- July 8, 2017
- Reaction score
- City, State
- Austin, Texas
- Year, Model & Trim Level
- 2015 Ford Explorer (Base)
GOT IT, many thanks. The first week I had my Exp I relied heavily on this excellent tutorial with pics to remove my original grille and replace it with a Sport grille. I managed to get my original out without damage and sold it within 72 hours since it had all the tabs, no cracks, etc.I'm not the OP so I can't change his photos.
You'll have to "click to expand" my post up there ^^
looks like this will be my first post since 2015..
In short, I have a 2016 Ford Explorer XLT and got a black grill for xmas to replace the original one. After searching this forum I could not find any specific instruction for a 2016 and up and I was hoping these excellent instructions would help me.
After going thru the different steps, it pretty much stopped after Step 1 for me. Unfortunately, on the 2016 model, it is required to have your whole bumper removed in order to remove and replace the grill...
I will do my best to describe the various steps I completed performing the replacement. I hope the write-up will help others who are planning on doing the same on a 2016 and up and give them less of a head-ache while doing so...
Step 1; Follow step 1 above by opening the hood and removing the upper plate. Same number of bolts etc. From here on the instructions are a bit different.
Step 2; You will have to remove 7 bolts on the inside of the wheel well plus additional plastic rivet fastener screw push pins. There are two of these push pins behind the tire at the bottom, a few on the left side of the wheel and above. It is not required to remove all of them all around the wheel well. I also turned my left wheel all the way to the left for easy access while working on the left front wheel (and vice versa).
Step 3; At the bottom of the car / wheel well there is a plastic piece that is held in place by 3 bolts. Remove these 3 bolts. You will have to slide under the car to actually see the 3 bolts.
Step 4; Once you have removed the bolts inside the wheel well, under the car and removed some of the push pins, you should be able to lower your plastic wheel well and let it sit on top of your tire. This will give you "access" to 3 tricky bolts that bolt the plastic bumper to the fender.
Step 3; Now this is the fun part. For me, removing these 3 bolts was a huge pain due to lack of access. However, it is required to remove the 3 bolts because these bolts attach the bumper to the fender. You will only have access to these 3 bolts via the wheel well you just lowered. You can actually see the bolts through a small "window" next to your headlight unit. This helped me locate the bolts.
Step 4; After you removed the 3 bolts, you will have to perform the same steps on the other side of the car.
Step 5; Additionally, underneath the car in the center of the bumper, there are 3 additional bolts you will have to remove. These 3 bolts attach the bumper to the frame of the car.
Step 6; Once you removed all the bolts and pins on both sides, including the 3 tricky bolts on the left side and the 3 tricky bolts on the right side that attach the bumper to the fender and the extra bolts under the car you can pull back the whole bumper with grill.
Step 7; For me, there was only one electrical plug on the right side of the bumper (looking towards the car) which I unplugged and I was able to put the front bumper on the ground. Make sure to put it on a blanket or so to prevent it from scratching...
Step 8; At this point you have full access to the grill and its "wonderful" clips... on the inside of the bumper there is a cover that you will have to remove first and you will also have to unplug the cable than runs from left to right on the inside of the bumper. There is also a small sensor in the center on the inside which you will have to remove first. Now you can remove the actual grill.
Step 9; After you were able to remove the original grill (without breaking any clips) its very easy to install the new grill. Just align the grill on the bumper and its clips and push them in.
Step 10; At this point, with the new grill installed onto the bumper, just reverse the process to reinstall and you are done.
I have some pictures but I am trying to figure out how to upload those..I will get these added to the post as soon as possible.
Like I said, I hope this will help anyone of you with a 2016 and up Explorer and are planning on replacing the original grill.
With the help of an agile teenager we swapped out the grille on my 2013 XLT in under 2 hours. The hardest part was getting at a couple of the retaining bolts that were in tight areas ... hence the agile teenager. No problems.Thank you for the additional information as I intend to do this on my 2017 Platinum. However, as I have very little blocks of open time, I'm wondering how much time should I budget for this?
Did this take a few hours, half a day, the whole weekend?
Thanks in advance!
Okay, so I did this myself, but it took way longer than a couple hours. Probably because of the constant interruption of my two 6 year old twins. But the good news is I successfully swapped the grill and hooked up the LEDs.With the help of an agile teenager we swapped out the grille on my 2013 XLT in under 2 hours. The hardest part was getting at a couple of the retaining bolts that were in tight areas ... hence the agile teenager. No problems.
Yes, it does appear to be mostly solid except two openingsAll of these grills look great and I am looking to plastidip mine soon. I just went out to get a better look and it seems the Platinum grill is solid with airflow only coming from around the grill itself. I'm thinking it could be dipped without removing the grill at all. Anyone with a Platinum grill done this or can give some input into this theory?
Maybe @PlatinumExplorer2017 above can confirm it is solid since it looks like the OEM grill was completely removed.
Thank you very much! I will tackle it this weekend!!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.
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
The top plastic cover then should come off freely
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
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.
Just above the White pointer stick (very technical) is the back of the bolt showing the nut near the passenger side headlight.
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.
Grill removed -
Reverse the process to reinstall,
Hope this helps!!!