Voting for the Duct Tape Tough Contest is open right now so please be sure and toss a vote my way if you enjoy my instructable! Thanks!
So recently I hit a deer coming home one night. It did about $600-$800 worth of damage and I really do not have the money to pay to fix it or to even buy the parts and fix it myself. So instead of leaving it looking messed up all winter I decided I would fix it for as cheap as possible using mostly duck tape, as few tools as possible, and experimental techniques to achieve a suitable mix between good aesthetic, durability, and cost. So let's begin!
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Step 1: Get Parts and Supplies
I wanted this project to be as cheap as possible so it would not defeat the purpose of not just going and buying the parts. The things I wanted to fix first were the front bumper and grill. The grills and the bumpers go for around $100 a piece on a bad day so I set my budget at a much cheaper $30.
New stuff is most definitely not cheap so I wanted to reuse as much material as possible so off to the thrift store I went. At the thrift store I found a metal cover/vent for $.50 so I measured it to see if it would work and then bought it. I then needed something to cut it in half with so I went to the hardware store and found a metal cutting wheel that fit my drill for $5. I also needed to glue it together so I went and got the biggest tube of super glue at the $1 store.
For the bumper my plan was to sculpt duck tape (duct tape) and cardboard into the shape I needed and then put it on the car so I got a roll of black duck tape to match my car and some left over cardboard box. Now on to making magic happen!
Step 2: The Grill
So first I had to cut the vent in half with the drill mounted metal cutting disk. This brings me to the first duck tape trick in this project: holding stuff down for hands free cutting. I taped down the vent and cut down the middle. I then taped them together for a mock up on the car. Personally I was ecstatic at how they looked when they were on the car.
Then I had to glue the pieces together. I needed the pieces as flat as possible to get a good bond so I hammered them both flat on the joining sides.
Then I put them on a piece of cardboard and put glue on both pieces. The glue said to let it set up separately for ten minutes and then put together so that is what I did. After matching the pieces up I used duck tape for trick number two: holding parts together.
I stacked a few layers so they would be held together but come easily apart when I needed to un-stick. The setup went like so: cardboard, then the pieces of vent, the glue, a piece of dampened thick paper to help the glue set, a piece of clear plastic, and finally duck tape to wrap it all up and hold it in place. I also set a weight on it for constant, even pressure. Now while that dries on to the bumper!
Step 3: The Bumper
For the bumper I started off by using duck tape to close up a void of missing plastic for trick number three: using duck tape a flexible fabric. I started off by taking some duck tape and putting it inside of the bumper facing sticky side up towards me being careful to overlap each piece. One quick note on sticking duck tape to things: the cleaner the surface the better the bond. I made sure my surfaces were clean so that the tape would stick better and hold longer. So after doing tape sticky side up I did tape sticky side down making sure to overlap and pressing for a good bond.
On the left side of the bumper their is a piece missing that goes around the headlight that I needed to make. I did this using cardboard and duck tape for trick number 4: making parts. First I took a piece of cardboard and traced out the good side with a marker. Then I cut out the piece and flipped it over for a perfect reverse. Also I left a 1/2 inch seam around the piece and cut slits so I could bend the piece into shape to give it structure and make it 3D. I then covered the whole piece in duck tape making sure to overlap. Then I put it on the car where I wanted it and pressed everything together for a tight fit. When everything was in place to my liking I came back and covered all the seams with a layer of glue to hold everything in place and keep it from fraying throughout the winter. I think it looks very close to the other side and looks much better than it did plus it now has added protection. Now on to putting the grill in!
Step 4: Adding Strength and Putting It All Together
After I un-molded the grill I added two lengths of bamboo dowels I had laying around for added rigidity and strength at the weakest point.
After that I attached it to the car using the trick duck tape is used for the most...number five: sticking things to other things. I duck taped the grill to the car so it was very secure considering at some point it will be getting hit with 65 miles per hour wind on the highway.
Step 5: Finish Up, Admire Your Handy Work, and Add Up the Total
After everything was done I hit it with some clear coat out of a rattle can just to keep it from rusting until I am ready to paint it when I go to fix the spots on my hood.
Now is the point where you admire your handy work. Okay done with that!
Now to add up the cost of everything:
Duck Tape- $3
Cutting Wheel- $5
Pretty cheap and I have plenty of leftover duck tape! I also get to keep the cutting wheel kit forever and add it to my list of things my drill can do!
Well my radiator is protected my car looks much better then it did before and I spent hardly any money and for that I consider this a success. I hope you enjoyed my first instructable and I also hope I get a vote or two in the duck tape contest going on right now! Also I entered this into the Joby transform it challenge for using an air duct for a new car grill whew! Be sure to check out all the cool entries for those contests and also be sure to look out for my upcoming instructable on removing rust spots and then painting over them on the cheap coming hopefully soon!