The first exterior trim items I restored were the
emblems. If you read episode 8, you may recall that
the studs on a couple of the emblems were broken. Before doing
anything else to the emblems, I first wanted to repair these
studs. I worked on the Sierra Grande bed emblem first.
Here's how I repaired the emblems:
|The first step was to use the bench grinder to
grind off the remaining piece of the broken stud so it was flush
with the emblem. I then used a center punch to mark the
center of this area.
|Using the drill press I drilled a 5/32" tap
hole into the center of the ground off area. I was careful
to set the stop-depth on the drill press so I didn't drill all
the way through the emblem.
|I threaded the hole using a 10-32 tap.
Because the hole was shallow I couldn't create a very large
threaded area, so for additional insurance, I placed a dab of
epoxy in the hole before inserting the new threaded stud.
| I created the threaded stud by cutting the
head off of 10-32 stainless steel screw. Before cutting
the head off, I screwed on two 10-32 nuts and jammed them
together. I then used a wrench on these nuts to screw the
threaded stud into the hole, making sure the end that was not
cut off was the end exposed.
|After repairing the Sierra Grande emblem, I used
basically the same procedure to repair the broken stud on the
letter "G" hood emblem.
With all the mechanical repairs
complete I turned my attention
to the cosmetic restoration of the emblems. Again, I started
with the Sierra Grande bed emblems. The first thing I did was
remove the sticky tape adhesive on the backside of the emblems.
I removed the majority of the tape with a razor blade window
scraper. I removed the remaining residue with lacquer thinner.
Next, I repainted the black accents
on the insides of the
letters. The paint I used was Rustoleum satin black. I
used a brush to apply the paint because the areas
would be impossible to mask off. Rather than
"brush" the paint in the detail areas, I loaded paint on the
end of the brush and then sort of dragged it around the areas until
they were filled. I didn't bother trying to keep the paint off of the non-painted
areas. Because they were chrome, the paint wiped off
easily, as long as didn't dry first. Even those few areas where
the paint dried, it scraped off easily. The detail was
easy to paint, it just took a little patience.
After the paint dried overnight I
polished the chrome with
Autosol. The hard part was getting
into all of the nooks and crannies between the letters. I found
that a buffing wheel on the Dremmel tool worked well. As you can
see in the photo, the lettering on the emblem at the bottom of the
photo really stands out compared to the one at the top that hasn't
been refinished. The emblems came out pretty nice. There
are a few very small pits and a tiny spot or two where the chrome has
flaked off, but at $50.00 apiece for reproduction emblems, I can live
The next emblems I worked on were
the GMC-1500 front fender emblems. These emblems mostly just
needed repainting and polishing, but I noticed that the metal tag that
is imprinted with "1500 Sierra Grande" was coming unglued
from one of the emblems, so I decided to remove it to reapply some
adhesive. VERY BAD IDEA! I inserted a a utility
knife under the end of the tag that was lose thinking I could
just pry the rest of it off. Turns out the part that was still
stuck was stuck VERY good. Before I had enough sense to quit, I succeeded
in bending the tag. The tag is very thin, not quit as thin as
tin foil, but close. I finally decided to leave well enough
alone and just re-glue the end that was loose. I mixed up some
epoxy and spread on the area, then used a spring clamp to hold it down
will it dried. That worked, but the area I bent is still
noticeable. Guess I'll just have to live with it.
To paint the GMC letters on the
emblem, I decided to use my air
brush. This meant I had to mask off the letters. I found
it was easiest to put tape over the entire letters and cut out the
parts to be painted. This is tedious, but it works
well. The secret is to make sure you use a really sharp razor
After cutting out the letters I
masked off the rest of the
emblem and sprayed three coats of Floquil's Poly Scale ATSF red. This was paint left over
from painting my grandson's model train caboose. The color
seemed about right and I liked the flat look of the paint. Also,
if you use a hair dryer, you can spray on the next coat in just a
couple of minutes. After painting, I polished the chrome with
Autosol. I think they look pretty
That takes care of the
emblems. In the next episode I will describe how I
restored the grill, headlight bezels, and fender eyebrows.