One way to achieve that racing-style look for your ride is by adding a brand-new custom billet grille. This component covers or replaces the original grille that came with your vehicle, giving it the makeover that you've always wanted. Due to its prominent location, it's one of the first things that people will see when they look at your ride, so upgrading it is definitely a must. It's also easy to install, so you can do the job yourself. To learn how to buy, install, and maintain this component, read the short and general guide below.
Buying a Billet Grille
Aftermarket billet grilles are made from high-quality materials and they also come in different colors and/or finishes. Here are some things to need to consider when buying one.
- Aluminum - Aluminum is the most common material used to create billets because it's resistant to heat and very lightweight.
- Stainless steel - Heavier than aluminum, stainless steel billet grilles are made strong and durable. They also have a shiny finish that will give any vehicle a sleek and polished appearance.
- Plastic - Plastic grilles are perfect for quick fixes. They're also inexpensive, lightweight, and come in different colors and designs.
If you want something that will blend right in with your vehicle, don't forget to choose neutral colors like black, chrome, polished, etc. This will make your car look new without sacrificing its overall appearance.
To get a grille from a trustworthy brand, be prepared to spend around $100 to $250.
Installing a Billet Grille
Replacing your old grille is relatively easy. Here's a basic 2-step guide that can help you get started.
Step 1: Raise the hood of the vehicle and locate and remove the bolts of the old grille. These are usually attached to the radiator support and can be removed using a ratchet and socket.
Step 2: When the bolts are out, remove the old grille to install the new one. And once it's mounted, secure it in place by tightening its bolts using a ratchet and socket.
Polishing an Aluminum Billet Grille
An old aluminum grille can look dull and boring, so here's a guide on how to polish it and bring it back to life.
Step 1: To begin, mix a cup of dishwashing soap with half a gallon of hot water and use this mixture to scrub grille until it's clean.
Step 2: After that, hose the grille down to rinse it using water. When there's no more soap, dry it using a clean piece of non-abrasive cloth that's been dabbed with some degreaser.
Step 3: When the grille is completely dry, use a piece of 320-grit sandpaper that's been soaked with water to sand the component. Make sure the sandpaper is wet at all times and do not use too much force.
Step 4: After covering the entire surface of the grille, repeat the sanding process thrice using 400-grit, 600-grit, and 1,000-grit sandpaper respectively. Remove the sanding residue by cleaning the component with a wet cloth.
Step 5: Next, use aluminum polish with a non-abrasive cloth to wipe the entire billet grille and buff it afterwards to remove any scratches.