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
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
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!