Cutting an 05 grill to fit a 99-04 - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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Cutting an 05 grill to fit a 99-04

TOOLS/SUPPLIES
-Safety Glasses (these saved my eyes many times from breaking cutting disks)
-Blue Painter’s Tape
-Masking Tape (preferably a color other than blue)
-Sharpie or good marker
-Measuring Tape
-Needle Nose Pliers
-Wire Cutters
-#2 sized Phillip’s Screwdriver
-Medium sized Flat Head Screwdriver
-Dremel or other precision rotary cutting instrument
-extra cutting disk’s for Dremel (I went through 5)
-Windex/Paper Towels for cleaning grill
-Sharp Instrument (something to score a mark with)
-2 small Plastic Zip Ties

TIPS/SUGGESTIONS
Make sure you have plenty of room, good lighting, cold beer and good tunes on the shop radio.

I used a stool that had a swivel top which made it easy to maneuver the grill.

HOW-TO
I first started by cleaning the grill with Windex so the painters tape would have good adhesion on the chrome surface. Then I covered the bottom “cross member” completely with Blue Painter’s Tape. The reason I covered the entire piece is so that if I slipped with the Dremel and lightly nicked the grill, it would hopefully take off just the tape and not and chrome.


Next I measured slightly more than ˝” and made dots on the Blue Painter’s Tape going horizontal across the grill. Before you do ANY cutting, use the WHITE masking tape. Following the dots you made with the marker, run the tape in a straight line across the grill. This is going to be not only your cutting guide, but a little extra protection as well.



White Masking Tape



Next, Measure the same amount (slightly greater than ˝”) on the bottom of the side vents and make some dots with the Sharpie. Then, lay a tape line down with the WHITE Masking Tape over the dots. (I’ve drawn in these dots so you can see where the tape overlaps and will know just where to cut).



You can see in this picture how the tape overlaps and where you need to make your cuts.





Turn the grill over. These are going to be the first things you need to cut. You don’t need to cut into the lighter colored (I’m going to call them White Tabs from here out) plastic tab (that will come of later). Just cut the black tab towards the outside of the grill. Make sure you cut all of them (I believe there are 5). Here are before and after pictures of what I’m talking about.

BEFORE



AFTER (Black tab removed)



After those black tabs have been cut off, flip the grill over. You are going to cut off everything below the “slightly bigger than ˝” mark”. All you have to do is follow your tape line you made earlier with the White Masking Tape. After you are finished cutting the line the piece is not going to just fall off, so don’t try to force it or you will break something!!!

I have made more cutting lines with the Sharpie between each of the “white tabs”. Before you cut the new lines you just made, take the Needle Nose Pliers and pull off all the larger black metal tabs (they are between the white tabs). The metal tabs can be thrown away. (You are going to be cutting the bottom of the grill off in sections for easy removal).






Now cut one of the new lines you just drew and carefully bend the section TOWARDS you and AWAY from the grill.





Now with enough force you will break away that section of the grill. Continue carefully cutting into the lines you drew and breaking off each section until there are none left.



Now, cut away the “white tabs”. They need to be removed. They should pull out easy because of the black tab you cut earlier in the first couple steps. If they don’t come right out, just wiggle them around a little. If they are still being stubborn, you might want o flip the grill over and cut some more off the black tab holding the white tab into place.









**Be cautious of the thin chrome strip at the bottom of the grill. It is not very sturdy and I would really hate for you to break it by not being careful**

By this time you will have noticed that there are “two layers” of this grill. With the grill facing down, cut the excess black plastic off along the bottom of the grill. Be sure not to cut too deep as you may cut through the chrome piece on the other side.



(Working my way taking all the excess black plastic off)



Now all the excess black plastic on the bottom of the grill is gone.



It’s time to take your old grill off. There are going to be 4 Phillips screws holding the top of the grill on. The bottom of the grill is held in place by 4 clips. These can be taken out with the Medium Sized Flat Head Screwdriver.

Now it’s time for a fit test. You will probably notice that the corners need to be trimmed to a more rounded bottom edge for it to look better (it barely touches the bumper). You can trim a little off at a time until you like the fit. Make sure you keep the tape on the grill until you are 100% ready to actually bolt it on and walk away. You don’t want to scratch that chrome!

While the grill is sitting on the truck for a fit test, you need to go to score marks in the header panel JUST behind the grill (hence the need for a sharp instrument of some kind). The header panel is made out of fiberglass. You are going to drill a small hole in the header panel and Zip Tie the bottom of the grill in place via that hole. The smaller the Zip Ties, the better it looks and less obvious it is. I made my hole with my Dremel, otherwise I would have used a drill.

Here is where I am scoring the header panel to determine where the hole needs to be.



Shown below is the driver’s side of the grill and you can barely see the score mark on the bottom left of the middle opening.



Now I have taken the grill off the truck and carefully put it aside. I then drilled a hole on the mark I scored into the header panel.

Here is the hole just big enough for the zip tie in the header panel on the passenger’s side.



After you’re happy with the fit of your grill (make any last changes now) you can take all the tape off and mount it to your truck. The top 4 holes mount up PERFECT and you will need to Zip Tie the bottom of the grill in place. The Needle Nose Pliers came in handy feeding the Zip Tie through the hole in the header panel and securing it around the grill. After everything is mounted, trim the excess Zip Tie with the Wire Cutters for a nice clean finish and close the hood. You are done!


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 01:55 AM
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good write up!!!!!!!

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 01:56 AM
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Looks like a lot for work for a grill just my $0.02


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1999 24v ext cab quad cab long bed Laramie 4x4 : 155k miles, straight piped, Edge Juice w/ Attitude, "Dr Evil" trans rated for 800hp with 2500 stall gear driven TC, airdog 100, 2" leveling kit 33" mastercrafts.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 01:41 PM
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man that does seem like a pretty good deal of work... i mean its not too bad, just the instructions are so detailed and great pics i think it kinda makes it seem like more than it really is... dont be *****in too much matt if i get one your gonna be helpin with this!!! haha

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-21-2010, 09:07 PM
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Thanks man. Good write up

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