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Old 09-05-2009, 08:27 PM   #1
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Cheap Mod

Hey everyone. Just wanted to share a cheap mod I did to my X. I hate that the grille openings are big enough for rocks and other road debris to hit the radiator so I started looking at grille inserts. They were like $200! So I said no way and made my own using gutter guard material from the hardware store. You can get a roll of either black plastic or aluminum "grid". First remove the grille so you can take measurements for your material. I cut seven even sections (one for each opening) and zipped tied them together. I then took some 1/4" tubing, size to the perimeter of the whole grille openings, and zipped tied them to the gutter material. I then took silicone glue (or high-tack emblem glue or epoxy) and tacked down the gutter material where it comes in contact to the grille openings. I also placed heavy amounts of glue to the tubing around the perimeter of the openings (this is all on the inside!). Press the whole assembly down and let dry for at least 1 hour before reinstalling. And wallah! It looks great and keeps stuff from getting in there. I caught lots for moths, and butterflies with it so far. lol.
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:38 PM   #2
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I can't even see it. I think that is a good thing. You are keeping debris out without it looking like you modded it. Got any pictures of what it looks like from the inside of the grill?

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Old 09-05-2009, 08:38 PM   #3
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Great idea. Looks good.
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:46 PM   #4
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I can't even see it. I think that is a good thing. You are keeping debris out without it looking like you modded it. Got any pictures of what it looks like from the inside of the grill?
No, didn't think to take pics during it. I'll try to pull it off and get pics this weekend. I forgot to mention, I also duct taped it down all around to ensure everything is pressed down while drying. I kept the tape on since you can't see it.
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:49 AM   #5
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Looks good, Nice Mod
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:19 AM   #6
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Inbetween trick or treaters, i finished my grill guard mod. There's a good how to thread at JK-forum.com. The majority of people use zip ties and these sticky anchor bases to attach the mesh, but an old girlfriend left her glue gun at my house so it just cost me the price of the gutter guard. At the end of the day, it cost me $9.48.

I spray painted the plastic mesh pieces a gun metal color to match the rims and to stand out. Plain black seemed to blend in too much (see post above), I wanted my work to at least be seen.

The plastic gutter guard was actually harder to find than i thought since most places only carry metal ones (had to order it online). I should have enough left over for another Jeep grill if anyone is interested. If it is cheap enough, i'll ship it out to you free of charge, after all, we are all family!!! I'd even spray paint the pieces if you wanted the gun metal color.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:25 AM   #7
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Here's a shot of the inside.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:29 AM   #8
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That looks really good, Looks store bought from the front
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:37 AM   #9
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Definitely something I will have to do. I drive about 4000 miles a month for work...most of it in and around the Port of Houston where trucks love to kick up rocks and other shrapnel and stuff on the road.

Can you elaborate on what material you used to do this with? and where you got it? (mainly size if there is one) I'll have to check out home depot I suppose. Also is it preferable to do this with metal or plastic mesh? How does the hot glue hold up to highway speeds? I have been known to go a steady 85 if I'm in a hurry lol.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:44 AM   #10
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Wait, so there is a mod that is cheap and that I can do? You just made my day! Seriously!
I'm going to do this and it will be my first personal DIY mod. Awesome!
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:52 AM   #11
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Your options are metal or plastic gutter guards. I'm guessing the the metal will add more protection, but then again, i can see a projectile blasting through either one at 85mph. Granted, i haven't taken the jeep over 70 yet (no, i'm not a slow driver, i just don't trust the jeep like i trust the Audi, 100mph, is a daily activity as long as a specific freeway merge is clear).

Anyway, I used the plastic gutter guard (online hardware store), cut with any heavier duty scissors. I'm thinking the hot glue will hold up better than the electrical mounting bases (see pic) others have used, but i can't say for sure since it hasn't really been tested yet.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:55 AM   #12
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Excellent, thanks for the first pic.

If you could...drive it around for a week or so and get it up to some higher speeds (at least 80) for a few mins or something. Id like to know how well it held up after you check the hot glue again.
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:04 PM   #13
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Excellent, thanks for the first pic.

If you could...drive it around for a week or so and get it up to some higher speeds (at least 80) for a few mins or something. Id like to know how well it held up after you check the hot glue again.
I will. On the jk-forum posts, there are quite a few reviews of the other method (zip ties and mounting bases) that people say it did not hold up. I think the heavy duty adhesive is the way to go. There are tons of pics and posts here, check these out too.... Grill Mod - JK-Forum.com - The Ultimate Jeep JK Wrangler Bulletin Board
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:25 PM   #14
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I did this mod using zip ties and the square mounting bases.. However I used the following process instead of just sticking these mounting pads in place..
1) removed all the 2 sided tape from the square bases and used the HD double sided car molding tape instead...
2) fine sand and clean the mounting spots
3) after mounting bases are applied, fill the four sides with good epoxy glue
4) use UV resistant zip ties

This mod went thru a Michigan summer and winter and none came loose...
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:31 PM   #15
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I didn't sand, but I did use a good, highly flamable, cleaner. Sanding is a good idea, i hope that won't be my downfall.
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:29 PM   #16
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How hard is it to take the grill off?
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:48 PM   #17
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Six easy to access screws on top (along with the anchors).

