No manufacturer would risk the lawsuits. These cars are responsible for a disproportionate number of fatal crashes already and modifying anything to do with the unibody, crumple zones, impact-absorbing bumpers, or anything like that is to be avoided at all cost. Anyone who does change anything becomes a party to any potential future lawsuit, and we did it to ourselves. People sue over the most stupid things because they never learned to take responsibility for their own actions. You don't want to become one of those victims.
You also have to consider that some cars have bumpers that are tuned against engine vibration to make them run smoother. Take the bumper off an old Chrysler "K-Car" and the engine vibrates like any old four cylinder engine. Put the bumper back on and it runs a lot smoother.
I too really hate plastic bumper covers over plastic or styrofoam forms, but that is done to reduce weight. Besides the obvious better fuel mileage, going to a steel bumper changes the weight distribution of the car. Now you're messing with the carefully designed braking system that's balanced front-to-rear, and you put more weight on the front suspension which affects handling and ride quality. Even wheel alignment angles can change from the added weight.
I understand what you're trying to accomplish but I'd start with a different car first. I have a bunch of old cars with chrome steel bumpers, (like I think a car is supposed to have), but I'm afraid those days are gone. You might look into a different grille. Those are plastic and don't have much weight. I bought a new '93 Dynasty because I liked the ride and the styling, but I have another one with a gold aftermarket grille. It gets lots of attention, but after you stare at it long enough, it's not so great.
Sunday, May 20th, 2012 AT 8:39 PM