The balance in style and performance is still the best formula for an auto manufacturer to create a successful vehicle. That's why many vehicles are equipped with a variety of parts, each functioning either to provide functionality or give the car an artistic look. The performance of parts like engines, transmissions, suspensions, and various other mechanical parts usually define the performance of the entire vehicle. The quality and stylishness of the body panels, body accessories and other accessories, on the other hand, dictates how the vehicle would fare to the general car buyer. But aside from these parts, there are auto parts that serve both purposes. Among these parts are the grilles.
The grille, or grill, refers to the opening in the front end of a vehicle's bodywork that allows air to enter into the radiator and help cool the engine. Due to this purpose, the grille is often called the radiator grille or the radiator air inlet. The radiator grille is further connected to the shroud of the radiator that prevents air from escaping around the radiator. Not all grilles, however, functions to allow air into the radiator, nor are they found only at the front of the vehicle. Some vehicles have grilles located below the front bumper, in front of the wheels, and functions to cool the brakes, while rear engine vehicles have the grilles located on the rear deck lid.
Aside from this performance function, grilles also serve as a unique styling element for most vehicles. Most auto manufacturers would attach their company logos near the grille or even as a part of the grille inserts. Other auto manufacturers would even trademark specific grille patterns so that it would give their vehicles a distinctive look. For this aesthetic reason, grilles are also the part that most custom vehicle manufacturers tinker with.
The Ford Motor Company integrates both functionality and style in their grille designs. Since most Ford vehicles have engines mounted under the hood, Ford grilles are often found on the front end of Ford vehicles and designed in such a way to allow a big amount of air into the radiator. Ford grilles also are stylishly designed, often with the Ford logo in it, to give the vehicle an elegant, distinctive and authentic Ford look.
Aside from the genuine Ford grilles, however, are various aftermarket and custom grilles that you can install on your vehicles to give them a custom and more distinctive look. Custom grilles often come in billet or chrome finish to give your vehicle a more luxurious look. Some custom vehicle designers would oft for a more uniform look and paint the grilles and grille inserts with body color paint.
Closer Look at Ford Grille Assembly
The Ford grille is important protection for the many delicate parts under the hood of your vehicle, shielding the open area at the front of the engine compartment. This open area is necessary to provide a flow of air into the engine compartment that is needed by the engine for both cooling and the combustion process. This area, right at the front of the vehicle, is vulnerable to the rocks and debris of the road, often struck by such items as the tires of the vehicles passing by on the road toss them about. The vehicle radiator, essential to the engine cooling system, would be very vulnerable to damage without the protection of the Ford grille to shield its delicate cooling fins from the impact of rocks and debris. The Ford grille is built to stand up to the impact of these items, providing sturdy and durable protection to the many moving parts in the engine compartment as you travel. The abuse inflicted by these items and the elements will cause the condition of the Ford grille to deteriorate over time, chipping away at the finish to leave the Ford grille vulnerable to corrosion. If corrosion begins to take its toll on the Ford grille, it can become quite damaged and discolored, spoiling the appearance of your vehicle, or it may become loosened, its mounting affected by rust. If your Ford grille has become weakened by corrosion, replacement is necessary to keep the vital parts of the vehicle protected. You will find a selection of Ford grille replacements in our online catalog, both standard and custom. Our great prices and expert customer service will make ordering your Ford grille replacement fast and easy on our secure site or our toll-free phone line.
Buying the Best Ford Grille Assembly You Could Find
The grille of your Ford isn't just for display. It has a definite function in terms of shielding your engine compartment from debris, rock, dirt, and the elements. It particularly protects the radiator from exposure-related damage. You can also invest in grilles for the same of light protection, engine guarding, and covering the bottom of the engine near your bumper from potential harm (especially if you're driving through less-than-smooth roads with loads of dirt and stones on them). With that said, here's how you buy the best grille for your Ford.
Types of Car Grilles
- Billet Grilles:You should buy billet grills if you want a design composed of thick strips of metal or plastic laid out horizontally and parallel to one another. It also comes in variations such as slanted billet or vertical billet bars. Regardless, they act like vents in that they keep large objects out and let the air in through slots. Many luxury cars go with vertical placement while horizontal placement is commonly seen in race cars and trucks.
- Mesh Grilles:As for mesh grilles, they showcase crisscross patterns reminiscent of a chicken wire or wire mesh design (hence the term). This isn't as stylish as the billet grille pattern but it's even more effective at letting air in and letting finer pieces of debris out almost like a sieve or a strainer would. It can also be achieved by punching a grille pattern out of sheet metal. The thicker the bars, the less air will come in but the thinner the bars the more debris will pass through.
- Custom Grilles: If you believe the abovementioned grilles are too standard fare for your tastes, then try out some custom grilles for size that make use of the CNC (Computer Numerical Control) program or a machinist designer who'll make up a design for your sake. You'll pay more and you'll have to come up with the customization, but if money is no object for you and you want to customize your vehicle to your tastes, then this is the best option as your outlet for automotive creativity. The strongest grille you can get is one with punched-in patterns from sheet metal, for your information.
Materials in Car Grilles
Car grilles are made of many different materials. Each material type has its respective pros and cons. They include:
- Aluminum (Plus Alloys):Lightweight T-5 or T-6 aluminum provides excellent durability by being aircraft-grade material for your grille needs. Mixing aluminum with alloys makes it more corrosion-resistant and tougher.
- Stainless Steel:It's more durable than aluminum but heavier to wield as well. Stainless steel is corrosion-resistant and stain-free due to it being 10.5% chromium in composition. Take note that 304 stainless steel grilles have more chromium than 409 stainless steel grilles.
- ABS Plastic:It's less durable as grille material but far less expensive. What's more, its durability is serviceable and it's absolutely corrosion-proof since it is plastic rather than some sort of metal or alloy mix.
The Bottom Line
You should buy the right grille replacement or upgrade in accordance to your goals. If you want to customize your vehicle, it makes more sense to go custom than to buy something that's standard-issue. If you wish for heavy-duty toughness, stainless steel is the way to go. However, aluminum is more fuel efficient while (sporting superior corrosion protection) and ABS plastic is more cost-effective (and corrosion-free to boot). You also have many choices for finishes, which includes power coating, zinc plating, polish, and chrome finishes.