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Old 07-22-2017, 01:22 PM   #1
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Default Front Grill Slats

During a recent very cold winter day while leaving my driveway, I heard a funny noise and stopped the car. The plastic bracket supports for the front grill slats had fractured, and the slats were hanging loose, and one had fallen off.

The temperature was near zero, and I guess as the front of the car flexed a little , the old plastic supports cracked. There wasn't really much left of the original plastic supports, so I picked up all the pieces, and waited for a warmer day to review what had happened.

Well I finally got around to replacing most of the parts, and decided to make new ones out of aluminum bar stock. I had some 1/2" x 3/8" that was very close to the old plastic. I just finished the basic pieces, minus the slat holder stubs.

Was hard to fit up the first support without a whole sample to copy; however, after a lot of measuring and trial fitting, I was able to make and install all three sections.

Because of the various mounting angles and geometry involved with the slat stub mounts, I have stopped for the time being: however, now the new parts are supporting the lower slat and the front spoiler.

At least by using aluminum, I know the parts will not fail again.
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:11 AM   #2
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Will you be mounting the bars again or is this a style mod?
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:51 AM   #3
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Default Grill Slats

I will be re-mounting the two remaining slats. It is difficult, without a sample, to position and weld the mounting tabs in the correct locations. I will start by adding the two tabs to the middle vertical bracket, then I can mount the other tabs to the slats and mark their locations on the remaining two vertical brackets.

The slats are not the least bit flexible, so the various correct locations are important. I suspect that in addition to the cold weather, and the brittle condition of the original plastic, that there was flex stress present in the plastic from the factory when they attached the slats.

Because of the location, it is difficult to even see the slats. I read that they are important to straighten the air flow at speed through the radiator.

The new aluminum parts will not fail for these reasons. Just need to take the time to complete. Now I have been distracted by the alternator conversion.
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:36 AM   #4
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How much does a factory replacement cost? Now that the struts are fairly rigid, what will be the new weak point to break when you scrub it again? I'd rather replace a $100 piece of plastic trim than an $1500 bumper cover.
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Old 07-24-2017, 01:39 PM   #5
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Default Grill Slats

Curt,
The brackets that hold the three metal slats, also support the air dam. They have no connection to the bumber cover.

I decided to make my own parts, because the original plastic parts were not available, as best I could find. In addition, since I had the aluminum, and all the fabrication equipment, why not make something better as a replacement.

Unless you are at ground level, the slats themselves are hard to see.
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