How to: Grille repair and restoration

oldsofb

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Dec 7, 2007
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Maryland
Any recommendations on the best way to strip paint off of SMC. I would think chemical might be out, but I'm not sure.

Hutch
 

Rktpwrd

Builder of Cool Shjt
Supporting Member
Feb 2, 2015
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Any recommendations on the best way to strip paint off of SMC. I would think chemical might be out, but I'm not sure.

Hutch

Hutch,
You are correct on not using chemical stripper on the SMC. Seeing as how the SMC is a combination of fibres and plastic, I suspect the chemical stripper would eat into it causing all kinds of nasty problems for you.

Your safest (but most labour intensive) solution unfortunately is going to be to mechanically remove it with good old fashioned sandpaper, elbow grease and patience.

Just be sure to be careful once you get down to the raw SMC itself, as it's usually quite soft (often softer than the surrounding paint and primer) and you can end up sanding grooves or low spots in the substrate.

Take your time and be patient, and you'll have it stripped down in no time.
:)
Donovan
 
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Geo's66

Master Mechanic
Oct 7, 2014
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Great info guys- another question for any of you.... What would you do to repair worn out chrome on tail lights and headlight bezels like I have on my '78 Monte? I've called some local chromers, holy $$ they want.... Thanks...
 

Rktpwrd

Builder of Cool Shjt
Supporting Member
Feb 2, 2015
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Great info guys- another question for any of you.... What would you do to repair worn out chrome on tail lights and headlight bezels like I have on my '78 Monte? I've called some local chromers, holy $$ they want.... Thanks...

Geo's,

I don't have a definitive answer for you at this time, but I'm working on something...

I should have an answer or at least an alternative I will share with everyone hopefully in the next coupl'a weeks. I'm working on my headlight bezels too but unfortunately at this point I don't have any results to share just yet.

You'll just have to keep monitoring this thread, and when I have results (good or bad), I'll post them up.

Donovan
 
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crab0000

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Oct 26, 2019
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North Georgia
Geo's,

I don't have a definitive answer for you at this time, but I'm working on something...

I should have an answer or at least an alternative I will share with everyone hopefully in the next coupl'a weeks. I'm working on my headlight bezels too but unfortunately at this point I don't have any results to share just yet.

You'll just have to keep monitoring this thread, and when I have results (good or bad), I'll post them up.

Donovan
Hey, what did you find out about the chrome on the plastic? Mine is wrinkled up on m headlight bezels and I need to do something with them.
 

69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
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I have had good luck with epoxy repair before on some of these split grille screw holes. We had some tapered crimp ferrules in the pump repair shop where I used to work that when they were used (they were used when they made air hoses for various sized diaphragm pumps) and then some got tossed into the metal dumpster (at this point they were trash so I wasn't thieving them, technically) , I fished them out. I just trimmed them to the size I needed and slipped the ring over the end of the screw post mount on the grille and crimped them until they fit tight. Nobody would ever see it, and filled the hole with expoxy filler which glued the ferrule in place as well, drilled a pilot hole and reused the bolt, or got one that would fit and make its own threads. I only did this with very nice grille pieces that needed saving. We called them "kock rings" :)

They were something like this below. They came in different sizes. But they fit snug around the repaired hole and didn't let it split out again. Spritzed the repaired area with black paint and nobody ever was the wiser. Never had a failure. I'm sure the plastic repair stuff D used is a better idea. But if you could put a ring on it, I'm sure it would be sturdier.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001GBMPUK/?tag=gbody-20
 
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Rktpwrd

Builder of Cool Shjt
Supporting Member
Feb 2, 2015
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Hey, what did you find out about the chrome on the plastic? Mine is wrinkled up on m headlight bezels and I need to do something with them.

Very common problem with no easy solution. There are a few (very few) chrome plating companies with the ability to rechrome plastic, but they are prohibitively expensive.

Your only real choices are to go with one of these companies, spray chrome (google it), or leave it alone and live with it unfortunately. I went with spray chrome on my modified headlight bezels for The Juggernaut and was very happy with it. Check out how it turned out in the thread if you like, the link is in my signature.
 
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