After viewing plenty of DIY jobs on the VWVortex forums, I have decided to tackle a few DIY jobs the next few months. I'm saying months because I really need to take it easy with things relating to the car and start focussing on my study. Anyway, I've got three DIY jobs I'm thinking of doing:
- Wheel repair:
I've been thinking of repairing the awful curb rashes on my stock 14's myself, then respraying them a different colour. This is purely a fun project, as my options are either to sell them for dirt cheap or just chuck them out - no one wants to buy OEM wheels, and if they did, they wouldn't want to fish out a decent amount of money for ugly, damaged wheels, so I might as well gain the best of my situation and learn a few things with this DIY.
It basically involves filling the curb rashes and other damaged parts of the wheel with metal filler (I recently bought some Selleys Knead It Steel) then doing your usual paint prep with sanding and cleaning. Paint would then go on like with all the other projects I've done - primer, basecoat, clear. Being used on wheels, they would be required to be able to withstand some high temperatures, so I'm still looking around for suitable products to use. When it comes to the colour, I'm thinking of going with gunmetal grey or charcoal, just so I can see what a darker shade of wheels would look like on the Golf. I'm thinking of refurbishing + widening + repainting the centres gold for the BBS RS (this will come much later), but many of my friends have expressed that black would look much better, so I'll use this project to try and sway my opinion a bit. Inspiration comes from this thread from VWVortex.
This project will most likely start when I go for my next wheel alignment, which may be soon (it already feels out - car doesn't feel as stable as when I first had the new suspension fitted on). I'll have the tyres mounted off the 14's as it will definitely make the project much more easier to do.
- Badgeless grille:
At the Nats, Paul from EuroCarDriver gave me quotes on some aftermarket items. Now, these guys are the only stockists as far as I know when it comes to parts from in.pro and FK. At the moment, aftermarket support in Australia is barely existent and most people buy from eBay from international sellers when it comes to obtaining their aftermarket goodies. There are a few shops that sell the odd aftermarket taillights and headlights, but they are incredibly expensive. The quotes that Paul gave me included a badgeless grille (2-slat and Kamei look-alike), and they were $299 and $199 respectively. This would probably come off as no surprise - it's basically a monopoly when it comes to the watercooled VW aftermarket market. I cannot justify $299 for a badgeless grille, especially when I see examples on eBay selling for only $60USD. Why shouldn't I buy from eBay then? It would end up costing me about the same when it arrives here in Australia due to the costly shipping. I've been quoted $100USD for shipping a badgeless grille, due to their long shape. I really can't part that kind of money for something that just improves the aesthetics of my car.
Haha, /end rant. So because of that, I've decided to tackle my own DIY job on making a badgeless grille. Most obvious reason is cost, but there are other reasons too; I much prefer a 3-slat badgeless grille, and these seem to be quite rare in the market, and the only ones I've seen are the Bonrath ones. They are known to be of good quality, but I prefer it if there was no "by Bonrath" insignia on the grille itself. Since I have a stock GL grille, I already have 3 slats. All I would need is another GL grille (there should be plenty at the wreckers), where I can cut a small section out. I would then have the badge hole cut out, and in place would be the slats from the other grille; I can then weld/epoxy/glue them on. I would have to fill the bottom section of the grille too where the badge would have sat. All in all, it shouldn't be extremely difficult, though it may be when it comes to making it look flawless. Inspiration drawn from this thread.
- Smoking the front indicator cluster:
Since I'm going for the smoked look, it's only a matter of time that I smoked the front indicator cluster. I was thinking of buying aftermarket smoked Hella fogs + middle blank + indicator, but they, like the badgeless grille, costs pretty much an arm and a leg for what they are. I would need to invest in a new headlight switch as well with the front foglight function, and a friend of mine has informed me that the dealer stocks them for $160. That's almost $500 when it comes to just getting smoked fogs and indicators installed and working. So that's a definite no for me.
What I could do is buy a set of standard Mk3 fogs and the blanks that go with it, and smoke them myself. It would be very similar to what I did with the joey-mod for the headlights, but taking the lenses apart would be bloody tricky. I've tried to do so with my long blanks, but I've did nothing but crack them. They just don't hold up as well.
Inspiration was drawn from this thread, again from the Vortex. As the pictures show, it looks great if done carefully.
Idea #2 just sprang to my mind when I received an email from Paul about the prices today, but at the moment seems to be the most likely DIY mod that I'll be doing first. I really would like a badgeless grille, and they have been one of the first aesthetic mods that I wanted to do.
Idea #3 is just a 50/50 for me at the moment, since it just doesn't sound as fun as the first two ideas. I might just "ghetto" smoke what I have right now by just spraying matte black paint on the blanks and leaving the turns orange - I Dubmodder-ed this and it looks decent, though it doesn't tie in with my tinted and de-ambered rear lights + the smoked side indicators. Will have to see how it goes.
Here are some pics from Dubmodder with some Photoshop/MS Paint handy-work:
Haha, "modding" the grille to take the badge out was much easier in MS Paint. If only it was as simple as that in reality.
4am now, I need my sleep. Just went to John Mayer's concert and it was great - was a tad short though. Anyway.