After 211,000 miles on my '92, my grille badge has seen better days. Weathered, sandblasted and completely stripped of any paint, it looked like crap, so I decided to do a DIY restoration on it.
I knew the original finish was either polished or chromed (not sure which), but I decided it'd be much easier for me to do a brushed finish. I took some fine sandpaper and went to town, evening out the surface and putting directional scratches in the areas that wouldn't be painted in the end (I went a little too far in the lower left corner, I ground down the ridge, and also between the rings in the Audi symbol).
I used clear packing tape as masking tape, so I could see exactly where to cut. I got out my trusty Exacto knife set, and using a fine-tip blade, cut out the areas I wanted to paint. I wanted to paint the areas between the Audi symbol, the S and the 4, so I cut out those channels as well. They were black from the factory, I decided to dress them up and go red. I can always mask and paint them black in the future.
Once it was masked, I primed it with a couple coats of good primer.
I was in a hurry and wanted to get it done, so in a moment of genius, I decided to use some of my wife's nail polish to paint the badge. Turned out to be a bad idea, it dried to quickly and got chunky and glommy.
So, after a slight reboot (stripped all the polish and primer off, remasked, and cut out all the bits again), I went to my local FLAPS and picked up a can of Flame Red DupliColor Perfect Match lacquer. I didn't know the exact color (even my trunk badge is pretty much colorless), but Flame Red looked about right, not too bright or dark.
After priming it again, I gave it 4 good coats of paint and let it dry.
When I pulled off the tape, this is what I had.
I was pretty happy with it. It's not perfect my any means, but I think it turned out pretty darn good. I shot the whole thing with 4 coats of a gloss clear, just to give the bare metal some protection.
The next issue was mounting the badge to the grille. When I took it off, one of the studs sheared off completely, the other one broke off at the level of plastic backing plate.
In some circles, I'm famous for my use of zipties to fix just about anything. In this case, I thought tie-wire would work better, so I went for it. I snapped off the remaining stud flush with the surface of the badge.
I cut a length of wire and bent it into a U shape, with plenty of loop to sit on the back of the badge where the studs had been.
My adhesive of choice was high-strength hot glue. I figured it would bond well to both the badge and the wire, and it would be quick-drying enough to keep working while being flexible enough to modify it if needed. I considered JB Weld, but I've never had good luck with it. I built up a few layers around the post anchors and along both sides of the wire between them. Not exactly pretty, but it worked.
I mounted the badge to the grille (I had to cut away a little of the glue, it was contacting one of the grille slats), ran the wires through the holes in the backing plate, and twisted the wires until the badge was just tight enough to resist any movement. I didn't want to torque the wires enough to either break them, or pull the whole thing off the back of the badge. I snipped off the excess wire (not shown).
Here is the end result.
As of now, I'm considering this a trial run. Hopefully the paint holds up to the elements, and more importantly, I'm hoping the glue will hold up to highway speeds, car washes, etc, etc.