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Old 03-20-2013, 11:37 AM   #1
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Lightbulb MB Jeep Grille on TJ?

I was reading the latest issue of JP Magazine and in one of the articles they had a picture of a CJ (looked to be a CJ-5 or CJ-7) with an MB Grille fitted to it. It had a quick description of the Jeep and it said that it "wasn't easy to fit the MB grille to the CJ".
I believe this was the Jeep:

This got me thinking on what all would have to be done to fit one to a TJ.

Has anyone seen someone do it? I did some poking around and didn't find anything but I think it would look really cool.
Main thing I would need to know is what all would have to be done to make it fit. That's really my only concern.

Thoughts?

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Old 03-20-2013, 01:18 PM   #2
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That is by far my favorite grill of any Jeep made.

Check out the April 2010 TJ of the month on JF. He put a Flatty grill in his TJ. Although not that MB grill, it was the one with the bulbous headlights. I followed his build thread on the conversion and it was very time consuming. He did a great job.

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Old 03-20-2013, 02:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJDave View Post
That is by far my favorite grill of any Jeep made.

Check out the April 2010 TJ of the month on JF. He put a Flatty grill in his TJ. Although not that MB grill, it was the one with the bulbous headlights. I followed his build thread on the conversion and it was very time consuming. He did a great job.
The MB Grille is by far my favorite and that's why I really want to see if it can be done.
How much trouble did that guy have getting the flatty grille on the TJ (I believe you are referring to the CJ2A)?
The dimensions are about the same if I remember correctly...
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:17 PM   #4
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I found his grill conversion thread.

Put a CJ grill on a TJ? - JeepForum.com
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TJDave View Post
I found his grill conversion thread.

Put a CJ grill on a TJ? - JeepForum.com
Looks really clean! Only problem is that he was adding onto the CJ grille and I'll have to do some cutting to get the MB grille to fit. I may see if I can get my hands on a grille for cheap and see what it will take if I don't find someone that's already done it.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:54 PM   #6
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I did a custom fiberglass front clip to mount a 76-86 CJ Grille on a TJ/LJ. The goal of my project was to make it appear as if it came from the factory that way. Here's some photos of it it in it's unfinished fiberglass state:





The hood, fenders and cowl panel are fiberglass. The fenders are CJ-styled outers that accept TJ flares, and TJ-based inners, so all of the TJ/LJ engine compartment stuff bolts right up in the stock locations. It uses the TJ radiator, and also uses the TJ's A/C condenser, so once you open the hood it's basically a 100% stock engine compartment.

I've been toying with the idea of doing an MB version too; now that I've done the CJ version, I could do an MB version without too much trouble.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:05 PM   #7
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I did a custom fiberglass front clip to mount a 76-86 CJ Grille on a TJ/LJ. The goal of my project was to make it appear as if it came from the factory that way. Here's some photos of it it in it's unfinished fiberglass state:





The hood, fenders and cowl panel are fiberglass. The fenders are CJ-styled outers that accept TJ flares, and TJ-based inners, so all of the TJ/LJ engine compartment stuff bolts right up in the stock locations. It uses the TJ radiator, and also uses the TJ's A/C condenser, so once you open the hood it's basically a 100% stock engine compartment.

I've been toying with the idea of doing an MB version too; now that I've done the CJ version, I could do an MB version without too much trouble.
Yeah, I saw your thread and it looks like a really good conversion. Biggest question is, how much? I don't mind cutting up my Jeep a bit to get an MB grille to fit, I just want to know what all has to be done as well as if it will restrict me to use aftermarket tube fenders.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:17 PM   #8
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Whats a MB Grill?
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by KILRIK View Post
Yeah, I saw your thread and it looks like a really good conversion. Biggest question is, how much? I don't mind cutting up my Jeep a bit to get an MB grille to fit, I just want to know what all has to be done as well as if it will restrict me to use aftermarket tube fenders.
Adapting an MB grille to a TJ will involve at least the following challenges:

1. The TJ hood and the top of the MB grille are different shapes/widths, so the TJ hood will need to be modified. To really get the MB look, a new hood should probably be made without the hump in the middle that the TJ hood has since MB hoods are basically flat. Then, to integrate a flat hood with the TJ tub, a new cowl panel like the one I made for my CJ Grille Kit could be used; that cowl panel also eliminates the center hump.

