This admittedly came sooner than I expected – the test fit for the rear emblem delete panel has happened! Mario texted me to let me know he would be test-fitting it after work on Tuesday, so that evening I grabbed my camera and headed out to meet up with him, Dave, and Derrick.
Before we move on to the subject of today’s post, I have a few shots of the ST in its current state. Why dirty and 4×4? Because winter and air suspension.
I know running my Tarmacs in the winters has upset a few people…I’m sure this will too.
I really wanted to show off a couple of the new interior modifications the car has received because I think they look awesome. The armrest lid is now covered in authentic Bride material,…
…and the shift boot is made of the same. Both feature red stitching to match the paint and have really been making me consider ordering similar pieces. The insert on the e-brake handle is wrapped in purple sparkle vinyl for those wondering.
Anyway, on to the emblem delete. With the hatch’s interior panel removed, half a dozen nuts had to be undone (and hopefully not dropped inside the hatch) to free the stock piece.
With those out of the way the panel could be pried loose.
The hatch release button/license plate light had to be unplugged and then removed from the trim piece. It helps to keep the button handy during a swap/test-fit of the panel as you’ll need to plug it back in to open the hatch from the outside of the car.
With that taken care of it was time to offer up the new piece and see how it looked. Yes, that’s a small crack you see in the in-focus bracket. To be fixed!
The moment we were waiting for; the first mock-up of the delete panel! Interesting (?) fact – Mario’s is the first fiberglass piece in Canada.
We made sure to check carefully for any fit issues and the only one we found was right here, on the left-hand side of the license plate recess. The delete panel will need a small bit of sanding here and then it should snug up nicely against the hatch.
Next, we wanted to try bolting it in place so that we could stand back and get a better look. One quick issue we had was finding bolts to fit the threads, but soon we found a very easy solution to this.
The factory bolts were removed from the stock piece as they are the correct fit for the emblem delete panel! It didn’t occur to us at first to try this.
A couple of those were used just to hold the panel in place; we weren’t concerned with fully tightening it down here.
You may have noticed that there was just a little dirt on the hatch. Mario did too so he gave it a quick wash.
We all agreed that it looked really good in its raw black finish, but getting it paint-matched is still the plan. I suppose that’ll be part 3 of this little series of posts!
So what do you guys think of the emblem-less look? We like it!
To wrap up the night, the stock piece was put back on and we started moving cars out and cleaning up.
New project alert? For the winter Dave parked his RSX and has been driving this 4Runner instead. When I pointed out his headlights were coated in grime he promptly flipped on his LED light bar and spotlights and proved why he doesn’t need them.
All cleaned up and about to head for home! It may have been a small part but why not get everyone together and hang out?
I’m still debating picking up an emblem delete of my own but higher on my priority list right now is getting this week’s delivery fitted to the sedan. More on that in the next post!