buggman's Raptor Ranger Grille Project - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Exterior Semi-Tech General discussion of exterior for the Ford Ranger.
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 09-18-2012
buggman's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (38)
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Dougal County
Posts: 1,648
buggman's Raptor Ranger Grille Project

I've been busy trying to come up with my own twist on the Raptor Grille Mod and here's a peek at what I've got so far...



I had to replace my old grille a year or so ago but kept the old cracked one for just such a project.
I gutted basically everything except for the top & sides & part of the clips on the bottom and started my first build using fiberglass.

The sides were widened and made to about 3/4" thick. Most of the bottom section was cut out and replaced with a hand cut piece of wood that got fiberglassed into the remaining part of the old grille. The underside of the top part was filled in to eliminate the gap where the mesh is attached too.

The letters are my own design, based on the Raptor font. Initially I had the sides of the F & D longer and angled to match the angle of the sides of the grille, but even after I tapered the ends front to back, I just didn't like the feel so I trimmed them both down square & I like the look a lot better.
The letters have been a real PITA as I first had to make prototype letters, then duplicate them in MDF to make plaster molds that got fiberglass laid inside. Once the fiberglass hardened I added wood blocks to give some structure inside to screw them to the mesh.

My first idea was to paint the letters gloss black but even after several layers of bondo, sanding, primer, etc I just couldn't get a couple tiny imperfections to come out so I sprayed all sides, front & back with about 5 coats of spray on bedliner. I'm glad I used the bedliner as it has a slight texture that covered up all imperfections.

The mesh is stainless, or at least it's supposed to be stainless. I've had a chunk of it setting in a jug of water outside for about 3 weeks now & there's not a hint of rust yet.

I'm already thinking about a similar mod for newer grilles, but since I don't have any other spare grilles to work on, I may just have to size the letters to fit those grilles & make some mesh inserts that are over sized so you can trim them to fit your application.

Also need to try some new ideas on fiberglassing the letters as the molds are a real pain to work with since the areas inside are so small.

Since you've patiently read through all that stuff, here's a (link) to a ton of pics I got today.
Attached Thumbnails
buggman's Raptor Ranger Grille Project-img_2683_zpse1928606.jpg  
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-19-2012
DangerRanger96's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Thomasville, NC
Posts: 611
sign me up
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-19-2012
Beerkeg666's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Posts: 119
More pics please.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-19-2012
FULLSCALE's Avatar
Level III Supporter

iTrader: (12)
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Clinton, Ontario
Posts: 8,181
I like what I see so far!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-19-2012
Capriman86's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SOLD
Posts: 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerkeg666 View Post
More pics please.
He has more here Raptor Ranger Grille pictures by thebuggman - Photobucket



Looks great!!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-19-2012
timbits588's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: buffalo, ny
Posts: 273
Yeah i think that looks great. The photobucket pics of it mounted up on the truck look really good. It fits the dimensions of the grill very well.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-19-2012
Mcleary316's Avatar
Member

 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Lawrence, Kansas
Posts: 2,322
I'll take one!
Attached Thumbnails
buggman's Raptor Ranger Grille Project-tumblr_m79fkysi3z1qjbrqd.jpg  
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-19-2012
98liftedranger's Avatar
RF Veteran
iTrader: (5)
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: California
Posts: 12,538
Not feeling it on a gen 3. Maybe gen 4 or newer though.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-19-2012
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Copper Cliff, Ontario
Posts: 112
I like it,looks pretty good, only thing I would really change is maybe make the letters slightly smaller, not alot, just maybe 1/2" shorter. Other than that, it looks awesome, I have been wanting to do something very similar, and kinda have a half *** mock up built. Cracked my grill last winter in -42C weather, raptor/ranger grill mod is my fix too, just need to finalize it and get time to work on it.

Buggman, have you tried laying a few layers of fg down on a waxed sheet of glass, letting it cure into a large sheet, then trace out your letters on it, and just cut it out with a jig saw or a dremel. Also, you can lay a few layers of glass, then place either wood in there and glass around it to hold it, giving you a molded in way to screw to it, or same idea, but instead of wood, stan bolts in there on thier heads, and glass them in, then just place the threaded part through your mesh grill and pop a washer and nut on the back side... tada, secured in place.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-19-2012
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 24
im so down for this... i need a new grill
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-19-2012
fourliter dan's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lebanon, OR
Posts: 2,229
damn bugman strikes again!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-19-2012
<TX>TORKiT's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 1,551
Nice looking work. Quality is always good with Buggman's mods.

Attached Thumbnails
buggman's Raptor Ranger Grille Project-img_2700_zpsb9f6814b.jpg  
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-21-2012
buggman's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (38)
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Dougal County
Posts: 1,648
If/when you guys have time, I'm in need of some info on all the different year ranger grilles...



Basically the overall height of the grille from the very bottom to the very top & the distance from the very top to the bottom lip of the top. That will give me a good idea of how much height there will be to work with when the bottom is reformed.

Also the overall width from outside to outside at the highest point at the top & lowest part at the bottom before the grille starts to curve. That will help determine the inside dimensions when the sides are formed as well as the angle of the sides for anyone wanting the angled F & D letters.

