Narrow Push Bar

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Narrow Push Bar

Postby jaak » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:06 pm

Does anyone know of a drawing, or make me a sketch/measurements of the dimensions of the Narrow Push Bar used on early season GL's. I would like to try to make my own. Even if it isn't an exact replica, but is similar styling as the Narrow Bar would be ok too, just need something to go by.

Thanks,
Jason
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Re: Narrow Push Bar

Postby kikgas01 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:33 pm

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Re: Narrow Push Bar

Postby twentiethmaine20 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:52 am

When you get yours done, maybe having it powder-coated black may be a good route to go...? I have a Bill Lambing narrow-push bar - love it - but I'm thinking that, as a mini winter project, I may take mine to get powder-coated gloss black to keep the black finish looking in tip top great shape (if it can withstand the heat of powder-coating/I'm not sure 100%).

When I painted mine, I ended up using a Rustoleum hard-enamel gloss black. It still looks really good, but I tend to notice the small nuances just from driving (small pebbles, bugs, etc.). That's why I wonder if having it powder-coated would be a good idea for the added durability. Has anyone else gone this route, just out of curiosity?

Thanks!
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Re: Narrow Push Bar

Postby duster7071 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:26 am

twentiethmaine20 wrote:When you get yours done, maybe having it powder-coated black may be a good route to go...? I have a Bill Lambing narrow-push bar - love it - but I'm thinking that, as a mini winter project, I may take mine to get powder-coated gloss black to keep the black finish looking in tip top great shape (if it can withstand the heat of powder-coating/I'm not sure 100%).

When I painted mine, I ended up using a Rustoleum hard-enamel gloss black. It still looks really good, but I tend to notice the small nuances just from driving (small pebbles, bugs, etc.). That's why I wonder if having it powder-coated would be a good idea for the added durability. Has anyone else gone this route, just out of curiosity?

Thanks!
Aaron

ALMOST a waste of time and $$ !
if you prepped the bar good just use a small touchup spray gun and buy a qt of the rustoleum gloss black , you will be able to reshoot the bar 3-4 times with one qt.($12-20 ?) plus the $20-30 for spray gun.
make sure you let it dry good or even get heat lamps to cure the paint ?
maybe even a few coats of clear for added protection. 8)
powder coating will last a bit longer BUT this is the most unprotected part of the car ! (valance ,leading edge of the hood and grill are next,and the bumper of course,lol)
the aluminum can handle the heat for powder coat no problem (if the lady of the house wouldn't mind, and it was large enough, you can simply use the oven ! :P :D ) , they sell powder coat ovens at harbor freight , $300-400 ? 8)
are we having fun yet ?

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Re: Narrow Push Bar

Postby MaximRecoil » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:20 am

twentiethmaine20 wrote:(if it can withstand the heat of powder-coating/I'm not sure 100%).


Aluminum is the most common metal used for making cookware (commercial cookware is almost always aluminum) because it is such a good conductor of heat, so yeah, it can take the heat of an oven.

By the way, would it be possible for you to make a pencil rubbing of one of the side plates on your push bumper? Just tape a few pieces of paper together to make the pencil rubbing, then untape them and scan each paper in at 300 DPI. If I had the scans I could vectorize them, and then anyone could send the vector file to any CNC machinist (or print it out as a template for cutting them out themselves manually), they could plug it into their CNC waterjet or laser machine and cut a couple of plates out of any material they want.
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Re: Narrow Push Bar

Postby duster7071 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:37 pm

MaximRecoil wrote:
twentiethmaine20 wrote:(if it can withstand the heat of powder-coating/I'm not sure 100%).


Aluminum is the most common metal used for making cookware (commercial cookware is almost always aluminum) because it is such a good conductor of heat, so yeah, it can take the heat of an oven.

By the way, would it be possible for you to make a pencil rubbing of one of the side plates on your push bumper? Just tape a few pieces of paper together to make the pencil rubbing, then untape them and scan each paper in at 300 DPI. If I had the scans I could vectorize them, and then anyone could send the vector file to any CNC machinist (or print it out as a template for cutting them out themselves manually), they could plug it into their CNC waterjet or laser machine and cut a couple of plates out of any material they want.


cool idea !! :D 8)
it would be good to do it for both bars, i, and many other prefer the wide pushbar as it looks more 'correct', like it fits the car better and enhances the 'muscle car' look . :D 8)
and with the wider bar, more than one cast menber can sit on it ! ,,, right jason !?? :lol: :P
are we having fun yet ?

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Re: Narrow Push Bar

Postby MaximRecoil » Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:19 am

duster7071 wrote:
it would be good to do it for both bars, i, and many other prefer the wide pushbar as it looks more 'correct', like it fits the car better and enhances the 'muscle car' look . :D 8)


Yes, it would be good to do it for both types of push bumpers.

I prefer the narrow one mainly because I like the shape better. The triangular shape gives the impression of strength (a triangle is in fact a very strong structural shape), plus it conforms to the bumper instead of just hanging out in front of it, making it look like it was made for the car instead of being some universal-fit design.

