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Grille restoration

Discussion in 'Exterior' started by Sqaurebodymike, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. Sqaurebodymike

    Sqaurebodymike Junior Member

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    Has anyone else tried restoring their original grille vs buying a reproduction? Mine was in fairly rough shape, the AZ sun had cooked it pretty good over the last 43 years, but after a removing all the trim and doing some body work on it to fill in the cracks and respraying Grey and polishing the trim and replacing the bow tie, it came out great, not perfect but damn close.

    77 GRILLE BEFORE.png

    77 GRILLE AFTER.png
     
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  2. Goldie Driver

    Goldie Driver Full Access Member

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    Looks great!
     
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  3. TubeTruck

    TubeTruck I like anything fast enough to do something stupid

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    That looks awesome! Mine had the bowtie in the pics when I bought it. After it was shipped to me, no more bowtie lol It flew off somewhere between Oregon and Illinois. I'm waiting for the VP to head back to Atlanta tomorrow (I'm going to make it at work) and I'm going to make a steel one and paint it orange.
     
  4. Sqaurebodymike

    Sqaurebodymike Junior Member

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    That's cool idea, I have my original one but the plastic yellow middle was disintegrated so I bought a reproduction, the rest of it was what it was born with, I think it's worth the effort to keep it original as possible
     
  5. FireTruck1984

    FireTruck1984 Full Access Member

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    Nice work, Looks great! I’ve also restored a few grilles, source the correct colors, body work where needed with quality clear coat over everything. You often get a better result than a reproduction piece. And with some grilles like the ‘83-‘84 GMC which are no longer available, you must restore. 909EDBCC-B8B5-4A33-B828-95E39EF147FF.jpeg
     
  6. Sqaurebodymike

    Sqaurebodymike Junior Member

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    That looks great, nice work, I'm big on rehabing what came with it from the factory even if its available unless it's beyond saving, then it is what it is, but they're only original once.
     
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  7. 80BrownK10

    80BrownK10 Full Access Member

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    My truck when I got it 14 years or so had one of the ugly tube grills in it. I found one out of a 79 in a junk yard. It had some cracks that I epoxied up and kind of did a restomod on it. I bought the repop bowtie. You can't buy a reproduction 1980 that takes a bowtie...at least that I found. And I wanted the bowtie back on mine.

    The grill has a section busted out up top but you just don't find these things all over. I have about $19 in the grill from pull a part. A can of spray paint for like $5 and the clear for about the same. And then the dang bowtie is like $65!!

    I think it came out good. IMG_20190718_203022850.jpg IMG_20190914_131317144.jpg
     
  8. legopnuematic

    legopnuematic Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Or you could make it out of stainless and polish it. My friend made this for his 75 K5 (that he's putting a 73-74 grille in), I did the polishing for him. IMG_20191025_170746054.jpg IMG_20191025_170751813.jpg
     
  9. FireTruck1984

    FireTruck1984 Full Access Member

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    I always use original parts when possible, but sometimes they’re too far gone. This grille is available through a few different vendors, Parts Geek has it for under $25, you could use pieces from the repop to repair your original or add the Bowtie to the new one.
     
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  10. Kim Burke

    Kim Burke Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    If you go through my pics, you’ll see my GMC came with a “great in the day“ tuber. Couldn’t yank it quick enough. Bought Bucket’s original and close to getting it driveable. A $35 repop is temporary.
     
  11. Sqaurebodymike

    Sqaurebodymike Junior Member

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    That looks great, it's actually the same grille I have, mine just has the chrome trim that bolts above and below the bow tie and goes across, your right the repop bow tie's are spendy.
     
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  12. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    These are my favorite grilles and even rough ones can look good with a quick refresh. I've never ponied up for a new emblem though, I'm mad at myself for that. I usually just clean up the area where the gold inlay fell off.

    As far as originality goes with the '77-'79 Chevy grille, trucks with the grille trim bars got the bolt-on bowtie emblem. Trucks without grille trim got a got a stick-on aluminum/foil emblem.
     
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  13. Sqaurebodymike

    Sqaurebodymike Junior Member

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    I love learning those fun facts, I did keep my original bow tie too, cant let that stuff go
     
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  14. 80BrownK10

    80BrownK10 Full Access Member

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    This grill didn't have the trim bars on the grille that I see and it had the bold on bowtie.

    I am not that pleased with the bow tie. It has what looks like moisture between the clear part and the gold that's behind it. I will try to get a close up pic of it to show you. Truck sits in a shed but the front gets sun and blowing rain, but it's only been outside a month or more maybe?
     
  15. 80BrownK10

    80BrownK10 Full Access Member

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    Yea I thought about getting a repop and cutting that section out and epoxying it into mine.

    I have not seen a reproduction 79-80 grill that took a bowtie. I think the 79-80 were one set of mounts and the few years before that fit but you have to get the grill mounts to use those as that's what I have even seeing while looking at the LMC catalogue. Neither eBay, brothers (I think it was) nor LMC offered a 1980 grill or a 79 for that matter that took a bowtie.

    If one had a bowtie mount in a repop I would of just bought that. I'm for original but I also am cheap if I could pay $25 for one that would held the bow I would of just done that.

    The grill I got has cracks on the left and right side. It made it flimsy like the thing wanted to fold in half long ways when out if the truck. I cut some plastic pieces and roughed them and the grill up and on the inside edges of the grill I epoxied the plastic stop in to gusset it up and make it more solid. The thing is Rock solid now .
     
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