2011-2015. Restoring the front grill.
A new original front grill -
In March 2011 I received an email through the contact form on this web site. It was from a specialist chrome plating company.
They told me they had been given a front grill and had restored and re-chromed it using a thorough heavy chroming process.
The problem was, their customer did not have the funds to pay for it and so they were selling it. The grill on the 52 truck
was not in the best condition. It was certainly very presentable but the lower rail in particular was pitted and to some extent
the second from the bottom was as well. The pictures below show the truck in the sun and the bars look good but closer
inspection shows the pitting. If they are not cleaned regularly the pitting becomes rusty.
We agreed on a deal and they sent the bars to me (see them below). I suppose it was a bit of a risk at the time, buying unseen, but
the quality of the grill bars (no dings) and the chrome work was outstanding. A very worth while purchase. The bars did, however,
arrive as just grill bars with no backing frame and so it was necessary to remove the grill on the truck, strip it down and
fit the new bars on the existing frame. After taking the bars off the truck's grill frame it was noticed the newly chromed bars
were not going to fit the truck's grill frame. They were different! It became clear that the truck, when purchased in the States
had at some point been fitted with an aftermarket copy grill. The frame was different and the restored grill bars would not fit.
The restored bars were original 1952 Chevy and they were going to need an original GM / Chevy frame before they could be
fitted. At this point the project was literally shelved and the bars were stored in the garage until a frame could be found.
In 2014 I noticed (while looking online) that Jim Carter
truck parts also had a wide range of second
hand parts in their
inventory. In fact when you look at their site it looks like they have their own salvage yard. I rang them and asked if
they had an original 52 Chevy grill and it did not matter what condition the bars were in. They said they had one and it
was only $50.00 It was sent to my shipping agent on Pomona (with other items like the new transmission
shipped to the UK. It arrived in the UK mid 2014 and was stripped down. I did find a buyer for the old bars!
The frame parts were all disassembled. Since GM riveted everything together, every rivet had to be drilled out. It was then sent
for media blasting. Some parts needed lead soldering, they were then acid etch (wash) primed, then sprayed with normal primer.
Finally they were painted gloss black. Re assembly was done with stainless steel nuts and bolts.
More notes and pictures to follow soon.
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