The red plastic had to go, but with what as a replacement? Bored of the billet inserts (and not a fan of chrome), but pissed about the phenomenal price tag on the RBP replacement vents (with the cool chain-link look), I decided to do my own. Came out pretty well, though the chrome would look better as black, with chrome lettering on the F350 part. No clue how to do that though.
After borderline-OCD eyeballing of parts on mcmaster.com (search for “wire mesh” on there and you’ll see what I mean), I finally narrowed down the hole size, wire diameter, style, and material, for a sweet looking set of fender vents (much like the ones on Marty’s truck, from Truck Toyz). There are a ton of different styles if you type “wire mesh” and I’m sure it would look great with many of them.
Specs & tools, for those interested in doing this;
Dremel with cutting wheels (like 10).
3M double sided thick adhesive tape (to protect the paint from the wire mesh)
Mcmaster.com part number; 9319T583
(Super-Corrosion-Resistant 316 SS Wire Cloth 3 X 3 Mesh, .063" Wire Diameter, 12" X 24" Sheet)
I’ll keep the instructions short.
Remove the F2/3/450 badge (not the entire vent) by prying up from below, and wedging your fingers under, and working out towards the sides, and finally the top. 5 clips.
Remove the main portion of the vent by working top-down, being careful not to bend/snap the plastic. 3 clips, mostly towards the bottom.
Remove the plastic vent from the chrome housing by using pliers to GENTLY squeeze each of the 2 pegs that have the metal retention washer, while pushing up from below, on the red (or black) plastic, alternating between the two pegs until you have it apart.
The plastic vent piece will be the template for cutting the pattern. Figure out which orientation you want the mesh to have when it’s set up (vertical / horizontal lines, diagonal, etc), and place the vent street side down onto the wire mesh. Use the two holes in the vent (that had the pegs/washers through them) to line up with holes in the mesh. Trace the vent with a sharpie and mark those two holes for reference if you need to. (This will be the back side of the insert.) Cut the damn thing out already! Probably not a bad idea to use a wire wheel to clean up the edges after you cut it out.
Make sure the mesh is flat after you’re done, and put it onto the chrome vent frame, using the two washers that go on the pegs.
Prep the fender by putting some of the think rubbery 3M tape in place, so it doesn’t shift or scratch. The wire mesh is slightly thinner than the original fender vent, so there is just enough room for both the tape and wire. Be careful not to put tape all the way to the inner edge of the cut out fender, or you will see it when everything is back in place.
Be careful with the ends, that are only woven once.
Clearly I have too much time on my hands this weekend.