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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a Steeda FMIC and a Velossa Tech snorkel, and wanted to add protection while matching the upper grille style more. Hopefully this is enough of a step by step process to duplicate it, or at least document how to get the grille off for the newer years.
Total Time (est): 4 hours
Cost: $40
Materials: Big piece of cardboard, Mesh and trim, flat blade screwdriver, Metal shears, drywall T square, X-acto (knife), Epoxy/Glue, Zip ties

1. Take the lower grille off. This took me about 30min of careful prying. Basically, you can pop the sides off easily, but the vertical posts are tough. They each have 3 snaps per vertical post. I found that pulling the grille posts out from each other on the back and trying to wedge a small flat blade in worked the best to pop it off. It is a little hard to explain it any better, but the first picture shows what the snaps look like, but you need to pry it wide enough to get those off. The middle snap of the vertical posts was by far the hardest. Try to be careful with the center posts though cause they will snap.
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2. Now if you want to leave it open, then chop the nubs off and paint. I wanted the ability to go back to stock as well as use the posts there as mounting for the new grill. For making the new grille, I bought a 6"x36" Diamond XXL Black mesh from https://www.customcargrills.com/Diamond-Grill-Mesh.asp. I also bought 8' of trim for it from them. It matches pretty well to the main hex grille theme of the car.

3. To make the grille, you need to make a template. I used a large sheet of spare cardboard for this. I first cut it to match the mesh, and then trimmed accordingly to get it to fit snugly in the opening. Below are the final dimensions for the shape so you don't need to do most of the fine tuning.
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4. Now that the template is done, on to cutting the mesh. I taped the mesh to my template such that the bottom edge was a little less than 1/8" (3/32" to be theoretically exact) above the template. This is an all around offset for the trim. You'll want to align the mesh as even as you can across the template so you have close to matching cuts in the mesh pattern. Cut your way around the template with the shears.
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5. Next, start to attach the trim. This can be done a few different ways. I went with rounding the lower corners and then a separate straight piece for the top. The transitions are too tight to round everything without cutting the trim or changing the shape. However you do it, shove the trim on all the way around. Then apply some epoxy to the backside of the grille so that the mesh and trim are bonded.
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6. The grille is finished whenever the epoxy is set (5min epoxy helps). You may need to bend the mesh slightly to get it to form the curvature of the opening. It should be pulled in by the ties for the most part, but the upper corners are relatively free. I attached the grille when I had the whole front end off for the FMIC, but you can get it done without removing it. I ziptied through the mesh to the sides and the center posts at varied heights. I used 6 total zip ties, and it feels very secure. Finished product is below!
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Overall, I think it was a pretty easy process that turned out well. It opens up the front to show off your FMIC a little while also protecting it more. If you have comments or questions, let me know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
nice work!

I removed mine completely and made a grill but took it off because I didn't see the need for it. If mine was as nice as the one you made I would likely have left it on.
Thanks! I figure this will help with rocks and other small stuff that would've made it through without. Well for $40 you can put one on! haha
 

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Thanks! I figure this will help with rocks and other small stuff that would've made it through without. Well for $40 you can put one on! haha
I might be ordering a grill, I cut out all the "mounts" but i might mount it from the inside and wrap the area if that makes any sense
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I might be ordering a grill, I cut out all the "mounts" but i might mount it from the inside and wrap the area if that makes any sense
Yeah I think I follow. There's plenty of plastic back there to drop some holes for mounting. The mesh bends relatively easy with some concentrated force, so I'm sure you can get it bumped out for mounting behind if that's what's needed
 

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Hit a raccoon which broke my lower grill supports so I ended up cutting those off but wanted some intercooler protection. Made this out of some Aluminum Expanded metal. Added an extra inch on top and bottom for the bends to wrap the back of the bumper. Cut out notches in the expanded metal to conform the grill to the natural bumper curve. I used stainless size 10 screws with nylon washers and locknut's for the install.
 
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