Even when I feel worn out and low I still seem to find time to chip away at the car (sometimes literally). So it was a surprise when I stumbled across a genuine Nissan Spec 2 front grill on ebay.
It was listed as a GTST front grill and nothing more than that. Looking at it I had my suspicion that it may be the mystical often wanted, never found 'traditional' grill of the Skyline. Surely it would not be advertised in such a way, as the casual observer would never guess that it was for anything other than a Spec 1 and even then it looked way to tatty for the opening bid.
Anyway I decided to have a go and armed my bid sniper software with a reasonable amount (always scares me using it when I 'really' want something!) and I managed to grab it for the sum of £29.
So what exactly had I got? Yes it was a spec two grill and most of it was still present. Two of the lower lugs had rather crudely been cut away. The plastic poorly painted in gun metal grey and the mesh painted badly with thick glop. The all important 'S' logo was just in a terrible state having a thick coat of black paint on it and damaged in areas where glue had been sloppily applied to affix it the the grill itself.
Still, like a challenge me...
Started out with the 'S' logo. I knew I was going to lose definition of the 'outline' around the 'S' itself, although I accepted that I would have to live with this. As standard these would have come in the colour red. I set to work with scalpel and sand paper cutting away the thick bad parts and finally sanding back the good. I counted in total three layers of paint going back to what was left of the original red. The plastic had been damaged in places with the glue burning into it. I can only assume this was like a modellers plastic adhesive and whoever did it was a bit daft. I filled the damaged areas as best I could and then sanded the 'S' back to an acceptable shape.
I actually went with a bronze enamel on the paint finish with a couple of layers of lacquer and although tempted to just give it a little more effort. I decided that it may cross over from job well done to load of old crap.
The plastic surround was a little more mundane and consisted of hours of patient sanding. There are many annoying corners to work around. this was then painted on the outside with KH3 Nissan black and given a couple of coats of lacquer. Internally I used Wayside adhesives plastic 'effect' paint. This looks like a plastic finish and dries a Matt black. Additionally I sprayed all the brackets in their plastic paint to 'refresh' them.
The wire grill/metal surround I sent to Thatcham Powder (see posts) coat to struggle with. They chickened out on grit blasting and hand prepped the front faces, it was then given a powder coat of satin black.
Assembly of the grill was still a bit of a balls ache. I had to use some strong double sided tape to hold the front of the mesh in position on the grill. I then ran a bead of glue from a hot glue gun to keep it there! I know, I'm as bad as the last idiot that owned it!
I had never fitted a grill to a spec two before. I could see that there were push clips which lock into place with a curious square lug on the back. As the grill had some missing I got hold of a old spec 1 grill and removed them from there. Basically gripping the front of the grip, pushing and twisting!
A pair of long nose pliers removed my existing spec 2 grill quite easily. Many people had said how hard this would be.. It's not hard at all and I can only assume that they use brute force and ignorance.
Fitting the new grill was just... too easy and an anti climax. It simply pushed into place.
The result I find pleasing to the eye, delightful in fact and add's a little beauty to the world.
|No More 'hole!'|
|Custom S badge.. made of filler and good hopes|