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Tech: Putting DeSoto Bumpers on my 52 Chevy..

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by FIFTY2, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. FIFTY2
    Joined: Apr 9, 2008
    Posts: 340


    Ok, Here goes, this is my first tech post, so take it easy on me:

    Ive never liked the look of stock style bumpers on 49-54 chevs, So I decided to make these fit:


    Heres a before Pic:


    The Desoto Bumper was too wide, and I also wanted to make it fit tighter anyway.

    1. Remove bumper, and brakets.
    2. Make sure car is on a flat and level surface--Then make sure front of car is level.
    3. Use blocks to hold new bumper in its new position, then see how much your going to have to remove. It looked like I was going to need to lose about 2 inches on each side.
    4. But heres where it gets tricky, I was going to cut the bumper under each bumper guard and remove 2 inches from each side, so that the guards would hide the weld (until I can afford Chrome). After looking at it for a while I found that this would lead to alot of extra work, and more if a chance that I would screw it up!

    5. I decided to cut the bumper in the middle, then overlap each side unitl I got the proper spacing from the fenders:


    6. Now this is wher you have to get artistic, if the bumpers were flat then you could just scribe a line and cut, but these have a "wavy" profile that is hard to make a straight vertical line on. so I put a square on the top of one side of the bumper using a vertical grille support as a reference.

    Make a line on the "high" spots and use your eye to connect the dots..

    First I cut the left side and then used the left side for a reference to cut the right.

    Heres how much I ended up taking out:

    7. Once I had both sides cut, I just mocked the bumper up one last time, tacked in several places, checked the alignement again, and welded her up!

    8. Next I had to make brackets. By using the brakets for this bumper I found where the "old" brackets intersected with the "new" ones.. cut and welded.


    The back was actually easier, because the bumper was the right width, I just had to use a grinder and make the inside lip have a different shape to it to match the car

    Heres a before Shot:


    Back Brackets: (just welded to some heavy duty plate, and bolted to the back crossmember):

    And the Back Bumper:


    And some After Photos after cleaning up the bumpers:


  2. Kustom7777
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,183

    from Austin, TX

    huge impovement, , , ,wouldn't have thought of using that bumper, but it works SO well. . . looks like a completely different car now,,,glad you tossed those painted ones
  3. That looks great!!! did you snag the grill out of that Desoto???
    Joined: Jan 14, 2008
    Posts: 338


    I like it, that grill would look nice chromed as well but thats just me.

  5. ironandsteele
    Joined: Apr 25, 2006
    Posts: 5,307


    wow-that looks great! thanks for the write up too!
  6. FIFTY2
    Joined: Apr 9, 2008
    Posts: 340


    I still have the DeSoto grille, Thinking of using the teeth in this car...
    The grilles surround does need chrome, just cant afford it right now...
  7. Old-Soul
    Joined: Jun 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,599


    Wow, huge improvement. Good work FIFTY2.
  8. hrm2k
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 3,695


    Nice stuff.......looks great on the car. never would have thought of using those bumpers on a chevy........great write up and picks as well
  9. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,712


    Very cool, thanks for sharing.

  10. Have you thought of using another front bumper guard to "camoflauge" the welded seam in the center? Just a thought......

    Great job!
  11. DirtyWoody28
    Joined: Feb 26, 2008
    Posts: 595


    looks good the teeth would look god in there too!! just my2
  12. FIFTY2
    Joined: Apr 9, 2008
    Posts: 340


    This helps a little:

    Joined: Nov 29, 2007
    Posts: 497


  14. mbmopar
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 467

    from Canada

  15. RDR
    Joined: May 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,355


    great improvement....why would you think there needs to be a chrome surround for the grille...the DeSoto doesn't have one...french a surround like over the grille now and be're coming along real nice!
  16. teddyp
    Joined: May 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,197


    a good look grives the car a heavyer look i like it
  17. Big Nick
    Joined: Sep 7, 2005
    Posts: 847

    Big Nick

  18. heavytlc
    Joined: Apr 13, 2005
    Posts: 472


    I was looking at the bumpers on my 53 Desoto before I had them chromed and realized they would look good on my 1953 chevrolet. Good job, it looks great. The grill with the Desoto teeth would look very nice.
  19. Alex Yohnk
    Joined: Sep 7, 2005
    Posts: 828

    Alex Yohnk

    It's amazing how much of a difference that made.
  20. SanDiegoJoe
    Joined: Apr 18, 2004
    Posts: 3,519


    Nicely done...

    - Joe
  21. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,851


    I have the same bumpers which I plan to modify to use on my '53 Ford car. I don't understand what you did in numbers 5 and 6. What is overlapped, and why (if you wanted to take out a total of 4 inches, for instance) could you not just stick two pieces of 2" masking tape to the bumper vertically to make the cut lines?

    This is important stuff for me because I need to do basically just what you did for my car.

    The bumpers cleaned up really nice, what did you use to polish them?
  22. punkabilly1306
    Joined: Aug 22, 2005
    Posts: 2,656

    from ohio

    how much is your chevy sectioned?
  23. PeteFromTexas
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,837


    I don't believe it is sectioned.
  24. Crankhole
    Joined: Apr 7, 2005
    Posts: 2,622


    That looks awesome. I'm with Squablow though...I would have used masking tape. Then you could have made the cuts where the bumper guards are to hide the welds.
  25. custom53
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 652


    looks great. i have a pair for me 53 ford. if i have to cut it will be behind the bumper guards to hide the welds.
  26. Diehard32
    Joined: Nov 20, 2007
    Posts: 201


    Great job....
  27. FIFTY2
    Joined: Apr 9, 2008
    Posts: 340


    The problem with that is that the "profile (cross section)" of the bumper is a compound curve. I tried to use masking tape, but it would wrinkle, and was impossible to make a straight line.

    I could have done the same thing behind the bumper guards, but I would have lost my bumper braket holes and bumper guard holes, and had more of a chance to get the bumper twisted, etc...

    Doing it in the middle also allowed me to change the curve of the bumper slightly to better fit the front of the car..

    Does that make sense?

    to clean them up I used rubbing compound and then metal polish.

    <!-- / message -->
  28. Gambino_Kustoms
    Joined: Oct 14, 2005
    Posts: 6,561

    Alliance Vendor

    like the bumpers
    if you gots to paint the grill suround do it in body color or re chrome it its killing yer car
    did you do the notch yet ?
    it would have been grat for tec week
    see ya at the round up
  29. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,555

    from Garner, NC

    Yep, body color or chrome and you'll be tits.
  30. retromotors
    Joined: Dec 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,045


    Good job, I like what you've done.

    My '50 Chevy project came to me minus the front bumper. Maybe now I'll be lookin' for a set of DeSotos. :D

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