280z 2+2 ~ 611 burgundy/black (parted out)
    1971 240z (early) ~ 907 green/black (my long term mistress)

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    Registered User Hardway's Avatar
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    I ordered MSA’s 70-72 vertical bumper guard strip. It was the right side and is a genuine Nissan part. Mike there also said it was there last one and based on their website this is the case. I got lucky and only paid $20 for it. On their site I don’t see any listing for a re-pop set. Do you have any pictures of a re-pop set installed? I like many others saw the pair that went on Ebay for almost $250. I had contacted Vintage Rubber several weeks prior and they actually got a set in. I purchased the set for $90 which was a steal at the time. While talking with them they indicated they were going to hang on to their last 2 sets so they could send one off to their parts companies to see who could start reproducing them as well.

    As of right now mine are staying locked up in the house until I can either make a pair or source another set. My Z had the over rider bar bolted to the top of the bumper guards so the top 1/3 of the strip is missing. I have been thinking of a way to make something just to fill this in that did not look too incorrect. I can definitely understand the need for a piece of metal inside the rubber strip to provide strength and keep it from deforming.

    I have to agree with you Zup, having a professional company create these would yield a better looking product. I am eager to see what comes out of this discussion. In the mean time I will swing by the local hardware store and see what I can come up with. If I could make a pair for under $30 that look good I may roll with them on the car and keep the mint NOS set for the day when the car gets a full repaint.
    08/1970 240z Series-1 #8011 - Silver, black int., 2.4L I-6, 5spd, 90% restored.
    06/1973 VW Karmann Ghia - Black convertible, 4spd, 1600cc air-cooled engine.
    11/2013 Scion FR-S - Silver, 6spd, a car with the soul of a Z for the modern times.
    Restoration thread of my old '72 240z -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/o...1972-240z.html

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    Registered User an_unusual_eye's Avatar
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    my apologies... i have to correct myself for reporting a "flawed memory" up there earlier ^^^. the repro set that i bought from MSA that dimpled when installed were REAR fitment for the '70-'72. they quite likely never had a front repro set listed. it was around that time as well, that i set aside the NOS front set which i still have but never installed. i'm still running 43 year old strips on the front guards, which show some small cracks but don't look terrible. i think if you could come with a "duplicate of OE" dimple free/high quality product that you could sell as a full set of 4 shipped for $139, you'd have a long list of interested parties including myself. again, my apology for getting the coming end and the going end confused. best ~ rob.
    Last edited by an_unusual_eye; 08-12-2014 at 03:03 PM.
    ~ rob.
    harrisburg, pa / raleigh, nc
    triangle z club

    1974 260z (early) ~ 302 green/black (sold)
    1971 240z (late) ~ 901 silver/black (sold)
    1978 280z 2+2 ~ 611 burgundy/black (parted out)
    1971 240z (early) ~ 907 green/black (my long term mistress)

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    The rubber on one of my verticals was split open on the bottom when I got the car. During refurbishment I noticed it broke open exposing the interior fastener. It was the small bolt that goes through the bumper, mated to a stamped square of steel about 20 to 25mm, fairly thick, with 3 to 4mm holes in each corner, apparently for the rubber to pass through during vulcanizing. I was able to repair the split with E6000 and clamps. I imagine the dimples mentioned above, were from a smaller interior support.

    I would be interested in a full set of new ones, if within reason.

    Bonzi Lon
    1973 HLS30-168500
    1968 SPL311-18100
    1969 HLS30-000110 SOLD Shipped to Dubai UAE
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    Ones and Zeros

    "We drive only blue cars." Dishwalla

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    I agree with the other comments and would also be interested in a full set (front and rear) of vertical strips for the '70-'72. Even though my car won't need new strips for several years, I would purchase a set if the cost was reasonable.

    Robert S.
    1971 240Z HLS30-21244

  11. #11
    Walmart greeter Mikes Z car's Avatar
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    Being a professional tightwad at times I looked at making bumper rubber from black household door thresholds.

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    Registered User psdenno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikes Z car View Post
    Being a professional tightwad at times I looked at making bumper rubber from black household door thresholds.
    Bumper trim made of tread cut from used racing slicks would probably look better. Or, even more impressive, snow tires
    Dennis
    1971 240Z - Original Owner
    2010 Infiniti G37 Convertible

  13. #13
    Walmart greeter Mikes Z car's Avatar
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    Now THOSE are creative ideas.
    Mike

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    Walmart greeter Mikes Z car's Avatar
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    You gotta figure, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between OEM back bumper rubber strips and rubber strips made from old slicks or Home Depot threshold strips at, say, a distance of 1/4 mile.
    Mike

    Edited later: As in a post below by psdenno, I will also add my apologies for those who were looking for serious help with the rubber bumper strip.
    Last edited by Mikes Z car; 08-14-2014 at 10:24 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikes Z car View Post
    You gotta figure, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between OEM back bumper rubber strips and rubber strips made from old slicks or Home Depot threshold strips at, say, a distance of 1/4 mile.
    Mike
    The Quarter Mile test works for me. Plus, if made from old slicks, the trim pieces could be marketed as "Speed Equipment". No downside.

    My apologies to those who come to this forum looking only for serious advice.
    Dennis
    Last edited by psdenno; 08-14-2014 at 08:54 AM.
    1971 240Z - Original Owner
    2010 Infiniti G37 Convertible

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    Perhaps we should be repairing our old cracked parts with 100 mile an hour tape, it's available in plenty of colors as well.

