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Chrome? or plastic?

 
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Old 21 Sep 2011, 12:07 pm
harrym's Avatar
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Default Chrome? or plastic?

I have an '05 Cool Vanilla Cruiser - and am on my third "custom" chrome grille!

The first one was an aftermarket product that was chrome plastic - it lasted a year until the outer clear cover peeled and it became dull. Cost about 75.00

I replaced it with pieces that I cut from chrome plastic stock that is used for side strips. that lasted about three years until it peeled - same as the first. Cost about 15.00.

So I went through the same routine again about two years ago - this time it's holding up pretty good, but the top strip is starting to peel. A friend who owns a body shop says that is normal for this stuff - the sun and wind get to it and it fades and peels.

so - I'm considering another option, and want to get your opinions - please.

I'm looking at the "chrome overlay" grilles that are installed with double sided tape - and will probably be ordering next week - and my questions are -

1. are they durable? (will they peel and/or fade?)
2. Is AutoTechnica a good quality grille? Am also considering other AutoTechnica pieces and am wondering about the quality of the company - are they chrome metal or plastic?
3. How about APA? Is that a good grille?
4. Same question for CCI - although I'm not sure I like it as well because of the vertical chrome on the edges - the others don't have that.

I'm looking at those three brands -
here's a link to the AutoTechnica grille - Race and Street: Chrysler PT Cruiser Chrome Grille Overlay- Upper and Lower - Autotecnica
and here's a link to the APA Grille - PTWarehouse.com - Accessories > Exterior > Grilles
and the CCI - is here - Amazon.com: 2001-2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser Chrome Grille Overlay 2PC: Automotive
and a better picture of the CCI grille is here (page down to it) - Cruiser Motor Sports Grilles - note - the first grille I bought is featured directly under the CCI grille - It's described as a "3-M product and chrome with a clear coat overlay to protect them for longevity." - I'm not interested in another one of those!

I'm wondering mainly about the quality - any opinions are welcomed!

Last edited by harrym; 21 Sep 2011 at 12:12 pm.
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Old 21 Sep 2011, 03:15 pm
808's Avatar
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Location: Hanapepe, Hawai`i
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Default Re: Chrome? or plastic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by harrym View Post
1. are they durable? (will they peel and/or fade?)
2. Is AutoTechnica a good quality grille? Am also considering other AutoTechnica pieces and am wondering about the quality of the company - are they chrome metal or plastic?
3. How about APA? Is that a good grille?
4. Same question for CCI - although I'm not sure I like it as well because of the vertical chrome on the edges - the others don't have that.
I have an 08, and personally have the 4th grille from the top on your Cruiser Motor Sports link. I can't recall the actual brand name of it when it came in, but I installed in I believe in Sept/Oct of 08 and it still has its clean chrome finish! There are build-ups on the hard to reach places where the vertical bars are, but only if you look at it up-close. I use Ice Polish weekly/bi-weekly and wax it monthly to help lengthen the life of the finish. Living in Hawaii does require some sun screen on my car

1. 3 yrs and still shining
2 & 3. Not sure

Hope this helps even though I was talking about a different grille, lol.
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Old 21 Sep 2011, 04:21 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mooresville, NC
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Default Re: Chrome? or plastic?

I've got autotechnica all over my car... except the front grill, which came chromed from the factory. Look at the pic below, you can see the chrome on the front end, all but the flames and the antenna are autotechnica. I can tell you this... some pieces really survive well while others, well, not so well.

My headlight rings, they are brilliant. Never fading, never scratching. The door spears, same. The belt line chrome sux, it's not only got problems showing scratches and is fading, but seems to not want to stay affixed. I put my own 3m tape on it and it's coming off for the second time in three years. Front bumper guard seems to have some pitting, probably related to rocks on the highway. Rear bumper guard looks good as new. Chrome door handle protectors look okay, rear deck one is fading but probably because it's in the sun more often.



All that being said, I'd say most lasts about 6 years, but some pieces only a bit over 2.

Also, if you're talking about something that will last a lifetime, try stainless steel. You can polish it out about once a year if you clear coat it, it will last looking brand new for just shy of a year. I have a few pieces in stainless, plus under the hood, and they last forever. Of course, they are twice the cost of cheapo chrome, but it depends on how you take care of your chrome and if you want it to last the life of the car.

Last edited by Chromenut; 21 Sep 2011 at 04:23 pm.
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