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Old 11-27-2005, 07:45 PM   #1
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Rejuvenate your grille

I have a 72 chevy grille and this applies more to the 71-72 chevy at first, but covers all models later in the faq.

Ok so you start with a stock piece, painted, chrome, dented, no difference. Hereís what I started with.

notice the black paint fading around the headlights, dirty chrome....

The first thing I discovered, the black around the headlights is painted on top of the "chrome". So I took some goo off, and scrubbed the area around the headlights. the black comes off, revealing chrome. I was pretty impressed with the results.

here's a pic after i scrubbed the bottom side, there's 4 sides.

So as nice as that was I went the next step. I removed the inner grille, painted it with some model car paint (Testors primer gray spray paint) and primed the outer grille. Then things got amazing. At walmart the shiniest Testors paint they have is "metallic silver". I used that on my dash bezel and it wasnít shiny. At Michaels (a hobby store) they have "chrome" testors paint, I thought, it has to be shinier than metallic silver, so I got that and it was beautiful. If I was 3 feet away from the grille where I canít see little dust particles in the finished job (which should be avoided by the way) it looks like real chrome!

I also painted the bow-tie. Itís held into the chrome piece with metal tabs, all mine broke when I bent them so I ended up hot gluing it in there. Donít worry itís stuck good. edit 9/30/06... the hot glue seemed to not work.. the inner bowtie fell out of the chrome trim ring, but it's sandwiched between that and the grill. i guess i'll epoxy it.

So there you have it, $7.95 for paint, and I saved 350 or so dollars on a new outer and inner grill. Is it perfectÖ not at all, in fact my inner grill is missing pieces, and is split in 3 sections, although I took the time to epoxy the sections together again. My outer grill has dents, and dust particles in the paint, but it looks good from far away.

it's 9/30/06 and i decided to update this. i recently thought about painting the inner grille flat black to hide all the cracks, i think it turned out great. and i ended up painting the area around the headlights black like original, but not on the light bezels.

Last edited by augie; 04-10-2011 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 11-29-2005, 03:53 AM   #2
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Re: Rejuvenate your grille

To carry your idea one step further; dents and dings can be fixed w/bondo, just like you would use it on a regular repair. I have refurbished front grills that way for years. I use Krylon "Dull Aluminum" as a base coat and cover w/Krylon High Gloss clear. W/the Krylon, you get more paint for about the same $. Also, the dull aluminum has to be special ordered. K-mart, Wal Mart don't carry it.

Don't forget to mask off the silver, and repaint the black before you shoot the clear. Details make the truck!!!

1968 Custom SWB, 327/3 speed OTC
1969 CST LWB, 402/400
1970 CST LWB, 402/400
1970 Sierra Grande LWB, 350/350
1971 Cheyenne LWB, 350/350
1972 Cheyenne Super LWB, 402/400
1972 Sierra Grande LWB, 402/400
1979 Silverado LWB, 350/350
1984 Suburban
1990 454 SS
1991 Silverado, X-cab, 4.3/5 speed Getrag
2005 Silverado Crew Cab
Corvettes: 75, 77, 78, 93, 96

Last edited by 73737373; 11-29-2005 at 03:55 AM.
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Old 11-29-2005, 11:41 AM   #3
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Re: Rejuvenate your grille

i used metal bondo on one dent, but it didn't want to stick very well. when i sanded it, chunks came off. i didn't take pics because it's not very welldone. i was wanting to shoot some clear, so thanks for mentioning the krylon. also i like the all chrome no black look.

Last edited by matthufham; 11-29-2005 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 12-08-2005, 05:00 PM   #4
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Re: Rejuvenate your grille

Here is a method someone posted some time back concerning the aluminum grill surround:
EZ Off oven cleaner, let it set for a little while,
then hose it off.

Sand with sanding sponges or paper, working up to
1000-2000 grit.

Use alum. polish and a buffing wheel in a drill to
polish the grill, let dry and buff off with clean cloth.

Spray with clear coat to preserve shine.
Just call me LB.
'71 Cheyenne, 402BB, hauls blondes, brunettes, or redheads.
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