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Old 02-19-2019, 11:13 PM   #1
69GMC910
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Need help! 73/74 grille restoration

I have an original 73 grille that is in great shape, but itís showing itís 45+ age. I would like to make it look good again. Does anyone have any tips as far as cleaning the plastic chrome, and is there a certain colour the grilles were painted? Best way to prep the grille for paint?

Any and all help appreciated!!
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:35 AM   #2
stanski
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Re: Need help! 73/74 grille restoration

The plastic chrome can be cleaned with ultra fine steel wool. It the chrome is cracked or bubbled or peeling, not much you can do with that.
As for the plastic, best prep is brake cleaner, soap and water, then brake cleaner again. As for paint, pick your color as there are several variations, but satin black and steel grey are most common. I have really good results with the Krylon paints, they spray well onto plastics. Always mist on a light coat and let it tack up before the full coat to prevent fish eyes.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:49 AM   #3
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Re: Need help! 73/74 grille restoration

Awesome! Thank you!
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82 GMC High Sierra
VortecPro 496
12 Bolt, 3.42's

AFR 265
Holley 850
Performer RPM Air Gap
Hooker 2455's
TCI Turbo 400 Super Street Fighter
TRRC 12 Bolt
Eaton Posi
Mark Williams Axles
Cal-Tracs
Current best- 11.56@116.4mph
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:55 AM   #4
frenchy51
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Re: Need help! 73/74 grille restoration

I "restored" the cracked and worn original on my "74 Blazer by fiberglassing with mat and resin the cracks. The plastic chrome on the outer surround was good so I cleaned it with car wash. The egg crate chrome was bad so I cleaned it well and sanded any bumps then I took a chance and used thin "chrome" pinstripe tape (I think I got it on Amazon but it's available from auto parts stores). I painted the inner egg crate areas with "argent" wheel paint. Note-I painted the Argent before laying the chrome tape. I had the blue bowtie you see hanging on my wall (no idea what year it is). I can't remember if I glued it on or drilled holes and bolted it? Perfect fit. It all still looks good after about a year of driving including 100+ degree days.
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:08 PM   #5
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Re: Need help! 73/74 grille restoration

So is the entire front face of the egg crate part suppose to be chrome? Any close up pics?
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82 GMC High Sierra
VortecPro 496
12 Bolt, 3.42's

AFR 265
Holley 850
Performer RPM Air Gap
Hooker 2455's
TCI Turbo 400 Super Street Fighter
TRRC 12 Bolt
Eaton Posi
Mark Williams Axles
Cal-Tracs
Current best- 11.56@116.4mph
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:39 AM   #6
frenchy51
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Re: Need help! 73/74 grille restoration

What I did on mine was paint the whole grill Argent silver I masked off the outer chrome trim that was ok to use as-is. Use "thin-line" masking tape. I then painted the Argent Silver on the whole grill (rally wheel paint). Then I used the chrome tape only on the horizontal bars. It lays on easily-use a razor blade to trim ends.
You ask what the original was and I found an old core grill I had. It looks like it was painted black everywhere I painted the Argent and the "chrome" is on the outer surround and the 6 horizontal bars. I think the Argent looks better than the black-I'm not an "Original Nut"-hence the 6.0 engine etc..... (-; I'll post more pictures when I get a chance
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Old 02-22-2019, 01:24 AM   #7
69GMC910
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Re: Need help! 73/74 grille restoration

FYI, I just found that Auto Metal Direct makes new 350 and 454 emblems for the 73/74 grilles!
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82 GMC High Sierra
VortecPro 496
12 Bolt, 3.42's

AFR 265
Holley 850
Performer RPM Air Gap
Hooker 2455's
TCI Turbo 400 Super Street Fighter
TRRC 12 Bolt
Eaton Posi
Mark Williams Axles
Cal-Tracs
Current best- 11.56@116.4mph
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:26 AM   #8
frenchy51
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Re: Need help! 73/74 grille restoration

For an update. I found an unmolested '74 Grill in my stash and cleaned it up. Both the vertical and Horizontal bars are chrome (as well as the outer surround) The rest is painted Argent silver. The mounting tabs are flat black. Hope this helps and sorry for the delay-my computer crashed.....
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:34 AM   #9
69GMC910
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Re: Need help! 73/74 grille restoration

Awesome! Thanks for the info!
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82 GMC High Sierra
VortecPro 496
12 Bolt, 3.42's

AFR 265
Holley 850
Performer RPM Air Gap
Hooker 2455's
TCI Turbo 400 Super Street Fighter
TRRC 12 Bolt
Eaton Posi
Mark Williams Axles
Cal-Tracs
Current best- 11.56@116.4mph
69GMC910 is online now   Reply With Quote
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