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SHAD0W

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Here's what you can do with an extra Sport grille.

After many measurements, cutting, grinding, sanding, and modifying, I used the diamond hash part of the grille to make a lower bumper grille screen. Used Duplicolor's Gunmetal Metallic paint, with minor sprays of flat black paint on top of the metallic to mimic the color/finish of the diamond hash.

d_zps3282d3e0.jpg


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Latest addition.... Dark gray, satin reflective stripes

Stripes reacting to ambient light during the day/at dusk...
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Stripes reacting to ambient light at night...
image1_zpsntyibvaj.jpg


Stripes reacting to direct light (flash)....
image2_zpscdi72j77.jpg


Used the same material that I used inside of my headlight....
image3_zpsvojbvmjh.jpg
 
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peterk9

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Looks good SHADOW.
-moving thread to the 'Modified' forum.

Peter
 
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chrisx

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that looks great shadow, where is this place you got the grill from. looking for a used sport grill myself. want to replace my limited grill with it.
 
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SHAD0W

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kristenb/peterk9/chrisx, thanks for the kind words!

chrisx, if you're looking for buy a Sport Grille in excellent or at least very good/decent condition, you should either buy it new (expensive) or buy it from someone off of ebay (cheaper, if available). The place I went to, it's almost expected that most exterior parts are in some fashion, damaged or badly worn.

Here in many major cities in the states, we have places where vehicles are kept when they are in accidents beyond repair (totaled), involved in criminal activities, or are repossessed. They are usually called "u-pick-parts" or have some similar variation in the name. They are often synonymous with junk/scrap yards. For those vehicles that can be salvaged, they are sometimes sold at auctions. For those vehicles that cannot be salvaged or the company sees more profit in "parting" out the vehicle, they will be stored on property for people to grab whatever part they want. Some parts are worn, but still useable such as some hoses or exterior moldings and trims. But if you get lucky, a pick parts place might have what you're looking for and you might find that the part is in the section of the vehicle that was not damaged at all. Anyone from the public pays a nominal fee to enter (usually a buck or two), can bring whatever tools they can muster, and literally pick the parts off of vehicles. Some places have policies on what you can take, but 99% say you can take whatever you can remove or "vulture" off the car--headlights, hoods, doors, panels, a small shifter knob... you name it. In the end, you pay a reduced priced for the part; and it's all cash-only.

I tagged-along with a buddy to one of our local pick-parts yard since he intended on getting a bunch of parts. The specific car he was looking for was picked to the bones, so his treasures were but a few. But when we passed the Ford Truck/SUV area, there was a white Sport that was in an accident the week before (the right side was smashed badly). Needless to say, I ended up leaving there with a bundle of stuff such as rocker panels, moldings, trim, two headlights, one tail light, rear spoiler, belts, hoses, and some other stuff I can't remember. I spent a bit over $400, but saved a lot more on parts I know I would need sometime down the road. I splurged on headlights because I don't actually need them, but can tinker and customize them in my spare time. But something like taillights with LEDs are something that might be handy--especially since the lifespan of the LED tail lights are unknown on this newest generation truck. As for the Sport Grille, brand new would have cost me several hundreds of dollars. But because the part was damaged/used, I got it for dirt cheap. It didn't matter, I was looking for only one part of the grille to use anyway--namely, the diamond hash beneath the damaged exterior.
 
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txaggie

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Looks great!!
 
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mhikeboy

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good job! looks great!
 
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Sgt1411

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That looks really good, on the Interceptors Ford has produced an optional lower grill almost the same. Distinctly different than retail but made of steel mesh.

That looks much better though, I'm emailing a pic to the program team.

Nice work!
 
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SHAD0W

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Thx Sgt! If you got a pic or forum post link to the Interceptor lower grille, that would be great. I've seen the Interceptor upper grille pic I think you or someone else posted.

My mod was more of an after thought during lunch one day. I used to drive a Chevy Malibu GOV, until I was issued an Explorer. Despite opinions about Chevy, I liked the Malibu and it served me well. While sitting in the restaurant, I looked at my Ex parked facing towards me in the window. Then a Malibu pulled in and parked next to me. I noticed it had a somewhat of a diamond grille pattern that occupied all three of the front openings from the top grille to the bottom of the bumper. Then I looked at my Ex and thought it be nice if Ford did something similar such as continue the diamond mesh pattern to the bottom opening on the Sport bumper. For the Limited/XLT/base, they could continue the same pattern in the bottom opening as the corresponding grilles of those respective models such as added chrome horizontal inserts. Since I changed my grille to the Sport, it only made sense to me to continue the diamond pattern.

After looking closely at the diamond mesh pattern, it was clear I could not fabricate this myself since it's more than diamond/harlequin patterns. The pattern is skewed, mult-dimensional, and not flat in the front. So the only solution was to use an original Sport grille.

This idea was almost seven months ago LOL, and it only came to fruition three months ago when I found the grille for cheap and was able to make it.

After taking the grille apart, I realized that my idea might fail. After removing the three horizontal pieces of the grille, I saw that the diamond pattern was in one piece. There was a gap that was filled by a small connection piece. The diamond was also partially cut out by the oval used for the badge. See below.

Grille1_zpse9a6d189.jpg


http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg493/S-H-A-D-O-W/Modifications/Grille1_zpse9a6d189.jpg

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http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg493/S-H-A-D-O-W/Modifications/Grille2_zps96cbde92.jpg

I had 4" worth of vertical space to fill in the lower bumper. So I had to carefully chose which specific sections to cut out and re-piece together. It was mainly difficult because the diamonds are skewed to the right and to the left. And in the end, some diamonds were made smaller to maintain symmetry in the piece. If you look at my grille, two diamonds in the upper section of the grille are smaller than the rest. I had to also account for the curvature of the piece and forward slant angle.

All in all, about a weekend for me to do. Glad you liked it.
 
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KeepRidinDirty

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These pics make me regret getting white... Thats a slick looking ride.
 
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SHAD0W

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These pics make me regret getting white... Thats a slick looking ride.

LOL thanks! Each one has a unique appeal that the other doesn't share, yet to me, the white one looks just as good as the black.
 
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peterk9

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I had the white on my 2011 Limited and really liked it. First one of that colour I ever had. It always seems to look clean and the body definately stays a lot cooler than a black or dark colour in direct sun light.

Peter
 
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SHAD0W

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I had the white on my 2011 Limited and really liked it. First one of that colour I ever had. It always seems to look clean and the body definately stays a lot cooler than a black or dark colour in direct sun light.

Peter

I agree with that. White is def a lot easier to keep clean, and light colored paint mitigates a hot interior. I would be curious to see what a light champagne Ex would look like.
 
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peterk9

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Well, my MKT is what they call Crystal Champagne. :)
 

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tmg19103

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My Saab is jet black and my Ex is "pearl".

Nothing looks better than a freshly washed and shined up jet black. Couple days later, another story.

The white Ex holds up very well between washes (just as dirty - just can't tell).

So, I get to pick and choose depending upon what was washed more recently.....

And even though I decided on White Platinum for my Ex, that blacked out Ex looks sweet and I love the mod.
 
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SHAD0W

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Interesting color there peter. Thanks for sharing.

tmg19103, I hear ya. I'm almost in the same pick and choose situation. But my work car is a 2013 Platinum White, and my personal is a 2014 Tuxedo Black. Work car def gets more mileage and road exposure, and prone to getting dirty faster; whereas my personal hardly gets driven but gets to remain garaged. I guess in the end, they even out.
 
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