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What should it be?

  • Leave it as it is, silver upper and black lower (aka Malibu look)

    Votes: 3 17.6%
  • Make both upper and lower grills silver

    Votes: 11 64.7%
  • Make upper/lower grills and fog light housings silver

    Votes: 3 17.6%

  • Total voters
    17
  • Poll closed .
1 - 20 of 49 Posts

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Epic Beard Man
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've never cared much for the Cruze grill, particularly the black plastic honeycomb. I know GM Accessories makes an (expensive!) replacement in chrome, which would look nice, and there are a few aftermarket overlays which look exactly like that- an overlay. I've always had a great deal of respect for the '08-12 Malibu, which the LTZ had a different grill from the rest:





If you look close, the honeycomb in the grill is actually bright silver with the chrome surround. The LS and LT trims have a black honeycomb there as well, with the chrome surround like the Cruze.

Also, after I did some investigating, the 2013 Malibu follows the same process, except the honeycomb is larger like the Cruze's. LS/LT/Eco has black, LTZ has silver:





So I'm thinking, why didn't the Cruze LTZ get this unique grill? I mean, this black is boring. I don't like black anything on my car unless it can be shined up with product, which doing a honeycomb like this is way to time consuming.





So I decided to do something about it, Malibuize it, if you will:





Up close:



Two in process:

I removed the top part of the grill, taped off all the chrome, and prepped each 'hole' with rubbing alcohol. Paint went on well, two coats, followed by two coats of clear. It has the perfect matte finish to it to make it look molded into the plastic.





Now my dilemma is that lower grill. As you can see above, the Malibu has no RS package option, so the lower grill area is like the non-RS Cruze. In some ways I think the lower grill would look good matching the top, but then the fog light housings would look out of place. I actually like the fog light housings like they are with the chrome insert over the black, so I don't want to paint them. My inclination is to leave it all as it is, but do any of you think the lower grill should be silver too?

For those who are curious why my grill opening isn't pronounced. That opening is simply created by two pieces of plate plastic that snap onto the back of the grill on each side with little tabs that come out of the back of the grill honeycomb. I simply put a screwdriver in there, pushed back on them to pop out, and removed the panels from the top. This way the grill looks uniform without big blobs of silver. I imagine the Eco pieces are just a little larger and snap onto the same grill. A word of warning- they are a bitch to get back in with the bumper on, especially the passenger side.
 

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Premium Member
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4,645 Posts
I think the upper half of the upper grille (above the bowtie) looks better in black since the holes are blocked off. When the back of the "holes" are silver you can easily tell that part of the grille is for looks only and doesn't let air pass.

As for the lower grille, not sure. GM left the lower grille black on the new LTZ, but they also made sure the upper and lower grilles didn't share a common look as they do on the Cruze RS. Your call. I think you're right about the fog light bezels looking out of place if you paint the lower grille silver as well.
 

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Premium Member
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5,005 Posts
I like the black grille on black and white Cruzes but you're right, in that color it looks rather boring.
It did wake up the front end to paint it. But now you're faced with a dilemma. Paint only top, bottom is out of place. Paint both and fogs possibly out of place.

What about a different bottom grille or removing altogether and placing a protective screen behind the bumper?

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Premium Member
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6,918 Posts
I think both the upper and lower grill color should match, the fog light housings are small enough they do not need any changing. part of the reason I bought the RS package was because the grill design matched, I was not a fan of the two pattern lower and upper grill on other cruze models. Leaving the bottom black and the top silver also looks a bit strange.


Really like that you are making a subtle change, looks great!
 

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Resident Forum Drunkard
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Your money your time your choice , given these 3 rules it does not matter what I personally think !The idea is sound theoretically and you do want to win COTM . So choose correctly and the masses will agree with a vote for you . Good Luck and best wishes .Ha ha ha ha I fooled ya again , had 2 vote dog so whip it up for us masses .And stop looking at it , You'll go blind , and loose your perspective .
 

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Registered
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348 Posts
you are right, the black grill stinks. i like my overlay. quick and easy and while driving i doubt people know or care its an overlay. its just bight and shinny. same with my tahoe. the wife and i got screwed on our 09 ltz malibu, it just had a gold colored honeycomb grill, not chrome. i bought the stainless grill and although it was called an overlay, i had to take the bumper off to intall it. since i was that far i cut out the oem grill so only the overlay is there. should be able to see all three grills in my garage. i love the job you did on yours.
 

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Administrator
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I think it looks good, but you're missing one thing, and you're not going to like this. If I were you, I'd paint the back of the grille black. The actual honeycomb outline should be silver, but the backing should be black, if that makes sense. That way, it doesn't look like it was molded out of aluminum.

This is particularly evident by the "silver" looking piece at the bottom of the center grille, where it's more pronounced. If you could paint (by hand probably), the flat rear wall of the honeycombs black, it would IMO look a lot better.

Barring that though, I still think it looks better than stock on your particular color.
 

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Epic Beard Man
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5,414 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
How about photoshopping some of that painted mesh over the lower grille to give you an idea how it will look?


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Yep, I can do that, just need some time at my laptop to get it done (which is tough these days).

Also- what kind of paint did you use for this for the members that might want to follow in your footsteps?
I believe this is the color (not home right now). It doesn't look very metallicy though: Rust-Oleum Aluminum Ultra Cover 2x: Paint & Home Decor : Walmart.com

Then I coated it with Dupli-color clear coat.

Both cans were already in the garage from something else, so I didn't specifically choose the color shade.

I think it looks good, but you're missing one thing, and you're not going to like this. If I were you, I'd paint the back of the grille black. The actual honeycomb outline should be silver, but the backing should be black, if that makes sense. That way, it doesn't look like it was molded out of aluminum.

This is particularly evident by the "silver" looking piece at the bottom of the center grille, where it's more pronounced. If you could paint (by hand probably), the flat rear wall of the honeycombs black, it would IMO look a lot better.

Barring that though, I still think it looks better than stock on your particular color.
No, I completely agree. I just couldn't find a good way to mask that off, so I just gave in and did all silver. I think I might try a paint marker, though I don't know how well it would hold up. I just wanted to make sure the paint dried really well before I attempted black over it.

That's exactly why I removed the air deflector pieces too, so they wouldn't be silver.
 

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Resident Forum Drunkard
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Silk screen !
 

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Premium Member
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I think making the upper and lower will work, the fogs shouldn't look out of place, they do have a heavy set of chrome on there to tie them in enough.
 

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Epic Beard Man
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Discussion Starter #16
I did a little (poor) photoshop work while I ate dinner. Votes aside, I have to say, the upper and lower in silver looks so much better. I'll be starting the process to do it in a few minutes.
 

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Epic Beard Man
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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone for voting; the final decision has been made:





Painted the lower grill as well as painted the solid cavities in the upper parts. I think it looks awesome now.

I did happen to paint the lag bolts that hold my winter lower deflector on, just because I had the paint out and I figured I should make them match.
 

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Resident Forum Drunkard
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Cotm
 

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Premium Member
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Looks awesome Jon! Be sure to put up some pictures of what it looks like when outside in the sun. I wonder what it would look like if you did the outside edging of the fog light housings in this same chrome/silver?
 
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