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Discussion Starter #81
Got up early to beat everyone to the complex car wash and ended up spending about an hour scrubbing all the plastics, first with dawn dish soap and a green brillo pad, followed by a few of those original brillo pads with the soap already in them and a quick wipe down with acetone. The plastic was perfect to paint after that. Something I noticed with the Black Satin paint btw, if you paint until the can is empty towards the end it will start to get blotchy. I noticed it quickly and stopped, went and grabbed the other can I ordered and was able to easily cover the blotchiness up. Other than that it's good stuff and really bonds with the plastic.

 

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Discussion Starter #82 (Edited)
So i finally got everything back together around noon and thought I was done...until I took a look at the pic I took before coming back inside. With everything else nicely painted the stuff I didn't paint aka the grille and the lower intake piece looked especially terrible. The grille has had a chip for about 8 years now and I was really tired of seeing it so today was enough to shame me into fixing it. I stopped by Ace to pick up some Krylon Textured Shimmer dark gray paint and a tube of JB Plastic weld. The stuff is great, I molded it onto the shape of the chip and in about an hour it was ready to sand down. The paint looks awesome to me, I hit all the black sections of the grille with what was left of the Black Satin from this morning along with the burger and sprayed it with some clear just to make it more durable. It was one of those days where I finished literally as the sun was going down but man was it worth it, I'll get some pics tomorrow of the whole truck but here's how the grille came out:

In progress pics using the putty to reinforce a bunch of cracks I found all over the grille:


Before:

After
 

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Discussion Starter #83
OH and how could I forget that 'other' thing I did today. I've been having front end issues with popping and the steering being jerked around. Looked at a bunch of options and decided to just pull the front sway bar first, worst case was the links were shot and I'd have to replace them anyway. Well the 8 month old POS Mevotech endlinks are totally shot, I moved the boot around and the sockets are full of rust, just total junk but the big surprise was holy sh*$ the truck drives nicely now. It's like driving someone else's truck! I took a quick drive down some of the winding, bumpy roads nearby that I'm on daily just to see how it handles now and its like a dream, I love it. The suspension is so soft now, no more fighting the steering to keep the truck going straight, small bumps feel like the nothing that they are, and I don't notice any extra sway from it. It's weird but the sway bar basically was blocking the front suspension from being a suspension. Night and day dfference, I'll keep the sway bar in storage but zero chance I'm reinstalling it.
 

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OH and how could I forget that 'other' thing I did today. I've been having front end issues with popping and the steering being jerked around. Looked at a bunch of options and decided to just pull the front sway bar first, worst case was the links were shot and I'd have to replace them anyway. Well the 8 month old POS Mevotech endlinks are totally shot, I moved the boot around and the sockets are full of rust, just total junk but the big surprise was holy sh*$ the truck drives nicely now. It's like driving someone else's truck! I took a quick drive down some of the winding, bumpy roads nearby that I'm on daily just to see how it handles now and its like a dream, I love it. The suspension is so soft now, no more fighting the steering to keep the truck going straight, small bumps feel like the nothing that they are, and I don't notice any extra sway from it. It's weird but the sway bar basically was blocking the front suspension from being a suspension. Night and day difference, I'll keep the sway bar in storage but zero chance I'm reinstalling it.
Great!!! Glad it was a simple solution. Better than changing suspension settings for sure. You're now another instigator for me to rip mine off.
 

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Discussion Starter #85
Great!!! Glad it was a simple solution. Better than changing suspension settings for sure. You're now another instigator for me to rip mine off.
Thanks! It was a relief honestly, I was not looking forward to fighting with the lca's again! I've resisted pulling the front one off for a long time now but really it only took 15 minutes to remove, I didn't even need to remove the skid to pull it off so if you're considering it and it turns out the ride is bad it's easy to reverse.
 

