This page was last updated: June 23, 2010

Shark-Tooth Grille Repair

The 340 cars and Duster Twisters came with a unique grille, commonly referred to as a "shark tooth" grille. Originals are rare, and I've heard mixed reviews of the reproduction by (plus, they seem to have disappeared). I was able to get a "good deal" on a complete, but cracked, grille.

I tried the "super glue and baking soda" fix, but it was too brittle and would crack under any real stress. I decided to order some "real" automotive plastic repair products. Here is the repair process.

This crack was a problem because the grill did not want to stay together. Let go of it, and it would spring into the position you see here. That's why I didn't trust most adhesives to hold up over time.

Turn signal lenses could have been better...


The trim needed a little persuasion to make it straight again.


I carefully disassembled the lenses and saved the gaskets. They were "good enough". I mean, this car won't see a lot of downpours or salt anyway...

Took a die grinder to the crack and made something for the epoxy to grab onto.

The product: SEM 69767 Problem Plastic Repair Material. The gun is expensive, and not necessary with the smaller tubes of epoxy. I figure we'll use this stuff again, though.

For the worst part of the crack, I applied epoxy, then sunk a piece of sheet metal into it. The sheet metal is also roughed up on both sides for some tooth.

Then the sheet metal and rest of the crack get glued up. Once that cured, I filled the exterior side.

This is sanded about halfway. The epoxy does not sand as easily as Bondo, but it's not awful. After sanding the epoxy, I applied some spot glaze and sanded it smooth, then comes paint. Now THAT'S a major pain!