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1953 Chevrolet Pickup Tail Lights

Backside Beautification

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Despite the fact that the front end was addressed first, the rear was by far in more direneed of attention. Along with a shoddy-looking bumper, there were a couple "technical"issues to tend to.
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Technically speaking, the single taillight's "On/Off" switch was beyond, uh, impractical?Two spade connectors linking the single '47 Chevy sedan delivery light (which replacedthe dilapidated '54 unit previously mounted) would never pass a safety pointinspection-at least not an official one.
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The righting of wrong started with the acquisition of a set of '47-53 taillights/bracketsfrom Brothers. Plated and powdercoated to show finishes, the parts will easily make theremainder of the rear end pale in comparison.
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Adding the second (right-side) taillight posed no problem, as the correct-era bed alreadyhad mounting holes for the impending bracket. From the factory, having a "pair" oftaillights was an option; in today's world, it's a must, especially when dealing withyounger officers of the law.
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When first contemplating how to address the mismatched situation, the left-side bracketwas simply going to be relieved of the license plate mount. The need for a location tomount a cast-aluminum club plaque dictated otherwise.

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Having a newer Tahoe, not to mention a stash of old Volkswagen tools, came in handy when installing the taillights-the fasteners required a 10mm wrench.
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While at a recent swap meet, I snagged a few lengths of stainless flex sheathing that wasused to shroud the external taillight wiring.
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Unlike an OE application, though, the sheathing was run through the rear stake pocket onthe bed, which required drilling a hole.
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Rubber grommets were used to secure the sheathing in place, as well as make the routinglook decent.
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Due to the previous owner's non-standard wiring techniques, the loom from the ignitionand brake light switch had to be redone to power up the taillights "properly," not tomention give the truck actual "stop"lights!
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The '53 will eventually be completely rewired with a kit from American AutoWire; in themeantime, scratch wiring will suffice. I also like to use non-insulated connectors withheat shrink when possible, but the old-school method works for now.
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Now you can see how the extra license plate mount is utilized. Worked perfectly, as theback window didn't need to be cluttered up.
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Probably a poorly chromed repop, the truck's rear bumper was in sad shape. Thanks toBrothers show-chrome offerings, that was soon to be a past issue.
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As mentioned, this is by no means a "restoration" project, hence the reuse of a '54bumper. Without exaggeration, the new bumper is flawless-no orange peel, foggychrome, or wavy metal; just a solid bumper that shines like a mirror.

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With the bumper mounted, all that remained was to install the new '54-1st Series '55license bracket. Previously, the license plate was mounted with sheetmetal light, either.
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Much better-and more policeman friendly! Having been cited for insufficiently litlicense plates and insufficient taillights (one) in the past was a heavy factor in this portionof the project. (Yes, I do realize the plate is incorrect for the year of the truck...let's just call it a prop!)
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To give the running light some juice, I simply jumped a wire off the taillight lead. Thefuture harness will have its own lead; for the time being, this will work just fine.
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In a day's time, which included running over to Brothers to pick the parts up, the back ofthe truck was breathing new life. As you can see by the rest of the bed, there's still a longways to go, but for the time and effort spent, you can't beat the improvement. Thanks Brothers...we'll be seeing you again soon!

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