THE SHOP

Performance & Hotrod Business February '14

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PERFORMANCE Looking old and worn down, the Ram's plastic bumper pieces are faded, the headlights are clouded and the plastic grille looks outdated. Using old newspapers, the bumper areas were taped off so painting could be done easily without bleed-over. Seen from behind, the old grille easily popped out after removing the clips and nuts. A new blackout grille fit perfectly with the OEM latches. The older clips and nuts on the grille had to be replaced in many places with newer fasteners. Up next is making the engine look a little brighter and cleaner, as the old valve cover is gray and dull. 50 n Performance & Hotrod Business PHBFEB.indd 50 n Hot Grille The old Dodge's plastic grille was bubbling and peeling so it had to go! I replaced it with a Tiger Tooth blackout grille, which I found on the Internet. The black grille added to the blackout two-tone look of the truck and ended up going nicely with what I had planned for the front bumper. The old grille was easily removed, with only small OEM nuts holding it on. I replaced some of these with newer fasteners where needed so it would be secure during travels. I sealed some rub areas from the old grille and touched up the original paint. The bumper was the original and in bad shape. Now, with my upgrades, I am trying to replicate a small budget of a young working person. Just buying replacement parts would have cost about $400 to $700, depending on where you bought them. I chose instead to go the DIY route and bought a can of high-gloss black spray paint and matte black for the bottom end. After removing the grilles I taped off the areas with old newspaper and masking tape. I sanded with medium-grade sandpaper and finished with fine-grade both the lower bumper plastic and the upper faded nylon topper. I waited for a non-windy day and sprayed the topper first with three coats of gloss black over a 6-hour period. The bottom area I painted with two coats over a February 2014 1/3/14 12:15 PM

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