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Old 04-12-2013, 12:33 PM   #1
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Driving with Knight Rider front bumper

I am still up in the air if I want to make my car a KR replica or hold off for a while and just enjoy the car for a few years. That being said, what is anyone's opinion of driving a KITT car with the front bumper on? Is the car pretty functional or should it only be restricted to driving to an occasional car show? I would love to take the car from Burbank to Santa Monica once or twice a month when summer hits. But if that can damage the modification I wouldn't want to put the car through too much stress.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:51 PM   #2
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Re: Driving with Knight Rider front bumper

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chee-sen View Post
I am still up in the air if I want to make my car a KR replica or hold off for a while and just enjoy the car for a few years. That being said, what is anyone's opinion of driving a KITT car with the front bumper on? Is the car pretty functional or should it only be restricted to driving to an occasional car show? I would love to take the car from Burbank to Santa Monica once or twice a month when summer hits. But if that can damage the modification I wouldn't want to put the car through too much stress.
One thing to consider is it is illegal to have a red light in the front of a vehicle. Only amber and white are allowed
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:11 PM   #3
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Re: Driving with Knight Rider front bumper

But only if its turned on right? You can't drive with it on in CA.
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:22 PM   #4
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Re: Driving with Knight Rider front bumper

I imagine thats the case. I would check local laws. A hardcore cop may have an issue if the lens is red
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:19 PM   #5
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Re: Driving with Knight Rider front bumper

As part of my restoration, I'm converting to a KR style front bumper.
(Not a full KR conversion, I just like the bumper.)

Issues to consider:
1) Cost: plan on MINIMUM $800. Better quality ones will push $1000+
including shipping. Painting & prep extra.
2) Quality: Overall thickness and structural strength, are especially
critical for a daily driver. Be wary of models that have an indentation
where the bumper bolts to the fender, and mounting instructions are
"Tighten bolts until you begin to hear cracking."
3) Installation: ALL models are mounted ONLY at the fenders. I'm putting
considerable effort into adding bracing back in all across the front,
since I intend to use the vehicle for normal driving.
4) Style: There are 3 basic models, with variation being the headlight &
turn-signal area.. So you need a bit more detailed plan than
"I wanna mount me one uh dem KITT bumpers."
(General humor, not a specific insult...)
5) Accessories: The "Scanner Light" is (generally a cost-much) option.
Probably illegal TO OPERATE WHILE DRIVING in most states.
And also the front license plate. Much more variation by state.
Texas does require it, so my plan is to add a "retractable" style mount,
rather than a permanent bolt-on configuration.

Good luck, hope this helps.
If you're still serious, I'll post some pics of my installation steps.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:41 PM   #6
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Re: Driving with Knight Rider front bumper

I'd like to see some pics. Even owning a Camaro, I still like firebirds in general (had an '82)
As far as the front light, couldn't a clear or amber lens or leds be put in for daily driving.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:45 PM   #7
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Re: Driving with Knight Rider front bumper

All good points. I have two sources to consider on where to get the nose from. Really its more about how functional is it when being driven? Can I actually drive it 20 miles somewhere, or should it really be restricted and never leave the city? Of course it depends on which specialist I select to mount it. That is a huge variable. Very good point. I'm thinking mostly to drive to Bob's Big Boy on Friday's nights when all the hot rods show up for burgers.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:55 PM   #8
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Re: Driving with Knight Rider front bumper

Being both a KITT owner and a regular ol' Firebird owner at the same time, I can tell you that the KITT bumpers are all fiberglass. Now, in terms of drivability, yes, you can drive it 500 miles a day if you want with that bumper. In terms of safety, well let's just say it's NOT designed for impact or safety. It should be considered off-road use only, however much like any mod to a car, you just need to use common sense. Install it securely using 4 bolts/nuts/washers on each side.

The KITT bumper weighs considerably less than a urethane bumper with the metal mounting bracket, therefore, the fender bolts are sufficient to hold it.

In an accident, I would suspect that no matter how much "bracing" you put in there, you will lose your fenders and hood even in a low speed impact because the KITT bumper is SOLID with no give. If you had support behind it, well that just makes it even more solid. So, in an impact, a lot of the force will be transferred to the fenders, hood, and other items BEHIND the bumper until the bumper crumbles. I love the factory urethane bumper because with experience...it does it's job of protecting everything else in a low speed collision.

I cringe at the thought of hitting anything with my KITT bumper. I'm actually working on modifying the factory honeycomb to put back in behind it to help with absorption. Right now, there is nothing between my KITT bumper and the metal impact bar.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:59 PM   #9
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Re: Driving with Knight Rider front bumper

Thanks, that is good advice.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:06 PM   #10
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Re: Driving with Knight Rider front bumper

I am leaning toward not putting on the front end for now. Just enjoy the car as a very nice black KITT-style Firebird. I would love to get a couple on-lookers say "That looks like KITT!" But really I love the style of the car beyond KR. Always have.
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:35 AM   #11
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Re: Driving with Knight Rider front bumper

Well, this is an interesting place to put my fist post.
Anyway, Do some research with local PD. When I was taking my motorcycle safety class a couple years back the officer actually informed us that in my area it is completely legal to have red/blue lights on the vehicle anywhere as long as they ere not flashing. A sliding red light is not the same as "flashing" so where I live it would be acceptable.
Hell, you could always just call up your local PD and find out.
Hope I have helped
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:35 AM
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