I think if you switch the chains to the opposite side of the truck it won't contact the paint if they are made right. I've seen this before where the R and L designations are stamped wrong. As Joe H said, the bend in the hook should prevent contact with the paint when you open the tailgate and hold it horizontal with the chains.
The 47-53 hooks are not the same as the 54 hooks Non of the photos above are the correct hook for the tailgate they are on The photos all appear to be 54 hooks or newer The 47-53 hooks have a 3d twist shape in them They cannot lay flat
There are photos in previous threads about the shapes of the hooks and examples of correct shape and deformed shape side by side The hooks weren’t the best design because just the slamming force of the tailgate can deform them Many parts websites don’t know the difference between the different year hooks so their photos aren’t a great source for authenticity -s
Added a photo of supposedly original correct shape 47-53 tailgate chains Notice they are not as closed and the hook and loops are not in a flat plane These are not my chains the photo is from a previous discussion This topic has been done a few times before in the forums
Last edited by 2ManyTrucks; Mon Feb 27 2023 05:09 AM. Reason: Photo
Some pics of my original 54 3100 chain set-up. Chains had been repaired over the years but the hooks are original to the truck. Had this truck since new.
~~ Jethro 1954 3100 Back to Life In the Dity Gallery 1951 3100 (gone) / 1956 4400 (still in the neighborhood) / 1957 6400 with dump body (retired) / 1959 3100 panel (in the woods junked) / 1978 Custom Deluxe K10 / 1993 S-10 4.3 / 2004 Chevy Crew Cab / 1945 John Deere H / 1952 John Deere B / 1966 John Deere 2510 / 1967 John Deere 1020
The 47-53 hooks have a 3d twist shape in them They cannot lay flat
It may not be showing in my photos but mine are a 3D shape. The issue for me was that they were simply mislabeled L and R. It seems improbable but it’s true. I swapped them and the fit now makes sense. I think we are now just shamelessly posting close up pics of our tailgate paint jobs. 😁😁
In your first photo you hook the gate from the outside in.
Mine seems to naturally hook from the inside out. The indentation in the vertical part of the gate allows the hook and its base to nestle.
Obviously there is no right or wrong way but I was wondering if there are any factory photos showing which way Chevrolet intended the hook to be inserted.
1939 Packard Standard Eight Coupe (The Phantom) 1950 Chevrolet 3100 (Ol' Roy) 1956 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (The Bismarck) 1956 Cadillac Sixty Special Fleetwood (The Godfather) 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado (The Purple Knif) 1966 Ford Mustang (Little Red) 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 coupe 1979 Ford F-100 1976 Ford F-150 (Big Red) 1995 Ford F-150 (Newt)