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People kept asking my to post pics of how the thing looks without chrome handles. Finally got around to borrowing a digi-camera - kinda fun actually.
 

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Why doesn't it post? Only 96K
Pic 1
 

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Pic 2 Okay, I got the hang of it now, it just doesn't show in the preview.
 

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The other car is a 95 Mazda Millenia S with a supercharged Miller Cycle engine (only one in production, ever), low-slung, fast, tight, smooth, luxurious, and a whole lotta fun to drive.
You'll be shocked to hear this, but just yesterday, I flipped a coin to decide which of these two cars to sell on consignment at a local lot. If I kept it, it would have cost the same over 5 years as I drive 40K miles a year and I was going to split the mileage to save on depreciation. Some of you may have seen my add in the classified forum, could'nt make up my mind.
The coin said to keep the MDX and sell the Mazda (going to miss it as I like driving it more than the Acura, but its not practical for cross-country camping, kayaking, etc)
 

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I love the way the front piece looks painted black. I had my fender flares painted to match...I didn't order the front because I liked it plain, but yours looks awesome!:2:
 

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This may be a COMPLETELY stupid question...

...but how did you de-chrome and paint the door handles? It really does look fantastic!
 

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Re: This may be a COMPLETELY stupid question...

DFDesigns said:
...but how did you de-chrome and paint the door handles? It really does look fantastic!
Remove door handle, release spring tension in handle assemble so it can be propped open, take to overpriced body shop catering to premium/prestige cars, talk them into doing it. If they know what they are doing, they will insist on charging extra for a special bonding primer that is used specifically for bonding paint to plated surfaces. The handle is not really electro-plated, as the handle itself is plastic, but there is a layer of true metal on it (I tried to sand it off, doesn't work), thus the reason for the special bonding material.

Four days later (bond primer, paint, clear coat), re-install handles, take back to shop for several hours of color-sanding and finish polishing. Removing and re-installing took me a total of about 25 hours. Its very tricky and nearly impossible to reach some of the bolts and nuts with out special tools and mirror/light contraption, as some of the work is not visible. The book labor-time from the body shop said more than 20, and would have cost me a small fortune if they performed the labor for this. The paint work itself was only about $175 because I had the front trim and flares painted at the same time (installed myself), for a total of $675. Doesn't matter. Not having chrome handles is priceless. If I had seen the current Benze door handles before then, I would have done it like that. Its the only door handle in the world I think that is chrome with body-matched color across the face, leaving only the top and bottom sides chromed.

If I had the silver satin, I would not have match-painted the handles. I think silver is the only body color that looks good with chromed handles. I think White looks the worst. Nobody notices until I pull into the dealer, next to their MDX on display. Have not had a negative review yet, but the sales staff gets embarrassed when customers ask about it.

Thanks for the comments and questions.
 

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While I'm not willing to spend the time/expense to have color matched door handles, I sure wish I had them. In my opinion, this is the one big flaw in the looks of my MDX. It just seems like chrome handles say "hey, I'm a mass prduced low end vehicle and didn't have time to bother with colored handles".

My '92 Legend has color matched door handles, why can't my '02 MDX?!?

BTW, your's look GREAT!
 

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Love the handles!

I'd be willing to pay a couple hundred bucks to get this done but I'd be afraid that the body shop (or me during the intstall) would screw things up. Hmmm...I'll add this to my MDX wishlist.
 

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Bnuke said:
Love the handles! . . .
er, love handles? Nice detail, very sharp :29:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Bnuke said:
Love the handles!

I'd be willing to pay a couple hundred bucks to get this done but I'd be afraid that the body shop (or me during the intstall) would screw things up. Hmmm...I'll add this to my MDX wishlist.
Hard to screw up as all better body shops (not the cheaper franchise brands, Maaco, One Day, etc) remove all door trims, including the handles, before painting the doors. You simply need to ask if they are familiar with bonding primer to be used on metallic surfaces. The handle is not made of metal, but the chrome is real chrome, not painted on. The handle is plastic, with a coat of copper colored metallic somehow bonded to the plastic body, kinda like electroplating or anodizing, but for plastic (no clue how that is done). Without the bonding primer, the paint would crack and peel off. But painting over metal is common practice, so I'm sure it wont be a problem. Mine suffer only from rock chips from gravel roads in upper Canada and from following gravel trucks in Southern California (I don't intentionally follow them, they always just appear in front of me!)
I suggest you call local luxury car dealers and ask where they shop out their jobs to. Be prepared to pay high dollar for quality work. Make sure to mention that you expect the door handle to be colorsanded and polished smooth of orange peel texture once it is re-installed.

As for fenders & lower trim, the primer is flex-primer, but the paint and process is the same as the rest of the body panels, so the paint has pretty much similar wear characteristics as the rest of the car.
 

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Chrome Handles

billco302 said:
While I'm not willing to spend the time/expense to have color matched door handles, I sure wish I had them. In my opinion, this is the one big flaw in the looks of my MDX. It just seems like chrome handles say "hey, I'm a mass prduced low end vehicle and didn't have time to bother with colored handles".

My '92 Legend has color matched door handles, why can't my '02 MDX?!?

BTW, your's look GREAT!
Ohhhh I dunno ... The chrome handles to me are a mark of luxury and help the vehicle stand out from the actual mass produced low end vehicles who's handles are a dull or shiny black. These chrome accents are for me like platinum cuff links on a well tailored tux or diamond baguettes framing the face of a beautiful woman. Now if we were discussing the rear Acura name plate then I'd have to say that somebody traded in the delicate tennis bracelet for one of those big chunky silver ID or charm bracelets. But that's just me.
:4:
 

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Re: Chrome Handles

MK23666 said:


Ohhhh I dunno ... The chrome handles to me are a mark of luxury and help the vehicle stand out from the actual mass produced low end vehicles who's handles are a dull or shiny black. These chrome accents are for me like platinum cuff links on a well tailored tux or diamond baguettes framing the face of a beautiful woman. Now if we were discussing the rear Acura name plate then I'd have to say that somebody traded in the delicate tennis bracelet for one of those big chunky silver ID or charm bracelets. But that's just me.
:4:
What he said.:4:
 
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