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Rear Exhaust Fix to GMP'S '72 GTO
By George Bojaciuk

"Stuff Happens!" It was certainly a surprise when the '72 GTO showed up with the wrong exhaust! This was something that both Aaron and I discussed on numerous occasions. I even had directly commented to the factory in regards to this error previously. In this industry, however, these things happen for whatever reasons. Sometime you can bail out easily, sometimes it's quite costly. I will applaud GMP for releasing this retro fit kit so quickly. In addition, the kit is well thought out and the written instructions are excellent.

I was sent 2 GTOs to play with for this photo fix. The first fix took over 2 hours... well, OK, I also happened to be shooting these pictures as I was doing the fix! The second fix took only 15 minutes and I did break the bumper.

On one of the samples I did notice a couple of paint chips. These models were returns so let's get past that right now. The high spots around the rear bumper had a few chips - possibly from someone using a hard tool to remove the rear bumper previously. On my shelf I found a close enough match to the color. Using Testors Model Master Guards Red and a micro brush, I was able to repair those unsightly chips in addition to making the rear end swap.

So, let's get on with the fix!
(click on a photo to see a larger version.)

The GMP retrofit exhaust kit comes complete with detailed instructions, new rear correct valance, a new rear bumper and 2 exhaust side splitters. The instructions even supply you with a toll-free number to call should you decide to get cold feet, or if you are not capable of the repair yourself.

Start by pulling off the rear bumper. I did 2 of these swaps and the first bumper popped off easily. The second bumper was not so cooperative and snapped in two places.

When the bumper pulls off, the lower rear valance panel will drop right out.

If you saved the original bumper, you can skip this step. If not, you will need to remove and replace the numbered license plate tag and holder. On the reverse side of the bumper you will see where the plate was heat staked to the bumper. To remove this is very easy. Take a hobby knife and trim the plastic flash flush with the bumper surface. The plate can then be easily removed. You can either push the pins through the holes with a blunted toothpick or pick the plat off from the front.

Apply a small amount of CA glue (Superglue) around the plate mounting pins, locate the pins into the holes and press into the new bumper. BE SURE YOU HAVE THE PLATE IN THE PROPER CONFIGURATION!!! You don't want an upside down plate!

Flip the model over. You can see that I'm using foam under the car. The last thing you want to do is scratch the roof during the repair.

For removing the exhaust, follow the repair kit directions closely. Lift and twist the exhaust tips.

The easy part was removing the tip from the exhaust system pipe. In my case the pipe break was fairly clean.

The floor break, however, was not so clean. The exhaust tip mounting pins were left in the chassis floor.

A quick fix to the unsightly break was to dab some Testors Model Masters Steel paint on the raw plastic. Note the micro brush I'm using.

It doesn't take a whole gallon of paint. Just a dab!

I found it easier to lay the valance panel in with the car on it's roof. It made attaching the bumper and handling the panel much easier.

Any time I apply CA glue (Superglue); I place the glue in a film cap and apply it to a part sparingly and with a specialized glue tool. Again, I apply the glue around the mounting pins and not on top of the pin. Why, you ask? If you misalign the pins or have trouble locating the holes, you could wind up gluing the bumper onto the rear panel and not in the holes. Once aligned, I snapped the bumper in place tightly. Be sure to apply equal side-to-side pressure on the bumper. It's best if you push over the mounting pins. Hold for a few seconds for the glue to set.

The exhaust tips were a snap to install. One dab of glue around and in the exhaust pipe hole.

If you have the old mounting pin broken off in the exhaust pipe hole, you will need to remove it. Shown is a #11 X-Acto knife blade cleaning out the hole. Find the center and carefully spin the blade. It cleans out very quickly.

Align the tips and the pipes and press in the new exhaust tip. Hold for a few seconds. If you have old CA glue or it just doesn't seem to hold, try using a dab of accelerator. I suggest dabbing the accelerator at the side of the glue joint, allowing capillary action to take in the liquid. A word of caution: the accelerator will remove the satin finish so use it sparingly and in a spot that will not be seen.

Here is the new pipe and valance panel in place!

A stunning before and after, side-by-side shot. The job may at first seem like it's monumental, but its very easy and fun to do!


Registered user? Post your own comment!

2 Comment(s) Posted:

Nothing to it!     Ted Slezak   (09/14/02)

How to get kit?     Ted Slezak   (09/08/02)



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