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School me on 53 chevy cars :)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by PhilJohnson, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906



    I just bought a 53 Chevy 210 for the price of 550 bucks. I've always wanted a 49-54 Chevy car. Traded the whitewalls on the car off to my friend in exchange for transporting this gem back home. It has the typical rot in all the usual places. Now I've had a few old mopars and I have a big bad 51 Chevy dumptruck but this is my first GM old car. I was wondering if the rear drums need a drum puller or not. Also curious to know any other peculiarities of these things and stuff to watch out for. I know my Dodge has a lot of weird little things on it, this car seems a bit more straight forward although not as heavily built.
  2. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,633

    from Chino, Ca

    Nice 53! No mystries with that car. Everything is straight forward and there are tons of parts out there for them. I have always like that color comb on 53s and 54s. You got a great deal.
  3. choppermatt
    Joined: Dec 1, 2004
    Posts: 303


    no puller for rear drum. super easy to work on.
  4. choppermatt
    Joined: Dec 1, 2004
    Posts: 303


    master cylinder is pain in the ass to take out you have to pull this little retainer out so you can slide the pedal shafts out. make sure front end is greased it is all metal to metal bushing.

  5. hvychvy
    Joined: Jul 21, 2005
    Posts: 1,874


    Looks like a sweet deal.Does it still have the 6 in it?If so,you can do a t-5 trans swap.Tons of info on here,just search T-5.It will also change it to an open drive rear.
  6. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906


    Thanks, this is the type of information I'm looking for :) There is a huge rust hole over the master so getting to it shouldn't be tough :D While on the subject of brakes does this thing have Huck brakes or not?

    Yup the six is hiding out. I was going to try and fire it up tomorrow but my work called so I'll have to come in. I think I am going to keep it a 3 speed unless something is drastically wrong with the driveline.
  7. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 16,427


    Pretty sure Huck brakes were eliminated by '53, that's why the 49-52 guys always want to swap to 53-54 front brakes.

    They have a torque tube rearend, so an engine swap is a bitch unless you're putting in another 6. I personally would find a later 235 to go in it, eliminate the babbit pounder and get full pressure oiling and more horsepower. Great deal for a 2 door.
  8. junkyardkat
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 134


    Love those old chevies, good luck and nice score !
  9. ironandsteele
    Joined: Apr 25, 2006
    Posts: 5,654


    dang, good price. great little cars.
  10. Chevy54
    Joined: Sep 27, 2009
    Posts: 1,413

    from Orange, CA

    Good looking car for that much will have fun with it. Look at chev of 40s an all the other chassis companys i.e Chassis Engineering Inc for parts.
  11. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906


    Thanks :)

    Anyone else have any helpful info :)
  12. SLAMIT
    Joined: Sep 9, 2002
    Posts: 929


    That is a cool car. Nice start. Keep up the good work
  13. Super simple to work on, and looks like a solid start for the money. Do the trans and open drive line swap. My 53 was swapped when I bought it, but my current car a 54 Chevy is not makes a huge dif in how the car runs mostly at highway speeds. Not to mention motor and suspension options.
  14. lucky53
    Joined: Apr 10, 2009
    Posts: 104


    is it a "Power Glide"?

    1953 "Power Glide" Cars were the first year for the "Full Pressure Oiler" engine.

    The 3 speeds were still a "Splash-Oiling" "Babbit Pounder" engine.

    If you ever need any help on engine stuff Call Patrick's in Casa Grande, AZ.

    He is a good guy and loves to help people out.

    Good Luck! And remember search on the H.A.M.B. is a great resource!!!
  15. Tin Can
    Joined: Nov 18, 2005
    Posts: 2,096

    Tin Can

    Looks like you got a great deal on a 53, what are the plans for it?
  16. Jim-Bob
    Joined: Oct 13, 2008
    Posts: 129


    If you change to an open drive line a rear end out of a S-10 is a very good fit. If you use the 4x4 version you will get posi as well...If you find a boneyard where they are not that knowledgable get one out of a Bravada, they normally get less for those and there are also posi since those things are all wheel drive....I recently finished my '53 Bel with a SBC, etc...
  17. drock6570
    Joined: Aug 11, 2006
    Posts: 413


    that looks like the a car I saw near Port Washington WI a few years back, Naahhhh, cant be????
  18. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,649


    It would be a good idea to buy a shop and an assembly manual. Get FACTORY 1953 Chevrolet manuals, NOT Motor, Haynes, or Chiltons. The shop manual should be available in a reprint, the assembly manual may or may not be reprinted. This will be the best investment that you can make for this car. The factory manuals are well written and clearly illustrated, and easy to read......NOT AT ALL like the crappy shop manuals for new cars.

