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GrilleGuy Lower NO ZIP-TIES

8865 Views 23 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  pedals
DIY: GrilleGuy Lower NO ZIP-TIES

This option for mounting a grille guy lower aluminum grill insert may be to permanent for some but the zip-ties were not going to work for me. I've read all the threads and comments about mounting these grills with zip-ties and heard all the opinions about how the zip-ties aren't noticeable but I just didn't like that idea so this is what I did.

Instead of ordering the lower piece that was specifically for the Element I got the Universal grill in the Razr pattern with the black powdercoat. It cost the same as the Element specific one and left me with the extra material I needed to mount it my may.

Step 1: Cut out a piece that's 31"x 7". I used a Dremel with a medium cutting disc and a straight edge (to help me cut straight) but I guess you could use tin snips, band saw, or whatever you choose.

Step 2: I bent the grill to form a box top like thing to go over the inside of the bumper opening. I bent a 7/8" flap on the top of the grill, a 3/4" flap on the left and right side and a 1/2" flap on the bottom. Had to have the small flap on the bottom or it wasn't going to fit tight. Not having access to a bender, I clamped the grill between two pieces of straight edge and slowly bent the grill. Don't try to bend it all the way the first time. I tested my bending method on a scrap piece before starting and found that if I bent to much to quick it would snap. I started at one end and bending a little at a time moved the length of the grill. I bent all the flaps to about 85 degrees. A right angle would be to much and you would have to bend it back, making the bend weaker, to fit over the bumper opening. The left and right side were a bit harder to bend, I couldn't use the straight edge, I used two small pieces of scrap metal I had laying around to clamp the grill between. This shot shows the grill in the clamp at about 1/2 way through the bending process of the top flap.
Clamp Tool Tool accessory Laminate flooring Flooring

Step 3: I used the Dremel again to cut six slots in the flaps. This allows the grill to bend and follow the curve of the bumper. I cut one slot in the middle of both the top and bottom flap, two more on the top flap 7.5" in from each end, and two more on the bottom flap 7.5" in from the ends. The cuts are visible in a pic coming up.

Step 4: Time to mount this thing to the inside of the bumper. I picked up some 3/4" long (that was overkill 1/2 or 3/8 would have been better), 1/8" diameter, zinc coated (almost looks black) screws/bolts at home depot. The guy told me they shouldn't rust. We'll see. I didn't want Phillips or Slotted and was hoping to find Torx but ended up with a 2.5 mm allen. I thought the Phillips or Slotted wouldn't look as good IMO.
Iron Metal

You had better have your front bumper removed for this next part. I put my grill, now bent into the shape of a box top thingy, over the inside of the lower bumper opening. I thought about cutting out an opening for the license plate bracket and decided the grill was going to fit tight without and it does. Plus that bracket hides two of my mounting screws. Push it over the inside of the lower bumper good and tight. I used masking tape to hold it in place so I could drill:shock: yes drill:cry: (this is the permanent part I was talking about), through one of holes already in the grill, into and through the bumper. I drilled eight. One on each side of the middle slot in the top flap. Two more on the top flap, one at each end. Two on the bottom flap, one on each side of the license plat bracket. One on the bottom of each of the side (left and right) flaps going through the side of the bumper opening (there is one visible in the lower left of the pic below). Push your bolts/screws through from the front side (that's the side everyone sees), throw on some stainless hex nuts with nylon inserts, mount your bumper back to the front of your Element, and your good to go. You can see the slots I cut into the flaps in this pic.
Automotive exterior Bumper Grille Auto part Vehicle

No that's not a real baby you see on the ground there. It's my two year old daughter's. She was a great help on this mod even though it took her two or three tries to hand me the right tool.

Thanks to those of you that read this far along. I hope my poor attempted at this DIY helps someone out or at least gives them some kind of an idea on how to mount a grill w/o zip-ties. If you have any questions let me know and I'll answer them. And now for the part everyone likes, finished pics. I know if I was reading this thing I would have been anxious.

This one shows just about all the screws.
Automotive exterior Grille Vehicle Car Automotive design

The only screws that are visible from more than three feet are the ones on the sides and they're black so it doesn't really matter to me.
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Headlamp Automotive lighting

Here's a shot next to my other baby with some illegal window tint (on the Civic). The new grill is barely visible in this shot but if it wasn't there the AC condenser would be screaming at you.
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Bumper Automotive fog light

I like feedback, both positive and negative, so let me know what you think. Not necessarily on the look, we all know it looks good, but on the idea of drilling and using screws. Everyone I've shown thinks it looks like part of the original vehicle. They're not even drawn to the screws at all.
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Looks very nice, I'd considered doing the same thing before I mounted mine.
i did something simular, by molding the metal grill material around the opening shaping and forming it. I then used two black zip ties just under the horizontal cross support so its impossible to see. Close to what you did just different. Nice job.


