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  #1  
Old November 27th, 2010, 04:44 PM
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Comments /input on milled Aluminum grill before production!

Hi All,
So, I finally got to this! I have been hit up by a lot of people looking for another alternative to the plastic stock grill. Here is what I have so far.

The details:
Milled from 5/16 solid 6061 T6 Aluminum flat bar. The edges that contact the body are callored to the same profile as the grill surround with a .015 greater arch so that the top and bottom sits tight. This is the hard part. Rover never made two identical anything! The center will be left full thickness, as does the top and bottom, so the front of your Defender ends up flat. At 5/16 thick, I think the grill could get hit by a meteor and survive (warranty will not cover meteor).

The grill will be .300 or .150 a side wider than the stock ones. So that it will completely fill the gap (as much as is possible at least leaving for some play) between the headlight surrounds. All edges will have a machined radius. The back will have edge breaks.

It is hard to see in the pics, but it has a milled line around the outside to match the vent covers. We are making a prototype this Sunday to take over and bolt it up to a few different defenders to see how it fits. I worry about the inconsistencies in rovers. We are not that close, I expect changes to be made after a few fitments. Mostly with the radius on the back.

So, now is your chance to make changes! If you think the honeycomb is too small / too big, whatever, let me know. I want this to be something that you guys think is perfect. Final product will be powdercoated semi-gloss black to match the vents. Tell me what you think!

Cheers
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  #2  
Old November 27th, 2010, 05:33 PM
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Buck, my grille is off if you need to try it out on a local defender. :-)
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  #3  
Old November 27th, 2010, 06:13 PM
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how about this design!!!

supercharged grill
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Old November 27th, 2010, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reese_D90 View Post
supercharged grill
I can do that but the radius in the corners would be bigger. I can do anything millable (not a word).

edit: I doubt anything can beat honeycomb for air flow and strenth though.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 06:47 PM
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How about a set of matching covers for top vents and side vent? How about matching (but not as vented) headlight surrounds? When will these be in production? Any price targets?
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  #6  
Old November 27th, 2010, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckon37s View Post
I can do that but the radius in the corners would be bigger. I can do anything millable (not a word).

edit: I doubt anything can beat honeycomb for air flow and strenth though.
If the entire opening increased proportionately with the corner radius i think it would look fine.
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  #7  
Old November 28th, 2010, 12:04 AM
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Buck,

The hex pattern looks great. I wouldn't change it. My only suggestion would be to knock out the top and bottom row with a half-hex hole on every other part where its currently missing. It will look more uniform and have 10% more airflow (just made that up).

What size are the hex holes? How much will they cost?
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  #8  
Old November 28th, 2010, 02:00 AM
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I like it
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  #9  
Old November 28th, 2010, 02:36 AM
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I like it also.
The only think I dont like is the box going around the honycomb... is it 2 piece?

$$?
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  #10  
Old November 28th, 2010, 07:51 AM
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i like it. Buck, can you give overall dimensions ?
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  #11  
Old November 28th, 2010, 09:49 AM
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I think that box is just a decorative milled recessed groove.
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Old November 28th, 2010, 09:59 AM
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Maybe add a flat oval spot for a badge?
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  #13  
Old November 28th, 2010, 10:05 AM
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Dave, do you mean to leave an oval area without hex holes? Only problem with that is that if you don't want a badge then it looks weird. You could mount a badge without it and the benefit of that is you can place the badge anywhere you want in case your bumper set up is obstructing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_lucas
Maybe add a flat oval spot for a badge?
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Old November 28th, 2010, 10:27 AM
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Not sure a factory style badge would stay on with all of the cut outs under it as they are just a stick on part and it looks like there would be limited area for it to grab onto.

Just figured it might give it that finished look

You would really hate my other idea
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  #15  
Old November 28th, 2010, 10:50 AM
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I'm not a hater. ; )

It wouldn't be a bad idea for Buck to test it with a factory badge for those who want that. I prefer to keep mine clean.

The rover badge on my grille wasn't a stick-on but it had a hook/clamp mechanism in the back.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_lucas
Not sure a factory style badge would stay on with all of the cut outs under it as they are just a stick on part and it looks like there would be limited area for it to grab onto.

Just figured it might give it that finished look

You would really hate my other idea
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  #16  
Old November 28th, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Interesting ideas guys. I can add a half honeycomb row top and bottom. The badge area is not my favorite as I really want the airflow to be maximized. I think that the stick on badges with the 3M tape would hold really well if you wanted to put one on.

I can remove the milled outline if people don't like it. I thought it gave a border to the vents making it look finished. I can also mess with the hole size bigger or smaller.

edit: I am getting asked about price but I have really no idea what I am going to be able to get to yet. My goal is to have it be at or under $350 but that may or may not be possible. There is a lot of AL in this and a lot of milling.
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Old November 28th, 2010, 03:50 PM
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Buck.

I was going to ask you about that. Are you using a CNC with tool changer? Seems to me that you would have to run at least two passes with two bits (a thick one for cutting and a finer one for finishing the corners of the hexes). That is going to add up to a lot of milling time ($$$), no? Perhaps water-jet cut is cheaper? I would get a quote to compare. They could cut it in one sweep and save you a lot of cutting time ($). That would only work if its a flat piece though.

Perhaps I missed it, where are the mounts located?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckon37s View Post
edit: I am getting asked about price but I have really no idea what I am going to be able to get to yet. My goal is to have it be at or under $350 but that may or may not be possible. There is a lot of AL in this and a lot of milling.
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  #18  
Old November 29th, 2010, 09:54 AM
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I would love to see a picture of the grill mounted in the test vehicles.
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and build a new defender.
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  #19  
Old November 30th, 2010, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manimal View Post
Buck.

I was going to ask you about that. Are you using a CNC with tool changer? Seems to me that you would have to run at least two passes with two bits (a thick one for cutting and a finer one for finishing the corners of the hexes). That is going to add up to a lot of milling time ($$$), no? Perhaps water-jet cut is cheaper? I would get a quote to compare. They could cut it in one sweep and save you a lot of cutting time ($). That would only work if its a flat piece though.

Perhaps I missed it, where are the mounts located?
Hi,

Looks like you have some history with this stuff. The waterjet doesn't pan out. If it was apples to apples it may have but waterjet available locally to me is not 5 axis, just three. Which is normally fine but would cut the walls at an angle so I would have to come back later and finish them all by milling anyway. I have some relationships on the milling side that are willing to do it pretty cheap, problem is there is a reposition, program, fixture, material....you know. What mounts do you mean? The side ones you can see, the bottom one, there is none! I am not worried about 5/16 al moving around!

------ Follow up post added November 30th, 2010 03:38 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRW View Post
I would love to see a picture of the grill mounted in the test vehicles.
Will do.
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  #20  
Old November 30th, 2010, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manimal View Post
Buck.

I was going to ask you about that. Are you using a CNC with tool changer? Seems to me that you would have to run at least two passes with two bits (a thick one for cutting and a finer one for finishing the corners of the hexes). That is going to add up to a lot of milling time ($$$), no? Perhaps water-jet cut is cheaper? I would get a quote to compare. They could cut it in one sweep and save you a lot of cutting time ($). That would only work if its a flat piece though.

Perhaps I missed it, where are the mounts located?
Laser cut out of Stainless would be a much cheaper manufacturing process, and I but a much cheaper price...My buddy has a laser machine that can cleanly cut .500 material..
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