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SolaraGuy.com • View topic - Custom Grille On a Budget
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Custom Grille On a Budget

Custom Grille On a Budget

Postby FLASH » Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:28 pm

It's been years since I contributed much of anything to Solaraguy, so I thought it'd give a simple tutorial on my custom grille I just finished. (Actually modified)

Step 1: (I did this about 4 years ago) To make the mesh grille, I bought steel gutter guard from Home Depot. Nowadays you can probably actual grille mesh from somewhere. I traced the outline of the bars on the grille, which I wanted to color and made a guide to make the design.

Step 2: Trace the design onto the mesh and cut with wire cutters. Be very Careful, I remember cutting the crap out of my hands.

Step 3: Would be to install the mesh over the bars. I used a combination of thin steel wire and fishing string. Optional: Spray the mesh silver/chrome and clear coat to protect it.

This is where I picked up, 4 years later....

As many of you have experienced, my chrome started chipping. I decided to go with a color matching scheme. Since I now don't have anything Chrome left on my car, I decided to go with a Red/Black scheme.

Step 4: Paint the mesh the color you desire (I went with black) and clear coat it. I did about two or three coats, just because I had enough paint, am anal, and really wanted to make sure it stayed black.

Step 5: Using very fine grit sandpaper, sand down anything and everything that's chrome on the grille, including the nooks and crannies within the Toyota logo. This can be tedious. Make sure to clean off all the "residue" when done sanding.

Step 6: A thin coat of primer on the parts of the grille to be painted.

Step 7: Tape Off (very carefully) the design of the grille. I just used a very strong masking tape and took about an hour making sure a I covered every piece that I wanted to keep black. Again, the hardest part was taping off the inside of the Toyota Logo, because I decided to paint that Red, but wanted to keep the inside of the logo black.

Step 8: Start painting (I matched the Red of my car). Very important to do multiple light layers and don't glob it on. You really should sand down in betweeen coats as well, this helps keep the paint smooth and prevent any paint bubbles. I did about 7 light sweeps and 2 clear coats. Because the store didn't have my exact paint, and because my paint is 10 years old and hard to match, I had to use two tones of Toyota Red (Bordeaux red and Super Red II) and find the right mixture.

Step 9: LET IT DRY. I let it dry for two days. I've had too many experiences of thinking it was dry and peeling the paint off with the taping.

Step 10: Gently peel off the taping. Use a razor blade it there are any spots where the paint "formed a bridge" between the paint and the grille. Clean up and overspill (if you didn't tape well enough) with a razor blade and touch up paint

Step 11: Once everything is dry, reattach the mesh to the grille. I used black twist ties so that you can't see them on the black grille.

Step 12: Install back on car.

Optional Step 13 (For me): Reinstall Knight Rider light bar behind grille!

For novices, I recommend doing this on a spare grille as there is room for error. If you've done painting before, it's a relatively easy project, but can be time consuming. Took me about a weekend and two 6 packs, but here is the finished product, which I'm happy with:


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I'll have to take some more pictures in the daytime after I clean it...after I get the starter fixed... :x
==FLASH==
99 Solara SE with Many Mods (See outdated website) - Weekend Warrior
2001 Cadillac Deville Daily Driver
(Wife's) 2007 Toyota Camry LE with Basic Mods
(Sister's) 2011 "Pink Prius"
FLASH
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Postby ToyoSolV6 » Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:35 pm

wow! very nice!
Image
One of the few Built Forged Supercharged solaras in so cal
335whp x 344tq.
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ToyoSolV6
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Postby Dawgz » Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm

i dont have time to highlight ur text to read it all the time so i stopped reading ur posts.

Please change ur font color.....red doesnt go so well with a blue background. If not, then its coo.


but i saw the pics, came out nice...Good job
--=Black on Black=-- (Sold)
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Dawgz
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Postby FLASH » Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:08 pm

Sorry about the font, I forgot about the "new" background...I kept my default as the Original format from 2003!
==FLASH==
99 Solara SE with Many Mods (See outdated website) - Weekend Warrior
2001 Cadillac Deville Daily Driver
(Wife's) 2007 Toyota Camry LE with Basic Mods
(Sister's) 2011 "Pink Prius"
FLASH
SolaraGuy Street Racer
SolaraGuy Street Racer
 
Posts: 1802
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2003 4:00 pm
Location: South Jersey

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