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Old 12-28-2013, 05:02 PM   #1
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Grill inserts; aluminum vs. plastic?

I've seen a lot of aluminum posts but thought the plastic gutter guard would be more gentle on the paint and easier to work with. I know its the back of the grill and its an easy job either way but wanted to hear from experience. Anyone use the plastic stuff?
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:53 PM   #2
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I am actually in the process right now! I am using the plastic gutter guard and it seems just fine. But I haven't installed it yet, just painted.

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Old 12-28-2013, 05:55 PM   #3
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Have used this on mine, my wife's and my kid's last JKs, 6 different JKs over the last 4 years. Wouldn't use anything else.

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Originally Posted by Apollak19 View Post
I've seen a lot of aluminum posts but thought the plastic gutter guard would be more gentle on the paint and easier to work with. I know its the back of the grill and its an easy job either way but wanted to hear from experience. Anyone use the plastic stuff?
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:03 PM   #4
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I have also been looking for aesthetic guard for the grill and I have not been impressed by the metal options. I will probably go with the gutter guard option.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:48 PM   #5
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I can post pics ( I think?) of our3 current JKs with this mod, a white, a silver, and a red one if anyone is interested in seeing what it looks like?
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:51 PM   #6
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I bought a roll of that stuff in the first post. It seems really flimsy and was wondering if anyone had used this stuff, I was hoping it would be a little stronger. Does it work?
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:53 PM   #7
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just did mine from the DIY on here. Looks great and has held up. one of the tabs came unstuck and it needs to be fixed. and thats only because i didnt glue it like the DIY said. just do it man its total reversable and its a $20 mod. you'll have extra parts left over incase you hit a bird or something.


Gumbys69 i have the same stuff in the OP and it is tuff, go to lowes or homedepot and find it and try to puncture or tear it.
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:28 AM   #8
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Plastic is ok, until that one big rock comes flying out from the semi tire in front of you and breaks it. If you don't have those issues, it does fine, if you drive in those conditions, buy metal.

As for installation for the plastic stuff, if you use zip tie holders, peal the sticker back off and use JB Weld on them or they will fall off pretty quick.
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:39 AM   #9
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I installed plastic 3 years ago, my issue is with the sticker adhesive holders which I covered here: Did the mesh grill mod to mine today

I think the plastic holds up fine compared to metal unless you're using the expanded metal mesh from home depot / lowes that you can't roll up. Heavy duty stuff, I use it in my smoker firebox, but too thick for this purpose I think. Any rock that would go straight through the plastic would go through plastic grill anyway and the plastic mesh would slow anything down enough to minimize the damage. My $0.02 anyway.
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:56 AM   #10
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I did the DIY way with the gutter guard, and zip ties, little 1"x1" tie down squares, and some epoxy. It's not terrible. Once they finally give out and still pulling away, I'll probably just bite the bullet and buy me some of these.

Drake Off Road Inserts

I'll paint them red like I did with the gutter guard, and be done with it.
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:33 AM   #11
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Rocks and bugs no big deal, that's why it's there, cheap and easy to repair.

I've had many trips from DFW to SE Alabama and back, and driving through Louisiana in the wee hours of the morning made me glad I had the grill mesh on there. And then there's the logging trucks in Alabama... that gutter guard is tougher than it looks. In the 4 years I had it on there, never once had to replace it, and sticks, stones and giant bugs were known to have impacted it.

Yes, epoxy the square tie downs or use gorilla glue like I did.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusus_Naturae View Post
Plastic is ok, until that one big rock comes flying out from the semi tire in front of you and breaks it. If you don't have those issues, it does fine, if you drive in those conditions, buy metal.

As for installation for the plastic stuff, if you use zip tie holders, peal the sticker back off and use JB Weld on them or they will fall off pretty quick.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:14 AM   #12
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Protecting one of the most vital cooling components on my JK I chose not to cut corners and went with a Mastercraft stainless steel with black powder coat. I have seen what road missiles can do to a radiator out on the super slab and they don't have to be very large projectiles. Expensive? It's all relative...then again a tiny hole in your radiator may cost you a whole lot more.... I like the clean OEM look and clean install....FWIW.....Happy Happy Happy.

Metal Crafters MC-9660WRA - Metalcrafters Chrome Plated Stainless Steel Mesh Grill Inserts for 07-14 Jeep® Wrangler & Wrangler Unlimited JK - Quadratec

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Old 12-29-2013, 06:39 AM   #13
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I went with the Drake billet inserts for the reasons mentioned directly above and bedlined them, zero complaints. Nothing is getting through those but air.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I went with the Drake billet inserts for the reasons mentioned directly above and bedlined them, zero complaints. Nothing is getting through those but air.
Wise choice Strokerswild.
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:31 AM   #15
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I was going to do the DIY with plastic gutter mesh, but found the rugged ridge metal insert for $50, so got a better product, easier install, better aesthetics since it's like 3d into the openings and probably more durable than using tie wraps. It wasn't worth the DIY to save $20 for me, but you may want the satisfaction of a DIY.
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I was going to do the DIY with plastic gutter mesh, but found the rugged ridge metal insert for $50, so got a better product, easier install, better aesthetics since it's like 3d into the openings and probably more durable than using tie wraps. It wasn't worth the DIY to save $20 for me, but you may want the satisfaction of a DIY.
This ^^^ I did the gutter mesh first. And 2 months later when the zip tie tabs were pulling off bc of the heat, I bought the Rugged Ridge insert.
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Old 01-10-2014, 09:23 PM   #17
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I used that exact same plastic stuff. Got it from Rona for $5 in Canada.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:38 PM   #18
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Aluminum mesh

Bought aluminum mesh at welding shop
No rust no need to paint
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Bought aluminum mesh at welding shop No rust no need to paint
Ok that looks great but details on how you secured it!
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:07 PM   #20
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Grille fastening

The mesh was cut to fit tight between the grille and frame
Predrilled holes in mesh fastened with self tapping screws
Just on bottom of frame the rest of mesh is a tight fit
Hope this helped out
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:11 PM   #21
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I have the plastic on and so far it has been great. I personally think it's all preference.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:03 AM   #22
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Well, I think I'm going to try the DIY with plastic. A lot of the cheap kits are steel and I'm in Florida on the beach all the time. Think the plastic will hold up better. If I screw it up, which is a good possibility, I'll try the rr kit.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:28 AM   #23
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I just did the plastic set up about a week ago and it looks great IMO.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:45 AM   #24
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I'm installing the plastic with inserts this weekend, now that I have it I kinda wish I would have got metal or something a little stronger, but I also live in Utah. Florida beach sounds nice right about now.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:47 AM   #25
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I used plastic (the same roll of gutter mesh in your image,in fact) - No regrets. I was even able to trim it to look snazzy around the lock.

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Old 01-30-2014, 03:42 PM   #26
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Grillcraft® - Genuine Sport Grilles - Welcome

Anyone familiar with Grillcraft or have used this product. ?
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:58 PM   #27
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:05 PM   #28
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I wanted function over fashion so I went with expanded metal. Screwed the bottom to the 5 bosses at the bottom of the grill and riveted light angle to the top to hold it in place.

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Old 01-30-2014, 08:28 PM   #29
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Fl beach is actually not that hot right now. It was so cold they closed the schools today. 32 degrees, big deal. On the plus side, no ones at the beach so you can really go nuts in your Jeep!
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:48 PM   #30
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New jk and I want something protecting rad and condenser
I haven't done any thing cause
I'm so confused
From $5 DIY to $300

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