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Fabricating Custom Car Grille (pics)

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  • Fabricating Custom Car Grille (pics)

    Hello All!

    I have been looking through the pages here on the forum & learned a lot in the process. Glad that I have found this site.

    I am looking to customize my front grille of my ride. Looking to cut the middle inserts out & will use the outer outlined frame to build upon. I would like to make the frame about half an in all around. This grille is made of abs plastic & was wondering which methods as far as molding & bonding I should approach the shape & quality I want. Foams, wood, etc.
    Here is the grille now:





    What I would like it to look like:


    Any information is greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    looks like a sweet idea. my bro and i were thinking of making one out of that billet wire you can get at lowes, but haven't got around to it.
    Are you 2x? Because I want to integrate you from 10 to 13!

    Comment


    • #3
      GoHybrid will know exactly how to do it. The only other grill I remember on these forums was some guy putting diamonds in his 300's grill. GoHybrid did it or is doing it for him.
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      • #4
        My biggest concern would be the fact that it is so very exposed to the elements. Building your prototype using the existing ABS frame is fine, but I would without a doubt plan on making a full fiberglass mold of it and duplicating the part completely in fiberglass before putting it into service on your car.

        If you don't do that, then you've got disparate materials that are exposed to moisture, heat and cold which is pretty much a surefire recipe for distortion or cracking.

        Do you have a sketch of what you want to do? I think that would help us understand better what your goal is and how to achieve that.
        Et ipsa scientia potestas est.

        Worklog for my 2007 Civic Si ...f*** it...
        Pictures of the Corolla (retired)here
        Need to make something? Here are a few ideas.

        Comment


        • #5
          Here is a quick sketch of what I would like to accomplish with the help of you all.

          Comment


          • #6
            Personally, I think that grill looks awesome as it is.

            Comment


            • #7
              If you're sure that grille is ABS, then for the kind of construction you're looking to do, it might be better just to get some ABS sheet and cut it to shape, then use a solvent cement to glue everything together. No need for fiberglass or anything messy and complicated like that.

              if you're really conscious of the curvature though and want to keep that pristine, then i'd say proceed with your plan and glue in some foam and shape it. Just keep in mind that you are only building the pattern at that point, not the actual part.
              Et ipsa scientia potestas est.

              Worklog for my 2007 Civic Si ...f*** it...
              Pictures of the Corolla (retired)here
              Need to make something? Here are a few ideas.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ArJuN View Post
                Personally, I think that grill looks awesome as it is.
                That's the way the grille looks stock. Appreciate the comment tho. My goal is to try to make it like the last picture on my first post. There isn't any aftermarket speed grilles for my car.

                Originally posted by GoHybird
                If you're sure that grille is ABS, then for the kind of construction you're looking to do, it might be better just to get some ABS sheet and cut it to shape, then use a solvent cement to glue everything together. No need for fiberglass or anything messy and complicated like that.

                if you're really conscious of the curvature though and want to keep that pristine, then i'd say proceed with your plan and glue in some foam and shape it. Just keep in mind that you are only building the pattern at that point, not the actual part.
                I'm 100% sure its ABS. It was stamped on the back of one of the inserts when I cut it out. I like that idea of the ABS sheets & using the solvent cement to bond them together. I can still shape the corners a little bit. Could I just purchase the ABS plastic locally or is there a recommended place to get them & do the come in various thickness?

                Thx

                Comment


                • #9
                  there is probably a local plastics supply outlet near you... but in the event you can't find one:

                  Many plastics can be obtained here.

                  The plastic sheets come in a few thicknesses, and have a haircell finish on one side. This is kind of similar to the faux leather texture sometimes stamped on vinyl for upholstery etc... If that's an issue then you can use the flip side which is smooth. I'd also look at picking up a plastic welder and some ABS welding rods. I can just about guarantee that there will be a joint that really needs gap-filling or shaping and the last thing in the world you're going to want to do is use bondo to try and smooth it out. Bondo = Problems.

                  It's a good idea to make your part as much out of a single material as you can. This allows it not only to bond perfectly, but it lets it expand and contract at the same rate which is critical to maintaining a painted surface or preventing cracks.
                  Et ipsa scientia potestas est.

                  Worklog for my 2007 Civic Si ...f*** it...
                  Pictures of the Corolla (retired)here
                  Need to make something? Here are a few ideas.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ClassySG View Post
                    That's the way the grille looks stock. Appreciate the comment tho. My goal is to try to make it like the last picture on my first post. There isn't any aftermarket speed grilles for my car.
                    Oh, I know. I was referring to the first pic which is stock I believe. Is it a camry? Good luck with this project though! I'll be following it since I've wanted to upgrade my grill as well!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This may be a dumb question, but why go to the trouble of adding material to "make" a lip?

                      It seems that the existing vertical slats could be cut off flush with the horizontal surfaces, leaving a significant "lip" without the addition of any material, and the cut surface could then be sanded smooth.

                      Then, the desired depth of the "lip" could be achieved simply be varying the mounting depth of the wire grille: mouting the grille toward the front of the car would leave less lip, while mounting the grille further to the rear would expose more lip.

                      An amateur built the Ark. The Titanic was built by professionals.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by parksgm View Post
                        This may be a dumb question, but why go to the trouble of adding material to "make" a lip?

                        It seems that the existing vertical slats could be cut off flush with the horizontal surfaces, leaving a significant "lip" without the addition of any material, and the cut surface could then be sanded smooth.

                        Then, the desired depth of the "lip" could be achieved simply be varying the mounting depth of the wire grille: mouting the grille toward the front of the car would leave less lip, while mounting the grille further to the rear would expose more lip.
                        I believe that is what he is doing. But the stock lip isn't thick enough for the look he is going for. It seems that he wants to expand it to a 1/2 inch.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          i usually get too much lip.
                          Et ipsa scientia potestas est.

                          Worklog for my 2007 Civic Si ...f*** it...
                          Pictures of the Corolla (retired)here
                          Need to make something? Here are a few ideas.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GoHybrid View Post
                            there is probably a local plastics supply outlet near you... but in the event you can't find one:

                            Many plastics can be obtained here.

                            The plastic sheets come in a few thicknesses, and have a haircell finish on one side. This is kind of similar to the faux leather texture sometimes stamped on vinyl for upholstery etc... If that's an issue then you can use the flip side which is smooth. I'd also look at picking up a plastic welder and some ABS welding rods. I can just about guarantee that there will be a joint that really needs gap-filling or shaping and the last thing in the world you're going to want to do is use bondo to try and smooth it out. Bondo = Problems.

                            It's a good idea to make your part as much out of a single material as you can. This allows it not only to bond perfectly, but it lets it expand and contract at the same rate which is critical to maintaining a painted surface or preventing cracks.
                            I will be looking around town today for the supply's. I'll keep you all posted! Thx as always!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ArJuN View Post
                              I believe that is what he is doing. But the stock lip isn't thick enough for the look he is going for. It seems that he wants to expand it to a 1/2 inch.
                              Ah...1/2" more THICKNESS (as in vertical dimension)...my bad.

                              An amateur built the Ark. The Titanic was built by professionals.

                              Comment

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