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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. I've been trying like crazy to track down a decent 73 rear bumper. Mine is all dented up. So far I've only been able to locate guys that have rear bumpers for a 74. I've recieved a message from one guy that said that a 74 bumper will not fit a 73 properly. A few other sellers said that thier would be no issues using a 74 rear bumper at all. I'm confused guys? The most recent rear bumper I've tracked down is in great shape...but the seller can't remember if the bumper was on a 73 or 74. What's the real deal guys? I wanna be absolutely sure it will fit before having it shipped across the country ya know. Thanks again- Mike

Ps- Also, how much modifications are required to make a 74 front bumper compatable for a 73?
 

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1974 Nova, 1977 Nova
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Hi misguidedangel,

Be aware that the 73 vs. 74 bumpers use different mounting systems.

The 73 bumpers have stamped steel brackets that attach the chrome bumper shell to the back of the car. Very similar to 68-72 bumpers.

The 74 bumpers have a reinforcement beam that bolts inside the chrome bumper shell. A couple of "shock absorber" mounts connect that reinforcement beam to the back of the car.

The contour of the 73 vs. 74 rear chrome bumper shells is different. So are the locations of the mounting holes. So a 74 chrome bumper shell won't be a direct fit onto the 73 rear bumper brackets.

Instead, plan on using the whole 74 rear bumper assembly (chrome shell + inner reinforcement beam). The back end of the 73 isn't designed to accept the 74 shock absorbing type bumper mounts. So you'll have to bolt the 74 bumper assembly directly to the car (might have to drill a few new holes). This will also "tuck" the bumper in closer to the body (some spacers/shims may be necessary if its too close).


Edit ... just noticed your question about the front bumper.

The same mounting differences apply to the 73 vs. 74 front bumpers. However, the contour of the outer chrome shell and the mounting holes are the same for the front bumpers. So it is possible to mix & match the 73 vs. 74 front bumper shells using either 73 or 74 mounts.

In other words, the 74 outer chrome bumper shell (minus the inner reinforcement beam) will bolt right onto the 73 front bumper brackets.

The mounting holes in the front subframes did change between 73/74 so re-drilling some new holes would be necessary if you were to install the complete 74 front bumper assembly (shock absorbing mounts & all).

Finally, there are a couple cosmetic differences in the 73 vs. 74 outer chrome front bumper shells. They both have a couple rectangular slots but the ones in the 74 bumpers are narrower. And the 74 bumpers have a couple of rubber bumper guards on each side of the licence plate area (easily unbolted but you'll have a couple holes to plug).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow, that's a whole lot of important info for me Ray! After reading your post, I think I'll be better hunting down a rear 73 bumper than making modifications for a 74. Thanks again- mike
 
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