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Old 05-18-2009, 05:46 PM   #1
Drives: 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Daytona Beach
Posts: 148
Some Personal Modifications DIYs

So. I have a 2001 Pontiac Grand prix GTP. I've had it about a year and a half and I'm drooling over the new Camaro and I'm trying to get it near the end of this summer. I've been looking around at this site for some time, but just joined today, on the basis that everyone is out looking for aftermarket cosmetic modifications, when there are some that can be done at home. Some can be done before you watch the latest chick flick with the lady of the house, and you can let it sit overnight, put it on in the morning, and show all your buddies at work. Others take some time and honestly make you want to shoot yourself in the face, but are so worth it. SO. In response to the low amount of personal modification 'How Tos' I HAVE SEEN (forgive me if I'm just not looking hard enough), I've posted some of my favorites that I'd done.

Custom Painting the Hood Liner
I would imagine the camaro has one.....But i Truely don't know . Anyways, it involves adding your own, personalized effect, to your 'engine' Compartment if you will, and makes it good for car shows or showing off in general
Stupidly tried this one day out of curiousity, turns out it worked and wasnt stupid, but I did manage to work the kinks out. Now to begin:

This is really a very simple thing to do, it took me about 6 hours total. (I made sure the dang thing was dry, prolly can do it in less)

Take the hoodliner off, make sure to keep track of whatever fasteners the liner is held by.

First i started off by taking a picture of my Pontiac Symbol and I printed it out on a 30x36 sheet of paper (Im a draftsmen so I used our office drafting printer, but you can print out the bowtie on an 8.5x11). I later also redid it to GTP, using 3 sheets of 8.5x11 inch paper. On my camaro I intend on taking pictures of the word ' camaro' on the side so the letters match the badge. Blow the letters up to 1 per page.

Then i taped them all together.
Spray your hoodliner with flat black spraypaint, dont wash the thing, there is a reason its under the hood, it takes serveral days to dry out. It will soak up the paint just fine and will go to black. Make sure you are semi-generous with the paint, but not enough it doesnt dry out well. Just make sure its black

Then, using the tape of you choice, tape down the Letters stencil (or stencil of your choice), all around all of the edges of the paper and taping off everything you dont want color on.

If you put the pain on thick, the headliner will soak it up and go back to black, so put in on in very light coats and it starts to get darker.

Let dry and youre done, place the hoodliner fasteners back into the holes and enjoy showing it off

RECAP: Imagine 'Camaro' in inferno orange letters, above your inferno orange engine cover. sounds cool, eh? Same goes for yellow, aqua blue, whatever.
(Picture is of a Pontiac Grand Prix forum member's car. I can't load mine up for some reason )

Custom Paint your Engine Plastics
*All sanding is from here on out is understood to be wet sanding* (Wet sanding is the use of sand paper....designed to be used while wet. No way, right? Anyways, go to autozone, they should have what you need.)
*ALWAYS wash AND dry the piece between coats of paint*
Start off by taking whatever piece you want to paint, spraying it with degreaser and then wash it with hot water. Let it dry completely and make sure there’s no oil, grease, or anything else on it. If there is wash it again.
Sand the piece with 400 grit sandpaper, making sure not to put any gouges in it. (if you are doing something with raised text, file the text down first or you'll kill yourslef trying to sand it down) Wash the piece and sand again with 400. wash again.
Sand with 600 grit and wash the item off.
Sand once more with 800 grit sandpaper, then wash and let dry.

*MAKE SURE that NOTHING can land in the paint. You will have to sand and re-clear if this is the case.*

You are now ready for your first coat of paint. I used the same paint as my headliner. I cant remember if I used a primer or filler, but you can if you so see fit. If you want a high gloss finish, get a gloss base coat color, and a gloss clear. For a less glossy finish, get gloss base coat and satin/flat clear coat. For a low/no gloss finish, get both the base and clear coats in satin/flat. (Gloss is how shiny it is by the way )
*USE COMPATIBLE PAINTS* do not mix paint brands, because the paints could react with each other and ruin your work. Do no mix kyrlon base and duplicolor clear, or duplicolor base and rustolium clear, and so on. They wont 'stick' to each other. For clear coat, I used Dupli-color engine enamal. It goes on very thick and will run easily, practice on something like an un-needed cd case before using. Make sure you get the hang of it. Took me some time myself to be honest. MAKE SURE TO USE HEAT RESISTANT PAINT. Its under the hood for christ's sake. Need I say more?
Spray your first coat of base color onto the dray plastic piece. Let the paint cure for the recommended time, then maybe another 15 min if you so desire, and sand it with 800 grit until you start to see the color of the plastic coming back through. You have effectively used the paint as a "filler" to fill in the grooves and dimples left over by sanding. Repeat this process 2 more times, wet sanding with 800, with a wash and another coat of color, both drying completely before moving on. Spray your next coat of base color and let dry. Wet sand with 1000 grit sandpaper. Wash the piece and let it dry. Hold it at an angle to a light source. If the paint appears glossy even though it is actually not, the piece is smooth and you can move on. If not, repeat this step until you get this result. The piece should now be shiny, and it should appear glossy even though its sanded. IF this is enough gloss your you, add the clear coat, and enjoy your new piece. IF you want SUPER GLOSSY pieces, keep reading .