    A shop manual will tell you everything about working on this car, from replacing windows, removing trim, (without bending it all up), electrical, brakes, EVERYTHING.

    The shop manual is more important, anyway. You should be able to find one for $20.00 or less....Or in other words, less than a tank of gas, or a trip to the emergency room if a finger gets cut off trying to work on suspension parts, without taking things apart correctly. Check on E-Bay, too. I just got a 1950 Chevy pickup shop manual from there for $5.00 plus shipping. It is a reprint in very nice condition.

    Also, 1950 was the last year for Huck brakes.
  19. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,426

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    changing to open drive line and 350/350 combo is a weekend job if you have the parts..

    4x4 rear s-10 axle , sbc, th350 trans, cross member for the th350 and 2 new engine mounts, and a drive shaft , and some spring perches and yer done.

    changing the master cyl. is a bit of a bitch..usually the gas tanks are shot..or soon to be.
    12 volt conversion is not too hard to acomplish either..easy to lower but you cant go much more then a 3.5" static drop in the rear with out a C notch..or your pumpkin will bang on the floor pan , and if done with lowering blocks at about 4" you will have scrub line issues..I have a quick way to drop the front 2" and it will still ride decent. And i made my perches for the rear and lowering block all in one, out of a piece of rectangle tube, cut for the axle housing..there is an off set , you will notice when you pull the spring pack off the original axle.. i think its 1.5" or 1.75"..its been a while since i did mine...WB is 115"

    if you use the s-10 4x4 axle, the original wheels will bolt right back on

    fun ass cars, love ours. For $ made a nice score
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  20. Easy cars to work on. SBC conversions are simple and straight forward. You can modify the factory trans crossmember to use with a modern GM automatic or manual if you choose.

    Rear ends to use are S-10's or 70-81 Camaro rears, both giving you the stock 5x4.75" bolt pattern. Stock rearends have offset spring locaters, so you need lowering blocks made for 49-54 Chevy's if you want to lower the rear, the universal blocks won't work with the stock rear end.

    EMS sells alot of good sheetmetal parts to replace those rusty pieces. National Chevy Association also sells alot of resto parts, as well as sheetmetal.

    I wrote a Tech thread on here about modifying the stock brake master cylinder using a dual reservior master cylinder, giving you better stopping power and an easier to find master cylinder. Costs less than $50 for the whole setup if you can weld. You can easy use a disc brake master cylinder on the same bracket if you ran discs up front or all the way around. Alot cheaper than buying one of the kits that mounts it on the firewall or one of the kits to replace the stock master cylinder.
  21. oldcarfan
    Joined: Jan 7, 2010
    Posts: 315

    from missouri

    i have had about 5 of them, get rid of the stock tranny it doesnt like to go faster than 50 mph. its even better to go ahead and do motor swap,it really pays off in the long run.
  22. deto
    Joined: Jun 26, 2010
    Posts: 2,621


    dont put a camaro clip on it. Get ball bearing king pins and the dropped uprights from fatman and you will be set. My 49 with that set up rode way better than my clipped car.
  23. engine138
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 2,316

    from Commack NY

    Nice score Phil looks like a good start for a nice project. If any parts you may need post a tread alot of guys on the H.A.M.B have many left over parts on here. Good luck.
  24. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906


    Not quite sure at the moment. Now with all this snow it might be a while before I get to fixing it.

    You never know. I've bumped into some of my old cars I've sold over the the years.
  25. illterminal
    Joined: May 30, 2010
    Posts: 31


    Very cool, looks exactly like the one I picked up this fall. It'll be neat to see what you do with it.
  26. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    from socal

    stock with all the needed stuff done, whatever it needs, engine, brakes etc, you can drive it anywhere, they don,t need all kinds of mods, and they are a dependable runner. a disc brake in front wont hurt tho. Get a torq tube powerglide rear end to make it cruise better, [higher gear ratio]. Later on a few small mods to the engine, will make it a better cruiser.
  27. Congrats on your purchase!

    It's right that the front ends are a bitch... but they unbolt very easy, to make room for a front end of your liking! When it comes to rear ends there's endless market out there.

    Oh one last thing.... be ware of the hood springs! Those bitches will clip your finger off!

    Have fun!


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