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.

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.

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:

When removed from the car, the tube looks like this:

You can see the ~flat plate that the bumper itself bolts to seen here partially withdrawn from the body (this pic taken with bonnet upside down):

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


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]


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."

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If you have any more comments/info on this subject, especially details of the 'real' euro brackets, please comment below (can be done anonymously)
Fitting Small over-riders on a US-spec '73 carAnonymous|22 Oct : 19:14

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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.

Fitting Small over-riders on a US-spec '73 carAnonymous|13 Jan : 04:30

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I have a 73 with the ugly huge rubber bumpers. The blogs are a bit confusing as to how much work or additional parts are required to put something over the existing mounts.
Does someone make a simple replacement overrider to fit over the existing mount?

Thanks, Dave

Fitting Small over-riders on a US-spec '73 carbernie Printy|22 Mar : 17:09

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Could i get more details of how to change to uk spec front over riders with the low cosr low effort method

Fitting Small over-riders on a US-spec '73 carAnonymous|14 Jan : 03:23

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i have the same questions but i do not have those big oval metal brackets just flat pieces mine is a 74 any new ideas i would also like to modify the rear overides

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