I had a bird strike that took my grille out. I opted for a chrome model and it got me thinking about illuminating the emblem as the 4G members have done. It's not nearly as easy nor as showy since our emblems are smaller, but it works quite well. I'll add I'm uncertain as to how effective it would be on a black grille.
The new grille came without an emblem, as most do. I opted to salvage mine and in the process conceived how to do this. There is a recess under the emblem that suggests a location for back-lit illumination, and being chromed would help reflect the light from a small bulb. However, I also had an alternate idea I made a proof-of-concept for to illuminate down. I'm covering both ways in case one wants to try the latter.
PROOF OF CONCEPT
Here is the salvaged emblem.
The emblem separated.
Bulk LEDs from Radio Shack. The package was $5.00 and for hte proof-of concept I chose the 5MM LEDs. It is rather a tight fit, and the 3MMs would work better.
I don't remember how much these 1/8W resistors cost, but no more than $5.00/pack. Using the 5MM LEDs (3 each), there needs to be 240 ohms resistance, but the closest RS had were 220 ohms; close enough. If one uses 3MM x 3 LEDs, you'd need to consult a resistance calculator for that application.
You'll need a piece of plexiglass. I got this at Lowe's (see tag for details). It was the closest in thickness to the ABS emblem back. It was ~$8.00 for a 10"X14" piece. You'll use this for either application.
A strip cut close in width to the backer plate and a heat gun. Heat one side only, as the plexiglass has "memory". Apply heat to the other side and it returns to flat. Use the ABS back you removed to make the correct contour. I kept my knee on it while holding down the ends of the strip. It cools fast.
Here, I've marked the pin hole locations of the ram head escutcheon.
This shows how perfectly the plexiglass conformed to the curvature.
Marking the outline. Note there's not much margin, so sanding is much easier. A belt sander is ideal, but a file and sandpaper or Dremel tool will work, depending upon your tools.
New back fitted to escutcheon.
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