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How to: 2011+ Grill Removal with pictures

Discussion in 'Modified 2011- 2019 Explorer Sport Tuning' started by Drako99, August 21, 2014.

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    1. Drako99

      Drako99 New Member

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      So after reading many many threads asking the same thing about how to remove the grill on a 2011+ Explorer I got the gist of it and tackled it myself.

      I completed the plasti dip of my grill but forgot to take pictures along the way so I went back and removed the grill AGAIN and took some pictures along the way.

      This is to help supplement the many other grill removal threads out there and I hope it helps.


      Front Grill
      [​IMG]

      Step 1 - Open Hood, get 10mm Socket and small flat screwdriver
      Remove SEVEN (7) of the 10 mm bolts circled in GREEN and the TWO (2) push rivet fasteners circled in RED
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      The top plastic cover then should come off freely
      [​IMG]

      Step 2 - VERY GENTLY pry the grill away from the engine compartment and tilt it forward to expose the FOUR (4) very tricky nuts (10mm). TWO (2) are near the middle, and are the easier of the 4. The other TWO (2) are down by the headlights and are VERY tricky/hard to remove
      [​IMG]
      You can see the back side of the bolt, which has the nut on it, at the tips of my fingers. This is one of the center ones.
      [​IMG]
      Just above the White pointer stick (very technical) is the back of the bolt showing the nut near the passenger side headlight.
      [​IMG]

      Step 3 - Remove the grill

      This can be very tricky so TAKE YOUR TIME
      Seen here is the back of the grill, circled in RED are the FOUR (4) bolts that had the nuts on them. Circled in GREEN are the SIX (6) clips holding the bumper in place. Careful, I broke one doing this write up.
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      Grill removed -
      [​IMG]


      Reverse the process to reinstall,

      Hope this helps!!!
       
      Last edited: October 1, 2014
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    3. Rick

      Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

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      Drako, I just split your post off into it's own thread and made it a sticky post.

      I also set you up with a 6 month Elite membership for your very informative article.:thumbsup:
       
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    4. jsn13

      jsn13 New Member

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      Thanks
       
      Last edited: October 2, 2014
    5. nrochwal

      nrochwal New Member

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      Turned out awesome!

      How many cans of plastidip did you use on the grille? Did you use the glossifier?
       
    6. Drako99

      Drako99 New Member

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      I used 1.5 cans. No glossifier
       
    7. MikeCallery

      MikeCallery Elite Explorer

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      Great article on removing the grille, thank you.

      I am wondering if anyone has ever played with the air intake and what the implications would be of enlarging it?
       
    8. jalmario15

      jalmario15 New Member

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      Up for this done with my diy
      many thanks to the thread starter
       
    9. Mondak

      Mondak New Member

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      This is fantastic. Any information about the plastidip process itself you want to impart?

      Either way, great work.
       
    10. Zach7

      Zach7 New Member

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      Great post and pictures for this removal. Thanks!
       
    11. tektoo2

      tektoo2 Member

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      Great write up! i did the same to my '13

      This is my end result:
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: February 17, 2016
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    12. RandyH2

      RandyH2 Active Member

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      Great post. Thanks for taking the time!
       
    13. mmartin028

      mmartin028 Elite Explorer

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      Thanks for the write up and the photos.

      I want to plastidip the grille without taking it off. After removing the top screws and the plastic piece, is it possible to pull the grille forward enough to put a piece of cardboard or something to block the radiator from being painted while painting the grille?
       
    14. Hughhefnerjr

      Hughhefnerjr New Member

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      How do this work out for you? I'm thinking of doing the same with my 2016. Getting in there to remove those nuts is difficult and you're sure to break at least one clip attempting removal.
       

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    15. Scarey118

      Scarey118 New Member

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      Any update on plastidipping without taking the grill all the way off? I just bought a few cans last night to do the chrome explorer on the back and the grill
       
    16. mmartin028

      mmartin028 Elite Explorer

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      Yes, you can plastidip your grille without taking it off.

      Just remove the 7 bolts and 2 plastic fasteners (shown on step one above) and gently pull the grill forward. It will give you enough room to put some paper or cardboard between the inside of the grille and the radiator.

      I used a few coats of glossifier to get the shine.

      front-2-small.jpg

      front-1-small.jpg
       
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    17. kaotikgood

      kaotikgood Most Interesting Man-Child in the World Elite Explorer

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      Very useful!

      I will be doing this on a 2016 this afternoon and will take picture for picture if you would like to add them under each of yours to include the 2016 - 2017 models. I'm sure the differences are subtle at worst but I love me some pictures!
       
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    18. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      As an Elite member, thank you by the way, you can post pictures right from your computer and some devices (I think) by using the "Upload a File" feature.

      Peter
       
    19. Cusefan78

      Cusefan78 Member

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      [​IMG]
      Did mine today
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: September 14, 2016
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    20. mrnavy2

      mrnavy2 Elite Explorer

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      I want to also do mine and the 2 chrome strips
       
    21. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Looks great. I'm a big fan of leaving the chrome strips the way they are. Another member did the same thing quite a while ago. I think it's much 'richer' looking then full black.

      Peter
       
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    22. Cusefan78

      Cusefan78 Member

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      Thanks Peter. I agree I have seen them done both ways and I liked the chrome strips better. I'm going to add the black metal explorer letters on the hood next.
       
    23. xplo134

      xplo134 Elite Explorer

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      Hello guys, does any of you tried removing the "Chrome Grill Insert"? This is something done here in the Philippines. They covered the "dotted area" of the Limited Explorer grill and applied a double adhesive layer of foil to achieve the flat look:

      [​IMG]

      I think if the chrome insert can be removed, we can actually achieve the looks of an Explorer Sport grill.
       
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    24. tinner

      tinner Active Member

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      What color is your Ex.? Haven't seen that one cruiz'n the streets.
       
    25. Eltee

      Eltee Elite Explorer

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      What are you guys doing prep wise before dipping your grilles? Does it stick to the chrome pieces without any special prep (wipe down, sanding, priming, etc.)? I am worried about the chromed pieces chipping more easily that the rest of the grille.
       
    26. Cusefan78

      Cusefan78 Member

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      I sprayed the whole grill with adhesive remover to remove any wax and residue that was on there then sprayed. I live in Rock salt heaven in syracuse and drive a lot. Look a like the day I sprayed it.
       
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