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Old 04-12-2019, 11:02 PM   #1
Dongray
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Salvageable Grill?

First I would like to know how to tell if I have a repo grill or an original? See pictures.
If it is original can the dents in it be removed enough for chroming or should I go the repo grill route or try and find another original?
I hear the chrome on the repo grills are crap but has anyone ever considered striping one and having it rechromed at a reputable plater?
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Old 04-13-2019, 12:05 AM   #2
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: Salvageable Grill?

I don't know if you have the skills hammer out the dents, but there are definitely guys that do. Question is if you can find one at a somewhat reasonable price?

It's nearly ALWAYS better to use OEM parts than repop stuff, but there's a trade off point on price. Only you know what your budget is.
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Old 04-13-2019, 01:38 AM   #3
e015475
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Re: Salvageable Grill?

Looks pretty original to me.

A good chrome shop can straighten some pretty bad dents and repair is usually quoted in their price. In my opinion, the major difference in chrome shops is the quality of their metal prep work. Before you replace anything have the metal guy at the chrome shop tell you if it is repairable.

If you need new slats I would harvest them from another original grill to mix and match till I had one the chrome plater could use. They are riveted together and I just used small nuts and bolts to put it back together. I paid $200 for a pretty straight original grill to use as a donor. I would only use repop grill parts as a last resort

I did most of my own metalwork before sending it to the plater, mostly because I wanted to learn how to do it, but the plater would have done it for me. It is a GMC grill but you get the idea.


Polished the bare steel so I could see all the imperfections



Finished slats back from the plater ready to assemble



The finished grill

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Old 04-13-2019, 01:56 AM   #4
mr48chev
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Re: Salvageable Grill?

My original chrome grill that I had in my truck in 1973 was assembled from bars from several donor grills. I live in McGregor Tx then and found the bars in wrecking yards around the Waco area.

That said if you didn't know, each of the three middle bars only goes in it's specific spot. The good news is you can snag individual bars from big truck grills so a bit of hunting should turn up a set of grill bars that can be used if you aren't able to straighten those.
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Old 04-13-2019, 09:33 AM   #5
mongocanfly
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Re: Salvageable Grill?

the cost of re-chroming is unreal...and the work involved in straightening the bars would be unreal...I watched foose do it and the amount of work he put into was substantial...look for good bars if that's what you want...
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:41 AM   #6
MARTINSR
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Re: Salvageable Grill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dongray View Post
First I would like to know how to tell if I have a repo grill or an original? See pictures.
If it is original can the dents in it be removed enough for chroming or should I go the repo grill route or try and find another original?
I hear the chrome on the repo grills are crap but has anyone ever considered striping one and having it rechromed at a reputable plater?
Oh GOD do I wish I had that second bar up from the bottom! Those are the hardest to get and yours is near perfect.

Brian
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:46 AM   #7
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Re: Salvageable Grill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by e015475 View Post
Looks pretty original to me.

A good chrome shop can straighten some pretty bad dents and repair is usually quoted in their price. In my opinion, the major difference in chrome shops is the quality of their metal prep work. Before you replace anything have the metal guy at the chrome shop tell you if it is repairable.

If you need new slats I would harvest them from another original grill to mix and match till I had one the chrome plater could use. They are riveted together and I just used small nuts and bolts to put it back together. I paid $200 for a pretty straight original grill to use as a donor. I would only use repop grill parts as a last resort

I did most of my own metalwork before sending it to the plater, mostly because I wanted to learn how to do it, but the plater would have done it for me. It is a GMC grill but you get the idea.


Polished the bare steel so I could see all the imperfections



Finished slats back from the plater ready to assemble



The finished grill

You just have to be SURE they are a good chrome shop! I was at a swap meet a few weeks at the Goodguys in Pleasanton Ca. and there were a few chrome shops with spaces and piles of bumpers and such. One of them had a grille assy like that wrapped up in clear plastic and a price tag on it of $300 or something like that. I thought the price was great and was considering planning on getting one from them, if not that minute, in the future. I was talking to them, getting their card and as I am doing this I realized that the grille bars were CRAP I mean CRAP. What I thought was wrinkles in the plastic wrap were wrinkles in the METAL! It was HOOOORIBLE!

So you have to be careful who you bring it to!

Brian
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Chopped, Sectioned, 1953 Corvette 235 powered. Once was even 401 Buick mid engined with the carburetor right between the seats!
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:47 AM   #8
MARTINSR
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Re: Salvageable Grill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dongray View Post
First I would like to know how to tell if I have a repo grill or an original? See pictures.
If it is original can the dents in it be removed enough for chroming or should I go the repo grill route or try and find another original?
I hear the chrome on the repo grills are crap but has anyone ever considered striping one and having it rechromed at a reputable plater?
If that grille is for sale, I am interested!

Brian
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1948 Chevy pickup
Chopped, Sectioned, 1953 Corvette 235 powered. Once was even 401 Buick mid engined with the carburetor right between the seats!
Bought with paper route money in 1973 when I was 15.

"Fan of most anything that moves human beings"
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:06 PM   #9
Dongray
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Re: Salvageable Grill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan in Pasadena View Post
I don't know if you have the skills hammer out the dents, but there are definitely guys that do. Question is if you can find one at a somewhat reasonable price?

