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53 - 54 C/K bumpers?

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  • Body / Glass: 53 - 54 C/K bumpers?

    I'm doing some repairs to my bumpers and expected to grind off some chrome plating and find steel beneath.
    Instead, it looks like the same solid metal clear through. It appears they could be ground and polished?
    Can someone educate me?

  • #2
    I have a both 53 and 54 bumpers, and all of them are chrome plated steel, pure and simple old school. Perhaps some enterprising previous owner did something crazy like de-chrome and polish and buff the steel?? Let us know. Junior.
    1954 C5 Hamilton car.


    • #3
      I'm embarrassed, like I should know what's going on here, I just don't. I'm reforming the rear bumper. Made 3 long cuts top and bottom and reformed it to follow the tail light bezel, and tuck in closer. welded up the cuts and ground it back. At no time did I see any layers like I expected, Chrome, nickel, copper, steel etc. Coarse grinding seemed to produce a shine, like it could be polished out.

      Last edited by oldguy; 05-12-2011, 07:55 AM. Reason: pics


      • #4
        OK, so where did you find rust? Unplated steel will rust. Chrome, Nickel, Copper, Brass...should not oxydate.
        Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)


        • #5
          Your bumpers are just steel that has been plated. Keep in mind that a Korean War era chrome plating is not the same as what we were used to before or after that period.
          Gary L.
          Wappinger, NY

          SDC member since 1968
          Studebaker enthusiast much longer


          • #6
            Some surface rust on the backside only. I'm curious about the "Korean war era" chroming?
            When I'm grinding on it, why can't I see the transition from plating to steel?


            • #7
              I have heard that the copper plating stage was deleted during that time to use the copper for the Korean War effort (brass shell casings?). The chrome layer is very thin so if you are grinding off chrome over nickel over steel it isn't visually obvious when you hit the steel. That's my theory, anyway
              \"Ahh, a bear in his natural habitat...a Studebaker!\"

              51 Land Cruiser (Elsie)
              Jim Mann
              Victoria, B.C.


              • #8
                When working on my '53, I discovered verrrry thin plating as well. It was there, but just barely. All early '50's factories had the same problem. My advice... get them as smooth as possible and get them to a good plater.
                Oh, don't forget the checkbook!