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Laddie's Plenum & Radiator Cover Project
2003-08-31
I saw a Plenum painted four years ago on Denny Sargent's Yellow Prowler during our Texas Speed Weekend. Always liked it and had decided I would have something done someday. Well, that day has come and I consulted with Kal Smith (HotbrasbyKal.com) from Meteraie, LA. Kal is the person who paints the Custom Mopar bras or Skintight both Mfg. by American Stitchco out of Moutain Home, AR. My local dealer found a used 300 High Output plenum for me and that's what I used for this project. I did all the sanding to get rid of all the raised areas on the plenum. Additional sanding to smooth the entire surface. I also sanded the radiator cover (this is aluminum) and preped it for the primer. After both peices were primed, I did the additional sanding. Kal started the sanding of the plenum after the primer and I finished this piece. Kal than painted the two pieces yellow and added orange streaks... He than taped off the unit for flames and painted the flames. The flame colors were to match my new Custom painted Bra Kal was preparing for me to take to the Smokies... There are some other techniques that Kal uses to bring out the deep colors... Kal still has a few other tricks he wants to add to the project before it is complete... I'll get that done in time... ... In addition to Kal Smith, I would also like to thank Rivertown Collision in Kenner, LA (Ricky, Darren & Steve for their advice & help) for allowing me to use their facilities.

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  I started with a 300 High Output Plenum. This & the LH platform 3.5L have the same Plenums... It's just a matter of locating one at a reasonable costs. You could always start with the one on your Prowler but, you would be out of commission for three to four weeks getting the entire project done... I started by using 180 grit sandpaper, and went to 80 & ultimately to 40 (very course). It took the 40 grit to really cut the raised portions down. I finished the whole piece by hand using the 180 and finished it with 320 for final sanding before priming...  
 
 
  Here you can see some of the results of my sanding... 
 
 
  Here's the radiator cover... All the sanding on here was by hand. 
 
 
  Here's the primed radiator cover and the attachment to the plenum that opens the choke part of intake... 
 
 
  Here's the Plenum and radiator cover after Kal primed and than sprayed the yellow and than air brushed the orange streaks onto both pieces ... There was a lot of sanding to get the primed Plenum smoothed out. Four or five hours just sanding the primed Plenum getting it ready for the painting... Not quite as much time on the aluminum radiator cover...  
 
 
  Kal draws the flame pattern onto the tape... And, now ready for Kal to draw out his flame pattern... The flames will match my new bra... 
 
 
  Here you see where Kal has cutout some of the flame pattern from the tape ...  
 
 
  Kal sprays both colors for the flames ... 
 
 
  Kal applying the pin stripe... 
 
 
  Both pieces are now ready for clear coat ... 
 
 
  Radiator cover ready for clear coat... 
 
 
  My prototype rear speaker box reinstalled for the Smokies trip... 
 
 
  Larry (my local Chrysler tech) removing my stock Plenum. 
 
 
  Here's the Plenum and radiator cover after the clear coats have been applied by Kal... 
 
 
  Here's what the 3.5L V6 motor looks like after you remove the Plenum. Not a bad looking motor... 
 
 
  Larry installing custom painted Plenum. I actually removed and installed the radiator cover (that was the extent of my technical capabilities)...  
 
 
  Installed Plenum. It took Larry around 1.5 hours to do complete job. The book calls for 2.5 hours. We did use a new Plenum gasket (although we could have reused the original). We did reuse the existing throttle body gasket (these were in stock). The Plenum gasket you would need to order ahead of time... 
 
 
  A closer look at Plenum and radiator cover... 
 
 
  Another pic of completed work... 
 
 
  One last shot... Thanks again to Kal Smith for the design and painting. You can check out some of Kal's work at hotbrasbykal.com.... Kal is the person who paints the custom Bras... and, you can check out the process in the 2003 POA scrapbook. 
 
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