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Discussion Starter #86
I washed it this morning so I could finally take a pic, whenever I'm painting I like to leave the areas I'm not painting dirty because my theory is any accidental overspray will stick to the dust rather than the paint. I ran out of sandpaper when I was working on the grille so I still need to sand down the bottom area of the patch where the chip was before but other than that I'm happy with how it came out. Not bad for an 06.

 

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Discussion Starter #89
I think this looks very clean...just a really, really nice job. You can paint mine !
Looks great!

Thanks guys! It took a long time to get confident enough to paint the front haha, I didn't want to mess up the most visible part of the truck! Blackbird if you're ever in the area I'll def paint yours, it wouldn't take long with another person helping prep the plastic and taping everything off.
 

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@General_Tarfun. Yes...... you do a hell of a paint job. Also, how’s the lower bumper center repair coming? Can’t see it in the last pic. If yo haven’t done much yet, I had a similar repair from when I bought mine. Basically performed the melt mod on it and molded it back into shape.


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Discussion Starter #91 (Edited)
@General_Tarfun. Yes...... you do a hell of a paint job. Also, how’s the lower bumper center repair coming? Can’t see it in the last pic. If yo haven’t done much yet, I had a similar repair from when I bought mine. Basically performed the melt mod on it and molded it back into shape.


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Thanks man! That piece I was able to get filled in pretty well but same as the grille repair I ran out of sandpaper way too early so I still need to go in and sand it smooth. I actually tried to melt that one back out and was able to get in a much better shape for the repair but it was an actual puncture in the plastic that went through that trim piece and into the one behind it. Both of those hits came from the same deer strike that destroyed the Nissan brush guard:


You can kind of see the fix it in this pic:
 

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Your patch is pretty good considering. Call yours a “buck bar” in front. If you still don’t like how smooth it is, try filling with..... liquid nail construction adhesive. Mine was a slice in the plastic next to the left fog light. It actually worked melting into the cut. After drying, I smoothed it out with sanding and lacquer thinner. Light rubs until I was happy and then painted. Next test will be NY winters. Or..... Hefty Fab and teach the deer a lesson. (And maybe some good eats?)


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Discussion Starter #93
Ha I bet liquid nails would work now that I think about it, that stuff sticks to everything. I was originally going to use bondo on it but the hardware store didn't have any so I went with the jb weld stuff. Just need to pick up some sandpaper sometime soon, after I re-read the packaging I noticed it said to use 'wet hands' when mixing the product to get a smoother finished surface haha. Thats the way it goes sometimes I guess, at least that part is really easy to pull off again when the time comes.
 

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Discussion Starter #94
I was feeling like it was time for a new alignment because I was tweaking it a little over the past couple months trying to figure out the bump steer problem so I woke up early again to head over to SCC Performance. I love that place, owner run with a focus on aftermarket truck mods and high end cars so they know what an adjustable UCA is haha. Anyway they did a great job on it, it took longer than normal but that's because on the test drive after aligning it they noticed the caster sensitivity I had forgotten to bring up and brought it back in to lower the caster settings some. Have to love a shop that puts in the extra time to get it right and not just close enough. Anyway here's where I'm at now:
 

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Discussion Starter #95
I finally did a headlight mod! It took me a day and a half because one of the lenses wouldn't come clear for me so I had to get a 3M Heavy Duty headlight kit to re-sand everything and it comes with clear coat wipe on packets which was nice. I removed the giant orange reflector painted the chrome trim with a body paint matching spray I had leftover from my bumper job, then sprayed it all down with clear coat. I've been wanting to do this one for a while now and I'm glad I did because I love how it turned out.

Before:


After:


 

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Discussion Starter #100
Got started last night on converting the interior illumination from orange to white, it's much easier than I thought which feel great to say for once! I learned how to test the led polarity with my multimeter to figure out which end is positive and the electrical board has the positive side listed which helped a ton. I didn't realize that the switches are always illuminated because the orange is so dull, the white really stands out now.

 
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