Another thing I want to do is to eliminate all of the chrome from my truck. For that reason, I ordered a new grill and bumper in black. I intent to paint them either body color or a gloss black, I haven't made my mind up just yet.
Well, I got my new grill cut up for the Satoshi x Intake scoop setup and primed it along with the new bumper. Notice I'm painting the trim on the corner lights as well. Not sure why people always fail to do that. 20211120_213042 by Jose, on Flickr
I'm itching to get all these projects done so I can clean my garage of all this junk! 20211120_213035 by Jose, on Flickr
I did a quick test fit on the truck to see what the grill looks like. It's pretty funny looking like that lol. 20211118_203307 by Jose, on Flickr
The hardware that holds the valence to the bumper bar was all rusted out. For this reason, I ordered stainless bolts but still needed to do something about the clips they thread into. I decided to take a stab at rust bluing these parts. I started by leaving them in a mix of salt and vinegar for a couple of days to peel off any finish and remove all the uneven rust. I gave them a good scrub with a toothbrush to reveal clean metal. From there, I brushed on a mix of hydrogen peroxide and salt. This causes the parts to rust uniformly. I then submerged the parts in boiling water until they turned black. Once the parts were black, I took them out and added the peroxide mix again, giving them a coat of red rust over the black. I then boiled these again and continued to repeat the process until I got the nice, jet black look I wanted. Once finished, you can seal the parts with oil or wax to prevent future rust. I left mine in a cup of motor oil. Once it's time to reassemble the front end, these will come back out of the oil. 20211129_220908 by Jose, on Flickr
I rolled the truck out of the garage earlier and set up a makeshift paint area. I definitely need to clean up this garage before taking on future paint projects; it is not a clean enough environment to use as a booth. 20211201_145418 by Jose, on Flickr
It's a pretty basic setup. Plastic bag on a picnic table and a small industrial fan to blow out the fumes (I opened the door partially while I sprayed). 20211201_150258 by Jose, on Flickr
Here are the parts once painted. They have a good gloss, but it is certainly not close to my best work. I did end up with some fisheye and some particulates in the paint, nothing I can't resolve with a wet sand and buff. Part of the issue is the paint I have is a few years old, and I really should have run the base coat through a strainer before mixing and not just strained it when pouring into the HVLP gun. Oh well, another lesson learned lol. 20211201_182012 by Jose, on Flickr
I absolutely love how Toyota's Black Sand Pearl looks in the light, one of the reasons I have used it so much over the years. Believe me when I tell you, pictures don't do it justice. I will definitely have to paint my future Supra in this color! 20211201_191710 by Jose, on Flickr 20211201_191720 by Jose, on Flickr
The paint has flashed on the surface, so I carefully moved everything so I could take apart the painting table and put the truck back in the garage. 20211201_191725 by Jose, on Flickr
This is the temporary hangout until I roll the truck in and rest it in the bed 20211201_203238 by Jose, on Flickr
You can't really tell, but I applied the same paint to the mesh that's on the old chrome grill. I will be transferring that mesh to the new grill...just as soon as I find my Allen wrenches
in all this mess rofl! 20211201_203801 by Jose, on Flickr
I went ahead and started peeling the tape off the corner lights. These came out really good! 20211201_203547 by Jose, on Flickr
I really love how this looks and cannot wait to see it all on the truck! 20211201_204450 by Jose, on Flickr
What a shame I got all this random grit in the paint and will have to sand the entire thing back and re-spray it. 20211202_203541 by Jose, on Flickr
However, I did find the culprit. I noticed low paint flow throughout the process. Upon closer inspection, both of my HVLPs needed new filters and I was in need of a new regulator. I got both at Lowes and my bumper ended up coming out much better as a result. I will say, my air compressor is really under specced for the larger of the two HVLPs; it kept running as I was painting. I foresee a larger one in my near future
I actually corrected my HVLP issues shortly after I began the bumper- so it got a rocky start. However, I am quite happy with the final result. I think a wet sand and buff will leave this thing 100% perfect. 20211202_200824 by Jose, on Flickr 20211202_200819 by Jose, on Flickr
I ended up deciding that there was no way I was about to sand down that entire grill. Instead, I decided to follow my original plan of making the headlight buckets and lower area by the mesh a flat or satin black. So, I sanded all of that down and hit it with rust reformer by Rustoleum. It dries a nice, satin black. Not sure how it will hold up in this area, but it looks really good. Best of all, it's an extremely subtle difference that you don't catch if you aren't looking for it.