The narrow version is about 1/3 as wide as the car, and sits in the center third area, which is visually balanced. Whoever decided on that width had a good sense of proportion/balance. The wide version was simply made to the width of the subframe rails so it could easily be attached to them, without regard to the aesthetics of that particular width relative to its own height and relative to the width of the car. The additional width (without a corresponding increase in diameter of the cross bars), combined with its anorexic appearance from the side (due to it being just a thin rectangular shape instead of a thick triangular shape), makes it look flimsy, gangly, and awkward:

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I think they got it right with the very first one they built:

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Re: Narrow Push Bar

Postby efiste2 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:16 pm

I was 100% a fan of the narrow push bar for many years, I especially like the tags at the bottom, but upon learning that those tags really should have been welded to the frame, and actual GL's only had the narrow push bars welded to the front bumper, I think the bigger push bar is the better one, I do agree however that it does look ungainly and a little to big. but as Tommy Sarmento tells us on the brilliant interview on YOUTUBE, the narrow one was a pain and kept battering the 69 grille I piece etc etc, he says the wider one attached to the frame rails was very strong and could take a real beating. saying all that though i think the classic GENERAL LEE front look is with that narrow push bar.
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Re: Narrow Push Bar

Postby MaximRecoil » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:27 pm

efiste2 wrote:I was 100% a fan of the narrow push bar for many years, I especially like the tags at the bottom, but upon learning that those tags really should have been welded to the frame, and actual GL's only had the narrow push bars welded to the front bumper, I think the bigger push bar is the better one, I do agree however that it does look ungainly and a little to big. but as Tommy Sarmento tells us on the brilliant interview on YOUTUBE, the narrow one was a pain and kept battering the 69 grille I piece etc etc, he says the wider one attached to the frame rails was very strong and could take a real beating. saying all that though i think the classic GENERAL LEE front look is with that narrow push bar.


If you're going to use it as a functional push bumper, then yes, the wide design definitely has a stronger method of mounting.

The way I look at it is, in the context of the fictional show, you can assume it was mounted plenty strong enough to be a functional push bumper, just like you can assume that their rollbar was plenty strong (despite being made from exhaust tubing in reality and only being a basic hoop on the non-stunt cars, sometimes even missing its cross brace), and just like you can assume the General Lee itself was strong enough to drive away unharmed from huge jumps.

So appearance is more important to me than functionality when replicating a [mostly] non-functional TV prop. However, I do like the idea of functionality as a bonus, and I have considered the wide version just for that reason, but I keep coming back to its appearance; I just can't get past it. I hated it even as a little kid watching this show when it originally aired, before I knew anything about how either one was mounted. It just looked disproportionately wide and wrong in general, and I didn't like that it didn't have the triangular shape that most real push bumpers of the time had (such as the one on my neighbor-at-the-time's '79 Toyota 4WD pickup). It didn't help matters that I also associated the wide push bumper with the Coy and Vance (AKA: "the fake Duke boys" as we called them back then) era.

By the way, the narrow push bumper wasn't just welded to the bumper, at least not in all cases. It was also bolted to the bumper, at least in some cases (I don't know if it was also welded to the bumper in the cases where it was bolted to it or not). This screenshot is from "Jude Emery" (Season 2, Episode 19):

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Re: Narrow Push Bar

Postby kikgas01 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:31 pm

They used several types of small ones. Nice screen grab.
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Re: Narrow Push Bar

Postby MaximRecoil » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:32 pm

kikgas01 wrote:They used several types of small ones. Nice screen grab.


My guess is that they were all fabricated in-house and they went through several variations/improvements, though always retaining the same general appearance. I've heard the theory that they used an off-the-shelf push bumper out of the J.C. Whitney catalog intended for a compact pickup truck, but I don't believe it. There is no way that such a thing would just so happen to conform to the '68/'69 Charger front bumper and have those hook shapes on the bottom that meet up with the front valance.

The most obvious variation is that on the early ones, the "hooks" didn't meet up with the valance very well, i.e., there was quite a gap between where the "hooks" ended and the valance began, which looked weird/ill-fitting (this can be easily seen in the promotional picture of Wopat and Schneider with LEE 3 that I posted above). At some point they corrected that, like in these screen shots ("Duke vs. Duke" [Season 3, Episode 13] for the first shot, and I forgot to mark which episode for the second shot):

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You can see in that second shot how roughly cut those side plates were (most noticeable down by the "hook"), most likely cut out of 1/4" plate with an oxygen/acetylene cutting torch (which leaves a very rough/melted edge) with the edges only partially cleaned up with a grinder or belt sander. Good enough for NTSC broadcast TV.

That's actually the look I'd go for if I made one for my car, rather than the early ones that didn't mate to the valance very well.
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Re: Narrow Push Bar

Postby efiste2 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:58 am

GREAT SCREEN CAPS folks!!! , I cant recall the episode but the push bar actually FALLS OFF right in front of the camera as the GL smashes through some barriers!!
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Re: Narrow Push Bar

Postby twentiethmaine20 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:32 pm

The push-bar also came off in the episode, 'Carnival of Thrills' (Part Two) when the Charger landed on the asphalt after jumping over thirty-two parked cars. :wink: I too agree - great screen-shots!
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Re: Narrow Push Bar

Postby DoitToit » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:52 pm

I too, was / am a fan of the narrow pushbar. Reason being?, it shows more of the front grill off & just looks great up front! 8) Though, the way they designed it in the show and the way the bottom of the push bar "swoops" , has that curve at the very bottom, it looks as if it would scrape a driveway that dips down suddenly. Other than that, it looks good, but i'd be afraid of the very bottom of it scraping a driveway that has a sudden drop / hill.
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