Monday, October 15, 2012

Isetta - Front Bumper

I'm really into the fun stage of my Isetta restoration. Finishing up all the little details that make the car almost look complete. The latest installed items were the front bumper and emblems. 

Here's a picture of the original front bumper next to the new reproduction bumper I purchased from Isettas-R-Us. Before I purchased the new bumper, I had taken my old one to my local chrome shop to get an estimate. It's not visible from the back, but there are a lot of dings, small dents, pitting and light rust to the original bumper. After getting a quote, I decided to go with a new bumper.

There are cheaper front bumpers on the market than the one Isettas-R-Us sells, but I don't think the fit and quality are going to be any near as nice as the bumpers Werner sells. You can see in this photo that the mounting bracket are exactly as original with adjustable sliding nuts. Other bumpers I have seen lack this detail. When I received the bumper, the brackets were not attached. It comes with the solid rivets to attach them just as the originals. I got a little paranoid that I might damage the bumper trying to set the rivets, so I opted to use chrome button head screws to attach the brackets. Something else you may be able to see in this photo is that the new bumper is a heavier gauge steel than the original. The original bumpers were quite thin gauge steel and dented easily.

Another thing I've noticed about some of the less expensive bumpers on the market is that top edge of the bumper does not correctly follow the contour of the door and as a result the rubber filler strip comes separated from the bumper at the corners. You can see in this photo how nicely the Isettas-R-Us bumper follows the contour of the door. The filler strip fits perfectly snug to the door. One other note about the filler strip Werner sells. Werner ships the filler strip a little longer than what you would need for the top of the bumper. The reason he does this is so that there is a little left over to use as spacers on the bottom of the bumper to prevent it from rubbing the door. I used three one inch pieces on the bottom. One at each corner, and one in the middle. Also worth mentioning is the quality of the chrome is also excellent.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Isettas-R-Us also sells a beautifully made rear bumper. Just like the front, it fits perfect and the quality is outstanding.

Next up, installing the dash and steering wheel.

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