I wanted to slightly customise the front of the van a little, which started out with new headlights and clear indicators, just to make it look a little different, but after looking at a few other photos on the forum of colour coded bumpers and spoilers, they where soon added to my wish list. I did think of converting to a MK5 front, but it seemed like too much grief and at the end of it all, would be like all the other MK5’s, which I think is the best looking by the way…
I like the way the MK4 grille curves up from the bumper, so that was the starting point. After shifting through several breakers yards with no luck, Barry, Captain Hook came up trumps with one, complete with headlight wash. After holding it up to the front of the van, I then noticed how big the gaps where around the MK4 grille, dam, that’s a lot of filler. Then out came the jigsaw and it was duly chopped up… Arrrh! I know, there hard enough to get hold of.
I then grafted the MK3 upper section on to the MK4 using plumber’s cement, which was the only thing that would weld the parts together along with reinforcing strips on the inside. It looked kind of crap from the inside, but it was doing a grand job. It still didn’t look quite right… Out came all the cross grilles and all the mesh to show a big hole!!! Oooh, how the hell am I going to finish that?
It took some work to finish the ends of the cut parts of the MK3 grille, so with the off-cuts from the centre, a few cuts where placed in the back of the cross section and a hot air gun was used to bend the section around to face inward. Now, how to hide the joint between the two sections of plastic…
Loads of plastic filler later was spread across the joint and left to set, half hour later it just peeled off even the areas keyed up. Blast, fibreglass wouldn’t stick either. A quick search on the internet and I found that Isopon bumper repair will bond to plastics, but it only comes in 100ml tubes, didn’t seem like enough to me. After jointing up everything and sanding down, it was starting to look pretty good, it was just a matter of being artistic.
Several coats of plastic primer and with a rub down between and it was looking almost professional, even if I say so myself. The only problem I have got now, is what colour to paint it! I think white would be too much, satin black or maybe graphite.
There are two MK3 Transits with colour coded fronts near me, so I went to have a look at them, pervert! Not very well done and it put me off a bit, its funny when you look at others done on here they look fine, perhaps its something to do with brush hairs stuck in the paint still, at least I hope their brush hairs, so I have repainted the grille in satin black as I want to paint the bumper white sometime in the future.
I been searching around for mesh for that big hole in the front and it had to be stainless steel, it looks so much better than the Aluminium expanded stuff that the local boy racers are using. Halfrauds did some interesting different grille infills, but no weaved stainless, so eBay came to the rescue, but at a cost of £35, this grille was starting to be a real expensive. Mesh arrived promptly from the supplier in Leeds and had to be cut down to size with an angle grinder as the mesh was much heavier than I expected. I glued some tabs on the back the grille to screw the mesh to as I want to be able to remove it easily for painting etc.
Mesh £35, MK4 Grille £20, Paint £24, Solvent filler £8, other bits & bobs £3, Labour, blimey, it’s taken me a week of evenings £0 total outlay £90.
I will have to get a photo of it fitted to the van tomorrow, as it’s nearly dark