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unstable 03-03-2003 06:07 AM

Input on Custom Grill project
I noticed some vendors are putting out some pretty slick looking grills for late-model trucks. Stuff with flames or "teeth".

I know with enough talent, anything is possible...but how feasible is it to build a grill from scratch? Does anyone have any experience with this and can you give me some tips?

-Doing my best to gather information on different mods at this point...I'm not much beyond banging out dents in my sheetmetal.

as always, thanks for the help.

Halloweenking 03-03-2003 12:04 PM

Unstable, making a grill is actually pretty simple and straight forward, depending on the grill size shape and finish it could also be alot of work. I'm doing a how to on this subject, if you can wait for a few days to look over these it would help you, or if your needing guidance now PM or e-mail me on the model of vehicle you have and what look your going for and what your ideas currently are.


unstable 03-03-2003 12:47 PM

HK you are THE MAN.

I'm doing my best to soak up all of this knowledge. I don't know much about body work/fabrication but I'm doing my best to learn. It's tough when you don't work in the industry...I'm a computer geek by day...and a wanna-be metal worker by night.

I'm still pretty young <23> so I figure by the time I'm 30 or so I'll be done with my first custom-ride.

I'm in no rush on the custom-grill...just another idea I had for the 57 Chevy Truck.

horvath 03-03-2003 06:52 PM

I've wondered about the possibilities of doing a different grill on my 54 Chevy pickup -- it's grill design looks more difficult to swap out than most (though I certainly wouldn't know).

I'd like to remove the "cross' and put in a real "grill" ... like 3/8" wide chrome rods, spaced about 3/8" to 1/2", running horizontally.

Grills can be an awfully exciting feature on any rod!

Alan Horvath
<a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Acoustic Rock ... for real.

pasadenahotrod 03-05-2003 05:47 AM

The most important thing about a custom grille is that passes air sufficient to keep the radiator cooling similar to the original, especially on the older cars and trucks which often have air flow problems with a modern engine installed.
Of course, it is real nice if it also lokks really cool!

unstable 03-05-2003 06:51 AM


What you're talking about doesn't seem too difficult. My first guess at starting this would be get a crap-grill off of ebay that you can hack on...I want to keep my original grill just in case I totally hose this project.

I want to do maybe flames, or iron-crosses, dollar signs, these have all come to mind.

I figure you take a grill you are willing to hack...get rid of everything except the frame that mounts it in, and work from there.

crazy larry 03-05-2003 11:57 AM

Horvath, wow this is weird.
I ordered some 3/8" steel rod, I'm gonna use it to make a grill for my truck. was thinking @ 3/8" to a 1/2" gap between rods. I think i'll try a piece of the rod cut to the height of the grill x 2 and bent slightly to have a little curve for the cross pieces. will have to wait till I get to playin' with it to know better. then I think I'd like to see about having it (actually them) chromed. a guy I work w/ sent some wheels to a shop in tyler, will be checking them out.

Dave E Shank 03-05-2003 05:14 PM

HEY UNSTABLE: Check out WWW.FLEXCHROME.COM they have products to build or enhance your grill project :p GOOD LUCK...DAVE

horvath 03-05-2003 08:10 PM

I've been thinking that maybe a 1" gap between the rods would be better ... it'd still look good, and offer a whole lot more air-flow ... ?

The only problem with this idea, for me, is I THINK the cross (grill) on my 54 Chevy pickup isn't removable - ?? - I haven't looked real closely at it yet - I'm busy with my EZ-Wire kit, Gennie Shifter, Dolphin gauges, and a new heater!!! LOL! Still waiting for the gauges, shifter and heater, and then whammo! Man, this is FUN!

Halloweenking 03-05-2003 09:17 PM

Alan, Larry, Unstable, building a grill is about as simple as you can get. If you can cut and weld your halfway there. I think 3/8" bar is a bit to big myself. I kinda gives it that "JC Whitney" look. I personally don't like 3/8" tubing, however if that what you guys want thats your choice. If you have an idea of what you want or the look your going for I could help you nail down exactly what you should do. If you don't have any idea I could help you come up with one. Pasedena is correct though, when building a grill air flow is an important factor. Many rods that close or narrow the air path have other ways of bringing in air.

Alan, I havn't in recent years been up close and personal to a '54, but the entire grill has to come off. It may be tack welded in two or three places, but it can't be perminent. If you give me an idea on what your looking for in a grill or what theme or look your going for with the truck I can tell you how to build it, or help you come up with something cool.

Unstable, I think a comuter geek is alot esier on the body than being a sheet metal geek. A 57 grill is just no sweat, can be built in a day if you have all the supplies. PM me on what your looking for and I might be able to help you out.


[ March 05, 2003: Message edited by: Halloweenking ]</p>

horvath 03-06-2003 09:22 PM

Thanks, HK

How thin would *you* see the rods being? And what kind of spacing would make sense to your knowledge?

I may be painting my truck later this year, or early next year - Candy Apple Red - and THEN I'd be gettin' serious about this grill thing - and I sure wouldn't want to make her run any hotter, either.

PS - Where are you located, HK?

Halloweenking 03-06-2003 10:53 PM

I'm down below you in the southern triangle, South Carolina. If you look way at the southern tip on a map the dot for beaufort will jump out and tweak your dulcimer.

Its difficult to say. It all depends on how the grill will be set up. If your going with a basic horizontal or verticle bar grill on your truck and you take off all of the original grill a 1/4" with .65" wall flattened a tiny bit giving it two sides but a rounded apearance and form it into the original shape of the grill and make a thinner bumper it would look sweet. Now if you were to just remove the virtical bar and left the hood trim bar and the horizontal bar, using semi flattened 3/8 would be fine because any smaller and they would look out of place do to the thick horizontal original bar. If you were to add some verticle flames to a horizontal bar grill I'd use semi flattened 3/8" for the flames and 1/4" for the horizontal bars so they would fall into the background. by adding a clear black light activated paint to the anodized or polished grill you could make them glow at night or just anodize the flames and leave the horizontal bars polished or brushed. It all depends on the grill type about the size of tubing used, but never use totally round tubing, it looks tacky do to the fact nothing else is 100% rounf other than the wheels. The spacing usually is double what the original diameter of the tubing was. For example ever 1/2" for 1/4" tubing and depending on the amount you flatten, it usually turn up near 5/8-3/4" gap so on so forth. If you'd like some help on the design or anything else you know where I am.


horvath 03-07-2003 09:14 PM

Too cool.

Who knows? Maybe I'll truck on down there one fine day and we can work on it together ... or, you do the work and I'll play my dulcimers.

Thanks, bro'.

Halloweenking 03-07-2003 09:30 PM

Sounds like a plan. My advise is to stay away from here in august unless you'd like to bake in 110+ heat. Other than that its pretty nice here overall. No mountains, not even a presentable hill within 70 miles, but not to shabby :D Happy to help.


one off 03-08-2003 02:42 PM

horvath i think the grill you have is toooo cool
here's a tip i use when i'm making a major change on a body design. take a few photo's of your truck from different angles. then learn to draw that area that your working on. then you can draw your changes and see how ther're going to look. if you can't draw at all it's easy to find someone who can. my wife makes the comment offten when i design stuff "how do you make it look just like the picture" usually it's alot of trial and error.but it's easier on paper than on metal.
i would like to see what you come up with.oh yah sometimes you can draw that area your customizing
and put it right on the photo.

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