How to Install a Grille Screen on a Jeep Wrangler
What Kind of Crap Gets on Your Grille and Radiator?
- Well Bird Crap for One
- Bugs and other Gooey Insects
- Road Tar
- Rock Chips
- and much much more.
Get a Grill Screen to Protect your Radiator and Engine
One of the signature looks for the Jeep is the slots on the front grille. But unfortunately behind those opening sits your radiator and engine. So while those wide slats look great they are letting all kinds of bugs and other road debris past them right into your radiator.
One way to stop this is to get a protective grille screen. With it many tiny holes it still allows enough air flow into the radiator while protecting it and looking good while doing it. So once you get one of these, we show you how to install it.
Most Grille Screens Will Allow you to Install them Without Drilling
So before you install your grille you want to make sure you have the following;
- Car Wash and Wax supplies
- Towels to dry grille
- Pencil or Marker
- Screwdriver or Screw Gun
- Small Punch
STEP 1 - Prepare the Surface
So before you install the screen you should wash all the bugs and other road grime off of the grille area you are protecting. Then we recommend you wax the entire grille that will be covered which will make it easier to clean when you remove the screen. If you need to remove embedded gunk then use a car wash brush or a pressure washer. You can also do this at your local car wash.
Please note that if you have a hood lock already installed or are going to install one in the future that this can alter the installation process.
Test fit the grille protector over the grille slots. Next find holes that are similar to the ones on the picture to the right in the four corners of the grille. Each grille screen protector should come with 4 bolt assemblies to secure the screen. Your kit may even come with a guide on which holes are the best to use.
TIP: YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE THE BOLT ASSEMBLIES ARE INSTALLED ON THE CORNERS TO HOLD THE SCREEN IN PLACE PROPERLY.
TIP: Make sure the bolts do not interfere with anything in the engine compartment like hoses, air conditioning equipment, or body parts.
Once you have located the holes mark them with a pencil.
STEP 2 - Installing the Screen Protector
Install the bolt assemblies through the holes you marked according to the photo to the right.
NOW install the grille screen in to place and hold it with masking tape. What you want to do now is manipulate the grip nuts until the go over the outside lip of the back of the grill slots. While holding the grip nuts tighten the bolts with the screwdriver until tight. You can use a small punch or other cylindrical object to hold the grip nuts through the screen hole.
TIP: sometimes you may have a chrome overlay to your grille. This is OK and you can keep it you just need to make sure that the grip nuts go over the grille and the overlay for a proper installation.
NOTE please do not over-tighten the bolts. Make sure the bolt head and the lock washer are flush and flat on the grille screen. If they are not re-adjust until they are. The screen should be flat and not bowed in any area, if it is either loosen the bolts, or move the bolts to new holes.
STEP 3 - Care for your Grille Screen
Most grille screens are made of aluminum and should only be cleaned with clear water. You should not wax it. Just spray it off to keep it clean. If you want to remove it to clean it you can also do that.
Check the Grommets and Weatherstripping
Now is the perfect time to check all the grommets and weatherstripping parts around the grill area to make sure they are in good working condition and are not bent, broken, or damaged in any way.
Make sure that each piece fits correctly, that the grommets push in all the way into their receptacles and that all rubber pieces are not dry or brittle. A little prevention now will mean that you can avoid serious repairs later on. Also it may help get rid of extra shakes and rattles.