Jeep grill mod - Customization is a given. Why? It's one of the easiest ways to add your custom touch to make you stand out from the others. There are many options that you can do. Here are just a few.
Check out the grill mod video at the bottom of the page.
My Jeep came with that chrome steel cover that fits over the factory body grill area. Through out the years of neglect and abuse this little YJ has been subjected to before I got it, the chrome cover was rusty and pitted. Time for a much needed grill mod!
I started by removing the chrome steel grill cover. If yours has this you may ought to source the grill to hood bumpers first. I used some bumpers from a GM car, they do not fit correctly because they are a bit too tall. So one side of the hood is resting higher than the other. As soon as I find a good source for them I'll offer them here on this site.
Once you get the cover off, remove any rust, bug or bird goo.
Remove the headlight rings by taking out the four phillips head screws.
Once all the pieces are off and clean. Using 80 or 120 grit sand paper roughen up grill cover. For the headlight rings use 320 because the plastic is much softer than the metal obviously.
Spray the parts with your choice of spray bed liner. If you want a rough texture like mine, on the final coat hold the can about 18 - 24 inches from the part.
Once all the bed liner is fully cured (read the directions on the can because this can vary from one brand to another) re-install the parts. This mod makes the Jeep grill look rugged and cool now ... huh?
If your Jeep doesn't have this chrome steel grill cover.
Use a good quality masking tape to tape off where you want painted. I suggest using the good blue painters tape because it's a lot less likely to leave a tape residue behind once you pull the tape.
Tape off surrounding the area of the Jeep grill to be painted. Here is a little trick that will help you later. When you make your first set of tape lines around the grill, run the tape about 3/8" outward from where you actually want painted.
Use old news paper, trash bags or whatever you can find to protect the rest of the Jeep from the over spray. These spray cans of bed liner can throw a huge over spray pattern so take that in consideration as you mask it off. Tape the masking material of your choice to the first tape line that you put down. Now ... Tape around EXACTLY where you want masked off, this line of tape will overlap all the other layers. That last line of tape you put down will be the first you pull after painting. By doing this you get a solid clean tape line when you pull that tape, all without having to fight the masking paper at the same time.
Rough up the area to be painted with 320 grit sandpaper. I know that above I said to use a much rougher grit, that's because metal is much harder to scratch than the soft paint.
After you have roughened the paint, spray according to the can directions to get proper coverage. On the last coat, if you want that rough texture, hold the can about 24" away from the area you are painting. Remember to tape/mask for that spray pattern when you are taping/masking the grill/hood/bumper area. At 24" away from the painted area, that over spray pattern gets pretty big. So, be sure you have the fenders, hood, bumpers etc. covered well. Don't wanna turn a Jeep grill mod into an over spray mess!
This part of the direction can and will vary depending on the brand and type of bed liner that you use. Remember the last layer of tape that was put down? It's gonna be the first that that you pull. When the material is cured enough that it is still soft enough to un-tape, but not too far cured that you can't cleanly pull the tape. Again, that will vary depending on the brand of spray bed liner you use. Find a free end of the tape and start slowly pulling it to reveal your grill masterpiece. As you pull the tape, pull it at an angle that is at about 15 -20 degrees toward the painted surface. This is because if the material has a stringy area it will fall onto the painted area and not the Jeeps original paint.
Once you pull the "true tape line". You can then carefully pull the masking paper to fully unveil the rugged looking Jeep grill mod!