Hi Jason,Wished I had gone down this track as I originally was going to Greg. Instead I went with buying a new one made on original tooling and as you seen with your eyes Greg how terrible the finish is on it and I'll need to paint it anyway, one day when I get time between everything else. Just another thing on the to do list between the vert and the XA project, plus whatever else life throws up on the way
How do you remove the chrome straps from the grille?View attachment 22376 View attachment 22377 View attachment 22378 View attachment 22379 View attachment 22380 View attachment 22381 View attachment 22382 View attachment 22383 View attachment 22384 View attachment 22385 View attachment 22386 View attachment 22387 View attachment 22391 View attachment 22390 View attachment 22389 View attachment 22388
Hi To All,
Just wanted to run through my recent standard grille makeover and maybe give some inspiration to other members.
When it comes to doing up our Mustangs, you have freedom of choice to how you want to go about it. In my case, i had the original standard grille when i bought the car. I know everyone's preferences can be different as to what look they want. I didn't really know what way i wanted to go. Should i buy a Mach 1 grille or keep my standard grille? For me, i really like the big chrome horse emblem that comes with the standard grille in preference to the smaller tri-bar emblem that goes with the Mach 1 grille.The chrome horse makes a big statement to me and stands out. I don't have any objection to the look of the standard grille as well. So i decided to keep it and refurbish it. Given that the convertibles were never released in a Mach 1 format, and i have gone down that road of dressing my car up along the Mach 1 style, i myself take the attitude of not pretending that my car is a Mach 1 and every thing i do to the car must then fall into a strict Mach 1 formula look so to speak. If i vary the theme along the way, that's OK with me. So i had decided to refinish it in the same original color scheme. Dark charcoal metallic and dirty silver metallic for the inside corral and perimeter garnish.I had even gone to the trouble of accurately color matching both metallic colors to the original factory colors.Then at the twelth hour, i had a change of mind, and decided to paint the entire grille matt black instead, because i like the simple look of the Mach 1 grille with the chrome trim to dress it all off. Granted, it's not keeping my car striclty orignal by going that way, but i think i've succeeded in giving the front end a really good alternative appearence. (Sorry Kurt, Kit and Dana! )
OK, my grille was in fairly good original condition. It was interesting to note that the original factory paints were applied in a thin haze coat with a matt finish. There was no film thickness, and the original paint had worn off in most places because it was so thin to start out with. Prepping up was pretty straight forward.Remove the grille from the car and strip down any hardware, leaving the bare shell to paint. If your grille is faily dirty, give it a blast with the garden hose first to remove bugs or dirt. Next, wet rub the whole grille with 800 grade wet and dry paper. You don't have to be too fussy here. Just lighly sand to smooth down. If there are any stone chips or niks, pop a little bondo in to fill the imperfections, and spot prime where necessary. Sand the primer/ putty with 400 or 800 W/D, clean the grille up with wax and grease remover, blow dry off and your ready to apply the matt black.
If you want to retain the orignal metallic color scheme, i would spray the dirty siver color first to the inner corral and garnish. Once dry, go to the trouble of carefully masking up the entire silver areas and then spray the remaining charcoal areas last. Be warned though, going this way is very time consuming and labour intensive. Definately a lobour of love you might say. I would then say, carefully remove your masking and finish off by spraying the entire grille again with matt clear to protect the metallic finishes. I decided to refinish with matt black, so i did not end up putting myself through that torment.
When it comes to what type of paint to use, i chose a good quality Acrylic Lacquer pre mixed flat black. You could spray in 2Pak for more durability, but i chose Lacquer in case of easy, quick touch ups that may be needed down the track. Also, if i decide to spray the original colors some time later, i dont need to resand the grille, just move in, clean and respray over the black.If i had of used 2Pak, any refinishing will have to be sanded or scuffed so the new paint will stick to the 2Pak paint. That's a major pain. Remember to shoot your lacquer through a 1.8 to 2.0 ml setup whether it's a suction feed or conventional gravity feed gun. Don't use HVLP guns as they are not meant for shooting lacquer. I'd go for about 30 to 40 PSI at the gun head. Thinning ratio would be around 60/40. 60% good quality lacquer thinner and 40% paint.
Apply 3 to 5 coats of matt black Lacquer, letting each coat flash off to dull appearence. I chose not to prime my grille as i felt i was not gaining anything by doing so. I did not get any reaction (like frying up or wrinkling) when i applied my Lacquer to the original finish thank god, as that can easily happen when there is little to no paint on the suface you're spraying over, or the paint is old or solvent sensitive like some enamels can be. If you do get any reaction, stop spraying, and then consider using a light coat of primer/putty or a special isolator paint to isolate the old paint finish and stop any more reaction from occuring. Then, any more new paint you apply, apply in light coats, not wet, as that might bring on reaction again. I had a big win with no reaction, and my old paint was the original finish from factory. Also, you could use aerosol paint tins to do this job, but i would not reccomend it at all, as i went through a litre tin of Lacquer to do the job. Aerosol tins spray way too thin a paint as well. To finish off the project, i cleaned and sprayed the cream colored plastic back up plates that hold the indicators in place with cream Lacquer.No sanding required there as the plastic is very solvent sensitve. Just clean and dry and you're ready to go. I also refinished the inner silver indicator surrounds, and the outer shells in black Lacquer as well. The headlight surrounds and the indicator bodies were primed with a special one pak primer with good adhesion to all substrates from glass to metal. America should sell a similar paint product. I dry sanded the indicator bodies first for adhesion purposes. Don't sand the headlight surrounds at all with any abrasive, as you may reserve the option to remove the black paint at some stage in the future. Your original finish won't be marred, and will be presentable. If you are buying a new repro grille, you should scuff the whole black plastic grille down with 800 dry first, then spray a special universal plastic clear primer on next for adhesion of your paint to the raw plastic. Let dry off and move straight into your color coats. I metal polished all the stainless steel and chrome trim, assembled everything back together again, and was pleased with the finihed result. All nuts, screws and bolts were put under a wire wheel and shot with matt black lacquer as well. BTW, the original corral surround i kept on the grille, and ended up masking it off as it was a pain to remove. I noted that the quality of the original metal and chrome finish on the surround was very poor. The original headlight surrounds were edged masked off with quarter inch fine line tape, and given a matt black paint treatment as well.( when are we going to get good repro ones?) Quarter inch fineline tape can also be used on masking up the inner indicator surrounds and the corral chrome piece as well. See my pics above.
