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nicely blacked out! Do u plan on blacking out the door handles? Those stick out a bit.
 






nicely blacked out! Do u plan on blacking out the door handles? Those stick out a bit.

Door handles are painted Tuxedo Black. It was the final mod I made a month back. I just haven't taken photos yet :)
 






Door handles are painted Tuxedo Black. It was the final mod I made a month back. I just haven't taken photos yet :)

I see, I'm sure it looks good like the other blacked out ones on here. Do you have a DIY write up on how you did this? I saw your diagram and saw the grill on your X, but I'm trying to picture clearly how you assembled it together. In some ways it seems easy, but in other ways it looks hard to do.
 






correction

I see, I'm sure it looks good like the other blacked out ones on here. Do you have a DIY write up on how you did this? I saw your diagram and saw the grill on your X, but I'm trying to picture clearly how you assembled it together. In some ways it seems easy, but in other ways it looks hard to do.

I worked like a madman on this project, and it only took two days but several hours both days--I only ate once LOL. Unfortunately, I didn't take photos of the process aside from one pic I sent to a friend when he asked what I was working on at the moment.

Here is the grille after reassembly, sanding, smoothing, and initial coat of primer.

1_zps80729cb3.jpg


http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg493/S-H-A-D-O-W/Modifications/1_zps80729cb3.jpg

Sorry my one and only pic during the process sucks.

There are no seams and I tried to make it look OEM. The only thing that seems "off" about it is the diamond pattern in the exact center/top portion of the grille. There are two diamonds that are clearly smaller than the rest. But every single edge and angle lined up perfectly. Based on the curvature of the bottom vent space of the bumper, the width and height of the vent space, the slanted angles of the diamonds, I had to ensure symmetry at minimum, otherwise this whole thing would fail.

The vent space is not rectangular, but actually trapezodial. After disassembling the Sport grille I bought and removing the diamond piece, I removed the center polygon piece that "held" the two sections of diamond patterns. I thought it was in the oval area that encircles the badge area as shown in my diagram. But after looking the scrap pieces, it was not. It was further down the piece.

Then I fused the two diamond pattern pieces together. Despite a near perfect fit, about a 1 inch gap remained left by the recessed oval portion. Since that part looked ugly, I was able to remove that center section and had enough diamond pattern to work with (aka the useable section). After removing the center section, I was left with two "useable section" pieces--both of which are mirrorred copies of one another.

Then I kept "trimming" away on opposite edges of both pieces to reach the exact measurement of the vent opening; while simultaneously ensuring I had enough slack left to maintain the continuity of the pattern. To clarify, if I trimmed an inch off of the left piece, I would cut the same amount but in a mirrored fashion off of the right piece.

For mounting, I used the already existing plastic tab pieces. I trimmed them, heat-molded them, and simply drilled holes in them to place bolts. I removed my bumper to bolt them in place in front of the existing vent grille (it's barely noticeable behind my mod anyway).

I just took this photo right now for you.

B_zpse37ced2c.jpg


http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg493/S-H-A-D-O-W/Modifications/B_zpse37ced2c.jpg

This pic shows two of the scrap pieces left over. The top piece (resting on top of my mouse) was from the middle "oval" section that was cut out first. Both pieces show the plastic tabs used for mounting circled in green. The red circles signify some adhesives I was testing for fusing it all together.

Honestly, I don't know what was worse... the cutting and trimming or the daunting task of fusing the pieces together.
 






THank you for the pics, they give me a better idea of what Im in for if I decide to go this route. It would certainly be great if Ford designers saw this simple, yet effective, way to reach a better design. Who knows, your concept might be on the next generation models. I looked at my bumper vent and saw what you meant about the angle and curvature of the space. I can see how you cant simply make straight square cuts and paste things together. I also didn't realize that the diamonds start to slant even further as you get towards the outer side. I took off my grill and was disappointed to see how much a pain in the *ss it will be to just take the whole thing apart, let alone fabricate the custom part afterward. Did you use a rotary tool and were the parts easy to cut? I see the cut parts have some rough edges. Thanks again dude!
 






Thanks. Who knows what Ford will think of. I know some folks are anxious to see the design of the next gens. Yes, several cuts were made and fortunately were all straight lines. If you're not comfortable tackling the mod, then there's no sense in buying a grill and messing it up. I used a Dremel to cut it up, then a nail file wrapped in sand paper to grind, mold, shape, and refine the edges and curves.
 


















Welcome to the Forum unsung43120.:wavey:

Peter
 






I'm really liking the headlights. I hate the pronounced amber signal. Any details on what you did there?
 






