1998 grille swap | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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1998 grille swap


New Member
February 13, 2017
Reaction score
City, State
Lafayette, Indiana
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 Mountaineer AWD
Hey guys so unfortunately my 1997 Mountaineer had a run in with a deer:/ and I have to replace the grille and header panel. I cannot seem to find a 97 grille and trim though. I was wondering if anyone knew where I could get one or if I could change the header panel to the 1998 or newer model and replace the grille and headlights that way




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Ouch. If you were closer, I would offer to send my Mountaineer grill, pictured below. I am game to ship it, if you want me to look into that. I am currently using a 95-97 Explorer Limited grill, also pictured below.

AFAIK, it would take swapping the header panel to swap 98+ headlights, corners, and grille...



From what I see the deer may need some body work too....

Glad you did not get hurt.

Welcome, and it looks like it was a small deer or lower speed, glad it wasn't worse.

The radiator support is the biggest issue, that will have to be pulled and realigned, if it's not too bad. Straighten that before the rest, that determines how well the fenders etc, fit together with nice gaps.

The 98-01 header panel is needed for those grilles, Explorer or Mountaineer. The 98-01 Mountaineers have one less turn signal light, so minor rewiring to do if you swapped to those.

Thanks guys. It was a smaller doe and I hit it going about 50-55. Toypaseo thanks for the offer but I think I’ll just put an explorer grille on it. The shipping will probably be ridiculous for a package that big. CDW6212R I will probably end up replacing the radiator support with a new one. They’re only like $60. I’ve been looking into maybe buying another Mountaineer but my interior is really nice and I just finished replacing the rocker panels. I don’t know if I want to start over though lol






Good, save it and go buy another one. I've got three not counting my old 91 for sale.

Toypaseo thanks for the offer but I think I’ll just put an explorer grille on it. The shipping will probably be ridiculous for a package that big.

Probably. Plus, the aftermarket Explorer grilles are dirt cheap...

Small world, I slid into a tree a few weeks back and completely rebuild the front of the car. I was able to find a used 99 bumper for only 120$ and a company called certifit sells new painted grills for my generation explorer. I used a come-along to pull out the radiator support and straighten the bumper connections. It’s worth it!



Thanks for the help guys. I ended up buying a 2004 Mountaineer for $1000 nothing wrong with it, fully loaded so I couldn’t pass it up lol. My cousin has a 97 Explorer sport with 300,000 plus miles on It so she will be getting my old Mountaineer and swapping the front end onto it. But thank you guys for the support and information!