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Dechroming Split Grill

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Wai-Fan, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. Wai-Fan
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    Wai-Fan Member

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    [Aug 28, 2009]
    Just dechromed my grill tonight and I took some pics and doing a write up.

    Apologies for the poor pictures because the iPhone camera is S**T.

    Anyways, Started at 6.30 and didn't finish till 10. Would have been quicker if I stuck the vinyl on properly, but I didn't so had to rip some off and start again.

    Tools:
    Hands
    Torx screwdriver - size T30.
    Flathead screwdriver - Not essential, but useful.
    Something to clean with - e.g. wet sponge.
    Black vinyl
    Scissors
    Swiss army knife/stanley knife - Something sharp to cut off excess vinyl.
    Hairdryer

    1.
    Open the bonnet and undo the 3 torx screws with a T30 torx screwdriver.
    If you don't have one, you can buy a set from eBay or Screwfix.
    I bought my set from Screwfix for under £8!
    http://www.screwfix.com/prods/90468...Key-Set-9Pcs?cm_re=SEARCHPROMO-_-TORX-_-90468

    [​IMG]

    2.
    Undo the clips at the back of the top grill, you will have to apply quite a bit of force to get it out. The screwdriver can be handy if you want to pry open some of the clips as well. After you've done the top grill, reach your hand down to the lower section of the grill and undo the clips. You should now look something like this.

    [​IMG]

    3.
    At this point you should have some mucky hands and can give the front of the car a little bit of a clean if you want! Anyways, you will now need to remove the chrome sections from the grill. There's a lot of clips, so just pry them open and pull the bits off, it doesn't matter if you break a few clips. I think I broke about 3, but it still goes back on. Give the chrome bits a clean and make sure the areas you are sticking the vinyl on are clean.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    4.
    Roll out your vinyl and measure it, then cut enough so you can cover the chrome sections.

    [​IMG]

    I decided to cover it in sections instead of just using 1 piece. This is because I ended up with a million creases and air bubbles when using 1 piece. Probably me being a noob at using vinyl, ah wells.

    So I did the sides of the chrome sections first and then the middle section last. When applying, heat the vinyl up with the hairdryer and carefull stretch it onto the chrome section. If you get any air bubbles you can pull it back up and stick it back down numerous times and it will still stick.

    [​IMG]

    5.
    After you are happy with the vinyl stuck down, trim off the excess vinyl with a sharp knife. You don't have to cut right to the edge as you can fold any excess over and this will help keep the vinyl down anyway.

    [​IMG]

    Make sure you take your time and watch out for air bubbles, I still have a few in mine :crying:. It should look something like this.

    [​IMG]

    6.
    Now re-attach everything and place back on the car.

    [​IMG]

    7.
    FINISHED!

    [​IMG]

    Okays, I hope that made sense and helps some of you!

    I'd like to thank Boydie for his advice as well! Thanks!
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
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  3. AidenUK
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    AidenUK Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 28, 2009]
    Looks good mate. :thumbsup:
    #2
  4. Boydie
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    Boydie Boycie VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 28, 2009]
    Can't see the pics in work but good to hear you finally got it done! T30 lol I was a bit wrong!!
    #3
  5. gixxer600k4
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    gixxer600k4 Member

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    [Aug 28, 2009]
    how do you take the grill off without taking the bumper off??? i did try a while back but couldnt find how to so ended up taking the whole front end off!
    #4
  6. Boydie
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    Boydie Boycie VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 28, 2009]
    Its easy mate - just undo the 3 screws on the top grill, reach in behind and pull up the tabs around the outside of the grill and just pull.

    Once the top is out, just reach in and pull the tabs on the bottom grill and pull out

    10 minute job!
    #5
  7. gixxer600k4
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    gixxer600k4 Member

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    [Aug 28, 2009]
    nice one, cos i have to do mine again as the two sharp corners of top grill are ripping and looks horrid, im off to do it now!
    #6
  8. AidenUK
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    AidenUK Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 28, 2009]
    Gixxer, is that a Cupra R splitter on the front of your car? How easy and what sort of cost is involved in fitting one of those to my A3?

    Thanks
    #7
  9. Boydie
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    Boydie Boycie VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 28, 2009]
    £20 from SEAT and you need some self tappers to just drill it in!

    I would masking tape it into position first then drill away!
    #8
  10. AidenUK
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    AidenUK Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 28, 2009]
    Cheers mate, i'll have a look at some pictures of A3's fitted with them.