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... but you had to remove the front to do it... :)

... but you had to remove the front to do it... :)

That's easy. I've had that thing off several times now. It only takes five minutes.
ya i took the front off too, only way to mold it without having a million zipties to hold the thing straight.
Very nice mod, MME4me. :)

I'm too lazy so I bought the Cloud Rider Spectre Mesh, holes are small, many and close together so they don't stand out at you. Otherwise, I'd be stealing your idea! :D
Very nice mod, MME4me. :)

I'm too lazy so I bought the Cloud Rider Spectre Mesh, holes are small, many and close together so they don't stand out at you. Otherwise, I'd be stealing your idea! :D
I thought about the Spectra Mesh Cloud Rider too. I like the small holes opposed to the larger ones or the hexagon pattern. The only reason I didn't go that way is because I like the fins or slats (whatever you want to call them) in the stock bumper. Putting the Cloud Rider on was going to cover those. Good for many but not the look I wanted.

**EDIT** Woo Hoo!!! This was post 100 for me. Only took 2 1/2 years:neutral:.
Great job! Not only does it look more professional and OEM, but adding the bends also adds strength and rigidity to the screen. I've been hesitant to do this mod because I didn't want to use zip-ties. Now that I see a better way, I'll do this before our summer road-trip to Colorado.

Thanks for posting up detailed instructions AND pictures!

MME4me, I konw this is an old thread, but I have to say NICE INSTALL.

I just have one question for you. What did you do with the license plate
holder? I have an SC and it hooks to the bumper, not sure what it does
on the EX or LX. I am guessing it is the same type of mount. Let me
know. I normally dont run a front plate, but the dealer had already put
the front license plate on way before I purchased my E. Those two holes
in the bumper are ugly, so I keep the plate on to cover them up!!
Let me know! Thanks.
Automotive exterior Bumper Vehicle Car Auto part

I hate the front plate. It's required in NY or I'd go without. Don't need to give them another reason to pull me over. The plate holder hooks around into the area where the grill insert goes. I'm guessing it's similar on an SC. I thought about cutting the grill around that but decided against it. I pushed the grill up tight to the back of plate holder and used a bolt on each side to hold the grill there tight.
Grille Automotive exterior Bumper Carbon Auto part
Grille Mesh Automotive exterior Metal Architecture
Grille Automotive exterior Bumper Vehicle Car

The grill sits flush with the bumper on the top side. On the bottom there is about 1/8" gap. If I were to do it again I think I would cut those hooks off the plate holder so the grill would sit flush on the bottom too. Probably need to replace the mounting screws for the plate holder with something more secure if those hooks are removed. I sure it would flap in the wind w/o those hooks. Looking at these pics reminds me I need to find another bolt that doesn't rust. Northeast winter road salt kills vehicles.
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Excellent pictures. Look for some Stainless Steel screws. They have them
here at Home Depot, Orchard Supply, and the big ACE stores. You can
paint them black with some kind of Rustoliem product, and even if the paint
chips, SS wont rust!!

Thanks for the pics, it gives me a better idea of what I can do!!
Looking at these pics reminds me I need to find another bolt that doesn't rust.
Zip ties don't rust.:D
First a HUGE THANK YOU to MME4me for showing us how he did his grille. I went the same exact route on my SC. I didnt take any pictures during the install, and I apologize. The lower part of the SC is WAY different than the EX or LX models. I didnt have to cut the top part of the grille guard as MME4me did, but I did have to cut two notches on each side, as the SC bumper curves back for some reason. I also bought stainless steel screws, and I painted them with some color match paint I had left over from painting my mud guards. When I was done, I pushed on the front of the grille, and it did NOT move. This thing is SOLID!!! Thanks again MME4me for showing me the way!!!! Just and FYI, I bought my grille guard from's ebay site. It was a Universal Grille, THICK Aluminum, Make your own grill piece that I had powder coated black, and in the RAZR finish. Here is a pic of the final product. Let me know what you think!!!!!

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Grill question- steel or aluminum?

I'm going to buy a bumper grille to protect the condensor. Not interested in doing it myself. What's better, the stainless steel or the aluminum?
I'm going to buy a bumper grille to protect the condensor. Not interested in doing it myself. What's better, the stainless steel or the aluminum?
Both are good because neither will rust. Aluminum will be lighter that the SS.
Up to you. I got the aluminum and used SS bolts.
Nice late reply Rolie, haha. And you call yourself a moderator. :lol:
Nice late reply Rolie, haha. And you call yourself a moderator. :lol:
Only about 3 years too late!!!

I had to look up this post for another reason, and saw the question, didnt
even look at the date!! And in my defense, three years ago, I wasnt a mod!!!
Three years ago, I was a slacker!!!
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