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Username Post: 1955 Questions - steering, grill, carpet        (Topic#344815)
Forum Newbie
Posts: 90
Age: 46
Loc: NorCal
Reg: 10-23-07
05-19-17 09:51 AM - Post#2691897    

Hi All,

I hope everyone is gearing up their ride for summer! My '55 is getting close, finally...
I need some help:

1. I have Earl Williams motor/trans mounts set-up that move the drivetrain forward ~2". I bought Flowtech full length headers, but couldn't get them to fit on the driver side, so I returned them.
I bought Patriot 3/4 length headers, that fit with some "ding" modifications to the headers (which makes them un-returnable). The problem I have now is the pitman arm hitting the header that impacts the steering. I know there are 2 pitman arms available to use, the manual steering one and the power steering version. Anyone know if the power steering version pitman arm will work and clear the headers?

2. I need to buy a new grill and grill molding. The originals have no dents or dings, but are pitted. Any input on aftermarket grills and grill molding? Also, what are the pros/cons of stainless steel aftermarket grill?

3. I plan on buying the Ciadella interior seat covers, door panels and headliner for my '55 in their new vinyl material. Any thoughts/experiences to share? I heard that their carpet is so-so. Any recommendations for aftermarket carpet kits, or is theirs good?

I appreciate any input, thank you!!

1955 Chevy Bel-Air Sport Coupe, 383 V8 w/ 700R4


"11th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 928
Loc: Pasadena, Texas
Reg: 04-29-04
05-19-17 03:01 PM - Post#2691929    
    In response to Vinnie55

I will try question no.2,
Buying a stainless grille to me, my opinion, depends on how long you plan on owning the car.
Stainless you will never buy one again, sure some repo's may last a long time.
Every time you clean/polish the grille in my opinion you will say , I'm glad I bought a stainless grille.
Once again this is just my opinion. I am not a metallurgist or a chemical engineer.
I should have bought the stainless '56 grille.
I hope I have covered the talk that will ensue.

VC56S 2 door Sedan, 38 Years

Honored Member
Posts: 27357
Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
05-19-17 04:36 PM - Post#2691940    
    In response to Vinnie55

There are two manual steering pitman arms. The good one is S shaped, and has a number ending in 487 on it. The bad one is C shaped, and has a number ending in 877. You don't want to go to a power steering arm. The two manual steering arms were used interchangeably in all 3 years, regardless of powertrain. The 487 will fix you up as long as your interference problem is near the end of steering travel. Unfortunately I had a set of Patriot headers that hit with only about 1/4 turn of the steering wheel, and there was no fix for that. Not all Patriot headers do that, just that they are made inconsistently.

I was unaware that Earle Williams made engine mounts other than 3/4" forward or stock.

The chromed replacement grilles are junk, usually they rust in a few months. Get the stainless one made by Gene Smith.

Posts: 378
Age: 64
Loc: Minnesota
Reg: 05-17-07
05-20-17 04:50 PM - Post#2692073    
    In response to Vinnie55

I bought Danchuk's chrome grill in 2012 and finally installed it when my car was painted in 2014.
It is still in mint condition, but that may be due to the fact that it has never gotten wet. If you plan on driving in the rain, I would get stainless, but if you only drive on nice sunny days it's hard to beat the look of chrome IMO.


55 Belair HT 396-L78 BB, 4sp Muncie, 12 bolt Posi.

Forum Newbie
Posts: 90
Age: 46
Loc: NorCal
Reg: 10-23-07
05-22-17 10:14 AM - Post#2692284    
    In response to Rick_L

Thanks for the info! I meant to edit my original post as my Earle Williams mounts are the 3/4" forward version, not 2".

1955 Chevy Bel-Air Sport Coupe, 383 V8 w/ 700R4

Big T 
"12th Year" Silver Supporting Membe
Posts: 2712
Big T
Loc: Simi Valley CA
Reg: 04-14-06
05-22-17 06:09 PM - Post#2692351    
    In response to Vinnie55

Have Patriot H8025. I had to ding a tube for the Pitman as well.

I have a stainless grille.....beautiful and way expensive....I had a weak moment I think.

Ciadella. Went to Tempe (about 6 hour drive for me) a couple of years ago. Took my front and rear seat frames. They cleaned them up and painted them. Fully upholstered the seats, provided new upholstered door, sail and kickpanels with chrome pieces and clips installed, new package deck hardboard w/loose covering, premade carpets, pillar panels w/loose covering and the headliner ready to install. And trunk floor carpet. Six weeks later, my entire interior was deliverd on a pallet.

I am a long time retire upholster and pleased with what I received for the $. They are really nice people to boot and Gina is on her game with customer service.

I see no reason why the "kit" would be of a lesser quality.



55 4 door BelAir


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