From there, I assembled the scoops and the mesh to the grill. Don't mind the mess that is my dining room- that's another project we are working on lol. 20211203_180536 by Jose, on Flickr
Here is the completed grill, mounted up to the truck. I was unable to get all of those stupid clips to line up perfectly and quite a few either broke or got deformed (the aftermarket ones that came with this grill are definitely not as nice as the factory Toyota ones) 20211204_154742 by Jose, on Flickr
I can't wait to have the hood clear coated and the hood latches paint matched to the grill. The truck is going to look sick!
It turns out that the bolts I got for attaching the valence to the bumper were too short. I ordered some 30 mm long ones in order to get this together and I am pretty sure they actually sent 40 mm ones instead. Oh well, they did the job so 40 mm it is.
As you can see, Christmas decorations are also going up, so I have a ton of boxes down from the attic lol 20211205_193351 by Jose, on Flickr
I know that no one will see these, but I just had to do it like this. I will know they are there and that makes me happy! 20211205_194459 by Jose, on Flickr
I then painted the back of the bumper with Rust Reformer for added protection. I love the contrast it gives vs the outside of the bumper 20211210_170905 by Jose, on Flickr 20211210_170913 by Jose, on Flickr
I also did a couple coats of Plasti-Dip on the lower valence in order to make it a nicer black.
I also painted the bumper mount brackets in the same paint and then installed the bumper. I have to say, this is the worst paint match in the history of paint matches rofl! I'm not sure if it's because of the color of primer I used, the age of the can of paint (like 10 years), the oxidation level of the paint on the rest of the truck, or all of the above lol! However, the bumper has a noticeably bluer tone to it. In any case, I do need to repaint the entire truck as it is peeling up top, so this may be a good excuse to get going on that project. 20211210_191559 by Jose, on Flickr 20211210_192216 by Jose, on Flickr
You will notice that I haven't reinstalled the bumper lights. This is because I did not like how they looked against the painted bumper. I am thinking of making a black brake duct with an LED ring around the perimeter in order to fill this all in. 20211210_192221 by Jose, on Flickr
I recently decided to get a decorative front plate (we don't require front license plates in Florida). The Tacoma valence has two divots on it to indicate where you can drill it out for the license plate bolts. There are two plastic tubes behind, likely with the idea that you can tap them and thread a screw in. I don't like anything that involves threads in plastic; it's simply a bad idea and plastic threads ALWAYS fail. So, I ordered up a rivnut tool so I could do this properly.
Here's my decorative tag. It's common to see custom cars in Florida owned by people who are of Puerto Rican or Cuban heritage rocking decorative tags that represent that heritage. Same for Texans actually lol. So, being that I am of Dominican heritage, I got a plate that represents that. 20211219_131100 by Jose, on Flickr
It actually sat on my truck like this until the rivnut tool arrived 20211220_175835 by Jose, on Flickr
This is the rivnut/nutsert tool I got from Amazon. This one was affordable and had pretty good reviews. Note that it comes with rivnuts but I ordered some stainless ones to match my stainless M6x1.00 mounting screws. 20211222_125020 by Jose, on Flickr
Of course, generic hardware would not do, so I used stainless Allen head bolts with finish washers. I burnished the washers using a micro torch in order to get one to a bluish tone and the other to a purple. 20211222_142713 by Jose, on Flickr
I may move the plate off to the side in the future, since it looks a little like a bucktooth there in the middle. For now, I'm happy with it and think it looks good. 20211222_142801 by Jose, on Flickr