It's nearly ALWAYS better to use OEM parts than repop stuff, but there's a trade off point on price. Only you know what your budget is.
Lol, I know I dont have those kinda of skills so that isnt an option for me to do it and on top of chroming being expensive I think another option is needed.
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:09 PM   #10
Dongray
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Re: Salvageable Grill?

I have found a few original grills for 100 bucks were the good bars are the ones I need to replace so Im thinking of buying them and making one good grill. Figure my assembly skills are much better than my metal working skills so it would best and cheaper to make a Frankenstein grill and get it chromed.
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:10 PM   #11
Dongray
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Re: Salvageable Grill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by e015475 View Post
Looks pretty original to me.

A good chrome shop can straighten some pretty bad dents and repair is usually quoted in their price. In my opinion, the major difference in chrome shops is the quality of their metal prep work. Before you replace anything have the metal guy at the chrome shop tell you if it is repairable.

If you need new slats I would harvest them from another original grill to mix and match till I had one the chrome plater could use. They are riveted together and I just used small nuts and bolts to put it back together. I paid $200 for a pretty straight original grill to use as a donor. I would only use repop grill parts as a last resort

I did most of my own metalwork before sending it to the plater, mostly because I wanted to learn how to do it, but the plater would have done it for me. It is a GMC grill but you get the idea.


Polished the bare steel so I could see all the imperfections



Finished slats back from the plater ready to assemble



The finished grill


Wow, that is a damn good looking grill and truck! How long have you been working on it for?
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:55 PM   #12
mick53
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Re: Salvageable Grill?

I think there is some difference between OEM and repop. Maybe the way they attach? I bought an original grill with heavy show chrome and it was $700. A little pricey.
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:17 AM   #13
mr48chev
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Re: Salvageable Grill?

I've never seen the back side of an aftermarket grill so I can't say exactly what the difference is. There was an aftermarket grill several years ago that only had one bar length and on a stock grill and the better aftermarket grills the bars are all slightly different lengths.

If you look on the back of the bar or the back piece it will have 2,3 or 4 notches to show which position it goes in.
If I wanted a painted grill I wouldn't be afraid of an aftermarket unit from a good vendor.
I can't see the wisdom of taking a bent up grill to the chrome shop to have them straighten it as labor costs to do the straightening will skyrocket. I'd just hunt grills with one or two good bars that I needed and hope for a bargain. The rat rod and patina dudes have run the cost on bent up stuff up where you used to get it for beer money or in some cases for a six pack of Bud. You just have to get out and hunt for them.
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My ongoing truck projects:
48 Chev 3100 that will run a 292 Six.
71 GMC 2500 that is getting a Cad 500 transplant.
77 C 30 dualie, 454, 4 speed with a 10 foot flatbed and hoist. It does the heavy work and hauls the projects around.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:43 AM   #14
MiraclePieCo
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Re: Salvageable Grill?

The new grilles I've seen look beautiful and perfect; not sure now much work was required to fit them however.

I just checked Classic Parts: a new chrome grille is surprisingly under $400. Straightening and re-chroming your original will be way more than that. You can go to swap meets and flea markets for eternity searching for grille bars trying to piece your old one together, and then you'll still have to re-chrome it - or you can buy a repro, get your truck done, and start enjoying it that much sooner.

https://www.classicparts.com/1947-53...nfo/61%2D022C/
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Last edited by MiraclePieCo; 04-14-2019 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:55 PM   #15
paulspickupparts
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Re: Salvageable Grill?

Here is a reply from a site member on the repo grilles. Not sure if I have this linked right but here it is

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...380212&page=12

Comments from Post 277 : "I purchased a new grill from classic parts and was more than displeased with it. Not a single bar was bent the same, the ends were all out of wack, there were fine scratches in the chrome, and I would have had to beat the ends up pretty good just to get the grill ends away from gouging the fenders. I was pretty upset after spending $400 for the grill, so I called classic parts saying I wasn't happy with the quality of it. The lady then proceeded to tell me that quality is an opinion. Lol WHAT. so after bickering around finally getting them to give me a return label, I got all my money back.

Then I went to the factory grill, and I tore It out and disassembled it to get the front bars chromed. 40 rivets later, I had the bars off. A few weeks later, I had the bars back, and they look awesome! I still have some panel alignment to mess with before I toss it back in."

This member has a very nice truck. If you live with lower driver type quality a repo may work for you.

Also you cannot sub in a big truck grille bay as they are a different height than the pickup grill bars.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:51 PM   #16
mick53
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Re: Salvageable Grill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
You just have to be SURE they are a good chrome shop! I was at a swap meet a few weeks at the Goodguys in Pleasanton Ca. and there were a few chrome shops with spaces and piles of bumpers and such. One of them had a grille assy like that wrapped up in clear plastic and a price tag on it of $300 or something like that. I thought the price was great and was considering planning on getting one from them, if not that minute, in the future. I was talking to them, getting their card and as I am doing this I realized that the grille bars were CRAP I mean CRAP. What I thought was wrinkles in the plastic wrap were wrinkles in the METAL! It was HOOOORIBLE!

So you have to be careful who you bring it to!

Brian
It's nice to see that I'm not the only one that puts truck parts in my house.
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