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Opeler
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently looking at picking up a '74 Manta, which has the larger aluminum bumpers, but really prefer the '70-'73 small chrome bumpers. Is it easy and simple to convert a '74 over to the smaller ones?

I know I have to change the 5-mph shocks out and get the older turn signals but besides that, is it a straight bolt on for the bumpers themselves?
 

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Super Moderator
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McCall;
There are brackets that have to have bolt holes drilled to mount the smaller bumpers. There are 4 brackets for the front, (2 long "L" shaped, and 2 small ones for the sides), I can't remember how many there are for the back, I know there are at least 2. Other than that, you have the idea that's needed for what's happening, remove the recoil units for the big bumpers.
Gene
 

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Vendor
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2,428 Posts
Not sure, but I think there is a difference in front fenders between the early and late mantas as well...not sure how that all falls out when you make the bumper change, but I'm sure someone here can comment on it.

Todd K.
 

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Kick a little asphalt
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There are four mounting brackets for the rear also. One goes on each end on the sides of the quarter panels and two across the rear panel. Remember that you will need to change the license plate and light location if you want the correct look of the early cars. If you choose to do that it will leave you with holes in the rear panel from the plate and lights. The early rear bumpers have the light built into them on the underside. Don't forget to move the rear blitz emblem from the deck lid to the rear panel. That will leave holes in the deck lid. The front fenders on the later cars do not have the stamped mounting bosses on them where the bumper raps around the side and mounts to the front of the fender. You will need to make tapered rubber blocks to mount the bumper to the fenders so you will not distort the fender when you tighten the mounting bolts. You will also need to cut the openings in the lower front apron for the turn signals. The holes from the energy absorbers will need to be welded shut with sheet metal patch panels. Also, the holes for the front bumper brackets that attach to the frame rails need to be added. It's not a difficult job but expect to do some fabricating, welding, body work and painting if you want it to come out right.

Duane
 

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Manta Maniac
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Don't do it!

As much as we all dislike the big bumpers, you will be thankful for them when the [email protected] in the car park clips you.
Because of the way the mounting bosses are stamped into the front and rear fenders, you will never duplicate it short of grafting in patches, and that is just way too much work.
My advice...if you want the early look....go buy a pre '74 car....there are still plenty showing up, and the overall effort required to make a '74 small bumpered is, to me, just way too much.
JM2cW,
Rob.
 

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Opeler
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yikes! I didn't realize that it would be that involved. It's ashame about it being so difficult as I'd really like to find a Manta in my "local" area and this '74 is pretty close to fitting the bill.

I guess I better keep looking for that non-running, straight, rust free '70-'73 Manta in the DFW or surrounding areas. Anyone know of one drop me a line.

Thanks...
 

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McCall;
There's a decent 74, that's already been converted to the small bumpers here in Conyers, GA. In fact the bumpers are surprizing quite straight.
Gene
 

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Senior Contributor
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Manta

Jason, do the bumpers need to be all that straight since you are going to race it? Did you gou go out to the place in Alvord that I told you about? Also I have to make a trip to GA the first part of December my first grandkid (boy) is due to pop out then. (the Opel place)
rk
 

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Opeler
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Killer Texas GT said:
Jason, do the bumpers need to be all that straight since you are going to race it? Did you gou go out to the place in Alvord that I told you about? Also I have to make a trip to GA the first part of December my first grandkid (boy) is due to pop out then. (the Opel place)
rk
No the bumpers don't have to be straight but the p1mp in me would want them that way. :p I am also verifying the "update/backdate" rules regarding bumper changes and the legality of it in my class.

As far as the place in Alvord, no I haven't had a chance to go out there yet but was planning a trip maybe late next week.

Oh yea, early congrats on the grandkid!
 
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