Well, I was worried everyone was asleep there for a while ...
Thanks, I thought it looked acceptable.
How long did it take? Well I had to get in behind the front bumper for some upgrade work (diverters etc), that's about 1 hour to get the car up off the ground and get the bumper off. I then made cardboard templates of the pieces I wanted to make in mesh (four pieces required), depending on template skills that's about another hour. I then transferred the template shapes to the stainless mesh which I cut out with tin snips or diagonal pliers. The mesh panels were then curved at the edges and hand fitted to the bumper. The mesh was then secured with stainless safety wire (note very small holes are required in some sections of the bumper for this wire). This is the fiddly part of the job and can take about two hours if you are doing it carefully. Then it's a refit of the bumper.
I bought the stainless mesh from a local supplier who is connected internationally called Sefar (www.sefar.com.au
), they supply all sorts of mesh from very fine to coarse, brass, stainless, welded, woven etc. The product I settled on was a welded 304 stainless mesh that was 5.5mm x 0.8mm under their part number WLD-6.35-08. It comes in a width of 1225 mm and you have to buy a minimum of $250 Aus, so that got me 5 m and I used about 1 m. I had to decide whether I wanted the woven mesh or the welded mesh, I was looking for max air flow and a reasonably unobtrusive appearance so I went for the welded. I also had to consider whether the mesh should be horizontal or 45 degree orientation and I chose the latter as the lower section of the main grill where the sensors are has a 45 degree artificial plastic mesh bit in it.
How much? Answered that in the last piece.
I chose plain stainless as my car is white with the bright trim, the PDLS lights have bright trim and the running and turn lights are also bright. The stainless could be painted but how well the paint would stick after some years and bug, stone strikes was a consideration. I think powder coating might be the answer for that.
Making the cardboard template for the main sections. Note the hole required in the main large top template to fit the ACC radar, wire mesh over radar sections is not likely to give a good result! I also added 'pinch weld' around this hole in the mesh to stop nasty accidents with fingers - stainless mesh makes very nice 0.8 mm holes in flesh!
The intercooler templates need to be cut to match the right shape as the plastic shrouds will mate neatly to the inner part of the bumper. A 10mm extra surround is added to the dimension template all around and this is folded at about 80 degrees to the flat face so the mesh wraps around the external duct shape. Note, there is a need to also cut a small relief where the wires enter the rear of the horizontal light bars so the mesh does not chafe the wire, this also enables the mesh to sit flat over the two small humps on the back of the light bars. (model specific here)
Seen from the inside, note the sections of safety wire and the safety wire twisting pliers used. On this bottom section you should note I have added a section of 'pinch weld', a plastic U section over the top of the wire and safety wired over it, this is because this section is not bent with a return (like the bottom edge), it has to sit in straight so I added this to stop chafing and make it look neat.
Here is the left intercooler duct from the inside, you might be able to see the two small reliefs (on the left side) cut to enable the wire mesh to fit the two light cross bars 'lumpy bits'. The carbon shroud is only placed to show how these parts will mate up on the car. The shrouds are normally fitted to the face of the intercooler.