2. Finding commercial tube fenders that both match the shape of the side of the MB grille and are long enough to place the grille ahead of the TJ's engine will be a challenge, I doubt they exist. Also, since the MB grille is a different width than the TJ grille, using TJ tub fenders would probably end up with them angling in towards the front. Also, if commercial TJ fenders were used, and angled in due to the narrower grille, you might have to worry about clearance between the engine accessories and the inner fenders. So some significant modifications to commercial fenders would be required.

3. The inside structure of the MB grille would have to be modified to accept the TJ radiator, although this challenge seems much easier than the other two.

BTW here's a concept drawing I did when doing some design work on what it might take to adapt an MB grille to a TJ...

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Old 03-20-2013, 05:32 PM   #10
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This...
TJ/GPW front end treatment (Project) - JeepForum.com
MCE fender flares and remember to post lots of pics!
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by exm38a1er View Post
This...
TJ/GPW front end treatment (Project) - JeepForum.com
MCE fender flares and remember to post lots of pics!
That is very tempting but it will take away from the shape of the original grille. I may consider it though. Too bad the guy never updated the thread with a picture once it was finished. That would probably change my mine depending on how it came out.

I never intended to try and recreate an original MB Willys, I just wanted to put an MB grille on, flat fenders (or maybe metal cloaks) and call it a day. I actually didn't realize the MB grille was smaller than the TJ counterpart until I saw the picture of the MB grille welded onto the TJ grille. I always had in my mind it was a lot bigger.

I wouldn't mind fabricating a hood (not too sure about the cowl but it shouldn't be too hard) but my biggest worry would be parts fitment. I'm sure that if I contacted MetalCloak (or whatever company I go with for fenders) they could probably help me out in getting me a set that could/would fit.

Let me ask this, if you made the conversion kit, how much would it run? That may be the deciding factor between doing it myself or buying.

Edit: The more I think about it, I might as well just hunt down an old MB or CJ2A that I'll swap in an MB grille into and build from there.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:35 AM   #12
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I think I'm talking myself into it. The more I look at that thread where the guy welded the MB grille onto the TJ grille, the more I want to do it. Think there would be a way to possible cut the TJ grille a little bit on the bottom corners so it will just make the MB grille wider but still maintain the MB look? I just want to keep the MB look as much as possible but still be able to use aftermarket fenders. If this isn't possible, I can live with it... My main reason for going this route is that it will allow me to keep all the hardware and everything under the hood the same.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:51 AM   #13
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I'm going to my families property next month in Idaho I remember seeing a willies there when I was young i might see about doing this
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:23 AM   #14
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The Willys MB and Ford GPW were the first major mass produced Jeep. Basically the original jeep made for the military from 1941-1945. The MB and GPW are almost identical. This is one of my past Ford GPW jeeps. This is the grill they are talking about. Most definitely my favorite grill and vehicle out of any vehicle in the world.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:02 AM   #15
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:56 PM   #16
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Just for fun I've been doing a little design work on this idea. This illustration below shows an MB grille (green) and a CJ grille (orange) overlaid on a TJ grille.



The CJ and MB grilles are both narrower than the TJ grille, but what's interesting is that the CJ and MB grilles are the same width. Because the grille is wider, you can't just bolt up and normal TJ fenders, because there likely won't be enough clearance between the inner fenders and the engine. Also you can see where the MB grille would need to be clearanced for the TJ's power steering box, and slightly clearanced for the TJ's frame rails.

When I was designing the CJ Grille Kit (pictured earlier in this thread), I made up custom narrower inner fenders based on TJ inner fenders so all the engine compartment accessories would mount up in their stock locations (photo below). I don't know if there are any commercial fenders that would work both with the clearance required and the ability to mount all of the accessories.




Another difference is that the CJ grille is easily adapted to mount both the TJ's factory radiator, fan shroud, coolant overflow bottle and the TJ's A/C condenser, but the inside of the MB grille is nowhere close, so a bunch of fabrication work would be required on the MB grille to be able to re-use the TJ parts. Here are all of the grille-mounted TJ parts mounted in a CJ grille:



Just some food for thought if you're still considering trying to adapt an MB grille to a TJ...
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:28 PM   #17
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If I do the grille mod, it will most likely consist of me finding an MB grille and just welding it onto the TJ grille (someone linked to it above) and getting everything to fit just right. I'm considering this because I just want the look of the grille but at the same time, I started looking at MB Willys and I'm tempted to pick up an old one and do what Sebastian on Pirate4X4 did.

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