How-To Make a 100% Accurate MacGyver Jeep (part 2)

BY: Jason Henderson

In Part 2 we will be covering (drum roll…) the most controversial subject, the Jeep’s color! (Part 3 will be covering the interior, it doesn’t sound special but trust me, you guys will love what you’ll learn about how ridiculous it actually is).

(A budget option will also be available at the end of the post, but keep in mind I did this option at first too and it has held up okay I suppose, I just don’t “love” how it looked, but if you need to do the budget option give it a shot and see how you like it!)

Macgyver’s Wrangler YJ Laredo was the (insanely rare) color “Mocha Dark Brown”. It is one of the rarest colors of the YJ model, made only available on the 1987 YJ, never to return. Macgyver’s Jeep was painted over (only misted over really) with various shades of grays, blacks, (and maybe even tans) to give a “dirty/dusty” look because he was an outdoorsy guy and taking the Jeep out to get muddy every week for filming would have been incredibly impractical and expensive (cause gas). But even though lighting can be tricky, you can still see the brown shine through in certain scenes, sometimes it even looks green, or just straight up grey. But it’s not, it is in FACT the Factory GM color “Mocha Dark Brown” with grey/black mists of paint to look dirty, almost like a pearl coat! However, the window frame can be shown as brown at first they actually painted it matte black to cover up as much brown as they could to match the black interior (more on that in Part 3) (Also evidence can be seen in below photos)

Now you may ask yourself, “Well if it’s such a rare color how the heck do you expect me to recreate it?” Well, don’t you worry! It’s actually pretty simple ($ can be pricey though $). All you need to do is go to an automotive paint shop, they can match any factory color of your choice you just need to let them know the Dupont paint color code:

Mocha Dark Brown: B8451

You can have pretty much any auto paint shop recreate this, it can be a hit or miss as far as price goes, personally, it was a bit pricey for me, but that’s just because I went to a more expensive shop, you never know!

AS FOR THE ICONIC DIRTY “RUGGED” LOOK:
Mac’s Jeep was pretty matte/satin looking, but the gloss from the brown could still show through in some scenes (evidence is seen below), so you have a couple of options here, I guess it just depends on what you prefer.
Option 1 (The accurate one): Use flat grey/black paints (rattle can work but I really do not recommend it at all, it doesn’t hold up as well as you would like to think, especially on the plastic fender/step trim), remember, you’re only misting it over until it looks dirty and uneven, you’re not repainting it, you want that brown color to shine through!!
Option 2 The More Matte Look: Use any grey/black paint for the “dirty effect” but add a satin/matte/flat clear coat over all of it after, or in certain sections to make it more “uneven and rugged”.

Remember it’s supposed to look dirty and worn down, you don’t need to be a perfectionist about where the paint goes.

HARDTOP:
The hardtop actually didn’t match in color originally on the brown models, I don’t know if anyone noticed but the hardtop was actually a lighter shade of “grey/brown” than the rest of his Jeep. The side steps and trim panels were brown originally so they matched, but the hardtop was actually tan/black on the brown model, so the best way to achieve the Mac look, is to paint the hardtop matte black (or use canned Bedliner) and do the same thing as you did on the rest of the Jeep, mist over it with various shades of gray/brown/tan.
Another thing to note is that they didn’t like how the offwhite ceiling looked (as all Jeeps have this gross detail), so they literally just painted it black, I actually don’t think they “masked off” the windows either, because you can faintly see black overspray on the back side windows. (It’s also not safe but hey if you really want to you could match Mac’s back windows by going over them with a flat clear coat)

CHROME FOR THE LAREDO/MAC LOOK:
Mac’s Jeep being a Laredo, had a lot of chrome design. The chrome designs though were misted over with a flat clear coat and hints of black/grey to also match the whole “dirty/rugged” look (but the chrome shine is peeking through in some scenes). You can either get the actual chromed parts (most specifically the grill overlay and the door handles) (they can be cheap or expensive as all heck). Or you could go with the “wrapping route” of using chrome vinyl wrap on all the parts that should be chrome, it just might look a bit… weird, haven’t tried it though.

Cheap chrome option: Paint the parts that should be chrome silver and mist black paint over them to make them look dirty, I did this and I saw someone else do it, it’s just very very hard to make look right. I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re doing the cheap route just use vinyl wrap, it’s cheap on amazon.

PARTS THAT SHOULD BE CHROME INCLUDE:

  • Front Grill
  • Front Bumper
  • Rear Bumperettes
  • Door Handles
  • Gear Shifter/Turn Signal Switch
  • Hood Hinges (Though I think most YJ’s have this)
  • Hood Latches (Though I think most YJ’s have this)

SO TO GET IT RIGHT:

  • Step 1: Paint your Jeep “Mocha Dark Brown” (Not including the hardtop! The Hardtop needs to start out matte black! Just the doors and body should be brown!)
  • Step 2: Mist over all of the Jeep with grey/black/tan until it looks correct, basically like a pearl effect, it just needs to look a little bit dirty.
  • Step 3: Use a flat clear coat or lightly mist with matte grey/black on all chrome details (grill overlay, chrome handles, etc)
  • Step 4: Put everything back together!

ON A BUDGET OPTION:
Just get brown rattle cans and paint over everything with brown, then do the same “mist over” concept with grey/black rattle cans of paint, then use a semi-gloss clearcoat (rattle can) over mostly everything but make it a little uneven.

 

EVIDENCE OF EVERYTHING EXPLAINED HERE IN PHOTOS:

Jason Henderson is a member of the MacGyver Fan Club Facebook group

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