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Tech Week....Eye Surgery for the 53-55 F100 Grilles

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Drewski, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Drewski
    Joined: Feb 22, 2008
    Posts: 275

    Drewski
    Member

    My current build is a 55 F100. One of the things that I personally have never cared for on the 53-55 F100s is the bug-eyed look of the headlights. I have read discussions of using the 56 F100 headlight trim rings in the 53-55's but I've never seen any details on exactly how it was performed. So this is my approach for using the 56 trim rings in the 53 grille that I intend to use.

    I initially did a lot of over-thinking about how I wanted to go about this. I duplicated the original headlight openings on poster board and applied some dimensions to work with.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The 56 ring won't fit flush into the opening without some surgery.

    [​IMG]

    I found that the 8 1/2" dia. shown in the drawing would allow the trim ring to sit flush in the opening.

    I made a poster board pattern that had a 9 1/2" outer diameter which is equal to size of the headlight housing and a 8 1/2" inner diameter. I lined up the 9 1/2" outer diameter with the headlight housing and taped it down.

    [​IMG]

    After I got the pattern located I marked the cut lines that would allow the ring to sit flush.

    [​IMG]

    Take note that the 8 1/2" dia. will leave a portion of each of the 4 depressions in the opening after the metal is cut away.

    [​IMG]

    I decided to use my trusty 4 1/2" grinder with a 60 grit flap disc to remove the necessary metal. As I noted above after cutting away the metal that there will be a portion remaining of the 4 depressions that located the screw clips used to hold the headlight buckets. They came in handy for me in locating the headlight bucket and maintaining the correct orientation of the bucket so that the headlight fits correctly.

    [​IMG]

    At this stage I decided I would weld in some tabs at the 12 and 6 o'clock positions that would be used to hold the trim ring in place. Just some simple sheet metal tabs that I pre-drilled and used J clips to run the trim screws into. I welded the tabs in using the wag method to determine the angles they needed to be located at.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I really tried to make recessing the headlight bucket difficult, but after a little thought I came up with this. I made up 4 angle brackets for each bucket out of 14 ga steel. The 1 1/2" measurement locates the bucket at what I felt was the best depth.

    [​IMG]

    I located the brackets at each bucket mounting hole as shown and drilled holes and bolted them in place.

    [​IMG]

    I failed to get a photo of this but I assembled the headlight into the bucket with the retaining ring and did some checking as to where the brackets would line up with the depressions that I referred to earlier. Some minor tweaking of the brackets were necessary to get everything lined up and centered in the 56 trim ring.

    [​IMG]

    This is where some extra hands could come in handy. I just got comfortable on my shop stool with my mig gun close by and I did some trial fitting and when I had it right I did a quick spot weld and rechecked my fits. Once I got all four brackets spotted, I rechecked my fits and when satisfied, I welded all 4 brackets solid.

    [​IMG]

    I smoothed off the welds and assembled everything to see how it turned out.

    [​IMG]

    For comparison I assembled the other headlight in the stock positon.

    [​IMG]

    Both lights finished and assembled.

    [​IMG]

    Wish I had a photo of the grille assembled on the truck but at the moment the truck is torn all apart and the best I could do was sticking the grille in the tilt front end sitting in the floor. Also another modification that will have to be made will be an indentation in the air deflector to clear the headlight bucket after it has been moved back in the headlight opening. If you happen to have 56 air deflectors, they already have the indentations.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Drew
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  2. Da Tinman
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,227

    Da Tinman
    Member

    Awesome look!
     
  3. havi
    Joined: Dec 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,877

    havi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm liking that!
     
  4. dirtbag13
    Joined: Jun 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,540

    dirtbag13
    Member

    that looks great , i will deff be doing this to my 55
     

  5. roughneck424
    Joined: Jan 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,084

    roughneck424
    Member

    Okay Dont flame me. But I saw this the other day. :)
    [​IMG]
     
  6. strike a poser
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 399

    strike a poser
    Member
    from Salinas,CA

    That looks great. The only problem with doing custom work like this,(subtle) is not many people notice, but the ones that do appreciate it more.
     
