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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My most amazing wife bought these for me.
They just came in the mail and I must say, as everyone else has said about his work, it is amazing craftsmanship!

I would say they are a quality notch above anything OEM that GM offers.

thank you Norm and thank you amazing wife!

now all I have to do is figure out how to paint fiberglass (never done it before).
Then I have to do the foam bumper cutting...

Any tips?
 

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i can't tell if that is primer or gelcoat on those pieces, but painting will be the same except you will have to primer them if they are bare fiberglass. you will also have to sand the surface with 400 grit sandpaper before priming in either method..

most automotive paint stores can make you a spray can of your body color if that's what color you are going to paint them. otherwise you can go to Walmart or Lowes, etc and get a spray can of primer and whatever shade of black to want. or you can even get a passable chrome looking spray color.

find you something to practice spraying and get some cheap spray paint, and practice until you don't get runs or dry spots. then you're ready for the bigtime...

OR, just take them to a paint shop and get them painted.... :)
Bill
 

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i wish Norm could make them with the honeycomb grid as part of the surround. i don't like the idea of cutting up good pieces to reuse the honeycomb...
Bill
 

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i wish Norm could make them with the honeycomb grid as part of the surround. i don't like the idea of cutting up good pieces to reuse the honeycomb...
Bill
I bought my honeycomb grill in a 4x4 sheet and used it instead of my OE grills. I preferred the flat look in the countersunk grill. It is not exactly like the OE honeycomb, but pretty close.
 

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Foam bumper cutting is super easy to do, You need an old large knife and a propane torch. Heat up the blade of the knife until it is cherry hot and then slice away. When the knife cools and won't cut heat it up again.
 
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like kgschlosser said. A hot blade will go through the foam like warm butter. Then spray the foam flat black. CUSTOMCARGRILLS was my source for grille material. They have metal, plastic, and various designs.
 

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and painting the peices is just like painting anything else. Clean it with alcohol. and be liberal. wait an hour and then spray it with primer. wait until it flashes off partly, 15-30 minutes dpeneding on humidity and temperature then shoot it again. keep doing this until you have a good thick layer of primer on it. Wait 24 hours and then wet sand it starting with 400 grit, then moving to 800 and then finally 1000. Try not to sand through the primer otherwise you will be spraying it again. Then the last thing is a good wipe with alcohol, remember be generous

If you plan on painting them black I am going to recommend you use black appliance epoxy, it comes in a rattle can. The trick to spraying the epoxy is you want to do a light coat first and then wait 24 hours then hit it it with a wet sand using 1000 grit to smooth out any possible bumps and wipe with alcohol. wait 30 minutes and then apply the epoxy, the trick here is you have to put it on super thick, just before it starts to run. If it runs don't worry the run can be sanded off. Make sure you clean the gutter out on the can often it tends to fill with paint and when it does it will splatter when you are spraying.

Then let dry for a minimum of 48 hours. You are going to want to sand it if it didn't come out perfect. The starting grit is going to be determined by any runs in it. If the run is thick then you will want to start off with 400 if not then 800. Use plenty of water when sanding. 800, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000. wash it off with cool water. Get some cutting compound, you can use a fine compound, I would recommend getting a small wool buffer attachment for your drill. and on lowest speed possible start buffing. don't stay in one place to long. when finished wash off with cool water and let dry, I would let it sit for another 48 hours for the epoxy to cure more. Then give it 2 coats of your favorite wax.

The nice thing about using an epoxy based paint is there is no need to put any clear coat on it. It will be super glossy when finished and epoxy paint when fully cured is extremely durable.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the tips!
Probably a stupid question as it may affect the cooling effectiveness but does anyone know if you can paint the IC?
 

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Yes you can paint it, only one light coat and no primer. It will not impact the cooling ability that much if you do. You will really only be getting paint on the front most fins of it.

Only flat paint too.
 

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a wavy blade bread knife, unheated (no sense in ruining a good knife), does a nice job too

Bill
 

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I had some qualms about cutting up my factory grills as well but the end result was great. I used small black screws to hold them in place. Went into the under side of the top where they are not visible. I have come to like them very much.

I had mine professionally painted by my painter. They are in a position that can result in a lot of chipping of they are not very well covered. Lots of clear. They have held up very well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok. First step on the grills now that I can finally move past the black dash project..

cleaned thoroughly with rubbing alcohol.
First coat of primer:

Product Rectangle Material property Font Automotive exterior
 

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I am surprised that you do not have them hanging, rattle cans work better then they are vertical and you do not have an issue with sticking to whatever they are sitting on. Not to mention when you do more coats you don't have to worry about any excess paint dust kicking up off the surface of whatever they are sitting on. and if you wanted to change the paper towels they are sitting on you will have to handle them to do so and that means more alcohol wipe downs and a greater chance of missing a spot when wiping causing surface contamination of what you are spraying.

You may want to address this now instead of waiting until after you primer it. Look at the radius of the bend circled in red. there are 2 distinct lines where it is not rounded properly. the area circled in green looks better but still may have a hard edge to them. Check the entire radius of both pieces and see if it is like that all the way around on both pieces. I am pretty sure it's not supposed to be there. easily fixed with piece of 220 or 320 grit paper. This is going to be really noticeable on the finished product.
113422
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well my methods may be flawed but with these pieces I hold them up by the two remaining screws while painting and then set them down to dry.
They are in a paint tent so dust has not been an issue.
Duly noted on the radius. Will look with glasses closer next round.
My eyesight only recently started failing so I keep forgetting I am not actually able to see like I use too :)
 

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Photos are a fantastic way of seeing things your eyes don't normally pick up on.


Now take a look at this photo and tell me if you see anything wrong. I will give you a hint. The windshield frame.

113426


Can't see anything can you?

Now look at this photo. It's from a slightly different angle.

113427


Maybe you can see it in the photo above maybe you can't.

Now here is yet another photo almost the same angle as the last. I circled the problem. .

113428


The top circle is the one I am pointing out. If you now go back to the last 2 photos you will see the dent.

That dent is when I had a full grown 800 - 1000 pound bull elk run into the side of the car and roll onto the top of the car. I could feel that the windshield frame was bent, every single body shop I went to said there was nothing wrong with it. I had the owner of a body shop tell me there was nothing wrong with it. I happen to shoot a photo in such a way that the dent became visible. It was an accidental photo, I was shooting the gap changes in the plastic and it just so happened that the dent could be seen. I trues shooting the area from all kinds of angles in order to capture what I was feeling with my hand. Not one of them showed the dent. But this one photo you can see it clear as day.

Sometimes you can see better with your eyes closed and using your fingers.This is how I check for body damage and body panel alignment on a car. I find it really amusing that 10 body shops all said the exact same thing, no damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Also... glasses :)
Went back out with the peepers on and I can now see it.
Thanks for highlighting before I got to color coat :)
 

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When I bring my car in to get painted this is going to be my test to see if it is the shop I want to do the work. I will have them inspect the windshield frame and tell me if there is anything wrong with it. If they say nothing is wrong then I will have them sit in the car and tell them to look again.. I will even let the shop have their techs come out and have a go and checking it and see if any of them pick up on it. That would be the only way to have my faith renewed and that would be the person I would want to work on it. How I detected the problem was looking at it with my fingers not my eyes.
 

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It would really suck having those sharp edges visible on the final product, I didn't know if they were intentional or not so I thought it worth mentioning.
 

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Just a Tip for cutting the grills to fit. Everyone suggested using a saw either manual or power. I tried using a large pair of wire cutters on the plastic grills to cut them down. I think it provided better control, less mess and was easier to do.
 
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A scroll saw will work really good also.
 
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