Barn Door for JK factory hardtops

I’m really excited for the JL style grille, I think it looks so good. I was wondering, are the slots compatible with the JL grill in the sense that you could use after market inserts?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I've taken a different approach to inserts - I've built "inserts" into the the main grille mold, so additional inserts wouldn't fit. The molded-in-place inserts in both the slots and the headlight openings are clearly visible in this photo. Every grille that comes out of the mold will have these "inserts".



My idea is that if this grille got into production, it would be molded in black, so it could be used as-is. If different color inserts were wanted, they could be masked and painted either silver or gunmetal gray (the two factory colors). And of course the main grille could be painted body color as well. I plan to paint mine body color, and I'll paint the inserts either gunmetal gray or silver but I haven't decided which color to use for the inserts yet.

Here's a factory JL grille with silver inserts:



To keep with the factory look I'll be putting a mesh behind the slots. I've found a mesh that looks pretty close to the factory mesh. I've ordered some and it's scheduled to arrive on Friday.



BTW I've designed the molded-in inserts so they'll be easy to mask and paint - 3/8" masking tape applied with one edge flush with the surface of the grille will provide a perfectly aligned mask line for painting.
 
Last edited:
BTW I've designed the molded-in inserts so they'll be easy to mask and paint - 3/8" masking tape applied with one edge flush with the surface of the grille will provide a perfectly aligned mask line for painting.
It's thought and attention to details like this that makes all of your projects turn out so amazingly well. It's so rare to find products that keep the DIY'er in mind. Keep up the fantastic work. Thank you.

-Mike


Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 
Great job and excellent quality on that grille. I am sure it will be popular among the JK owners just as the 2015 & UP F150 to Raptor conversion grilles. I see the conversion grilles on these trucks everywhere I go.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
It's thought and attention to details like this that makes all of your projects turn out so amazingly well. It's so rare to find products that keep the DIY'er in mind. Keep up the fantastic work. Thank you.

-Mike
Thanks Mike. Probably the reason I keep the DIYer in mind is because that's what I am. I'm not a professional, I design this stuff so that I can build it in my home workshop with the limited tools that I have, so things like that have to be thoroughly thought out before I begin construction.

Great job and excellent quality on that grille. I am sure it will be popular among the JK owners just as the 2015 & UP F150 to Raptor conversion grilles. I see the conversion grilles on these trucks everywhere I go.
This grille may be popular if it gets into production, but I'm not building it to sell, I'm building it because a) it seemed like a fun design project and b) I want one on my Jeep. If it gets into production it won't be by me, it'll be because some company decides to bring it to market. If there's a company that is interested I'll be happy to talk to them about it, otherwise I'll just be making one for myself and possibly a few more for forum friends.


Project update: Step 2 in making a mold (Step 1 was the wax and mold release) is shooting gelcoat on the surface of the mold master - I shot orange tooling gelcoat on the mold master this morning. When that cures to the appropriate point I'll do the fiberglass layup.

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I finished making the mold for the JL-JK grille today. It needs to cure overnight so tomorrow morning I'll pop the mold off the master and we'll see what the mold looks like.

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
This morning I pulled the mold off the master.



The mold master could be used again to make another mold - if the grille were to go into production I'd turn over the master to the company that would be making/marketing them so they could make their production mold from the master.

After trimming and washing off the mold release, the mold is ready use. The mold turned out very nicely - it will make very nice quality grilles.







I'll make the first grille in the mold tomorrow.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
In case you're interested in seeing the first grille out of the mold at the same moment I saw it, in this video I'm pulling it out of the mold. The effort that was required is fairly typical, the PVA mold release holds the part in the mold pretty aggressively until it starts to pop...


In this photo, left to right: the mold master, the mold made from that master, and the first grille out of the mold. The grille is slightly green because the mold release hasn't been washed off. Trimming the edges/slots/headlight openings and washing off the mold release is next.

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Some photos of the grille after a preliminary trimming and washing off the mold release. The final trimming will happen as I'm fitting it on the Jeep, which is next on the list.







 
What a great result! Looks like someone designed a CJ in the 21st century. Following your project from out of country for the last few months has been a great pleasure. Can't wait to see what it looks like on the jeep!
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
A few shots taken this afternoon, I made a few more minor trimming tweaks and it fits great. Also I mocked up the turn signals in paper; I've put them inboard of the stock JK turn signal location similar to older CJ's. This is as far inboard as the factory lights can move because they're pretty deep and will interfere with the core support if they're moved any further. Even in this position they'll require a minor clearancing of the core support brackets.







Next I'll drill the holes for the turn signals and install the mesh behind the slots.