Thank you unsung. Hope your mods go smoother than mines. No I don't plan on lowering... I don't want to adversely affect the warranty.

Fangelillo, I baked the headlight assembly to remove the headlight lens. After that, the amber reflector was held in place by screws, which are easily accessible once the lens is removed. If you search the 2011-2016 threads for "baking headlights" or "removing amber" you will find many posts detailing how people did it. There are various ways people "baked" and various mods they made once they disassembled the headlight (removing/tinting the amber reflector, painting the inner housing, retrofitting HID projectors, retrofitting halo's, etc). :)
 






Thank you unsung. Hope your mods go smoother than mines. No I don't plan on lowering... I don't want to adversely affect the warranty.

I hope so too. I spent almost year research what good used SUV to get, and this included what types of customs to do. Obvious to say I have been anxious and eager to start even before I bought my Explorer. But I gotta admit it seems so overwhelming.
 






It can be overwhelming, and don't let your eagerness stand in the way of your patience. If you do, when things go wrong, it can be disheartening. Start off easy, with what you can afford, and things will start to fall into place. Good luck!
 






Awesome DIY on the lower grill and I will admit your ride looks sick all blacked out
 






Awesome DIY on the lower grill and I will admit your ride looks sick all blacked out

Thank you! I only regret I didn't take detailed pics along the way as I went into the project expecting total failure.

However, my friend is trying to get a 2012 or 2013 model and wants the same thing done--at his expense of course. So if and when that happens, I'll definitely be doing a write-up on this with detailed pics.
 






looks great [MENTION=22298]shadow[/MENTION] . looking closely it appears you placed the custom grill in front of the stock. how did you attach the custom grill to it?

I'm looking to do something similar, but (hopefully) not quite as labor intensive, using an aluminum expanded sheet: http://amzn.to/1esiZ2c . It wont match the upper grill perfectly like yours, but better than stock, and good enough for me. I also would like to remove the 2 outer triangle sections of the bumper, and extend the grill out the entire width. Like the pics below (and yes, these are photoshopped... quickly ;) )

I know cutting those pieces out wont be easy, but first I'm just trying to figure out what if anything is behind them (if there is a reason they protrude out further than the grill part).
 

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I was gonna say, those mods look great LOL. Good job on the photoshop work.

Yes, I placed my grille in front of the stock one because I feared that the openings in the newer grille would yield a dirtier radiator, interior, etc. I attached the newer grille with bolts using the leftover plastic tab material that was a part of the grille. I simply bolted the new grille to the bumper itself--no adhesives or anything like that, so that I can remove it to clean it during my regular car wash.

I have not tried to remove the two triangular pieces yet and was considering doing this as well. I acquired another salvaged Sport Grille and planned on doing the same as your renderings--expanding the lower grille to encompass the whole opening at the bottom. Just haven't gone around to it yet because I've been doing other mods slowly (it can be difficult working full-time and trying to use what little time you have left in the day to work on mods and spend quality time with the loved ones).

I'm waiting on more in budget to get two more cameras (I have a front facing and rear facing BlackVue cameras) and install those. Concurrently, I'm finishing up the "Ford" delete on the top grille, the "Explorer" delete on the rear license lamp shield, and the "Explorer" deletes on both side mirrors. I have yet to do the rear tailgate "Ford" delete. After all that, I will have all the parts painted.

Then... the newer and improved grille :)
 






Wow that looks great Shadow! Good work. How many hours do you think it took you total to measure, cut, prep, paint, and install that lower grill/air dam area?

Black out those door handles and that ride will be hard to see in the dark. I bet you have people thinking a cop is riding behind them when you pull behind them, hahaha! Nice mod!

ETA: I see you've already blacked out the handles and it took you about 4 hours + to do the project. Not bad. Got any new pics of the final totally blacked out product???
 



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Wow that looks great Shadow! Good work. How many hours do you think it took you total to measure, cut, prep, paint, and install that lower grill/air dam area?

Black out those door handles and that ride will be hard to see in the dark. I bet you have people thinking a cop is riding behind them when you pull behind them, hahaha! Nice mod!

ETA: I see you've already blacked out the handles and it took you about 4 hours + to do the project. Not bad. Got any new pics of the final totally blacked out product???

Thanks! I over the course of two days, I put in probably about close to thirty hours on the prep, measuring, and cutting, and gluing alone. The paint took only a few hours (mostly drying time), and the install about 10 minutes since I knew exactly how I would mount the thing.

Yes, the door handles are already blacked out... painted Tux black to match the body.

I'll get some pics of that as soon as I can.
 






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