I used to be pretty good about keeping track of all the things I was working on. Used to be. The last few months (several months?) I’ve been pulled in so many directions, and I’ve been so scatter-brained because of it, that I haven’t been doing that. It makes it rather hard to post items in the “Redpants Updates” section I usually have at the end of each blog post.
And I haven’t been doing much blogging lately, either. That’s also not helping my case here.
One of the things I’ve been working on is filling out my Modification Guides. I’m building one for each aspect of the car - engine, suspension, braking, and so on. There’s a ton to say, so it’s slow-going, but I think it’ll be a great place for people to get some food for thought when it comes to weighing options for how to modify their own cars. My goal is to present various options and give pros and cons, plus some insights. I get asked about stuff like this all the time, so I figured summing it up in these guides would be a great resource. Plus, I’ll link to product listings so you can get the items I discuss, plus the DIY guides so you can install them.
One of the guides is about grilles. Aston Martin has a very distinct grille (uh, let’s ignore the wave of Ford similarities). Just because it’s distinct doesn’t mean it isn’t changeable.
The Front Grille modification guide, although still under construction, should give an idea of what to expect from the guides as a whole, though some (like the Power Mods guides) might be more technical as well as visual.
I wanted to use the grille guide as the example for this blog post because it’s got a nice mix of pictures, videos, and information. I’ve also added a couple new listings to our online store. If you’re looking to swap out your grille for the lightweight AMR grille, you now have an option to get the lower mesh in a matching hex pattern. They’re also available as a package.
The pic above shows the lightweight AMR grille (top) and the hex lower mesh grille (middle and bottom). The lower mesh is available in two variants: with front parking sensors (bottom) and without front parking sensors (middle).
But Wait, There’s More!
The traditional slatted grilles are made of two types of components: the metal horizontal slats, and plastic vertical brackets that hold the slats in place. The slats are pressure-fit into the brackets, and some (not all!) of the brackets then bolt into the front bumper armature of the car.
Side note: The front bumper armature is the large cast aluminum crash structure at the front of the car. It acts as the front bumper beam as well as the support for several components in the front of the car, like the grille, headlights, tow hook, oil cooler (on 4.3L cars), etc.
The brackets that don’t bolt into the armature can come loose over time and then fall out, eventually being lost. They can’t be replaced on their own - they’re only available from Aston Martin as part of complete grille assemblies, and those can be quite pricey if all you need is the plastic pieces.
Luckily for us, the guy that makes our air box delete brackets has started making these for us as well!
The ones pictured above are the prototypes; the final version will be sanded smooth to give a cleaner look. The attention to detail on these is fantastic - the notches grooves for slat fitment and small tabs that keep the slats secured in place. You’ll also notice the one in the middle has only four slots. These are specifically so you can make a 4-bar grille without having the empty notches in the plastic brackets.
We’re finishing up testing and manufacturing of these, and we’ll be announcing their availability as soon as they’re ready.
Like I said at the beginning of this blog post, I’ve done a terrible job of keeping track of everything I’ve done, changed, added, and so on. Here’s a quick list of things off the top of my head…
Check out the various Modification Guides, which I’m still working on, for a ton of information about OEM and aftermarket options for modifying your Aston Martin. I cover factory aspects of the cars as well, so it might be worth reading these even if you’re not planning on changing anything.
Work on my Redpants Unzipped website has been slow but steady… tons to write, no time to write it. But it’s getting there…
I think that’s it, but I’m sure I’m missing things.
One last thing, though… the amount of support we get from you all is amazing. Thank you all so much. We couldn’t keep moving forward if it wasn’t for the incredible messages and emails, so thank you!