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Projects Another 54/53 Chevy Grill Question

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by 53CHKustom, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    I know this has been asked before quite a bit on the forum but I have a 53 Chevy and the grill and bumper is from a 54 Chevy. My understanding is that the previous owner must have changed out the fenders from a 54. I have seen older pictures of the car with the 53 grill on it.

    I like the 53 Grill and teeth (especially because the teeth look like bullets) much better but it looks like I am stuck with the car looking like a 54. The fenders have the opening on the side where the lights wrap around which would need to be filled if I took the grill off, and the splashpan has the two humps and I like the non-hump style bumper.

    I'm guessing there isn't much else I can do besides changing the teeth? Anything else seems like a body work project. Does anyone know if 53 teeth will fit on a 54 grill?
     
  2. codeblu
    Joined: May 11, 2006
    Posts: 606

    codeblu
    Member

    My understanding is that the bar is the same.
     
  3. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    Thanks. Even if i took the plunge and wanted to fill the sides in, I'm guessing the openings are different and I couldn't put the 53 trim and grill assembly in.
     
  4. Boones
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 9,662

    Boones
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Kent, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    I always though the front fenders were the same. do you have a pic of your fenders without the grill installed. I can compare to my 53 sheetmetal.
     

  5. kustomclassics
    Joined: Apr 10, 2004
    Posts: 362

    kustomclassics
    Member

    I'm pretty sure the 53 teeth won't work on the 54 center bar as the latter is narrower but of course we are on a hot rod/custom car forum so its just a matter of making them work. You could just shave the parking light ends and make the grille surround flow to the splash pan like Cole Foster's 54 and just use the 53 center grille in the opening.
     
  6. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    I'll snap a picture tonight. There are definitely some holes on the side of each fender that let the wrap around part of the 54 grill/parking light assembly hug closer to the fender.
     
  7. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    Thanks, I've seen his 54. It's cool he made his look quite different but I don't like the look of his trim that wraps around the opening. I'm also more or less a beginner with any custom type work and would probably need a body shop to do anything outside of replacing teeth or cutting something.
     
  8. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    1.JPG
    Here is a pic of the 54 fender I found online. Mine has the recess/indentation on the sides like this one. I'd have to do body work and fill that if I took the 54 grill/light assembly off.
     
  9. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,030

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    as far as all the big parts everything is different but the hood. you can use the inner fenders provided you remove the riveted on front pieces. all the little brackets and the radiator support are the same.
     
  10. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,432

    'Mo
    Member

    The '53 has a reveal that follows the grille shell shape, so you're basically out of luck there.

    Your best bet is probably to add more teeth to the '54 bar. These (and '53 teeth), were once available in repro, but no longer. They may be very hard to find. Be aware that the are specific to the left and right side, as well as one center tooth.

    Just 4 more teeth makes a big difference.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  11. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    Thanks. I actually have just as many 54' teeth on my grill as in yours. I just wanted the 53' look on the grill but it seems i'll have to change the fenders and my car has a really nice paint job so I'm out of luck on doing anything else it seems.
     
  12. Dyno Dave
    Joined: Feb 18, 2011
    Posts: 286

    Dyno Dave
    Member

    53 CHKustom; I have a 54' BelAir & I'd prefer the 53" grille surround too... So I've looked at both grille surrounds closely, by far the easy way is to exchange the fenders, because the 53' fenders have the needed raised lip to match the surround & then change out the matching gravel pan, front bumper & bumper bracket assemblies. With the correct 53' pieces, the trade-out "should be" a piece of cake. The 53' & 54" grille center pieces are different... dyno dave
     
  13. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    Thanks. I thought this would be the only way. I wish the previous owner didn't do this swap. The issue is that the car has a nice paint job and it seems like a really expensive change for now.
     
  14. pbr40
    Joined: Aug 10, 2008
    Posts: 796

    pbr40
    Member
    from NW Indiana

    53 is completely different doghouse then a 54 doghouse nothing enter changes
     
  15. pbr40
    Joined: Aug 10, 2008
    Posts: 796

    pbr40
    Member
    from NW Indiana

    I forgot one thing 53 teeth are not being repopped so if you need some you'll probably pay good money for some. ( I've been looking for 2 driver side thats how I know)
     
  16. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    Thanks, yea I couldn't find any 53 teeth for sale. I do have 1 extra one that the previous owner gave me just sitting around but not sure if its for the driver side.
     
  17. freiertpc
    Joined: Nov 5, 2006
    Posts: 111

    freiertpc
    Member

    Ive got a whole 53 center bar & the darts, It's little beat with surround and a 54 chieftain both need repaired by a trim guy but they are available. SANY0020 (800x600).jpg SANY0063 (800x600).jpg
     

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