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'38 Special bumper bracket spacing


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I am still working on repairing the rear end damage from last year's collision. It looks like my bumper brackets will be shifted to the right, with respect to the body, by about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch. That's quite a bit, so of course, I would like to correct the issue before cutting the holes for the brackets in the rear valence.

The frame was straightened by a reputable shop - of course, that could still the the issue.

The body appears to be sitting evenly on the frame - at least right above the axle, the body is evenly mounted to the frame.

The new sheet metal is installed, and during the process, we continually checked alignment - no clues here either.

Could one of you '38 owners measure from the outer edge of the bracket rubber to the edge of the body (where the fender welting is)? This would help me determine which side is more correct. A picture is always helpful too!



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Thanks Mark.

Looks like just under 2 inches on each side - maybe 1 15/16 right side and 1 7/8 left side. If I can get mine within about 3/16 or 1/4, I'll be happy. (Of course, if I find any specific frame issue, I will try to go back to the frame shop.)

Interesting that your rubber pieces are different from the ones on the "new" brackets I bought, which are also different from the ones on my original brackets. I'll be buying some new ones, and Murphy's Law suggests yet a fourth variation!

Thanks again,


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Guest ewing

I bought new rear bumper rubber sockets ( or what ever they are called) from Bob's.

At the time there was more than 1 'quality' available.

I took the cheap ones. When they arrived they didn't fit the body very well. I called Bob's and they exchanged them for the more expensive ones ( I had no issue with paying up the difference). The pricier ones were exact reproductions and fit perfectly.

The moral of the story is if it is cheaper, you likely will get what you pay for.

I have always been treated well by Bob's and recommend them as a parts supplier with no reservations.

They rationalize the lower standard cheaper choices ( at that time... not sure if they still carry cheaper options now), as allowing the hobbiest some choice in affordability and standard of restoration they want to achieve.

My apologies for straying a bit off topic, but I figured this info might be of some value when picking replacement parts up.

Edited by ewing (see edit history)
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  • 5 weeks later...
Guest Ronald D Brooks

Jeff, if I understand your need. I have a 1938 bBuick shop manual that showes the frame dementions. I also have a set of bumpers and a set of brackets. I'll check to see if they are rear. I have a Mcloughlin Buick Special . I need an air cleaner, hub caps, side mount emblems and radio.

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The rubber parts you mentioned are called bumper grommets. I bought a new pair for my front bumper (my dog chewed one when I had the bumper off the car for re-painting) and installed them yesterday. I also bought and installed a new pad for the license lamp & trunk handle from Steele Rubber. I had a similar problems with the fit of the grommets against the front fender. There is a significant gap at the bottom on the driver's sode and less significant on the passenger side. The trunk pad also has a 1/8" gap on one side because the pocket where the hardware fits is too large.

I sent an email to Steele Rubber yesterday. I am anxious to see what they do...

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