"Satoshi" Grill Mod
FJ 40/45 Emblem
cut grill material
Door edge guard
Metal pipe strapping (black color, if possible)
Allen bolt head bolts
with plastic washer and nuts
Tools & Supplies
Cordless drill with bits
Dremel with flexible shaft attachment
Dremel cutting disks
Dremel drum sander
Black zip ties
Fiberglass resin and Mepk
Bondo and hardener
Sand paper (80, 100, 200, 400 and 1000 grit)
Flat black paint
This mod is named in honor of the creator of this mod, Satoshi
Miura. This mod has quite an interesting development history which owes
itself to several key players: Al Gore (after all, he did create
the Internet), Miki Uchimura (Robinhood's wife) and Akemi Miura (Satoshi's
wife). For an interesting background story on the man himself, his wife
Akemi, and his awesome Hilux Surf, click here.
Note: this mod was done on my 1998 4Runner. I am fairly confident that this
mod should work with 96-98 grills as they basically the same. However,
the 99 and 02 grills will be much more difficult because of the new shape.
Nevertheless, please read this mod in its entirety before performing this
Warning: You will be working
with fiberglass, fiberglass resin and lots of aerosol paints. There will
also be alot of dust particles from sanding. You MUST use a respirator with
the appropriate filters for this project. Don't go "ghetto"---your
lungs are too valuable. Read my recommendations
on what to buy and where to get it.
1: Removing the stock 96-98 OEM grill
There are a total of 7 grill tabs that you need to release before the grill
can be removed. Using your long-handled flat bladed screwdriver, press down
on the following tab locations. Press down on the tab, then gently pull
the grill out to release. They may occassionally snap back in place, but
don't worry, just repeat until you can remove the entire grill.
tabs (T) to remove the grill
is a pic of the bottom tabs
Step 2: Cutting Up the Grill
Skip the dremel on most of this task and bring out the coping saw to cut
the grill out. Once you get most of the grill out, you'll need to Dremel
drum sander to sand down the remaining grill pieces.
these pieces out (G) and work around the grill to remove
down until it looks like this. Get it flat and don't worry about the
appearance as you will fiberglass and bondo this area down
80 grit sandpaper, sand down all areas flat before continuing.
Step 3: Fiberglassing and Bondo'ing the Grill
Because there are holes in the grill material, you will need
to fiberglass the back for support before bondo'ing to fill in those gaps.
First, turn your grill over and clean the area off with soap, water and
then some acetone. Next, put on your respirator gear and latex gloves.
Cut up some fiberglass mat pieces and mix up the appropriate amount of
fiberglass resin and mepk. With the fiberglass resin, you have about 10
to 15 minutes to work with it before it hardens up. Apply some resin on
the back of the grill area. Lay down a piece of fiberglass mat on the
exposed areas. Take your brush, dip it into the resin and stab some resin
into it. You don't need a lot---just enough to soak the mat. Repeat the
process until you've covered the areas with holes. It should harden up
within a half hour.
be a fool and work with fiberglass without a respirator.
you see that I've fiberglassed the back. This will give the bondo
the fiberglass has thoroughly dried, mix up some bondo with the hardener
to a nice, pink color. As with the fiberglass resin, you have about 10 to
15 minutes to work with it before it hardens up. Apply the bondo in the
areas that have craters and gaps until you've filled up those parts. Let
harden and then sand with 80 and 100 grit sandpaper.
a little much but it was the first time I worked with this stuff!
the areas all sanded down.
for the other side and then get ready to prep the rest of the inner part
of the grill.
4: Prepping, Priming
and Painting the Inner Grill
With successive sanding with 100 and 220 grit (dry) sandpaper,
gently sand down the entire inner grill area. This is very important because
you want a nice smooth finish. After finishing with the 220 gril sandpaper,
move to a 440 grit and wet sand until its very smooth. Rinse off all the
dust and wipe down with acetone to remove any fingerprints or oils.
Next, mask off the chrome parts of the grill with masking tape, paying
special attention to covering the edges. After masking, spray two to three
coats of sandable primer. Make sure you follow the manufacturer's recommendation
for dry times. Follow through by wet sanding with 1000 grit sandpaper
between each coat.
a shot of the grill that has been both taped and primed (hard to tell,
but it is)
is the inner part of the grill painted (no clear coat)
spray two coats of flat black spray paint. Finish with two coats of clear
5: Emblem Preparation and Painting the Other Parts
Note: You can skip this part if you are satisfied with the silver
color of the Toyota emblem and if you've purchased black allen bolts and
black pipe strapping.
got the materials out for painting, now is a good time as any to prep
and paint the other hardware. Begin by cutting 9 inch strips of pipe strapping.
You may need to pound it flat with a mini-sledge on a flat metal surface.
For the allen bolts, stick these into a piece of cardboard. Acetone, prime
and paint the pipe strapping and the allen bolts, according to the directions.
Let dry before clear coating.
In order to allow the emblem to sit flush against the grill material,
cut off the two threaded bolt channels behind the emblem. Using a Dremel
cutting disc, cut off both bolt channels. Sand them down with a drum sanding
disk. Make sure it is completely flat.
what you need to cut off on the back of the emblem. Sand flat
up the black parts including the inside of the "O" and the
"A". Here's the emblem with the first coat of gloss white
For the Toyota emblem, I decided that the silver did not contrast well
enough with the black grill. Thus, I decided to paint it white.
painter's tape or masking tape and cover all the black parts over. If
you pay attention to any part of this, make sure you thoroughly cover
the black areas with tape. Next, clean off any oils or residue with acetone
and primer and paint according to directions. Remove the tape when completely
or feedback? Email me and I'll try to get back to you. If this article
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