    Mike
    '70 240Z - (HLS30-06521) restoring stock, owned since '78
    http://www.classiczcars.com/photopos...r=8626&cat=500

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    Actually, I made one front bumper guard strip using 1/4" thick black rubber sheet I had in the Garage, (from McMaster-Carr), for my niebor's 240Z. Used a belt sander for making it the correct thickness and making the radiused edges. Almost indistinguishable from the stock part.
    Julio
    1972 240Z (in-progress, 95% complete)
    CZC# 15388

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    I would love to see some close up pictures of that Oiluj!
    08/1970 240z Series-1 #8011 - Silver, black int., 2.4L I-6, 5spd, 90% restored.
    06/1973 VW Karmann Ghia - Black convertible, 4spd, 1600cc air-cooled engine.
    11/2013 Scion FR-S - Silver, 6spd, a car with the soul of a Z for the modern times.
    Restoration thread of my old '72 240z -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/o...1972-240z.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oiluj View Post
    Actually, I made one front bumper guard strip using 1/4" thick black rubber sheet I had in the Garage, (from McMaster-Carr), for my niebor's 240Z. Used a belt sander for making it the correct thickness and making the radiused edges. Almost indistinguishable from the stock part.
    How did you fasten them to the bumper Julio? My first guess would be silacone adhesive.

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    Registered User Hardway's Avatar
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    Still waiting on pictures! I would love to start tackling this as soon as it cools down some here in TX.
    08/1970 240z Series-1 #8011 - Silver, black int., 2.4L I-6, 5spd, 90% restored.
    06/1973 VW Karmann Ghia - Black convertible, 4spd, 1600cc air-cooled engine.
    11/2013 Scion FR-S - Silver, 6spd, a car with the soul of a Z for the modern times.
    Restoration thread of my old '72 240z -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/o...1972-240z.html

  21. #21
    Registered User Oiluj's Avatar
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    Default Homemade Bumper Guard Rubber

    Sorry it took so long, but was having some computer issues, (due to an abortive attempt to down-rev from Win 8.1 to Win 7). Don't get me started...

    Attached is a pick of the garage made front bumper guard rubber strip. As you can see, it came out reasonably well. It's glued to the bumper guard using weatherstrip adhesive. (Looking at the pic, I see I forgot to close the hood)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	bumper rubber.jpg 
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    I used the passenger side rubber to trace the shape on the rubber sheet, then cut it out on a band saw. I used a disc sander to radius the corners, and then used a belt sander, (the round pulley section), to radius the edges. Was careful to not try to "cut" too much so I didn't end up chamfering the edge as opposed to forming a radius.
    I initially tried using a radius bit at high speed on a shaper, but it didn't work well. Perhaps if the rubber was frozen it might have worked.

    Julio
    Julio
    1972 240Z (in-progress, 95% complete)
    CZC# 15388

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    Registered User olzed's Avatar
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    Good result.

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    That looks really nice.
    Last edited by Mikes Z car; 08-25-2014 at 02:28 AM.

    70 240Z HLS30-00907, 1/70, wiper motor 97 Accord, Dave's harness mods, turn signal relay mod, quartz movement in clock, map light fixed, connectors cleaned/greased, 60A alt w/ NOS voltage regulator, weatherstrip replaced, defroster grid replaced, undergoing rust prevention. Previous owner of 71 240Z, 8/71, HLS30-41545, last seen in Sacramento painted blue (originally orange) has anyone seen it?

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    Registered User Hardway's Avatar
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    That looks great! No one would ever guess its not a factory part. I have been inspired!
    08/1970 240z Series-1 #8011 - Silver, black int., 2.4L I-6, 5spd, 90% restored.
    06/1973 VW Karmann Ghia - Black convertible, 4spd, 1600cc air-cooled engine.
    11/2013 Scion FR-S - Silver, 6spd, a car with the soul of a Z for the modern times.
    Restoration thread of my old '72 240z -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/o...1972-240z.html

  25. #25
    Registered User Oiluj's Avatar
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    Yes, to fasten it to the bumper guard I used weather strip adhesive. Coated both sides, let them dry for 15 minutes and stuck them together
    Julio
    1972 240Z (in-progress, 95% complete)
    CZC# 15388

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    Registered User Hardway's Avatar
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    I would love to get some more detailed info on these. What grit sandpaper did you use on the disc sander to shape them? I assume you used an orbital hand sander? Are they painted when you said "coated"? It is just stuck on using weatherstrip adhesive, no other hardware?
    08/1970 240z Series-1 #8011 - Silver, black int., 2.4L I-6, 5spd, 90% restored.
    06/1973 VW Karmann Ghia - Black convertible, 4spd, 1600cc air-cooled engine.
    11/2013 Scion FR-S - Silver, 6spd, a car with the soul of a Z for the modern times.
    Restoration thread of my old '72 240z -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/o...1972-240z.html

  27. #27
    Registered User Oiluj's Avatar
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    Yes, I used weather-strip adhesive, coating both the back of rubber and face of bumper guard.

    For "rough" rounding of the edges I used 100 grit on a small bench-top belt sander, then finished using 600 & 1000 grit on a rounded piece of wood, (sanding block).__This was followed by a vigorous buffing/polishing with abrasive polish, then a though solvent cleaning and finally some rubber dressing.

    It took some time to make edge radii consistent, (I ruined the first one...).__Probably more effort than the cost of buying one, but there were none available at the time.

    Also, I measured the rubber sheet and it was 3/16", not 1/4".
    Julio
    1972 240Z (in-progress, 95% complete)
    CZC# 15388

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