I bought my '09 JK X about a month ago from a local dealership, feel like I got a pretty good deal on it, one owner, mint condition and only 23k miles. I have been working on tailoring the looks for my own taste since I picked it up, it's a white 2dr with a black hardtop so I like the black contrast.
I ordered some black headlight trim bezels and a black insert grille kit off of eBay the first week and popped them on, looking good but something was missing. I happened across some other forums where users had made their own mesh grille inserts using inexpensive gutter guard so I figured I'd give it a shot.
I went to Home Depot and got some gutter guards, zip ties and zip tie holders, black Plasti-Dip to paint the gutter guards and some Gorilla Glue. All in all it has been an easy process, I will be finishing it up in the morning but figured I get some pics posted of the process so far.
This is the grille when I first bought it:
Here it is after I installed the black insert grille kit and black headlight trim bezels:
The raw gutter guards and some Plasti-Dip. It actually took 1 1/2 cans to paint the gutter guards:
Gutter guards prepped and ready to be blasted with three coats of Plasti-Dip, painted both sides:
All painted and getting cut down to the correct size. The gutter guard was 36 in X 6 in, my first cut with aviation snips was to make three 12 in X 6 in pieces:
Next was to cut them to 12 in X 3 1/2 in:
Got the grille removed while the gutter guards were getting treated with Plasti-Dip. As you can see by the cleanliness of the engine, I meant it when i said this was in mint condition!!
Now the grille is all clean and laid out on my workbench. I took gutter guard and laid them out to see what would be the best way of securing them to the back of the grille.
Here is where I determined that I would not have to use tons of zip ties and zip tie holders. As you can see below, the black grille insert kit that I had installed previously has clips that hold them into place, I figured I'd use them to my advantage in securing the gutter guards. I laid them out just so I could make some minor snips to have the gutter guard grip onto the clips.
Rather than using Gorilla Glue to glue the zip tie holders to the grille itself, I was able to cut them down to size and glue them onto the grille inserts. I also formed the gutter guards around the back of the grille and trimmed some of the excess gutter guard away. These things are in very securely now and are not going to come loose!! I'll have some better pics of this tomorrow of how all seven look.
Here is the first one installed, front and back:
I'll finish up the install tomorrow AM and get some more pics posted. I like the way this is turning out!! It took me about 5 hours to get to the point I am at now mostly due to me being perfectionist and anal retentive.
Oh, I also removed my front license plate and when I did I figured I would install a bottle opener in one of the exposed screw holes.
I had an old Coca-Cola bottler opener on my workbench so why not? I am going to find a different one to use, one related to BEER!!
Here is a link to the full album of the thumbnails above, larger resolution pics. I'll have pics of the my complete rig tomorrow as well.
Hope what I have done gives some others ideas on what they can do.