Putting in a Protective Grille Shell in Three Easy Steps
Using grilles used to be a purely utilitarian thing-these parts are meant to help ease ventilation and do little else. Nowadays, with body work customizations being all the rage, even grilles represent a chance for any truck driver to fully express themselves through their rides because these parts can be accessorized with grille shells. The great thing about the grille shell is that it pulls double duty: it makes your ride look better (some would say classic), and it actually protects the grille from any serious damage. Good thing installing a grille shell isn't that difficult. The procedure does take a lot of work, but for even the occasional DIY-er, it should only take about half an hour.
Required skill level: Intermediate
Needed tools and materials:
- New grille shell
- Drill and drill bits
- Screwdriver set
- Pencil or any writing implement
- Wrench set
- Clean rags
- Cleaning solution
Preparation for installation
Out of the box, the new grill shell is probably already in a clean state. It helps, however, to wipe it with a clean rag and some solution to pick out any traces of dust or grime that may have been left over from the production of the shell. Additionally, this gives you the chance to check for any damages or bulges that might mess up the installation process.
Fitting the grille shell
It's essential that, before you make any permanent installations, you check if the shell you got is a good fit. To do this, simply overlay the shell onto your grill. Check whether the surfaces are flush with no one side too far out or too short. This is the point where you should also align and mark the attachment points where you might need to drill-some grille shells might not require any drilling at all.
Mounting the grille shell
Carefully drill out the holes that you marked out earlier. If the grille shell you got is composed of more than one piece, now is the time to put them all together. Check if the alignment of the holes is correct before bolting anything down. When you're confident, tighten each of the bolts. Check that the installation is secure by jostling the shell lightly.
How to Choose the Perfect Grille Shell
If you are sick and tired of your vehicle's plain, old look, getting a brand-new grille shell can be the answer to your problem. You see, this component is an inexpensive yet effective way of giving your ride a new appearance even in a subtle way. Aside from holding your grilles in place, this component can also improve the overall look and vibe of your vehicle. So, if you want to give your ride that added spunk and attitude, you'd better take the time to choose which one is the right kind of grille shell for you. Customizing your auto can be quite tricky if you don't know what to look for, so below is a simple guide that can help you decide which grille shell to choose for your vehicle upgrades.
Grille shell materials
There are typically three types of materials that grille shells are made of namely, fiberglass, ABS plastic, and steel. Though all three are made to be durable and long-lasting, they still differ in small ways, so it's up to you to choose one that matches your preference and needs.
Fiberglass grille shells?This type is known as the rugged style, and it usually comes with chrome plating. It is also easy to modify because the material is easy to paint.
ABS Plastic grille shells?Because it's made of plastic, you can bet your hat that this type of shell will not rust. At times, this type comes with a chrome finish for better protection.
Steel grille shells?As you know, steel is one of the strongest materials on the face of the earth. This particular type is known for its exceptional strength, quality, and good looks.
Grille shell brands
To make sure you get a grille shell that is long-lasting, put your money on a product that is made by brand with a good reputation. Typical grille shells are sold from 50 to 100 USD. Choose products from trusted brands like APC, Street Scene, and Replacement to get rid of all your worries about quality and reliability.
Basics Steps for Grille Shell Removal and Installation
Having a dangling grille on your vehicle is not only an eyesore, but it is also very dangerous because it can get you into a lot of trouble when you go out and drive. Without warning, your grilles might just come off while you are driving at high speeds on the freeway. So before it completely falls off and gets you into a road mishap, you'd better address the problem right away. However, if your grilles are still intact, changing your grille shell might be enough to do the trick. This component is the one that is responsible for holding your grilles in place, so if it becomes damaged, your grilles are also in danger of getting ruined. Below are some basic steps that you can follow in removing and installing a brand-new grille shell on your vehicle.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Things you need to prepare:
- Flathead screwdriver
- Philips head screwdriver
- Metric ratchet and socket set
- Metric wrench set
- New grille shell
Step 1: To remove your current grille shell, open your hood and use a Philips head screwdriver to take out your corner lenses. After which, remove the bulbs from the lenses by twisting them from the back. Set the corner lenses and bulbs aside.
Step 2: Next, find the grille shell support brackets under the hood, and unfasten it using the right socket wrench. Start from the top and slowly make your way down to prevent it from falling and getting damaged.
Step 3: After that, find the tabs holding the grille, and remove them using a flathead screwdriver. Once the locks are removed, carefully pull your entire grille assembly and take it out.
Step 4: Next, locate the latch on your hood and remove its push rod using pliers.
Step 5: To remove the grille shell from your grille assembly, unbolt its support brackets using a socket wrench.
Step 6: Get your new grille shell and attach it to your grille assembly by bolting its mounting hardware. Once the entire grille assembly is intact, reattach it to your ride by fastening it.
Step 7: Lastly, reattach the lighting components that you removed earlier and test them before taking your vehicle out on the road.
Tip: Do not lose the installation clips as you will use them again for installation. To make sure you don't misplace them, set them aside and put them in a safe place that is also easy to locate.