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Technical '52-54 Ford headlight bezel frenching/tunneling questions

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by hotrod54chevy, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. hotrod54chevy
    Joined: Nov 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,588

    hotrod54chevy
    Member
    from Ohio

    Bodywork newbie here. I'd seen that these rings looked to be the desired kind because of the inner trim ring that can be taken out. Is this so that adjustments can be made to the headlight from the front instead of having to pull the tire off? I'm asking because I don't know if you have to flip the bucket mount screws like I've seen in how-tos before or not. I'd also like to tunnel these a little. How far back do you go? I'd thought these were the Merc style, but they're marked as Ford. Only reason I'm concerned is I'd heard Ford bezels were pot metal. I've been able to stick a magnet on these. Do I have the right type, or will I run into trouble? And not that it matters, but these are going on my '54 Chevy. I'll try to post pics. Thanks for the help!
     

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  2. vwdave30
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 457

    vwdave30
    Member

    The 52, 53 headlight rings are steel the 54s are potmetal. I think you still have to adjust your headlight from behind.
     
  3. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,706

    Slopok
    Member

    After getting your car at the intended ride height, adjust the lights from the front as you normally would. Then remove the bucket and set aside. Then weld on the Ford metal bezel and finish the bodywork and paint if possible. Now reinstall the stainless trim ring being careful so as to not break any of those little spring clips. Then grind or cut off the little edge on the bucket so it's able to mount flush from the rear of the fender after removing the front wheels and reinstall the headlite buckets. I would suggest replacing both headlite bulbs with new ones at this point. You cannot get to the adjusting screws with the stainless trim ring on and you can't remove the trim rings til you take the headlite bucket back out. As far as tunneling the lites, you really can't cause the trim ring limits the depth. Hope this answers your questions. It ain't easy being Cool. The procedure would be the same if you were to use you Chevy headlite rings without the hassle of the Ford stainless trim rings.
     
    justntime likes this.
  4. green53ford
    Joined: Mar 4, 2009
    Posts: 182

    green53ford
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    If you are clever you can make tension clips so you can slip the stainless trim out by grabbing it with your fingers. Then you can adjust and change the bulbs easily. The clips are easy to make but kind of hard to explain without seeing them.
     
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  5. WildWilly68
    Joined: Feb 1, 2002
    Posts: 1,700

    WildWilly68
    Member

    That is how I did it on my 53 about 10-12 years ago. I know there are several threads including mine that show how it's done. The others are right on target with their suggestions as well.
     
  6. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,000

    atomickustom
    Member

    You can make or buy clips to hold the stainless rings in place from the front, and they will definitely allow you to adjust the headlights when they are installed on the car when you pull the trim rings off.
    I have done it on my car. I think you still have to mount the buckets from behind, though, to allow you to CHANGE the headlight bulbs. (It might be possible to get them out from the front, but when I changed mine I did it by taking the buckets out, changing the bulbs, and putting the buckets back in from behind. It seemed easier than trying to fudge it, and how often do you change headlight bulbs?)

    Just so you know, most of us that use the '52-54 Mercury-style headlight bezels for frenching do it because we like the way they look, not just to ease headlight adjustment. (That's just a nice side benefit.)
     
    justntime likes this.
  7. martyk98
    Joined: Jun 12, 2006
    Posts: 82

    martyk98
    Member
    from washington

    I'd like to see a picture or two of these clips your talking about. Getting ready to french my 54 Merc and don't really like the aftermarket kit being sold. Marty
     
  8. martyk98
    Joined: Jun 12, 2006
    Posts: 82

    martyk98
    Member
    from washington

    I would sure like to see how you made those clips. My 54 is at the body shop now.
     
  9. martyk98
    Joined: Jun 12, 2006
    Posts: 82

    martyk98
    Member
    from washington

    any pictures of the clips you made?
     

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