  7. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,188

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Very nice outcome. They look much better that way
     
  8. Great job man!
     
  9. jgang
    Joined: Feb 22, 2009
    Posts: 238

    jgang
    Member
    from hamburg ny

    thats real sharp
     
  10. charger
    Joined: Jan 2, 2008
    Posts: 90

    charger
    Member
    from manitoba

    Great writeup Drew!! definately one mod i`m going to do to my grille!
     
  11. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,734

    Larry T
    Member

    Great tech!
    It should be a requirement to put 56 F-100 headlight buckets on every 53-55 F-100 and every 57 Ford Fairlaine that rolled off the assembly line.
    Larry T
     
  12. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    pasadenahotrod
    Member
    from Texas

    That's a real pick-me-up from the Hagan's tunneled with a dinner pot look.
     
  13. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,734

    Larry T
    Member


    Get a rope.
     
  14. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,708

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    I like it but those modern tri bar head lamps ruin it for me, I don't think those look good on anything.
     
  15. scrubba
    Joined: Jul 20, 2010
    Posts: 938

    scrubba
    Member

    I must admit , I am the owner of a stock somewhat now restored 53 panel. yes , the 56 headlight doors do enhance the overall appearance . Course the aftermarket lights do too! scrubba
     
  16. Lone Star Mopar
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 3,302

    Lone Star Mopar
    Member

    Great work, looks better, I think with some stock headlight bulbs it would look perfect !
     
  17. Drewski
    Joined: Feb 22, 2008
    Posts: 275

    Drewski
    Member

    The headlights were just some that I had picked up at a swap meet. I just needed something for illustration purposes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
  18. Drewski
    Joined: Feb 22, 2008
    Posts: 275

    Drewski
    Member

    A question came up regarding how much of the headlight bucket protrudes out the backside of the grille.

    [​IMG]

    Approximately 3/4" and yes it will require an indentation in the 53-55 air deflectors. In my instance I have the 56 type which already have the necessary bulges.

    Drew
     
  19. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,619

    -Brent-
    Member

    Really sharp. Good thinking.
     
  20. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,708

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    Cool, rad, Lucas Flamethrowers would be amazing but hard to find.
     
  21. Lukydevl
    Joined: Feb 23, 2010
    Posts: 700

    Lukydevl
    Member
    from Arizona

    Nice subtle details are always cool.. Good Job
     
  22. grovedawg
    Joined: Oct 20, 2009
    Posts: 451

    grovedawg
    Member
    from Heber, UT

    I was just about to perform this same mod on my grille. Thanks for the write up. They look great!
     
  23. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,837

    fastcar1953
    Member

    love it, showed it to friend now he wants to do it.
     
  24. deek
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 82

    deek
    Member
    from Tulare,CA

    Looks good! Good tech too
     
  25. Kripfink
    Joined: Sep 30, 2008
    Posts: 2,040

    Kripfink
    Member Emeritus

    How about a pair of "proper" Lucas P 700 tribar reproductions?

    [​IMG]

    You can get them over on your side of the pond from here;

    http://jollyrogersmotors.com/node/63

    Great tech piece.
    Good luck
    Paul
     
  26. barrnone50
    Joined: Oct 24, 2010
    Posts: 568

    barrnone50
    Member
    from texas

    Drew another great detail to your truck,adding to the rest of your trick details that you have already done with your truck. Keep them coming!!
    Great Job!!
     
  27. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,121

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    A definite improvement for sure! I never cared much for the '53 -'55 grills for this very reason. You got my vote in tech week. Eli
     
  28. Brog
    Joined: Jul 7, 2011
    Posts: 207

    Brog
    Member

    Nice I'm gonna have to attempt this
     
  29. Smokin' Joe
    Joined: Jul 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,000

    Smokin' Joe
    Member Emeritus

    Next on my "To-do List"! Thanks, man!!!
     

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