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  #1  
Old 01-14-2010, 02:16 PM
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W123 Grille

The plastic insert in my W123 grille is turning to dust. I would like to prime and paint it, but I am wondering if it is reasonably possible to remove the chrome trim strips with destroying them.

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  #2  
Old 01-14-2010, 02:31 PM
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You can get a cheap new grille insert for less than $20. New horizontal strips are $2-3 each. That will probably give you a new looking grille for $35 if the main grille chrome frame is good.
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  #3  
Old 01-14-2010, 03:40 PM
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Yep, they just slide off once the insert is removed from the chrome surround. You'll need to remove the entire grill from the vehicle; well maybe not but its certainly an easier job with the grill removed.

The only other part you need is the rubber intermediate tape that goes between the hood and chrome grill surround, but only if you remove the entire grill. $30 dealer only (expensive for what it really is, but you want to do the job right, right?)
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  #4  
Old 01-14-2010, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qwerty View Post
The plastic insert in my W123 grille is turning to dust. I would like to prime and paint it, but I am wondering if it is reasonably possible to remove the chrome trim strips with destroying them.
So are you thinking of trying to paint the old grill or are you going to get a new plastic insert and paint that? Mine is quite dusty as well and I have wanted to clean and paint it, but have had other maintenance issues that were more pressing.

When I get to it, are there any recommended primers and paints? Flat or glossy? I will be of course using black. My 84 W123 is black.

Has anyone opened up the corner light assemblies and painted those as well? They look like they are glued together but I have not studied them that closely in terms of what it would take to open them up. I am sure if it can be done, it has been done by someone on this forum.
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  #5  
Old 01-14-2010, 11:45 PM
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My renovated grille with the old grille insert next to it for comparison. I acquired another insert from another forum member that was not as badly deteriorated as mine. It was still turning to dust, just not as badly as the original. I sanded it down, very lightly, more to get the plastic "dust" particles off of it, then painted it. Can't remember using a primer but I do know that I gave it a couple of coats of Tamiya "German Grey" spray paint. I used the best vertical and horizontal chrome strips from the two grilles and reassembled it all in the original chrome surround, added a star from the dealer and it looked like a million dollars. Well maybe not a million but you get the picture.

I also tried to open the headlight bezel to try and paint the gray plastic inside the clear covers as it was as faded as the original grille, as you can see from the picture. However I was not able to open them. Looked like it was sealed as a unit with no intention of ever having them opened. I would have had to break them apart all around the outside of the clear plastic and them glue them together again and I didn't have the stomach for it.

I enjoyed this project but if I were to do it again I think I would just buy the plastic insert online and the trim pieces as well.

- Peter.
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2010, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by RML View Post
So are you thinking of trying to paint the old grill or are you going to get a new plastic insert and paint that?
I am going to paint the original insert. If that is not satisfactory, I will buy a new one. I got the insert primed in gray primer and that looks pretty good. I might just put some semi-gloss clear coat over that and see how it looks. The primer is only slightly darker than the original color.
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by pj67coll View Post


My renovated grille with the old grille insert next to it for comparison. I acquired another insert from another forum member that was not as badly deteriorated as mine. It was still turning to dust, just not as badly as the original. I sanded it down, very lightly, more to get the plastic "dust" particles off of it, then painted it. Can't remember using a primer but I do know that I gave it a couple of coats of Tamiya "German Grey" spray paint. I used the best vertical and horizontal chrome strips from the two grilles and reassembled it all in the original chrome surround, added a star from the dealer and it looked like a million dollars. Well maybe not a million but you get the picture.

I also tried to open the headlight bezel to try and paint the gray plastic inside the clear covers as it was as faded as the original grille, as you can see from the picture. However I was not able to open them. Looked like it was sealed as a unit with no intention of ever having them opened. I would have had to break them apart all around the outside of the clear plastic and them glue them together again and I didn't have the stomach for it.

I enjoyed this project but if I were to do it again I think I would just buy the plastic insert online and the trim pieces as well.

- Peter.
Good photo comparison, I used the dark gray primer myself before, here's a photo:



Here's a new insert using the same grille frame, and same grille strips. New emblem and hood star completed the look, grille-wise:



I just forgot to get a new hood pull, in the above photo it's still the same color as the dark gray grille insert.

