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Old 04-16-2013, 09:45 PM   #1
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My take on grill inserts and the gutter guard mod - Advice on last step

So I love the Rugged Ridge grill inserts (Rugged Ridge 11306.30 Black Grille Insert : Amazon.com : Automotive) but I also really love the gutter guard mod that countless Jeepers have done. I figured i would combine the two and here is what I have so far:

I started with the Rugged Ridge 11306.30 Black Grill Insert and 2 pieces of gutter guard from Home Depot.



I used a pair of snips to cut out the gutter guard so that it would fit nicely on the back of the grill inserts. I first used a paper template and after some fussing with the first cut out of the gutter guard the next 6 got easier and easier to do.



I won't lie this did take a while. I did not time myself but somewhere between 1.5 to 2 hours would be a good estimate. It was tedious but will be worth it in the end.

Now here is where I am stuck. I'd like to hear your opinions on how to adhere the gutter guard to the grill inserts. I really don't want to have to make small incisions in the grill inserts and use zip-ties, I am too afraid of grill inserts cracking or breaking. My choices as i see them are hot glue, gorilla glue, or an epoxy. I did assemble one of these with hot glue (it was what i had handy) and I think it looks AWESOME but my faith in the hot glue holding up for the long term is rather low.



There is plenty of extra space on the back of the grill insert to apply glue/epoxy/etc hopefully you can see where I applied the hot glue in the test one I assembled



Let me know what you guys think on the looks and how I should go about adhering the gutter guard to the grill inserts.

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Old 04-16-2013, 09:55 PM   #2
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That looks awesome! I don't know why they don't sell them like you just made it. Great job! As far as hot glue goes.....I agree with you to not use that. Hopefully some more experienced forum members can chime in on how to adhere it.

Post pics when you get it all done!

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Old 04-16-2013, 09:57 PM   #3
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That's an awesome idea and I'm probably going to "borrow" it. I would use a 2 part epoxy. It's the best for joining 2 different types of material such as metal to plastic. Maybe sand the plastic down very lightly to help the epoxy. And if possible clamp them together for a few hours until it sets up.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:59 PM   #4
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(Y) it really look awesome man..!!! Good job..!!!
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:32 PM   #5
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I really like the look of this as well. My plan was to use all the components of this: Jeep Wrangler JK 07 13 Aluminum Mesh Grille Guard Inserts Kit | eBay
I plan on buying everything separately, but keeping the screen in one piece.Basically the cable tie mounts go in the recesses between the openings and you cable tie the mesh there and pull it taught. An epoxy adhesive would work better than the adhesive on the rear of the mounts, but that's the general idea.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:30 PM   #6
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I really like the look of this as well. My plan was to use all the components of this: Jeep Wrangler JK 07 13 Aluminum Mesh Grille Guard Inserts Kit | eBay
I plan on buying everything separately, but keeping the screen in one piece.Basically the cable tie mounts go in the recesses between the openings and you cable tie the mesh there and pull it taught. An epoxy adhesive would work better than the adhesive on the rear of the mounts, but that's the general idea.
I like where you're headed with this as it does seem much simpler. There was something about using the zip-ties and adhesive squares I just didn't want to do. I think what appealed to me is that the way i am working it out is a bit cleaner looking; each insert w/mesh is an independent and easily removable piece, though i am paying for it in terms of labor

I don't want to say the zip-tie method is tacky, but it just rubbed me the wrong way that I would be using zip-ties and adhesive squares on my month old Jeep!

Definitely buy everything separately though. The gutter guards were ~$2.50/ea and you "should" be able to cover 2 grill openings with every 1 piece of gutter guard. I initially bought 7 but it looks like I'll be making a return.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:59 AM   #7
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Damn, that looks sweet. I hate (love) this forum as it is giving me so many ideas (or stealing them) from other Wrangler owners. That looks insanely better than stock
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:24 AM   #8
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I would be tempted to try silicone adhesive

I would be tempted to try some silicone caulk from a tube. You could lay a nice bead down and press the gutter guard into it.

The reason I am thinking of the silicone is because you can sort of embed the gutter guard in it and it stays flexible in exteme temps. Since the plastic and metal will likely expand and contract at different rates in the heat and cold, I think silicone may be the best for a long term hold that maintains some flex.

Come to think of it, BLACK RTV might work too and be less obvious if you don't get your beads perfect on the backs of the inserts.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:51 AM   #9
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I would go with the 2 part epoxy idea. I use epoxy, silicone, and RTV in my job (building survival gear for AF pilots). The epoxy will be more solid, yet still allow for expansion/contraction with temperature changes. The silicone and RTV will adhere it but, it gets a little soft and even though it's a mesh screen, there will be some wind resistance pushing on the screen. The silicone and RTV will eventually separate and you'll be back to square one and reapplying it. Of course, if you never drive over 40 this won't be a problem.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:09 AM   #10
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vinnydags - ya gotta post some pics when done. That looks sharp.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:10 AM   #11
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Rather than rain gutter mesh, you can buy a sheet of aluminum stucco mesh at Home Depot and do the backing as a single piece.
What you haven't considered is that the eye can pick up on small differences in the alignment of the pattern across the 7 inserts. Unless you get them perfectly lined up, you'll see that they are off.
I learned the hard way that the adhesive backing on the adhesive squares for the zip ties doesn't hold up, so had to disassemble and then glue them in. I used Shoe Goo; a glue that holds up remarkably well to heat.
You shouldn't be concerned about the zip tie method being "tacky"; they will be completely out of sight. I would be more concerned about trying to glue or caulk your individual pieces to the inserts and having gobs of adhesive visible around the edges.
Mine is holding up very well and the pattern looks perfect across the 7 slots.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:07 PM   #12
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Not trying to hijack the thread, but did anyone buy these grille inserts? Once piece:

Home page - JWM 4x4JWM 4×4 | Jeep Wrangler Protection

I like the diamond.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:11 PM   #13
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Will this make my aftermarket transmission cooler less noticable?

