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Discussion Starter #1
First Mod! T-Rex Grill Insert & Bolt Hood Lock on a Recon!! (Photo)

I am not a "wrench" by any stretch of the imagination. But because of THIS forum and all the good information shared here, I just completed what I think is a [email protected] fine installation of a T-Rex Grill with Hood Lock hole, and a Bolt Hood lock, on a 2017 Recon with grill inserts!

Everything lines up, the lock is centered in the hole, the lock is installed tight to the cross member, the insert isn't all torn up or the black powdercoat scratched...

My friends, it CAN be done!

:iamhappy:

and more important, my WIFE is happy with me for not doing something stupid to her Jeep.

There was only one minor thing to deal with, and I already know how I'm going to address that when I have time (and light, because it's too dark out now).
 

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Congrats.

Could you post a pic from further back?

I want a mesh insert; I feel like I should get a hood lock.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Congrats.

Could you post a pic from further back?

I want a mesh insert; I feel like I should get a hood lock.

I'll do it in the sunlight tomorrow morning. Getting a picture right now has the grill in a deep shadow from the garage lights since the Jeep is facing nose out.

How far back to you want it?
 

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I'll do it in the sunlight tomorrow morning. Getting a picture right now has the grill in a deep shadow from the garage lights since the Jeep is facing nose out.

How far back to you want it?
Cool, man. Maybe 10ft or so? Just wondering if the Bolt/Mopar locks look less like a "nose" from a distance.
 

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Cool, man. Maybe 10ft or so? Just wondering if the Bolt/Mopar locks look less like a "nose" from a distance.
Heres my Bolt hood lock picture taken from a distance without a grill insert.

 
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Discussion Starter #6
Oh, yeah. I get it. will do.

It's not invisible from a distance. The rubber cover is about an inch and a half in diameter is all.

You could also install a plain mesh/no hole insert, and then put on locking hood catches.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Couldn't get a better picture yet. My son had a baseball game this morning, and then my wife "encouraged" me to install the soft top so the box could be sent elsewhere. With the heat and humidity, it took awhile.

Then, I had no sooner zipped up the last window zipper, tightened everything down and wiped off the dirt and hand prints, she and the boy came out to head off to have dinner with the grandparents. No time left for me to shower and go with them. So I have an empty driveway and a bunch of packing material to clean up. I'll see if I can get one when they come home, if the sun isn't down.
 

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Big Fan

Living in northern MN I'm a big fan of the grill insert. It looks great and keeps piles of bugs out of the radiator.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If the lock and lock hole look like a nose, to me it's a little button nose, not a big ol' Jimmy Durante or Jamie Farr schnoz.
 

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I am not a "wrench" by any stretch of the imagination. But because of THIS forum and all the good information shared here, I just completed what I think is a [email protected] fine installation of a T-Rex Grill with Hood Lock hole, and a Bolt Hood lock, on a 2017 Recon with grill inserts!

Everything lines up, the lock is centered in the hole, the lock is installed tight to the cross member, the insert isn't all torn up or the black powdercoat scratched...

My friends, it CAN be done!

:iamhappy:

and more important, my WIFE is happy with me for not doing something stupid to her Jeep.

There was only one minor thing to deal with, and I already know how I'm going to address that when I have time (and light, because it's too dark out now).
Congratulation on a job well done. It looks great.
Just out of curiosity, how did you address the problem of the tabs on the back of the grill inserts? Did you trim them or what?
I checked the T-Rex site, and according to them that mesh grill will not fit anything with the grill inserts, (I'm assuming because of the tabs), but obviously it does work and looks great.
Just curious how you got around the problem with the tabs. Some say they trimmed or ground them a little, others says they cut holes in the mesh to allow the tabs to fit through them. What worked for you?
The reason I ask, I've got a MetalCrafters mesh grill that looks exactly like the T-Rex grill and they too say it won't work on a Recon. I haven't gotten around to installing mine yet and wonder what I'm in store when I do.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I basically did what this thread showed:

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/jwm-grille-insert-for-75th-anniversary-sahara-jk-1807721.html

In addition to the side cutter pliers, I used a Dremel with a sanding wheel to remove only a small amount of the tab material at a time, until just enough was removed for the insert to fit flat/flush against the grill - and no more. I used a frequent traveler card as a straight edge, laying it between the inserts to guage if enough material on a tab had been removed or more removal was needed, working only one tab at a time.

The tabs along the bottom of the openings are part of each insert, and a harder plastic than the tabs up higher between each of the grill openings. It's the bottom tabs I worried about most, and was the most careful with when removing material, because the straight edge was no help.

