Saturday Morning Tech: Spruce Up Your Dart With YearOne’s New Bumperettes

Long before the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Act 215 (FMVSS 215) was enacted for all 1973 vehicles and further tightened in the succeeding years, the manufacturers made vehicles with chrome bumpers that could be ordered with or without bumper guards. After the FMVSS 215 was ratified, every vehicle had to have rear bumpers and bumper guards that could withstand a 2.5-mph impact with minimal damage to the vehicle.

By 1974, the front and rear bumpers and bumper guards had to hold up against a 5-mph blow, again, with negligible damage to the vehicle. Before these laws were enacted, the bumper guards provided minimal damage resistance and, in general, were more decorative in nature than anything else. Our 1967 Dart was not ordered with bumper guards, but after seeing how nice another ’67 Dart looked with them, we wanted a pair for the front of our A-body. After an internet search, we found YearOne had reproduction rubber bumperettes (sold in pairs with the flange mounting nuts, part no. HN113) that fit the 1967-1969 Dodge Darts.

Top left: The YearOne rubber bumperettes are sold in pairs along with the flange mounting nuts (part no. HN113). These reproduction bumperettes fit the 1967-69 Dart front and rear bumper guards. Top right: We found two New-Old Stock bumper guards from two different vendors on eBay. Both bumper guards showed up still in the Mopar packaging. Bottom left: The YearOne rubber bumperettes were fitted to the bumper guards, and the reproduction parts fit as though they were factory original units. Bottom right: The bumperettes have three mounting studs that fit properly into the bumper guards. The included flange nuts secured the bumperettes to the bumper guard.

While we were pleased to find the rubber bumperettes, we still needed to find the chrome bumper guards. After an extensive internet search over a period of several months, we found two New Old Stock (NOS) bumper guards (one left and one right) from two different vendors on eBay. Both bumper guards showed up in the original Mopar packaging, and each had a flawless chrome finish. The bumper guards arrived with the hardware required to mount them to the front bumper.

When the YearOne rubber bumperettes arrived, we were able to quickly install them on the NOS chrome bumper guards. Each rubber bumperette had three mounting studs that slipped through their respective mounting hole in the chrome bumper guard, and the supplied washers and nuts secured each in place. The fit of the rubber to the chrome was equivalent to the factory fit and finish of the 1960s.

Top left: Our 1967 Dart was ordered sans bumper guards. The look is acceptable, but we saw a ’67 Dart with the factory front bumper guards, and we really liked that look. Top right: The damage-free front bumper was rechromed in 2002, and it has retained a shiny appearance since that time. Bottom left: We had to remove the upper bumper bolt on either side of the front license plate. We were pleased that each bolt’s nut backed off without any difficulty. Bottom right: We extended the bumper guard bolt through the hole vacated by the bumper bolt. The bolt was supplied with the NOS bumper guard.

To install the bumper guards onto the Dart, we had to remove two upper bumper bolts (one on either side of the front license plate). Much to our surprise, each nut backed off the bumper bolt without difficulty. With the bolts removed, we started the installation of the bumper guards by lining up the driver side guard over the bolt hole in the bumper. We fed the bumper guard bolt from the back side of the bumper into the bumper guard. After securing the bumper guard, we repeated the same process on the passenger side guard. Once both bumper guards were installed, we wiped down the rubber bumperettes and the chrome and stood back to admire the Dart’s new look.

It was amazing how something so small and seemingly insignificant changed the attitude of the Dart’s frontal appearance. If you are looking to add a little ‘tude to your ride, give the YearOne reps a call or check out their website for the latest A- and B-body rubber bumperette offerings to energize your Mopar’s look.

Top left: We installed the driver side bumper guard by threading the bumper guard bolt into the guard. Each bumper guard is specific to its side although they could be installed on the incorrect side. When installed correctly, the bumper guards follow the contour of the bumper perfectly. Top right: Each bumper guard takes about three minutes to assemble. Once assembled, each was installed in about ten minutes. So, in a total of thirty minutes, this project was completed. Bottom left: The rubber bumperette on the driver side looks great on the NOS chrome bumper guard. Bottom right: The bumperette on the passenger side looks equally as nice. We were pleased with the quality of the YearOne reproduction bumperettes.

Above: The addition of the pair of bumper guards changed the look of the front of the Dart. The bland front bumper is now broken up by the bumper guards. The front end looks more serious with a bit of attitude.

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Chris Holley

Technical Contributor Chris has been a college professor for 25 years; at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA. for the last 20 years. Chris instructs automotive classes in HVAC, electrical/electronics, and high-performance, including using a chassis dyno, flow benches, and various machining equipment. Recently, he added a vintage vehicle upholstery class to his teaching assignments. Chris owns a '67 Dart, a '75 Dart, a '06 Charger, and a '12 Cummins turbo diesel Ram, and he is a multi-time track champion (drag racing) with his '69 340 Dart, which he has owned for 34 years.

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