|> FAQ > Grills 101 - What You need to know about Chrome Grill Inserts / Overlays|
Installing Chrome ABS Plastic Grill Inserts / Overlays
It is SO EASY, NO Tools. Our Chrome ABS Grills clip right on top of your existing grill.
Don’t take anything off the grill, though in some cases you may need to remove or reposition the license plate frame. Our Chrome ABS inserts have locking tabs with barbs that lock directly to your existing grill for an easy, solid, and secure installation. They require no drilling or cutting of any kind. Position carefully so the clips go through their appropriate slots in the OEM grill and press straight into place, keeping the insert parallel to the grill as it goes in.
Some models include strips of 3M double-stick tape, pre-positioned strategically where needed. If your grill has these, clean the tape stick area thoroughly with rubbing alcohol to remove any wax residue so it can get a 'good stick'.
For most of these inserts that are relatively flat, all the clips go in parallel and snap at the same time, in other words,
Do not push one side in first which could result in jamming as the insert makes an angle to the OEM grill.
Rest assured they will stay on, these grills are much harder to remove than to install.
Click this grill picture to view a CCI Chrome ABS Grill Inserts installation video.
*SES Bolt-on Grills require getting into the space behind the grill, see below.*
Installing Trim Illusion (TI) Chrome Stainless Bolt-Over Billet and Mesh Grills
Installing a new TI Chrome Stainless Billet grill on your vehicle is easier than you think. If you know how to use a screwdriver and a wrench, you have just what it takes to mount 98% of TI grills. Bolt-Over Billet and Mesh Style Grills sit right on top of your existing one. You don’t take anything off your existing grill. Usually you must remove the screws or clips holding the plastic cover over the space between your radiator and existing grill. TI grills come with hidden studs that go through your OEM grill, and use brackets and locknuts for a simple, solid, and secure installation. They require no drilling or cutting of any kind. The picture below shows the studs projecting from the back side of an TI Billet grill. You may want to check the space between your grill and radiator so you can plan how you will install the nuts on the back side. Some vehicles have limited space to work in, examples are the Ford Escape and the Chevy Traverse.
Painting the OEM Grill first?
If your OEM grill has a reflective finish, you may want to consider painting it a flat black so it will completely "disappear" behind your new Chrome grill insert. The pictures below show an OEM Ford F150 honeycomb grill in the left, note it has a glossy finish, and our GI-20 installed on the right. You would only notice the OEM honeycomb grill behind the insert in certain light, but this is an example of one that would be invisible if it had a coat of flat black paint BEFORE installing. With most grill inserts this is not a problem, but with a few like this one, paint will improve the look.
Care of either Chrome Stainless or Chrome ABS Grill Inserts
Our grill insert manufacturers recommend you treat these grills the same as the rest of your car, i.e., wash the same, with car soap or in a car wash, and wax the same way with the same products. DO NOT USE ANY ABRASIVE products such as rubbing compound on any chrome plated or polished stainless products. While rubbing compound is fine enough to remove scratches from paint satisfactorily, the grit will cloud the surface and ruin the reflectivity of chrome or polished stainless.
Grills 101: What is a Grill?
In auto terms, a grill (also spelled grille) is a shielded opening in the outer shell of a vehicle designed to allow air flow. Most vehicles feature a grille at the front of the vehicle to allow air to stream over the radiator to cool the engine compartment. Other common grille locations include below the front bumper, in front of the wheels (to cool the brakes), or on the rear deck lid (in rear engine vehicles). Without grill openings your engine would soon overheat and need a very expensive overhaul. Also, unprotected grill openings would invite serious damage from road debris like flying rocks, metal parts and spilled loads. Thankfully, auto grills have mesh, slats or bars to deflect incoming objects. Unfortunately, original equipment grills may not be as stylish as you might like.
We carry several types of aftermarket grills to dress up your vehicle.
