Tech Tip – Bumper Beautification

From Moss Motoring 1985

By Bob Barcus

My heart skipped a beat just over a year ago when I got my first look at the deep red 1974 MGB in a garage outside of Cleveland. The ad said it was in ’excellent condition’ and that it was. Stored winters and run only on dry summer Sundays, the owner said he didn’t know how badly the top leaked since he’d never had it out in the rain! I knew I’d buy it the moment I saw it. I also immediately knew that some day soon I’d have to replace those beautiless big black bumper blocks which stuck out at me like battering rams. Having previously owned a 1969 B, I knew what any self respecting MGB bumper SHOULD look like.

So I studied the Moss catalog and looked at several other B’s around town and concluded that the old style bumper overriders would replace the rubber blocks just fine. And now, having completed the project I thought Id share my know-how with other ’74 MGB owners who long for the more traditional look. Not only do the older chrome overriders look better but you get rid of a lot of weight hanging out in perhaps the worst possible spots for snappy handling.

The most important tip is to order four FRONT overriders (part #454-310). The rear overriders have fittings for the license plate lights, but the ’74 MGB has lights fitted to the license plate holder. The front overriders fit fine on the rear as well as the front bumper. Another tip is to replace the overrider bolts as the originals will be too long (part *322-095).

Removal and installation are easy if the bolts come free. Soak them first with a penetrant and if they break instead of turn as my rear bolts did just remove the bumper. They come off easily and can make the process simpler.

If you don’t remove the bumper you may have to hacksaw the bolts after removing the overrider because they are too long to push out- the head hits the body first- I grabbed them with a pair of vise-grips to hold them while sawing them shorter.

Don’t forget to order a packing set (part*400-418). The little rubber gaskets make the overrider to bumper fit smooth and neat.

The whole process took only a little over an hour and the car looks infinitely better. The only disappointing part is that you really don’t notice the change much because the new parts blend in so well. And no one walks up to you and says, ‘Hey, that’s a nice looking car, but where are the big ugly black things that usually stick out from the bumper?’

So, maybe you’ll have to do what I’ve been doing and point out to everyone you can corner saying, ‘Hey, did I show you my new bumper overriders yet?’

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