Also if there are any obstructions directly behind the grille like trans coolers, horns, etc that might hit the back of the new grille once installed. The new mesh grille should be about 1" thick from the very front of the grille to the back of the mesh & shouldn't be an issue... but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
Attached Thumbnails
buggman's Raptor Ranger Grille Project-raptortemplate_zps7bd5e869.jpg  
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-21-2012
Mcleary316's Avatar
Member

 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Lawrence, Kansas
Posts: 2,322
On 04+'s do you want the info for the grille insert or the entire housing?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-22-2012
buggman's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (38)
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Dougal County
Posts: 1,648
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcleary316 View Post
On 04+'s do you want the info for the grille insert or the entire housing?
Actually, I could probably use both measurements.

Depending on how that style grill will look with a 1" "frame" down the sides & across the bottom, I may need to increase that dimension & adjust the width of the letters accordingly.

I should be able to remove the honeycomb from all 3 spots as well as the upright dividers to make one single, larger opening.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-22-2012
fibermike's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: gardena ca
Posts: 58
Very nice job buggman, much better than the other one by Fw or McNiel. I do glasswork also and this is well done. Question? how many hours at say $30 or so an hour? Once you make some molds others might be interested.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-22-2012
rideac1's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: New Kensington, PA
Posts: 1,087
Great work! I love it!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-23-2012
buggman's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (38)
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Dougal County
Posts: 1,648
Quote:
Originally Posted by fibermike View Post
Very nice job buggman, much better than the other one by Fw or McNiel. I do glasswork also and this is well done. Question? how many hours at say $30 or so an hour? Once you make some molds others might be interested.

This was my first time using fiberglass, so by the time I made the templates, blanks for the molds, made the molds, cut the blanks out of the molds, laid the glass, cut / trimmed / shaped the letters, filled in imperfections, sanded, primed & sprayed the letters with a few coats of bedliner... probably took me 4 weeks which includes time modding the grille too.
The woodworking was the easy part for me but the glass & molds were an all new experience.

Unless I come up with an easier process for making the letters, I'll be lucky to make $0.25 an hour

This mod is still in it's infancy right now though... I hope to have letters scaled to each specific grille type. If/when I have a streamlined process, I'd like to be able to make up any letters too.... maybe FX4, OFF ROAD, LEVEL II, RANGER or whatever.

I've also got some ideas in mind for the marker lights in the grille too.

I may have to pick your brain for some tips & tricks using fiberglass too
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-23-2012
fibermike's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: gardena ca
Posts: 58
Hey you did a good job. Im glad to see other people do this type of work. When you try to tell someone
"Ive got 120 hours of pattern making in a set of parts for a ranger conversion kit, at $70 an hour"
which is my shop rate, they dont understand. 70x120=$8400. Then you have to build the molds, another20+ hours. Then you get to the stage of "now I can make a part" Oh! I forgot theres about $1200
in materials.

You have to sell 20 parts before braking even. Its a labor of love nobody wants to understand. Glad to see others rise to the challenge. Keep it up.

Mike
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-23-2012
Scrambler82's Avatar
Old Guy Userů ltr
iTrader: (12)
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SoCal
Posts: 6,773
Yup and if you lucky you will make more money than friends once you recover the engineering cost… only problem is that most of these guys, like buggman are hobbyist and could not afford $70/hr for anything.
So the only thing here is IF you are LUCKY you will make some money at least material costs will be covered.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 09-23-2012
buggman's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (38)
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Dougal County
Posts: 1,648
Yeah,
If I did this stuff for money, I'd be nuts

Especially when you have 4 or 5 different versions/sizes of the same thing & have to make templates, molds, etc for each one & try to keep them organized.

It's definitely a labor of love

I'm lucky to cover the parts/materials & PP fees, when I do make a buck it goes to Dr's bills or into more stuff to mod.
I guess I could farm the labor out to "insert name of funny sounding country here" so I'd have more time to come up with stuff
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 09-27-2012
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Copper Cliff, Ontario
Posts: 112
feel free to pm me with any questions or tips for laying glass, I have done tons of it, and I'm pretty sure there is a law somewhere about the amount of reading I have done on the subject..... lol

I have a great grasp on it, i just have poor access to good glassing materials since i live in Canada, best resin is in the US, comes from us composites.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 09-27-2012
DangerRanger96's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Thomasville, NC
Posts: 611
just missing the 3 amber leds
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 09-28-2012
buggman's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (38)
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Dougal County
Posts: 1,648
Got some prototype amber led's installed now...
Still waiting on orange led's.

The amber ones match my turn signals so I might just leave them for a while.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 09-28-2012
fibermike's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: gardena ca
Posts: 58
Scrambler. I think you missed the point. I was just commending Buggman on all his hard work and bringing attention to the fact that tooling is a lot of work. And im not trying to get anything from anybody.

$70 an hour is cheap in So Cal.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale: buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky) buggman Interior, Exterior, Electrical, & Misc. 36 06-21-2015 02:44 AM
Project Unknown -- SniperX103's SAS Project Rooks Project Logs 184 04-27-2015 09:52 AM
ranger to raptor Zbraun New Ideas 27 05-30-2011 01:01 AM
Got a friend for the Ranger to play with... I'll call him Raptor. rngprerunner Snapshots 73 10-13-2009 08:50 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:44 AM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.