How-To: Custom Bumper Guards on a 1950 Merc

All Ways Hot Rods

Naked '1950 Mercury' bumper without bumper gaurds

Here's a quick "before" snap of the guardless bumper. It looks naked doesn't it! All Ways Hot Rods will fix that.

All Ways Hot Rods, located near downtown Phoenix, was founded in 1999 by the Way brothers Mike and Randy. They help hot rodders build their dream cars. One of those dream cars you may be familiar with is a flawless 1932 3 Window Coupe that won the 2008 Goodguys “America’s Most Beautiful Hot Rod” award.

In this shoebox how-to we’ll take a look at how Gregg Grisham, a long time member of the All Ways team gives the custom touch to a ’50 Merc’s front and rear bumper by adding ’51 Merc’ bumper guards. Let’s listen in to the how-to instructions from Gregg: “This method will work for most combinations.

Custom Mercury 1950 compared to 1951 bumper guards

You can see the difference between the bumper profiles in a 1950 guard compared to 1951

Custom bumber how-to showing tig rod to shape and marked

I first used tig rod to copy the profile of the Mercury's bumper, then I decided on a starting point for where to trim the guard. Then I made a pattern of the inner area of the bumper, and after some measuring, traced that onto the guard also. Using a cutoff wheel I trimmed out the guard, and fit it to the bumper.

Custom Mercury bumper gaurd front-test-fit

With an assortment of grinders and sanders I adjusted the fit until I was happy with the depth and angle the guard was sitting at. I then repeated the process for the other side.

I made plates to fit inside the guards, welded them in, and drilled the bumper in a semi flat area.

I made plates to fit inside the guards, welded them in, and drilled the bumper in a semi flat area.

I held the guards in place, and scribed through the hole, onto the plate where I  drilled and tapped the plate allowing one bolt to hold the guard to the bumper.

I held the guards in place, and scribed through the hole, onto the plate where I drilled and tapped the plate allowing one bolt to hold the guard to the bumper.

Now using a pair of rear guards which are slightly different than the fronts, I was able to use the front guards to determine the overall height of the rears.

Now using a pair of rear guards which are slightly different than the fronts, I was able to use the front guards to determine the overall height of the rears.

I sectioned about 3 inches out of the guards and welded them back together.

I sectioned about 3 inches out of the guards and welded them back together.

I then trimmed them out to fit the bumper, mounted them like the fronts, and adjusted the fit to the bumper by building up weld.

I then trimmed them out to fit the bumper, mounted them like the fronts, and adjusted the fit to the bumper by building up weld.

I clamped a large section of copper inside to back up the weld where I had trimmed too much. Then I trimmed the inside of all four guards, and capped the open area at the top.

I clamped a large section of copper inside to back up the weld where I had trimmed too much. Then I trimmed the inside of all four guards, and capped the open area at the top.

I need to mention that it is important to clean off the chrome and copper from where you are welding, and to make the surfaces of your welds as pit free as possible, and a good chrome shop like Kerr West can do wonders to finish off the parts.

Here’s a list of the Chop Shop Tools All Ways Hot Rods used: Rolloc grinder with various pads to clean chrome and grind for fit, 45 degree with cutoff wheel and burrs, as well as a reversable cut off wheel. The hammer and T dolly were used to adjust fit of sections when welding, and to tap out some of the dents in the guards.

All Ways Hot Rods-1950 Merc' Custom bumper guards Here’s a finished look at the front bumper. “No Way” these bumper guards are NOT originals, you say? Way dude! All Ways Hot Rods that is.

Check the gallery below for more of the finished and in progress photos, along with the tools used.

Go check out the All Ways Hot Rods website for more of their beautiful craftsmanship. Maybe you’ve got a project they can turn into your dream car too!