S3 E-Type

Fitting Small over-riders on a US-spec '73 car
Removing the "5mph" features which disfigure the E

by Dave Lacey

A review of the differences between Euro-spec and US spec front bumpers on a series 3.

(see Kjell Eriksson's smart solution below)

The 5mph crash protection (assuming you're crashing perpendicularly into a suitable height concrete block) is given by a steel loop connected by an "impact tube" which butts against the top of the subframe by the shock absorber mount.
bumpers_5.jpg

This has the effect of transferring the forces to the subframe and saving the bonnet from low speed damage with said concrete block.
This impact tube is clearly visible when you open the bonnet, however there's another tube hidden inside the front section, which you can see in the next photo.
bumpers_7.jpg

This goes from the overrider mount down to the bonnet hinge (in fact this is what the hinge is bolted to), in the bottom left of this photo:
bumpers_6.jpg

When removed from the car, the tube looks like this:
bumpers_10.jpg

You can see the ~flat plate that the bumper itself bolts to seen here partially withdrawn from the body (this pic taken with bonnet upside down):
bumpers_8.jpg

By comparison, the Euro style overrider connects to the hinge tube via a different bracket...because the bumpers have very different mountings:
bumpers_3.jpg


bumpers_4.jpg


You can see that the new bumper is the Euro style, the inner mounting bolts pass horizontally thru a bracket on the car whereas the US-spec bumper bolts go vertically thru the plate in the above pics. [Note that the Euro bumper is an SNG Barrat repro part that requires part of the protruding bracket to be cut off to fit an S3, thats why theres a bit sticking out in these pics]

bumpers_2.jpg

So, in conclusion, the hardware is significantly different between the Euro & US style bumpers/fenders. Not only must the chrome blabes be changed in order to fit the small over-riders (see how much shorter the lower, US, bumper is in the pic above), but also new bracketry must be fabricated.
I made new mounts and utilised the existing tube connected to the hinge. I removed the impact tubes completely, as I couldnt find an elegant way to keep them (although I acknowledge their 'value' in protecting the car).

Kjell Eriksson contacted me with some pics of his lower-cost and significantly-less-effort method:
He Says "I kept 'the impact tubes' and used the USA half blades. As you see on the pictures I formed the end of 'the impact tubes' so they fitted the overriders I bought from SNG, Then i drilled a hole and fitted a long narrow bolt which is holding the overriders. I think the result is looking ok."

Bild 023.jpg


Bild 025.jpg


PICT0036.JPG


If you have any more comments/info on this subject, especially details of the 'real' euro brackets, please comment below (can be done anonymously)
Comments
Fitting Small over-riders on a US-spec '73 carAnonymous|22 Oct : 19:14
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Reply to this
Him great advice by the way. Does anybody have any information on the rear over riders? I want to make them smaller to match the front.

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