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April 8, 2017
isn't a much more distinctive part of the TR6 than its grille.
It's just a simple egg-crate design, but the shape and how it
spans and offsets the headlights just adds to the brawny feel of the
car. And the largish TR6 medallion set proudly dead center, like
a nose cone, sets a definite masculine tone.
grille was all there, but somehow in storage, the enameled medallion
had become damaged. I know it wasn't that way when I put it away.
is how the grille is constructed. The welded aluminum egg crate
fits inside a steel perimeter frame. A polished stainless strip
covers the frame on the top and bottom (except on earlier cars, I
think). Across the center is an anodized aluminum extrusion
that carries a black cloth strip in its recess.
steel perimeter frame was coated with some kind of rubbery compound
that had failed in places, trapping water under it. The
frame was also zinc plated when new, so after a lot of effort to remove
the coating, I soaked it in Evaporust to remove the rust without
damaging the surviving zinc. The rust left fairly deep pitting in
places, but nothing that threatened the integrity of the frame.
egg crate was originally painted with a flat or satin black that was in
bad shape, and the aluminum had a lot of corrosion pits. A little
sand blasting took care of the corrosion and the remaining paint.
a whim, I removed the rest of the enamel from the field of the
medallion. At this point, I didn't know what I was going to do
gave the frame and agg crate a couple shots of epoxy primer. On
the medalion, I masked off the chrome borders and the raised parts, and
shot it, too.
then shot the frame and egg crate with some satin black trim paint,
which I apparently forgot to take a picture of. While that was
drying, I dug out the center aluminum rail. The black cloth
strip in its recess was faded and dirty, and came out easily after
removing little spring clips at the ends. In my research, I
repeatedly came across a tip that the tape used to improve grip on
tennis rackets was a close match. I bought some, and it looks
identical to the original. It's wider, though, and has to be cut
down to a little over 5/16". It is self adhesive, but I installed
the original clips anyway.
test fitting everything, I found that the steel frame actually has to
be sort of stretched over the egg crate, and the crate is held in by
the tension of the frame. This meant that the ends of some of the
aluminum strips of the crate were bearing pretty hard on the frame.
This didn't seem to augur well for the paint on the frame, and it
occurred to me that maybe that was the reason for the tough rubbery
coating on the frame. My attempt to keep the crate pieces from
digging into the frame paint was to dip the ends of the crate pieces in
Plasti-Dip a few times. This coats the ends with cushiony rubber.
Hope it works.
here's what I decided to do with the medallion. I've seen that a
few people have either painted or had their medallions re-enameled in a
color other than black. I just mixed up a little Mimosa paint
that I used for the tub, and shot a couple of heavyish coats.
I'll wait to see how it looks on the car before I decide to use
it this way.
So, with all the parts ready, a dozen or so blind rivets puts it all back together.
was a fairly quick, fun project. The only cost was for the grip
tape, and I actually also bought a new black medallion before I decided
to try the Mimosa Experiment. I'm sure I'll use the yellow
medallion somewhere even if it isn't the nose cone.
Comments to Ed at email@example.com
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