Make sense?
 

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Thanks for the explanation, that's what I was looking for. I don't like the idea of trimming the tabs, but I guess it's a small sacrifice in order to complete the project. It looks great. Besides, the protection that the mesh grill provides for the radiator and condenser offsets the minor surgery required.
I would imagine that with the JK on it's way out, manufacturers will probably be concentrating on new aftermarket accessories for the JL instead of tweaking their existing JK accessories to fit an soon to be extinct model, even though JK's will be on the road for many years to come. These factory grill inserts have been available for a couple of years and it doesn't seem like many manufactures of these mesh grill coming out with a new model to fit them.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
In those instructions posted, the top photo shows the bottom row of tabs but shows them at the top of the photo. The grill is upside down, with the top close toward the person taking the pictures and the bottom of the grill farther away.

It's those tabs that are a harder plastic. Be careful with how you remove material from them (tool used) and how much.
 

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Using your suggestions, I finally got around to installing my Metal Crafters mesh grill insert. It was easier than I thought it would be.
Using a die grinder, I removed approximately 3/16" of material from the tabs at the bottom of the grill. I didn't have to touch any of the other tabs at all.
And using a trick that I came up when I installed my grill insert on my old 2012 Rubicon, instead of relocating the temperature probe and having to drill a hole and reroute the wires, I did something much easier.
I removed the push pin in the plastic bracket, took out the square insert that the pin goes into, re inserted the square insert from the other side of the bracket, and installed it in it's original location. By switching this around, the probe now sits just below the square part of the cross member that it attaches to, instead of above it. In the five years that I had my 2012 this was never a problem. I just hate drilling holes in my Jeep if it's not absolutely necessary.
 

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I am not a "wrench" by any stretch of the imagination. But because of THIS forum and all the good information shared here, I just completed what I think is a [email protected] fine installation of a T-Rex Grill with Hood Lock hole, and a Bolt Hood lock, on a 2017 Recon with grill inserts!

Everything lines up, the lock is centered in the hole, the lock is installed tight to the cross member, the insert isn't all torn up or the black powdercoat scratched...

My friends, it CAN be done!

:iamhappy:

and more important, my WIFE is happy with me for not doing something stupid to her Jeep.

There was only one minor thing to deal with, and I already know how I'm going to address that when I have time (and light, because it's too dark out now).
That looks great. I ordered one of those grills for my 2018 Recon.
How long did the project take from start to finish?
Thanks.
Mike

__________________________________
2010 Range Rover HSE Napa Bronze
2015 Jaguar F Type R Firesand
2018 Rubicon Recon Gobi (on order)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That looks great. I ordered one of those grills for my 2018 Recon.
How long did the project take from start to finish?
Thanks.
Mike

__________________________________
2010 Range Rover HSE Napa Bronze
2015 Jaguar F Type R Firesand
2018 Rubicon Recon Gobi (on order)
Thanks!

The insert took something like 45 minutes. But I was going slow out of raw fear that I would screw something up either taking things apart, removing material, or putting the grill back on the Jeep correctly.

The hood lock took around 30, but only because I had to figure how to set up the Harbor Freight rivet gun, then some trouble breaking off the last rivet's post (those things are beasts that made the rivet gun worthless for anything after this installation), offset by being more familiar with how the grill was attached to the Jeep.
 

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Thanks!

The insert took something like 45 minutes. But I was going slow out of raw fear that I would screw something up either taking things apart, removing material, or putting the grill back on the Jeep correctly.

The hood lock took around 30, but only because I had to figure how to set up the Harbor Freight rivet gun, then some trouble breaking off the last rivet's post (those things are beasts that made the rivet gun worthless for anything after this installation), offset by being more familiar with how the grill was attached to the Jeep.
Well, I'm going to have my dealer install both. Otherwise, I will need to buy a spare grill!

________________________________
2010 Range Rover HSE Napa Bronze
2015 Jaguar F Type R Firesand
2018 Rubicon Recon Gobi (on order)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, I'm going to have my dealer install both. Otherwise, I will need to buy a spare grill!

________________________________
2010 Range Rover HSE Napa Bronze
2015 Jaguar F Type R Firesand
2018 Rubicon Recon Gobi (on order)


I'm a noob when it comes to wrenching Jeeps (or any vehicle for that matter). If you take your time and think through what you are doing, you can do it. It turned out to be not as hard as I first imagined.

Ask any other questions you want. I'll respond.
 
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