The only thing more fun than rolling out a customized classic truck to get a little cruising in on the weekend is to make a few quick-and-easy improvements before you go. It took less than one hour for me to swap out my '56 F-100's rusted chrome rear bumper and replace it with a highly polished stainless steel reproduction bumper from Dennis Carpenter Ford Restoration Parts. When it comes to metallic beauty in its purest form, there's several reasons why stainless steel is number one with classic truck owners in the know. The first, and it's a biggie, is that high-grade stainless steel does not rust under any circumstances. In comparison to chrome, which has to be replated if scratched or chipped, stainless steel can easily be repolished, oftentimes without removing the part from the truck. Removing and replacing a'53-56 Ford stock rear bumper with a Dennis Carpenter polished stainless steel bumper is an exact fit thanks to the use of genuine Ford tooling in the manufacturing process. Each and every F-100 stainless steel front and rear bumper is stamped out in Dennis Carpenter's Concord, North Carolina, manufacturing plant, and then removed by hand and carefully stacked on a pallet to be forwarded on to polishing.
When the polished stainless steel bumpers arrive from Dennis Carpenter they are heavily wrapped with protective foam sheeting-and contain all of the stainless steel hardware necessary to mount them on the truck. Realizing the odds were good that installing the bumper by myself meant I might accidently drop it a few times, I left it in the protective wrapping. To gain access to the four mounting boltholes (two on each side) I felt for the holes and then peeled away the wrapping. Unbolting the stock Ford bumpers went well-thanks to pre-soaking the four mounting bolts with Royal Purple Maxifilm, then using a six-point socket on a long-handled 3/8 ratchet wrench and turning it counterclockwise, leaving the two outside nuts barely on. Sitting on a blanket squarely in front of the rear bumper, I cradled it while removing the last two nuts by hand and withdrew the stock bumper away from the truck. After wiping the rear bumper brackets clean with a rag to ensure a good, flat mounting surface, I sat squarely in front of the rear brackets and lifted the Dennis Carpenter polished stainless steel rear bumper into place. With it cradled, I was able hold the bumper into place and start the outside nuts by hand. To finish the job off I was careful not to overtighten all four nuts with a 3/8 ratchet, and bolted the rear bumper snugly into place. The finishing touch was to wipe off my fingerprints with a quick wipe of Mothers California Gold spray detailer.