Chrome ABS Grill Inserts
The least expensive of these are our Chrome Remedies brand Chrome ABS plastic grills. Don’t be misled, ABS plastic is good light structural material that holds up well, and has been used for exterior auto parts and accessories, especially hubcaps, for many years. Our automotive grade ABS is highly resistant to cracking, chipping, and degradation by road chemicals including salt. The chrome plating uses real chrome, triple plated over a layer of copper to ensure excellent adhesion, very similar to the way steel is plated. Most of our chrome ABS grills tend to echo the style of the plastic or painted OEM grills they install over, but with a bright chrome finish.
Chrome Billet (Bar Style) Stainless Steel Grills by SES
Many folks would like to change the OEM style to a more personal look, which is why the billet grill styles have become popular. A Billet is a bar. SES billet grills form a protective grid of bars that allows air to flow in while deflecting flying objects. Besides being functional, billet grills are designed to compliment and accentuate vehicle lines. At the same time, they customize and personalize the look. When it comes to auto trim design, great looks mean nothing if the item is made from substandard materials. Auto accessories must be as good as or exceed original equipment manufacturer's quality. They must survive continuous exposure to harsh weather, sunlight, road chemicals. Plus, they come in constant contact with everything in the traffic pattern—metal debris, parts, rocks, animals, insects—all of which come flying every time you drive down the road.
SES Stainless Steel Billet Grilles:
Known for strength, rust resistance, & Lifetime Warrantee.
Stainless steel is the best material for billet grills. The reason that it resists rust so successfully is its high chrome content. In fact, for steel to be considered stainless, it must contain at least 10.5% chromium. Of the several types of stainless steel, T304, with its 18% Chromium plus 10% Nickel content, is known to be the ultimate in corrosion resistance, plus it finishes smoother for higher reflectivity. S.E.S. uses only T304 stainless which is then triple chrome-plated. S.E.S. grills are constructed of rectangular tubing for exceptional strength and reflectivity, rather than round tubing that is weaker and cannot produce the mirror effect.
Why choose S.E.S. Chrome Billet Stainless auto grills
S.E.S. uses rectangular tubing of T304 stainless steel. It's the grade of steel used to make chimney liners (you can imagine how corrosion-resistant it must be). Then, S.E.S. orients each billet grill component at a specific angle to maximize reflective properties. This gives each billet grill its ‘mirror effect.' After welding, the whole grill is triple chrome-plated, including the back, sides, and mounting bolts! All exposed corners are smooth, without ragged cut edges. S.E.S. chrome grills can be removed anytime with no injury or harm of any kind to the vehicle.
Built to last a lifetime, SESTrims grills come with a lifetime warrantee on fit and finish.
Problems you will NOT encounter with S.E.S. Chrome Stainless Grills:
The material most widely used in the billet grill industry is aluminum. Aluminum is known for its low cost, versatility, and light weight. However thinner castings tend to be flimsy, which explains why parts tend to bend out of shape after a while. The major problem is that aluminum is vulnerable to corrosion and needs to be polished regularly to maintain its shine. But even polishing can never achieve the smooth highly reflective molecular surface produced by the chrome electroplating process. Fit is not the same as OEM. Finish substandard, doesn't equate with OEM quality. Thin walled metal used for components. This leaves the accessory prone to dents, flexing, even fatigue, greatly shortening useful life and making it more vulnerable to impact. Trim not flush with body. Careful inspection reveals other faces (underside, back) are coated with black paint. Grills tend to chip from road debris. Parts were cut by water jet machine, leaving a ragged edge.
Replacement Billet Grilles
A very few applications, notably the Chrysler 300, require that the SES grills replace the OEM rather than bolt over them. In these cases, the product description states clearly that cutting and drilling are required. The SES Replacement Billet Grill is a complete transformation. Everything that the manufacturer installed in the grill section will be taken off and replaced with your new billet grill. This means that you will have to perform a bit of bodywork, but it is not as bad as it sounds. Most stock grills are mounted by plastic brackets, so all you have to do is slice through them with a saw, which should take no more than 20 minutes. Once the original is out, your new Replacement Billet Grill takes its place. On certain vehicles, some easy drilling might be needed. Although the Replacement Billet Grills take longer to install, the final result makes the time worth while.
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Hubcaps fit Standard Steel Wheels, Wheelskins fit Styled Steel or Alloy Wheels
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