And here's what will happen if you don't paint it correctly! Photo was taken before I got new lenses for the headlights.



When I first painted the grille (in 2005 I think) with black paint, it chipped easily. See photo. Texture also remained rough.

Also got tired of the dark gray grille look, so it's now back to original look:


Last edited by MBeige; 01-15-2010 at 02:58 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-15-2010, 03:05 AM
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MBeige, how in the world do you get your bumper rubbers sooo shiny?? Is there some kind of product that brings them back to life that you use?
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2010, 03:11 AM
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OT: Buddy, the bumper rubber from 83 to 85 have a different texture from the ones prior to that time frame. It has been asked before and my suggestion was to get the bumper rubber from later model w123s (maybe the whole bumper too).

But what I did to clean them up was basic detailing - use of paint cleaner to remove superficial layer (your towel will turn black). Then I used Mothers Back to Black, that worked temporarily. So I use Aerospace 303 as "quick detailer" for rubber and interior parts.
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2010, 03:16 AM
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By paint cleaner, do you mean like a pre-paint wipe down? Similar to paint thinner? Or do you mean something like a rubbing compound?
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  #11  
Old 01-15-2010, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by johnathan1 View Post
By paint cleaner, do you mean like a pre-paint wipe down? Similar to paint thinner? Or do you mean something like a rubbing compound?
No, I meant this



It will turn the rubber white (like dried up wax) if you do not wash it off afterwards. To remove the white stuff, I used the Back to Black from Mothers, soap and water and some elbow grease. I used a brush too to get the white residue off, then used exterior trim detailer. But found out about Aerospace 303 so that's what I've been using since to maintain them.
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  #12  
Old 01-15-2010, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj67coll View Post


My renovated grille with the old grille insert next to it for comparison. I acquired another insert from another forum member that was not as badly deteriorated as mine. It was still turning to dust, just not as badly as the original. I sanded it down, very lightly, more to get the plastic "dust" particles off of it, then painted it. Can't remember using a primer but I do know that I gave it a couple of coats of Tamiya "German Grey" spray paint. I used the best vertical and horizontal chrome strips from the two grilles and reassembled it all in the original chrome surround, added a star from the dealer and it looked like a million dollars. Well maybe not a million but you get the picture.

I also tried to open the headlight bezel to try and paint the gray plastic inside the clear covers as it was as faded as the original grille, as you can see from the picture. However I was not able to open them. Looked like it was sealed as a unit with no intention of ever having them opened. I would have had to break them apart all around the outside of the clear plastic and them glue them together again and I didn't have the stomach for it.

I enjoyed this project but if I were to do it again I think I would just buy the plastic insert online and the trim pieces as well.

- Peter.
That does look like a million dollars. I need to do that.
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84 300D 331K Black (Rufus) 0-60 in 14 seconds (adjusted the ALDA)
00 Toyota Sienna 208K (Sold)
15 Subaru Outback 22K
98 Ford Taurus 62K (Gertie - Was Grandma's - drove it to church and shopping - really) Daughter's car now.
30 Model A Ford 2 Door Sedan (Sold) 0-60 in . . . Never reached 60
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  #13  
Old 01-15-2010, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by sd300td View Post
You'll need to remove the entire grill from the vehicle; well maybe not but its certainly an easier job with the grill removed.
In my opinion, removing the entire grille is not worth the effort required. The plastic insert is secured by a few clips and screws and is easily removed with the frame still attached to the hood.
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2010, 06:26 PM
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Removing the grille requires removal of like 4 nuts? IIRC. Doesn't seem like too much.
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  #15  
Old 01-15-2010, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by johnathan1 View Post
Removing the grille requires removal of like 4 nuts? IIRC. Doesn't seem like too much.
See post #3 with reference to the $30 tape.

And best of luck getting your wheel off. Only five bolts, IIRC!!!!

http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/diesel-discussion/269437-wheel-wont-come-off-post2383354.html#post2383354


Last edited by tangofox007; 01-15-2010 at 07:30 PM.
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