Greg. (Pro painter.)
Hi there,How do you remove the chrome straps from the grille?
Thank you Greg, very helpful.Hi there,
I take it you are referring to the main stainless molding strips that that go all the way around the main body of the grille.
I did have two areas where the original factory nylon mold clips were worn down with age, and so the molding was popping up in those places, and was not captured properly being held down to the grille body. I bought a packet of new repo clips to replace the worn out ones. I gently lifted up and removed the molding all the way around, and installed the new clips. Then i gently pressed back down the molding over the new clips as a final step.
So to answer your question about removing the molding itself, try using a nylon pry bar set (see pics below), so as not to damage the molding or plastic grille body. Once a starter section has been prized away, you should be able to gently and carefully prize away a little by little small section of molding at a time without kinking the molding. Using hard edged steel hand tools such as straight blade screw drivers and pick tools, can easily damage and scratch the molding and the plastic grille body, and should be avoided. You would be very wise to replace all the nylon molding clips, as the original ones get old and brittle, and loose their ability to capture and hold down the molding to the plastic grille body properly.
Hope that helps,
Hi there 351c,If you plan to replace the grille, it is much easier to order the grille with the chrome trim already installed from Daniel Carpenter Reproductions.
Sorry for the confusion I missed the beginning of the thread.Hi there 351c,
Thanks for your helpful input on my grille resto blog. Reading your brief reply, my first impression was gee, ok, that sounds like a good idea to make life easier for the 1973 Mustang boys. I thought that the only hangup with the molding already installed on the grille body, would be the very careful and tricky masking up job you would have to carry out masking up the molding, if you wanted to respray the grille body itself. Yeah, ok, that's doable. But during the day as my initial thoughts settled, i became somewhat puzzled as to trying to remember if i had ever seen that setup being sold at all in my travels over the years.
I decided to do some research and looking around at the product you suggested ie. the Daniel Carpenter grille with chrome trim. My first port of call was the Daniel Carpenter website itself. The first thing i learnt, was that all the grille moldings ( upper, lower, left side, right side) are designed to be used on the Mach 1 and Standard grilles as well. So all the moldings work ok for both model grilles. The second thing i noticed was the Carpenter web site listings for grille bodies and grille moldings makes no mention of manufacturing and selling on to the retail market, a Mach 1 or Standard grille body that comes with the moldings already installed with the nylon clips. (see my reference pics below)
I then decided to visit a few of the recommended Carpenter retailers (for example Ohio Mustang and Classic Industries) to see what they were selling onto the buying public. That was interesting, as Classic were only selling on the grille bodies and moldings separately, where as Ohio gave you the option of buying a Mach 1 grille body on its own, or a kit comprising of a Mach 1 grille body that came with a detached (not installed), set of moldings and clips as well. Their Standard grille body did not come with the optional molding kit. So having done that basic research, i so far cannot see any evidence of buying a Daniel Carpenter grille body (be it Standard or Mach1), with the moldings already attached. I may stand corrected on that, and you may know something i don't on this subject. Please let me know if i have missed something here.
Lastly, just for giggles, i went to CJ Pony. They seem to be selling on Dynacorn grille moldings, which i know little about. Again, '73 Standard and Mach 1 grille bodies and grille moldings are sold separately with them.
Sorry for the confusion I missed the beginning of the thread.
Mine was a Daniel Carpenter 71-72 Mach 1 grille. It was purchased on eBay and shipped by Kentucky Mustang: Mustang Grill with Sport Lamp Holes / Mach 1 OEM 1971 - 1972 - Daniel Carpenter.
I also did not see a 73 grille with the chrome trim installed. However I did find:
Mustang Grill Mach 1 OEM 1973 - Daniel Carpenter on eBay and shipped by Kentucky Mustang
Grill, Mach 1, 73 Mustang, OEM Tooling. 1973 Mustang Mach 1. This is a grill for a 1973 Mustang made with original Ford tooling. Does not include hardware, use part # 18225. Includes Hardware: No.www.ebay.com
I hope this Thanks again for your reply,
Hi 351c,My turn for a question; Are the nylon chrome trim clips only for 73 grilles? I think the clips were metal on the OEM 71 grille I tool apart a few years ago.