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  #1  
Old 03-23-2012, 09:36 PM
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TxF100 TxF100 is offline
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53 Air Dam and 55 Radiator Support on a 55 F100

I have a 55 F100 that I am starting to fit together the ft end and am having an issue getting things to fit right.

I think I have 53 air dams and a 55 radiator support. Can the 53 dams be use with a 55 grille?

I think I will have to cut out the cross braces on the 55 radiator support to get the 53 air dams to fit and don't know if that is a good idea.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:33 PM
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The 53 didn't have the cross braces so the 53 deflectors don't have the reliefs for the rods.
IMHO It would be much better to modify the deflectors or find a set of 54-55 deflectors than to cut off the braces. The entire front end hangs off the radiator horseshoe and it is critical to the fit and alignment.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:52 PM
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Just that the 53 Air Dams that I have are in such good condition. I guess I could ebay them. I just checked the MidFiftys Catalog and they do not reproduce the 53 so someone is going to need them.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:09 AM
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53 was the first year where all the sheetmetal hung off the radiator support. Ford must have discovered it needed stiffening since they added the X bracing and continued to use it at least thru 56.
The 54-56 would work for you and your grill, if you wanted to use the 56 grill (only chrome one and had the recessed headlights to remove the bug eyed look) then you would need the 56 only ones. The 53's could be modified.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:46 AM
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If you end up cutting the cross rod braces off the rad support you should still be okay as there is the upper radiator valance that will hold it all together. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:56 AM
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It will hold it together, but it won't keep it from wracking.
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:59 AM
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Some P/O removed the cross bracing on my 55, apparently to facilitate the new Griffin alum. radiator. No problems.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CdnWillyG View Post
If you end up cutting the cross rod braces off the rad support you should still be okay as there is the upper radiator valance that will hold it all together. Just my 2 cents.
and the upper valance has a LOT more material than the cross braces for sure..

I wonder why they thought they needed this cross bracing.. what problem it was solving..

Sam
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:26 PM
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A square will never be as ridged as one with triangulated bracing. All that sheet metal hanging a ways away from that relatively narrow and flexible (if unbraced) support can exert a lot of leverage on that frame. Ford was not known for adding even one extra bolt if it wasn't absolutely needed, so those braces and the associated extra stamping on the deflectors were put there for a definite reason.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:53 PM
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Doesn't the X braces get in the way of an A/C Condenser Coil anyway?
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxF100 View Post
Doesn't the X braces get in the way of an A/C Condenser Coil anyway?
Many just attach the AC condenser to the X braces.

IMHO it makes far more sense to cut or modify the air deflectors to clear the X braces than to remove them, but YMMV.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:30 AM
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If you need a pair of 55 air deflectors I've got a nice pair of 55's I'd be willing to sell. If you are interested in them shoot me a PM.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:07 PM
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I have a 55 an trying to out the air deflectors on but its not working. It keeps hitting the x on the radiator support. am i doing something wrong?
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:48 AM
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My 53 has been on the road several years now without any braces and no problems.
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:45 PM
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I removed the rivets on the top end of my cross brace rods and welded them farther into the "horse collar" to give me the clearance I needed. That may give you the clearance you need to use your early air dams.
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:45 PM
 
 
 
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