When I purchased my 2012 Nero Sport, I immediately wanted to replace the chrome trim pieces with black to match. From previous cars I've owned aftermarket companies or even Chevy, Dodge, Mopar, etc. had offered trim or badges in factory colors. Couldn't find any for the 500. Inquired with 500Madness and they said they could get me the pieces in factory color but the prices were excessive, IMO. So I took the advice of several forum members and purchased a can of black Plasti Dip. I searched Youtube and found several videos of painting emblems but all were done with the emblems or trim still on the car. I wanted to remove the trim for 2 reasons. First to make sure I got an even color all the way around & second so I could still drive my car if needed while the pieces were drying.
I removed the rear trunk handle, rear Fiat emblem, front bumper spears & front Fiat emblem. I was able to remove the front spears & emblem without removing the bumper cover. I've included pics with each step.
1 can Plasti Dip
1 10mm socket
1 8 mm socket
1 T30 torx (alternatively a 4mm allen wrench will work as well)
1 5mm allen wrench
3M automotive double-sided tape
1 rubber or plastic "tool" to remove rear emblem ( I used a tool from my bike repair kit that removes the tire from the rim )
Step 1: Remove the trunk handle and rear emblem - approximate time 5 min.
Start by opening the hatch and removing the inner lining. There are 10 ( I believe) plastic push pins holding it on. There is an opening on the passenger side where you can stick your hand in and gently pop the push pins out. You could also use pliers to pull each one out. You will also have to remove the trunk pull which requires a 5mm allen wrench. Once off, set that aside. You will see the 4 bolts holding the trunk handle on.
Remove the (4) 10mm nuts and unclip the wire harness and pinch the little plastic clip in the middle of the 4 bolts and the trunk handle will come right off.
Next move on to the rear emblem - this is held on with double-sided tape and has two plastic pins covered in rubber that go through the hatch. I used a tire lever starting at the top of the emblem getting underneath and slowly sliding the tire lever around the emblem pulling up as I went to break the tape loose. You may break 1 or both of the little plastic pins on the rear - doesn't really matter because you will reinstall with double-sided tape later. After you get the emblem off, be sure to remove the residual double-sided tape.
Step 2: Remove front emblem and bumper spears - approximate time 5 min
Open your hood and locate the 4 torx bolts holding the top of the bumper cover in place. These require a T30 torx (or 4mm allen wrench), remove these bolts and set aside.
Gently pull the bumper cover toward you and you will see the 8mm nut holding the front emblem on and the 10mm plastic nuts holding the bumper spears on. I have very large hands and forearms & I was able to remove these by hand. Note: place a towel between the bumper cover and your forearm to avoid scrapes/cuts.
The 8mm emblem nut needs a ratchet to break loose, but the 10mm plastic nuts can be removed with a 10mm socket and your fingers ( if you have strong fingers ). Be careful not to drop the socket or nuts down into the engine bay ( like I did ) or you will need to climb under the car, remove the fender liners and splash guard to find them.
Step 3: cleaning and Prep - approximate time 1 min.
I washed each piece with Dawn dishwashing liquid to remove any oils, waxes, etc. Make sure to clean each piece. After 3 coats on the front emblem the paint started to lift & pull away on it's own. I removed the paint, re-washed & started over.
Step 4: Painting - approximate time 1-2 hours.
Following the instructions on the can I sprayed each piece with a light first coat and let dry for 30 minutes. It was a little humid when I started in the morning so I allowed 30 minutes between the first 3 coats. As it warmed up and the humidity dissipated, 15 minutes was sufficient between the remaining coats. Note: I held the can upside down and sprayed until it came out clear between each coat to avoid any splatter.
Step 5: Trimming the final product - approximate time <5 min.
The trunk handle and front bumper spears didn't need any trimming, but the two emblems did. There is a nice groove between the center Fiat and the chrome surround. I went along that groove with a razor blade just to make sure the paint didn't pull up when I was removing the center section. Make a hole with a tooth pick or your nail and then slowly peel the Plasti Dip away revealing the center emblem.
Step 6: Re-assembly - approximate time <10 min.
Starting with the front pieces, open the hood and pull the front bumper cover toward you. Place the center emblem back into its hole, attach 8mm nut finger tight - then tighten with ratchet/socket. Place the bumper spears into their respective slot - note: the side with the tab goes toward the center emblem and on top ( only fits in one way, but just in case ). Install 10mm plastic nuts with fingers. Use 10mm socket and fingers to tighten nuts while pushing spears in with other hand. Re-install (4) 4mm hex bolts to bumper cover, close the hood & done.
For the hatch, you will need to place the trunk handle in the wholes on the hatch, fold down the rear seats & from the inside re-install the (4) 10mm nuts finger tight. Now you can open the hatch from the outside, tighten down the (4) 10mm nuts & clip in the wire harness. For the rear emblem place 3M double-sided tape on the underside of the emblem. Line up with the 2 holes on the hatch and press firmly. Re-install the inner hatch liner & trunk pull. Finished.
I am happy with the overall finish. I want to order the Glossifier as nobody in my area had it in stock. Plasti Dip also makes a Metalicizer to add that metalic look, so I may try that as well to better match the metalic finish of the car.