To continue on your way to a high-gloss finish, re-spray your base color and let dry. Wash the piece and sand with 1500 grit sandpaper. I did this twice although it was being very precautionary. (If you didnt notice yet, Im just like that) I suggest doing this twice, although it may not be ABSOLUTELY necessary. Re-spray the piece again with the base color and sand with 2000 grit. I went over the entire piece twice with the 2000 grit before spraying the base coat again. You know its 2000 grit by the way, if A) it says 2000 and B) if you feel like your not doing anything. That means your no longer scratching the surface, just spiffin it up some. After sanding with 2000 grit twice, re-spray the FINAL base color coat. Let the paint dry, and sand with 2000 grit once more. Wash the piece. If you are satisfied with the smoothness/glossiness of the piece, move on to the next step. If not, continue to sand with 2000 and re-spray the base color.
Spray your first coat of clear. At this point wet sanding will not be needed, as the piece will be smooth. Put as many coats of clear on as you like. The general rule is, "the more coats of clear, the deeper and higher gloss you will get". I did 7 coats of clear on my engine cover and 5 on the fuse box cover.
The final result should be a high gloss, show ready, great looking part for your car that you can take pride in when you say, "I did this myself".

(Picture is of a Pontiac Grand Prix forum member's car. I can't get these up either, but I copied his designs more or less. I just used blue and white.)


ANOTHER NOTE FOR EVERYONE EXCEPT SUPERMAN: Sanding sucks. Its long and takes effort. Your arms will get tired. When you feel yourself getting tired, its time to do some laundry and watch the football game, else part of your piece will be nicely sanded, and the other will, well, not be so nicely sanded to say the least. Then, once rejuvenated, get back to work

Powder Coating Brake Calipers
YEs YEs, I know. You can't do this at home, but it isnt aftermarket....ish. Anyways, talk around to see if you can get your brake capliers powder coated. Awesome thing about this is that it resists brake fluid/dust, oil, water, rust, grime, etc and is a sinch to clean. Im sure everyone has seen a picture of painted calipers, usually looking like this:

Duplicolor sells a caliper kit, but I reccomend powder coating just because thats what I prefer for the corrosion and material resistance. Anyways, now you may think thats fine and dandy and all, but picture yellow brake calipers, on a rally yellow camaro, with the RS midnight silver wheels. Cool eh? Now, what you can also do, is get like, the chevy bowtie in a contrasting color (like black) in the middle of the caliper. Im getting IFO car with black stripes, so I would get a IOF Caliper with a black bowtie in the middle. You wont be able to see the bowtie when parked, but while driving, its like looking through a fan, its not quite a stobe, but its there, and you can see it. Its just a really cool mod to see, sepecially if someone is checking your car out while your driving down the road. Now again, You have to go to a local shop able to powder coat materials. (Powder coating is generally availible in over 6000 colors, so it probably will get you the best match.) Also see if they can do the bowtie, or 'Camaro' Text. Up to you. Kinda like this....

Custom Badging
When I say badging I mean the letters they write 'Camaro' out in on the side. Now, I realize this isn't really personal either....BUT I don't care. Just wanted to bring them to Attention. Maybe I'll get these saying 'Camaro' between the tail lights, under the Chevy Bowtie. Might look halfway decent. Anyways, cool idea if you want to name your ride.
This is what my buddy used for his Solstice. So, here come before and after pics to see if you like.

And After:

And here is the site

So. I'll be back with more tommorrow maybe. I'm just tired. And I want to go to bed, . Hope to talk to you guys some more now that I've actually joined the forums. Let me know if any of this helps, or if you ahve any questions comments or concens. If anyone bickers about yellow looking better for the hood liner or any crap like that I'll.....Do something incredably mean to you within the terms of agreement

Again, Hope this helps

Last edited by Forrest; 05-18-2009 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Link didn't Update
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:50 PM   #2

LosXC451's Avatar
Drives: 2010 SS SIM w/ RS
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Miami, Fl
Posts: 1,222
Cool, I would've never thought of custom painting your hood liner your self.
I probably wont be doing any of these because I don't want to ruin anything.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:46 PM   #3
Drives: 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Daytona Beach
Posts: 148
Originally Posted by LosXC451 View Post
Cool, I would've never thought of custom painting your hood liner your self.
I probably wont be doing any of these because I don't want to ruin anything.
Amazingly enough, especially the hood liner, I dont want to call it goof proof, but its rather simple actually. Put down a bunch of news papers and card board boxes, spray a good coat, make the letters, tape em down while its dry, spray the letters, and let that dry. Using the engine enamel is thinker, so its a bit easier, but i havent had anything go wrong ^^
But yeah, just a little cool mod to save some money. And you can pick whatever it says
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:54 PM   #4
Master of the V6
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Drives: 2010 Camaro 1LT/RS
Join Date: May 2009
Location: NC
Posts: 239
I painted my Viper's liner, it's very easy to do. I may fill in the bowtie on the camaro liner at some point.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:08 PM   #5

Drives: The Imperial Army
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I like the badge you ride site...
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:17 PM   #6

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Drives: 2010 Camaro LS-M6 67 Chevelle Wgn
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All good hints and ideas Forrest but I have to disagree on one point, you can do powder coating yourself at home/garage. Eastwood sell`s powder coating kits for a very reasonable price. The only major piece needed for do-it-yourself is an old oven to bake coated pieces in. Or you could always use your Moms/Wife/Girlfriends oven......not recommended if you want to live to see how the part looks on your car.
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