Nissan Frontier Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
701 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2nd Gen Matching Lower Grill Mesh

So, if you haven't already, head over and read the post @Bansky made about the $20 Mesh Grill, he has a lot of great information in there that I will not really be covering, since he has already taken the time to do so... I am at a bit of a stand-still today until some parts get delivered (hopefully shortly) so I figured I would write up my progress so far for today...

The first thing I did was pull the front valance after seeing this post by @kennylxix and figured I liked the way that looked.



After that I started on my upper grill following the post mentioned above. I would have to agree, that removing the old honeycomb is about the worst of it. I was using everything from my dremel, to a couple saws I could find, garden shears and a couple power sanders...



It took a bit of sweat (bit hot today) but I finally got everything I wanted out of the old one and everything sanded fairly smooth...



Now while it was not necessary, I went ahead and started blasting the pieces of the back piece that would be seen through the mesh with some Plasti-Dip. For one it helped cover up any imperfections that many have been on the plastic, and for two it gives the entire unit a more unified look...what you can see of it anyway...



So, between the coats of Plasti-Dip I wanted to start working on the lower grill as I want both grills to match and I may as well take care of everything at the same time. The first thing I did was flip the license plate. If I am going to go through all of the trouble of adding mesh to the lower grill, you bet your @$$ I am going to show it off... No write up on this as this simple mod is literally scattered in every other bumper/light/winch etc post on the forums, but I will say it just took a bit of a straight-edge and some patience to trim it up and get it to lay [mostly] vertical on my 2012.



Now, the most important step in ANY modification you can make to your truck, is to ensure you have an adorable little assistant, and since my daughter calls this "her truck that daddy takes to work", it is only fitting she helps...



I assure you, she made sure that EVERY possible opening under the truck was nice and clean...



...back on topic...I pulled the front bumper. I am not going to go into a huge amount of detail as this will vary by years slightly...but the general idea is to pull the wheel hubs off (at least far enough to get access to the seam near the headlights), a couple screws (outside corners) and 4 bolts (in the center attached to the skid plate) underneath under the bumper cover and a handful of those plastic tabs, just like what you pulled to get the upper grill off. Unhook the fog lights if you haven't already and finally, on each side of the headlights, there are two bolts (4 total) holding the seam of the fender and bumper just underneath here:



Along the top of the opening where I wanted the mesh to go I simply cut out the supports in a straight line, and used the natural lines on the sides to continue cutting a flush hole for the mesh. The next thing I did was grab some electrical tape, it has some stretch to it and doesn't mind being peeled off a couple times without leaving a residue...if it is only on for a short while. I used the tape to loosely plan my curve for the cut along the bottom of the opening. I want the mesh to be about the same distance back all around for a nice even look.



Once the line is about where you want it...take your time and patiently start cutting it out. I used the knife and made about a dozen shallow cuts all of the way across for a nice smooth curve. Remember, this part is going to be seen, so you want it to look damn good... Once that cut is all of the way through, the only thing really holding the cut-off piece on is the two lower corners which are easily [albeit carefully] trimmed so the piece falls out...



Then it is just a matter of some sanding...careful sanding to get the curve nice and smooth so it will look as good as possible with the grill up against it. I think I have mine all set and ready for the mesh...



Now, everything on the truck should be ready to go for the actual grill mesh...



First I wanted to lay out all of the pieces and ensure I ordered the proper sizes. This gap is the main reason I strayed away from the "$20 Mesh" thread. I would have stuck to that thread like glue, but I could not find a 36' piece of that material that would fit down here, and since I wanted both grill meshes to match, I had to go another route...



Once sure everything will fit, it's time to start forming and cutting the pieces. I started with the bottom one, since I knew it needed to set the longest. Take your time, bend, check and re-check before moving too far ahead. You want this piece to fit like a glove...a slightly snug glove...and you want it to fit right up against the bumper.



Now the bottom piece is held on with Automotive Goop (most auto stores have this on-hand, don't worry about ordering it). This stuff is fantastic. It dries in a semi-soft state, so it'll have a bit of give to it, so if anything hits your mesh, it will be more likely to bend than to just snap off. It's clear, paintable and my goodness....the smell...use ventilation! Since I am essentially gluing this piece in place, I roughed up the surface so it would grip a bit better.



Now, BEFORE you glue, make sure you have your "hold in place until set" plan ready to go. This stuff may take a while to cure, but I found it started hardening fairly quickly when exposed to air. You may use zip ties and clamps...or you may just get all kinds of creative...I picked the latter...and in this case, the ladder as well. :lol: (Oh my goodness, dad jokes...)



Then I applied a thick coat around the entire mesh making sure the glue was "entangled" in the mesh and had a good footprint on the bumper. Finally I used a piece of wood to further spread the glue and make sure I had covered every available section I could...then, just let it sit for a while...mine sat overnight.



The upper grill, again, just following the post @Bansky had, pretty straight forward, cut the pieces and make sure they fit...



...and clamp the upper portion together. The next morning (today) I pulled the ladder and weights off and made sure the grill was holding in place...



I also did a bit of a strength test. Now, mind you, I am not going to "test it until it breaks" so I know what it's limits are, but I did do quite a bit of wrestling , tugging, pushing, twisting and other various test...and this stuff is SOLID. Well, semi-solid, remember it still has a little give to it, which is nice...



So, now...everything is done! Just a matter of resembling the truck. Bolt on the lower cover, re-attach the fog lights, bolts underneath, wheel hubs, clips on top, and then snap the upper grill in place. Then of course, the obligatory, pull it out of the garage...and get pictures!




 

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
I like where you are going with this. Waiting on parts is annoying.

I have that same creeper.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
701 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yes it is, especially when you only have one day off and you purposely schedule things around that one day. But thank you! I love the grill mesh mod, but I really wanted to do something matching with the lower area, just hadn't seen much from other posters, or my search skills are failing...I should be able to wrap it up tomorrow...I hope.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
701 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Original post has been updated, project is completed, and pictures have been taken...thank you for your time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
Great job, and great write-up. I'll be doing mine soon, but only the upper grill, as I have a 30" LED bar in the lower.

:goodjob:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
701 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thank you the kind words! I actually miss doing tutorials, but browsing this site, most everything has been tackled already ;). I thought about leaving the bottom open for a light bar, but I know if I ever do one, it'll be shallow enough to fit in there anyway, so I may as well just seal it up now. Could always throw a little light behind the grill, make for an interesting effect, but I don't think I will dress up the truck quite like that, neons, show lights etc, I want more functionality than show...except for my own personal blue touches...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
Thank you the kind words! I actually miss doing tutorials, but browsing this site, most everything has been tackled already ;). I thought about leaving the bottom open for a light bar, but I know if I ever do one, it'll be shallow enough to fit in there anyway, so I may as well just seal it up now. Could always throw a little light behind the grill, make for an interesting effect, but I don't think I will dress up the truck quite like that, neons, show lights etc, I want more functionality than show...except for my own personal blue touches...
View attachment 130738
No room for mesh..lol
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top