Debadging a TTRS – black rings

7 05 2011

Today we tinker with something slightly expensive.  A shiny Solar Orange TTRS.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 21 39 21

Plan was to replace the standard chrome-effect Audi rings front and rear with black ones.  Anakin had bought a spare set of front and rear rings from the local Audi dealership – the front rings clip on, and you will break some clips on the original rings when you remove them.  You could just paint the OEM ones and then glue them back on I guess, but we were playing it relatively safe.

The rear badge just sticks on.

As we had spares, we started with the paint.  I used Plasikote Plastic Primer and Plastikote Black Gloss aerosols.  As the new rear rings are self-adhesive and stuck to a aper backing, you’ll need to cut around the rings with an Exacto knife or similar to leave the bare rings with the paper backing covering the adhesive on the rear.

Wipe the parts down with meths or panel wipe to degrease, and then spray with plastic primer.  Ten minutes later, follow up with another coat.  When tacky, start spraying black.  I used about 3 coats to get a nice even coverage and then warmed up in the kitchen oven for half an hour on a very low heat to speed things up.

Removing the OEM rings.

We thought we’d start with the front, which is definitely the trickier end – first off, removing the OEM rings.  The front rings are held on by a number of clips around the edge.  As the rings are inset slightly into the surrounding grille, it takes a little effort to remove these without either breaking a few clips or marking the surrounding grille.

To remove them, I used a nylon spudger.  If you’ve not come across these, they’re nylon tools designed to help you pry electronic gadgets apart without damage.   They won’t scratch paint and act like weak-ass pry bars.  You can also use nylon guitar picks.

We worked from the bottom of the rings, and prised out a single clip.  It’s helpful if you can then hold this clip in its pried-out position whilst you work on the next.   I didn’t have a suitable second spudger to hand, so I improvised:



Rawlplugs to the rescue.  This allowed me to pull the rings outward whilst unclipping each clip with another hand.  If you don’t have a spudger then a flatblade screwdriver wrapped in tape would probably do the job, but it’s pretty easy to mark the relatively soft black honeycomb grille surround – take it slow, and easy, and start from the underside.

I still broke a couple of clips though – and as we were fitting a new front part, these needed to be removed.  A small screwdriver and some needlenose pliers makes removing these easy – use the screwdriver to lift the broken tab up and then extract with the pliers:


Once these are removed, we waited for half an hour or so until the newly-painted rings dried, then refitted carefully – these are a simple push-fit.  Make sure you put them on the right way around – there is a top and a bottom!


Now to start on the rear rings.

Anakin decided that as well as the removing the rear rings, we’d also take off the TTRS badges.

Before you remove the rear rings, I’d suggest using some tape to mark out the position of the original badges to make refitting the new, black badge in the correct place.  I used some yellow electrical tape.

We used a hairdryer to warm up the badges, and a plastic credit card to remove them.


Take it slow, and the credit card will cut through the rubbery adhesive, leaving some deposits that can be wiped off using some methylated spirits and a paper towel.


After a quick wipe down:



I actually think the rear of the car looks pretty cool debadged, and we had a bit of a struggle deciding if we should leave it bare, or go with the newly-painted black rings.

Tricky decision, as I happen to think that a TTRS with no badges at all looks pretty damn mean.

In the end, we went with deleting the TTRS badges and going with the new black rings.


New front:


New rear.


Job done.  Total time taken about an hour.  I love simple but relatively dramatic mods like this.




One response

10 06 2011

PS if you’re using Plastidip paint instead of Plasikote, be aware that it does not like plastic primer! I’d recommend sticking with Plastikote plastic primer and Plastikote black spray.

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