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Street Race Truck More... The Toolbox

Installing Radiator Support Rods


We all need a little help from time to time. A little support can go a long way. In this case we had a grill shell on a 1946 Chevrolet Truck that could use some stiffening. I have seen these products in the catalog for a while and was hoping to get a chance to install some. We found a reason on Papa Kenny’s 1946 Pickup. I picked up 32-36 Support Rods, Radiator Support Rod Brackets and S/S Thread Covers.

I opened the radiator support rods, which are powder coated black, the radiator support rod brackets that mount to the firewall and the SS thread covers. I like that the radiator support rods are a thick and stout quality. They were the perfect length for what I needed and looked great.

The firewall support brackets that mount to the firewall came with the necessary hardware to mount them. The thread covers looked good and threaded right on the support rods as they should. The rods can only go onto the bracket one way, so I measured to find the best placement for them. I also wanted them to be as wide as possible, but still hit the grill shell where I needed them too.

I installed the driver’s side support rod bracket on the firewall where I wanted it, then mocked up the rods and grill bracket in order to attach it to the grill. I wanted this to all come apart, so I found a weld on tab that had a perfect size hole in it to attach the support rods. Another nice thing is that when you have these products in your hand you can see that the thread covers can only go on one side or the other so it is fairly fool proof. I wish they made the thread covers in black to match the rods. Hopefully Speedway Motors will carry those in the near future.

After mocking up the driver’s side and studying the placement, I was really pleased with it looked. I repeated the same steps on the passenger side to the best of my ability. I then used a level to set the height from bracket to bracket and measured from side to side to get the placement just right. They look to be pretty level and spaced out evenly.

After repeating the steps on the passenger side, I tightened down the hardware and checked how stiff it made the grill shell. It was a perfect fit and these rods really made the grill rigid. I love the look of these rods and they hold the grill shell firmly like we asked! Not a bad little project and it was fun to do!

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