Use epoxy, op.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st1264 View Post
Not trying to hijack the thread, but did anyone buy these grille inserts? Once piece:

Home page - JWM 4x4JWM 4×4 | Jeep Wrangler Protection

I like the diamond.

Seems a bit pricey but the simplicity of one it being just piece may justify the purchase.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:33 PM   #15
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The grill inserts with the gutter guard have been finished! I went with a waterproof epoxy and i think it came out great, thanks for all the input guys:

Before



After


I will get a picture tomorrow during the day to get a better idea of how it looks
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:29 AM   #16
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Waterproof epoxy? Epoxy is waterproof by definition.....

Looks very nice. I might do this to my jeep.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:37 AM   #17
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Great job man!

Im so mad at how nice yours look. I thought the $7 gutter guard mod would be a great way to save $ and get this look. But after 4 days of trying to get the grill detached I am debating just doing what you've done here.

See my troubles here Jeep tj grill
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:50 PM   #18
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Lol, I started the same thing, using mesh screen a few weeks ago. I completed one as a test but haven't got around to the others yet. I was using a generic automotive adhesive which seems to be holding up well on the test one, even with a high pressure car wash.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:25 AM   #19
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Great job man!

Im so mad at how nice yours look. I thought the $7 gutter guard mod would be a great way to save $ and get this look. But after 4 days of trying to get the grill detached I am debating just doing what you've done here.

See my troubles here Jeep tj grill

Tough time you're having! This way would be a bit more simpler and rugged ridge does make the grill inserts for the TJ (Rugged Ridge 11306.03 Black Grille Insert : Amazon.com : Automotive)But alas, you still might have trouble...... it looks like there is extra plastic in those inserts and hopefully it doesn't affect their structure or stability. I think you'd have to dremel that out or see how it would look with the gutter guard over it if you chose those inserts.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:38 AM   #20
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Inserts Look Great!!!
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:50 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by vinnydags View Post
Tough time you're having! This way would be a bit more simpler and rugged ridge does make the grill inserts for the TJ (Rugged Ridge 11306.03 Black Grille Insert : Amazon.com : Automotive)But alas, you still might have trouble...... it looks like there is extra plastic in those inserts and hopefully it doesn't affect their structure or stability. I think you'd have to dremel that out or see how it would look with the gutter guard over it if you chose those inserts.
Thanks for the advice. Some other forum lads gave me a few tips on possibly removing the rest of the grill. I will say that I am going to go out and buy a sturdy gutter guard though, originally I was just going to make a cheap version but I don't want to do this again thats for sure.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:22 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Great job man!

Im so mad at how nice yours look. I thought the $7 gutter guard mod would be a great way to save $ and get this look. But after 4 days of trying to get the grill detached I am debating just doing what you've done here.

See my troubles here Jeep tj grill
my grill comes off in less than 5 minutes, and I have a winch in front of it.
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:47 PM   #23
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Finally did the "traditional" gutter guard mod. It's not the prettiest one I've seen but it looks better than nothing! Now I just need to cap my "homemade stubby bumper"
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:32 PM   #24
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JWM 4X4 Grille Inserts

Quote:
Originally Posted by st1264 View Post
Not trying to hijack the thread, but did anyone buy these grille inserts? Once piece:

Home page - JWM 4x4JWM 4×4 | Jeep Wrangler Protection

I like the diamond.
I just bought my 2012 Altitude and through on a JWM 4x4 Billet Grille Insert.
It installed easily and looks awesome. Delivery was fast and uneventful.
I'd highly recommend it to anyone wishing to protect their rad from roads and debris.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:58 PM   #25
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I just bought my 2012 Altitude and through on a JWM 4x4 Billet Grille Insert.
It installed easily and looks awesome. Delivery was fast and uneventful.
I'd highly recommend it to anyone wishing to protect their rad from roads and debris.
Nice... And welcome...
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:06 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabfab View Post
I just bought my 2012 Altitude and through on a JWM 4x4 Billet Grille Insert.
It installed easily and looks awesome. Delivery was fast and uneventful.
I'd highly recommend it to anyone wishing to protect their rad from roads and debris.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senior Chief View Post
Nice... And welcome...
Is that Curt Schilling

Inserts look good though... I saw most were out of stock when I looked.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:40 PM   #27
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Here is my attempt - Gutter Guard Mod - Less than $10

Rather than use the grill inserts, I attached mine from behind using black gutter guard, zipties, and ziptie adhesive points... I think in total this mod came to $9.85. It looks VERY clean and sharp
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:50 PM   #28
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I just finished my grill! Here are some pics of the process and finished product.

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So happy with the result!
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:58 PM   #29
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Ditto -- I did the same with metal gutter guard, spray paint and 2-part epoxy .. it's been almost 2 years and still holding up.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:09 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnydags View Post
The grill inserts with the gutter guard have been finished! I went with a waterproof epoxy and i think it came out great, thanks for all the input guys:

Before



After


I will get a picture tomorrow during the day to get a better idea of how it looks
Looks great! Hey, how about making a few sets and selling them? I'm first

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