Two front turn signals to disconnect (pull out red lock then just unplug, similar concept to removing the plugs on the doors if you've removed those)

A little tug on the bottom to release out of the slots/holes.


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Old 11-02-2009, 02:52 PM   #18
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JeepQuattro, my coworker and I who both drive JK's were looking at that thread you linked me. Page 23 of that big thread theres a guy who cut out the metal grill and bent it and snipped away at it to make it fit over the radiator instead of gluing it or zip-tying it to the inside of the grill itself.

Looks like this weekend He and I both are going to be doing the mod together. (Granted his "Boss" aka "The Wife" doesn't have him doing honey-doo's.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:12 PM   #19
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JeepQuattro, my coworker and I who both drive JK's were looking at that thread you linked me. Page 23 of that big thread theres a guy who cut out the metal grill and bent it and snipped away at it to make it fit over the radiator instead of gluing it or zip-tying it to the inside of the grill itself.

Looks like this weekend He and I both are going to be doing the mod together. (Granted his "Boss" aka "The Wife" doesn't have him doing honey-doo's.
I think that might be the best method.

Post some pics when you're done, would love to see them. The method you are going to do may be quicker and won't have any maintenance issues cause by things breaking loose.

If you are going to use metal, that thread on JK forum said rust is a killer, so use aluminum or paint it up pretty thick.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:16 PM   #20
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Already ahead of you...Aluminum + Spraypaint = Win. I didnt like the idea of Gorilla gluing or epoxying anything to my Jeep like that...the cut and bend method looks really appealing...and it makes it easy to take it off and repaint. My coworker and I both laughed about how we could come to work each day with a different design stencil painted onto our grills lol.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:28 PM   #21
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Already ahead of you...Aluminum + Spraypaint = Win. I didnt like the idea of Gorilla gluing or epoxying anything to my Jeep like that...the cut and bend method looks really appealing...and it makes it easy to take it off and repaint. My coworker and I both laughed about how we could come to work each day with a different design stencil painted onto our grills lol.

I like the stencil concept...What were you guys thinking of for your stencil patters? Shark Teeth? Evil Eyes?

This Irish one is from that thread...pretty cool way to make it unique.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:34 PM   #22
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I'm a big snowboarder fan...So I was thinking about doing the Rome SDS star logo (google Rome SDS)

Otherwise, my coworker with a white JK thinks he may do the Texas flag....but I do like your idea of doing the teeth...like on the front of helicopters and airplanes and stuff!
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:43 PM   #23
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That star would look pretty good, centered or even off centered..although some may think it's a trendy chrysler emblem. I'm just sayin, Texas folk may not get it since snow isn't too popular down there. That might get annoying if people keep asking, where you got the chyrsler grill.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:48 PM   #24
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Eh, its easy to explain. But for those who know...then its like being in the "wrangler club" where people wave to you. Im not saying people will wave...but there will be people out there that recognize it.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:55 PM   #25
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I wish i would have thought of that stencil idea...granted i'm not that clever or artistic, but i'm sure there are some good ideas out there.

BTW, i'm a snow rider too (Warren Miller's term to group Skiers and Snowboarders together). I'm planning on going to Utah this winter, I can't wait.
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:46 AM   #26
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Well tomorrow morning I am going to attempt this mod as well as make my own sway bar disconnects. This will be the first time I am doing anything to my new LK, so I am a bit nervous even though I know what I am doing is really dummy proof so to speak. But hey, I'm a Greenhorn that is learning and starting to make my Jeep MY Jeep.
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:49 AM   #27
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Can't see it either, but

A word of caution, mods like that behind the grill slots, can cause overheated engines, in our JKs-WHEN WHEELING IN SUMMER

It seems like the airflow is already restricted by the A/C condenser and by restricting more with a "screen", will cause trouble in temps above 80 degrees and "crawling" slow in thinner air

Doesn't happen every time, but all of my off-road is above 4000 ft, so my grill mods were just the slot liners

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Old 11-13-2009, 12:25 PM   #28
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Oh snap, really? I live in the desert where it hits a good 115F on average in the summer... Hmm...
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:43 PM   #29
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Me too popstop, Fernley, (Pyramid Lake) altitude 4200 ft and our avg summer temp is 105 deg


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Oh snap, really? I live in the desert where it hits a good 115F on average in the summer... Hmm...
I know what it's like down there around VEGAS !!

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Old 11-13-2009, 01:25 PM   #30
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So what do you think? Should I use some zip ties for it instead? That way if things get a little toasty I can just clip the guard off?

And yes, the heat is a killer around here. I plan on moving to a better place the first chance I get... some place that actually has all four seasons ins stead of Hot and cool. Ha ha ha!

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