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Lowbuck SA grille
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xoo00oox
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:43 pm    Post subject: Lowbuck SA grille Reply with quote

I've had a few people ask me about how to make the South Africa grill out of the early round headlight grill.


I use the Hella 500 lights. Pop the cover off and position it in the grill where you want the holes to be. Use a sharpie to mark it.

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Use a scrap piece of metal bent to the same radius as the lens cover and heat it with a propane torch, then push it through the grill where you marked it (you need to re-heat it often).

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Use 180 grit sandpaper and a file to smooth it out.

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cut 2 pieces of 3/4" flat stock to 11.5", then bend a 1" 90degree on each end facing the same way.

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Mark where the center of the hole is and bolt the flat stock to the top and bottom of the opening using self tapping screws. Then take the lens out and drill a hole in the back of the housing, this hole needs to be marked on the piece of flat stock as you hold the housing into position.

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I use a bolt with large fender washers to hold the two together. You can see I also am fixing a few chips in the grill with epoxy.

It takes a little bit of adjusting to get just right but is very easy to do in any direction.

The finished piece after paint.

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purplepeopleeater
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice, the pikey in me is already planning on making one.

I mean even if I screw up its no biggie, already have the lights too.


thanks for the idea.

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insyncro
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Idea brilliant Idea
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice! I like it better than the SA grill. Wink
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool! I like the heated metal "cutter" idea.
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joseph928
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:56 pm    Post subject: SA grill Reply with quote

Blue Bay Bus Cool, if my SA grill ever breaks , now I know what to do with my 84 grill. Thanks! Very Happy Boy if it is good for 10 cent , must be a good idea!
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Last edited by joseph928 on Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm doin' that!!
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xoo00oox
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments guys. I wanted to mention that this van is a 1987 so it had the late style lights and grill. What you need to go to the old style is just the round headlight holders (these are much more durable than the late style) and the grill. You will also need the plug for the head lights, the NAPA part # for a low profile one is ECH LS6235. I like to use the flat style 7" head light rather than the sealed beam, the best place I have found to get them is Busdepot.

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Here is a shot of the bracket for the small lights...

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Once you get everything test fitted, mark them left and right as they might be slightly different and paint the brackets.
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CQ
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Idea! My Grill is kinda beat up best one to try this with.
Thanks.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

exemplary my man! very creative
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buspor63
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like you used the "driving" light and not the "fog" light, correct? Did you wire it in to the high beam circuit or use a seperate switch. Sorry if you answered above and I missed it.
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furrylittleotter
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent post. I agree it looks even better that the SA grill which look too much like a tonka toy. I plan to attempt to simply mount a second set of round headlights and buckets. I have found the lenses on these driving lights mounted high impossible to aim due to their unfocused lenses and they blind other drivers which piss them off and they high beam me which, in turn blinds me and pisses me off. Fog Lamps are actually mounted as near as possible to the ground to avoid reflecting off the fog. I have actually turned off my headlights (using my running lamps) and run fog lamps exclusively on extremely foggy days in the mtns, which at least allowed me to get up to 20 mph!
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purplepeopleeater
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do I want to carve some square ones in my late grill?
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gonewesty4good
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:55 am    Post subject: Thanks! Reply with quote

Always wanted to do this with a pair of yellow rounds, possibly from a 300d mercedes...now I have the cutting idea and simple bracket fix, thanks for the post!!
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vanagonjr
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:55 am    Post subject: Re: Thanks! Reply with quote

gonewesty4good wrote:
Always wanted to do this with a pair of yellow rounds, possibly from a 300d mercedes...now I have the cutting idea and simple bracket fix, thanks for the post!!

LOL - me too. Warped minds think alike : )
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's one I did with yellow lens.

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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed these high mounted aux lights should never be confused with #1) Fog lights or #2) driving lights on public roads (w/o exceptional dilligence)

on vans in our fleet I mount Bosch FOG lights up under the van about under yoru feet.. they've drive thru snow and such well so far.. though certainly not for those who explore down fire roads or other serious off pavement exploration.. but ours are street & campground runners.
but they provide a very clear view of the road w/o any glareback or annoying other drivers.. in fact I have them on w/running lights full time.. (they are still switched to shut off if I want while parking, etc..)

on the mock SA grills I'll take a pic of my brother's 82 sunroof with the DIY quad look, with the HUGE Bosch off road in the stock headlight location & buggy headlight buckets in the inboard location, but he's never finished the DIY steel grill for it. still a very potent off road light setup.

furrylittleotter wrote:
Excellent post. I agree it looks even better that the SA grill which look too much like a tonka toy. I plan to attempt to simply mount a second set of round headlights and buckets. I have found the lenses on these driving lights mounted high impossible to aim due to their unfocused lenses and they blind other drivers which piss them off and they high beam me which, in turn blinds me and pisses me off. Fog Lamps are actually mounted as near as possible to the ground to avoid reflecting off the fog. I have actually turned off my headlights (using my running lamps) and run fog lamps exclusively on extremely foggy days in the mtns, which at least allowed me to get up to 20 mph!
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climberjohn
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it! I've been holding off on the SA grill because it seems so darn expensive for what you get, and this may be just the ticket.

Thanks for the post and extra photos.

If anyone else has done this, a report and more photos are welcome.

-CJ
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thatvwbusguy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a closer match to the overall look of the SA Grill and the ability to have a completely aimable H4 headlamp, I have been toying with the idea of trying the Hella HL00243. It is a 5.75" H4 with a mounting ring that includes adjusters.

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The included bulbs are 24V, so they will need to be replaced with 12V H4's, but the total cost will still be about the same as a set of premium quality fog/driving lights.

The wiring can easily be set up to only use the inner lights for high beam (like the SA Grill) or for full time high and low beams in tandem with the stock outer 7" lights.

Here is a link to where you can get them:

http://www.rallylights.com/detail.aspx?ID=4788

I just ordered a set, but have no idea when I will be able to get around to the install. Lots of projects and very little spare time these days...
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SteveVanB
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a set of MKII inners that I was about to toss, guess I have to use 'em now.......Thanks for the simple solution Applause
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