how do you open the hood (billet grille) | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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how do you open the hood (billet grille)


Well-Known Member
July 24, 2005
Reaction score
City, State
Maitland, florida
Year, Model & Trim Level
'96 XLT 5.0
How do i open my hood when i have a billet grille installed? im thinking a screwdriver, but is that easy?

Also, what exactly do i need to remove to install a billet grille.

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Yes, a screwdriver, or any thin flat thing will move the latch. The cheap ones just zip tie on, the more expensive ones I'm not sure about.

i've heard i need to cut out my factory grille to get it screwed in there. is this true?

and which ones from ebay are the bolt on ones?

I put in a wire mesh to protect the grill offroad.

I took a wire and attached it to the latch.
Then made a loop to grab just when the hood is open.


You may want to do do a search on billet grill brand. You can look at the pics of the different ones, and buy the one that fits your needs.

welded a rod to my latch and it comes up above where the latch hooks to the hood...

or you can update your hood latch to the 98+ stlye.... the part to unlatch it then is under the hood above the grill

i had a billit grill on my 94, i was able to stick my middle finger in through the space in between the billet and unlatch it

buy a grille with a Hood Latch Lever included

I bought a Grille for my 99 limited and included was a extension bar for the older 95-98 explorers. I got if off ebay from a guy. here is the link.

I bought a T-Rex grille and it does not interfere with opening the hood at all. It still operates as if the factory grille was installed. I have an 05 and the latch is at a point that is accessible when the hood is popped. Not sure if this is the case with earlier trucks I also bought the more expensive grille that was a bolt on and not a zip tie or the one that requires cutting of the factory grille.The highest point on my aftermarket grille is equal if not slightly lower than the factory version. Think I might have to realign the lower grille


I used a piece of 3/4" x 1/8" flat stock about 6" long.
Twisted it a vice a quarter turn.
Drilled a hole in one end of the work piece and a hole in the stock hood lever.
Bolted the two together twisting and adjusting until I was satisfifed then cut to fit. This was for a 1991 and it works perfect. Painted black you have to look to see the 1/8th inch that shows.