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Reassembly of the front clip
#1396402 Mon Feb 08 2021 04:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 55
C
1950 Chevy 3100 216 3 Speed.
Once I get all of the front fenders and the grill painted, what is the best way to go about putting things back together? Should I put together the entire front clip? I removed the front fenders one at a time, and left the radiator support in place. But I recently saw a picture of someone working on the front end of the truck and then removed the front clip to gain easy access to the brakes etc. I am thinking now, I would remove the radiator support and start from that point.


Darren
Current Project - 1950 3100 5 Window with a rebuilt 216 and 3 speed trans
Re: Reassembly of the front clip
ChevyDarren #1400444 Sun Mar 07 2021 11:23 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,378
H
'Bolter
What year truck are you asking about?
I have info on 42-46.

Last edited by Harold46; Mon Mar 08 2021 02:56 PM.

Harold
Is a restoration ever finished?
Re: Reassembly of the front clip
ChevyDarren #1400548 Mon Mar 08 2021 02:50 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,620
P
AD Addict
His prior posts refer to a ‘50 3100.


Phil

1952 Chevrolet 3100
Project Journals
‘59 235 & hydraulic lifters
“Three on the Tree” & 4:11 torque tube
12v w/ Alternator
Re: Reassembly of the front clip
ChevyDarren #1400555 Mon Mar 08 2021 04:18 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,979
J
'Bolter
You can theoretically do this all in one piece, but it isn't a good idea. You have large pieces with some screws and nuts not so easy to reach and trying to install the whole shebang at once is just going to be clumsy and amateurish. Assuming you have the radiator support in place, I'd start by installing the hood. Use new hood screws. Trust me, installing it now will be easier without fenders, etc in your way. Then install the fender wells (remember to add the fender well to cab anti-squeak pieces), add the little splash pieces at top of fender wells (new rubber on the wraparound edge of these), add the fenders but don't tighten completely (remember the anti-squeak pieces) and then the fender bracing rods. Please do not add fender welt. There were good reasons GM didn't put it on your pickup and those reasons include the need for your fenders to drain or rust. I wouldn't tighten the fender brace rods yet. Those are adjustment pieces. Then I'd add the front lower plate and the front support rods. At this point I should tell you there will very likely be spacers, shims or just plain old washers under your radiator support piece. These are there for adjustment, and you'll need to know you may have to monkey with these later down the road. Then I'd add the grille (all assembled as a unit). Then I'd add the top front piece (with the hood latch installed). And then I would carefully lower the hood to see if it needs adjustment and when you have the hood where it needs to be, you can begin adjusting the height of the front fenders (this is done with the radiator support piece). And you can use the upper fender rods to pull in or push out the fenders. Ideally you want the hood gap to be the same on both sides where it meets the fenders (usually between 3/16 and 1/4") and you want the hood to sit with the same space between the grille/hood. Now once you have this done, don't tighten everything completely yet. Step away at least 10 yards and look at your truck. If you have the front assembly on correctly, you'll be able to appreciate it and while this isn't easy to describe in writing, it will look right to your eye. If your radiator support sits too low, your front end will look wrong. It will look sort of like a beetle that has the head lower than the body. And in that case it is time to re-adjust everything, beginning with the radiator support. Note: this is all from memory...from having done this for over 50 years, so I may have overlooked some details.


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Reassembly of the front clip
ChevyDarren #1400556 Mon Mar 08 2021 04:24 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,979
J
'Bolter
I should have said when you step away 10 yards or so to look at your work, look at it from both sides...not the front. You'll see in a hurry if the hood is sitting straight and even a 1/2 inch drop at the front will make it look a bit wonky. Also replace the cowl to hood rubber and be mindful of the gap from hood to cab all around. Oh, and also get new hood grommets. There (I think) are 6 or 8 of these. Good luck.


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Reassembly of the front clip
ChevyDarren #1400738 Tue Mar 09 2021 10:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 84
2
'Bolter
This is a fortunate topic as I have been contemplating this idea for our project. Our truck is a 1956 6400. I have been thinking of assembling the complete clip as an assembled painted unit. There are a total of 8 bolts that attach the assembly to the cab/frame. This way I would think I would be less likely to damage the painted fenders.

Jones G, I agree with having the hood in place and the seals bumpers etc. I would also have the front bumper removed to eliminate one more obstruction.

Still on the fence now....thanks for the perspective.

Steve

Re: Reassembly of the front clip
ChevyDarren #1400896 Wed Mar 10 2021 10:07 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,979
J
'Bolter
Good luck, Steve. The 56 is a bit different but either will be a bear to install as a unit. I was talked into doing this one time on a GTO and while the fenders, etc were lighter and smaller, it was still a hot mess and we spent twice as much time as we should have. I know it sounds like an attractive option, but unless you do this every day of the week there are risks you don't need. Here are the two main things I learned:

No matter how good you are and how careful you are, the likelihood you will bend something getting the thing on as an assembled unit is pretty high. The danger zone is where they connect to the front cross pieces/grille, etc and it doesn't take much flexing to cause damage, make paint crack, etc. I already mentioned there is no way to do this with 2 people and while you can control what you do, you can't control what the other guys are doing. Please remember you have 2 fenders and fender wells which are only connected at one end and things can move in bad ways. All it takes is for one person to move his side a couple of inches faster than you did, slip a bit or lift it a bit too high...anything like that is trouble.

Thing number two: unless you are once in a lifetime lucky, there's no way assembling the front end in a garage or driveway or wherever will leave you with 8 holes that match exactly where they need to go with all pieces magically aligned. So you'll have to loosen everything to do the adjustments anyway.

As I said, good luck.


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Reassembly of the front clip
Jon G #1401058 Fri Mar 12 2021 02:08 AM
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 84
2
'Bolter
Thanks again Jon G.

You have convinced me that the very least I need to do a dry run prior to painting and see how crazy if an idea this is.

Again, I really appreciate the discussion.

Steve


Moderated by  HandyAndy, klhansen 

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