    :thumbsup:
    #9
  11. ru4shaw
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    ru4shaw Member

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    [Aug 28, 2009]
    thinking about doin this to my car but does anyone know where i could get the Black vinyl from
    thanks
    #10
  12. gixxer600k4
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    gixxer600k4 Member

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    [Aug 28, 2009]
    you can get a massive roll of black vinyl off ebay, i did and practiced on few things like bottles to get used to stretching the vinyl.

    yea its the cupra splitter, i taped it to bumper but i used rivets. also had a washer on the crumple side to keep it located better! there are small lugs where they slot into on a seat so they need to be cut off and the two middle legs need to be trimmed down!
    #11
  13. ru4shaw
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    ru4shaw Member

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    [Aug 28, 2009]
    would someone be able to put up a link on what i should get from ebay or if anyone knows a shop that i could get some from
    #12
  14. Wai-Fan
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    Wai-Fan Member

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    [Aug 28, 2009]
    #13
  15. ru4shaw
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    ru4shaw Member

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    [Aug 28, 2009]
    will do
    thanks
    #14
  16. Ash B
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    Ash B Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 28, 2009]
    Wai-Fan good write up...Car does look good with the black grill and i do like that colour blue. Do you have any more photo's? And any more plans for the car?
    Thanks
    Ashley
    #15
  17. Wai-Fan
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    Wai-Fan Member

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    [Aug 28, 2009]
    Don't really have that many photos, just looks like any other blue A3 on the road lol. But I will be attempting a minor detail soon, so may take some pics then.

    Don't think I'll be doing anything major anytime soon, but plans for end of the year are.

    Eibach Pros
    I really want to get these on but I'm slightly worried about whether my dampers need changing or not.

    Lamin - X
    Headlights and side repeaters, this will probably be the next little mod.

    Retrofit Cruise Control
    Do frequent motorway journeys and this will be a cool new toy to play with :D

    New Style RS6 Alloys
    Will be ordering a set of these when my tyres need changing.

    Spoiler
    I'll probably save this bit till last.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
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  18. Ash B
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    Ash B Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 1, 2009]

    Looking forward to seeing the minor detail photos. Looks like some nice mods and car should look the business once done. Yeah defo need to
    Retrofit Cruise Control if you do alot motorway journeys. The spoiler one of the last thing i'll be doing to my car plus interior. How much will it cost for new dampers to be changed?
    #17
  19. gixxer600k4
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    [Sep 1, 2009]
    what sort of detail you going to do? you got a polisher?

    mine needs doing again, got to clay it soon the get the rotary to it! its amazing how much of a difference a good detail can make to a car! especially a darker car such as yours.

    edit: the springs will be fine on standard dampers. but if yours do need changing you may as well get the spring and damper set the dampers i think are only about £450.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
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  20. Wai-Fan
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    Wai-Fan Member

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    [Sep 1, 2009]
    I'm gonna wash, clay, polish and wax. Can't afford a polishing machine so I will be using hands and elbow grease with super resin polish! I have far too many chips on the bonnet and bumper from motorway driving so not sure how much I can improve on that. Not sure if I can be bothered to do the alloys properly though, if I do clean them, I'll probably remove them and I'll need to buy an axle stand.

    Washed the car yesterday and found 3 slight dents in the car from people opening doors into it! Can only see it at certain angles so not that noticeable but I know they're there.

    Gixxer - Yup, think the Koni FSD dampers are about £450. I just want to change the springs but don't want the standard dampers to fail or something when driving! I would really like my next mod to be the springs though.

    Benskin - You changing to the S-Line interior?
    #19
  21. gixxer600k4
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    [Sep 1, 2009]
    the eibach pros and H&R 35mm are designed to be used on standard dampers. so they will be fine!
    #20
  22. Ash B
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    Ash B Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 1, 2009]

    Hate it when you find a dent or mark on your car! Yeah all depends what sort of money i have this time next year. I really want bucket seats but there alot but it would finish the car off nicely once engine mods are done. But you can get used s-line interior going from £450-£700 on ebay.
    So i could go for them.
    #21
  23. CRC101
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    CRC101 Reassuringly Expensive

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    [Mar 22, 2010]
    Wai-Fan thanks for the guide.

    I finally got around to dechroming my grill yesterday. Like you said a pain in the ass to remove the air bubbles and creases; but well worth the effort.

    Cheers :icon_thumright:
    #22
  24. PH1L
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    PH1L Gievf Buckets VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 23, 2010]
    not my cup of tea, i preffer the brushed alu look thats obtained by rubbing the chrome
    #23
  25. ren32
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    ren32 New Member

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    [Jun 2, 2011]
    Good write up, it's one of the first things i wanted to do when i got mine (Exactly the same as yours) but i will be spraying mine matt black
    #24
  26. slizza786
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    slizza786 Member

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    [Apr 9, 2014]
    Great post. Looking to take my grills of but I'm having difficulty understanding where the clips are. Are these found once the torx screws are taken off or are these visible as soon as you open the hood?
    #25

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