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Discussion Starter #1
So I have taken on the tedious task of restoring the headlight housings on my 67. I have separated the chrome grille's from the cast aluminum backs. I have polished the fronts of the grille's with buffing wheels on a dremel and chrome polish. I noticed that on the sides of each bar on the grille that there is a hardened buildup of dirt left over from many years of people just washing the front of the headlight housings during car washes. Of course we all know most folks thought of these cars as daily drivers and did not take the time to "thoroughly" clean each bar, front and sides, on the grille allowing the dirt to accumulate over time to the point where it has become a hardened plaque. My questions is, is there a chemical or something I can soak these grille's in to soften the "plaque" to where it comes off easier? because dremel wire wheels are a bit expensive.
 

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You do know that the sides were not chrome right?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No, I wasn't aware of that. I suppose it is correct to say that I am polishing the sides to a near chrome finish because of all of the buffing, giving me the impression that they are chrome? But even if that is the case, is there any other way to get the plaque off with going through expensive dremel bits?
 

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werent the sides powdercoated black like the tail light grilles? mine are black with polished leading edges only....trying to buff off powder coating (that does in fact get fuzzy over time and attracts dirt and fades looking like thick gunk) with buffing wheels might be alot harder than trying to find some sort of stripper for it...
 

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The sides of the bars were originally painted silver from the factory. Here's some detail pics of a properly restored grille:









I have wondered what it would look like to have the sides be chrome, or black like the taillight grilles. With enough steel wool and elbow grease you can probably strip the silver paint off.
 

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Buffem down, tapem off and spray some silver back onem. Don those ones you show sure look sweet!
 

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Or even yet just tape off the chrome front and spray the whole thing trim black. The Black grille and sides make that front flat strip of chrome gleam even more :)
 

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Take a nylon grout brush, degreaser, prime and paint. I did mine in black and they look sharp the new black paint has a lot of luster to it. It looks nice from close up and at a distance.
 

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Got any pics of the grille with the sides of the bars painted black (and the front still chrome)? I'm curious to see what that looks like! Or, chrome sides and fronts, for that matter, if anyone's done that.
 

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Powder coating started in 1966 with the Navy using it on helicopter blades, if I recall right.

In 1968 I don't know of any car manufacturer using such.

Dale in Indy
 

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no p-coat on the grill from the factory---when i got or 67 , it had a late 67/or 68 grill on the drivers side (yes, there is at least two versions of the grill) and the silver / grey color was different on the two---i'm not sure but could there have been different colors on the sides of a 67 compared to a 68 ???
doctordesoto
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Blitz, Thanks for the detailed pictures, definately going to help with the restoration. Now that I know that the sides of the bars are painted, what brand/sort of silver paint will I need to use on the bars? also, the tops/bottums of the grille and cast aluminium backs which the chrome mounts to requires black paint, what sort/brand of paint and primer should I use? If some one could recommend the best way to paint these things (number of coats, and other steps) that would be great I would like my housings to look as close to the housings pictured above as possible.
 

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Got any pics of the grille with the sides of the bars painted black (and the front still chrome)? I'm curious to see what that looks like! Or, chrome sides and fronts, for that matter, if anyone's done that.
Here you go Andrew,
 

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I lucked out and tried permatex gasket remover on the side paint - magically removed it in 5 min. Now face and sides are chrome... Eric.
 

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Cougar-67 do you have any pictures of your Grille? Mine sides are painted black. When I replaced my Cougar emblem on the door I taped off the chrome bars with 1/4 inch masking (green) tape that I picked up at the auto paint supply house here in town. I covered the rest of the car and used primer and satin black paint after cleaning the grille. With the new emblem and paint the grille turned out great.
Steven
 

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I had pics but with semi-annual hard drive issues, lost them. I'll snap some new ones and post tonight. What I did is stripped all the non-chrome parts down to bare metal with permatex (so perfect for the task - aerosol, not roll-on), took them to a local powder coating place, and turned out a beautiful satin black.
 

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To me, the silver on the chrome bar sides was a dumb idea. Proof is that that's where all the pot metal pock marking occurred. Gimme chrome and let it shine during the day and night...
 

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Here is a finished picture of my grille with the chrome bars and black painted sides. I also had a lot of work to do to get the grille straight from the warping that happens over time. I also added two stops under each door to help keep everything even and straight. The article I used was the one that was posted on TCCN II website. I am pleased the way everything turned out. It is a big improvement over how the grille looked when I purchased my car.
Steven

Grille After.JPG
Grille After Restoration
 

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That looks like it turned out nice! You say you used permatex to strip it? I thought permatex was just sealer.
 

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I actually removed all the pot metal chrome from the bases. They all had screws to keep them in place, and just needed to tap away gently at all the ends that were keeping them in place otherwise. One of the pics will show you what I mean. Sorry for the bad lighting, but I'll take a few more shortly and post. Wanted to show you my passenger side, with the emblem plate redone (one of my good jobs), but the damn bucket had damage and the cover isn't symmetrical with the end. Anyone have a passenger bucket in good condition?

What's wrong with the manage attachments function - pics are <100Kb, yet 5 min later can't add any files. Wish the old interface/functions were used. Will try later on the pics.
 
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