One of the cheapest and easiest ways to improve the look of your truck is to add a grille to the front end. And with the exception of wheels and tires, it’s the most popular upgrade you can perform. As long as Truckin has been around, there have been cool trends in the grille world, from the square- or round-tube grille insets finished in chrome that dominated the show scene in the ’60s and ’70s to the billet grilles that basically took over in the ’80s and ’90s to the die-cut, polished stainless trend that followed the millennium. The latest trend—one that has been around for a while and shows no signs of slowing down—is the mesh grille, which can be as an insert only, or with a frame as a full replacement of the factory grille shell. The polished stainless is the way to go if you want that extra bling, but the predominant choice the past few years has been black.
T-Rex has been around a long time and was very early to capitalize on the current grille game. It has several lines of grille inserts and complete replacement grilles, including classic billet, multiple styles of mesh, and riveted—and sometimes even incorporates LED lights into the design. For our already blacked-out and leveled ’14 Chevy Silverado, we decided on an overlay-style insert from T-Rex’s X-Metal series. The two-piece design features a studded Main Grille in all black and was the perfect complement to this truck.
Watch as we make quick work of the install, and check out the T-Rex website to see just how easy it is to improve the looks of your truck.
| For our ’14 Chevrolet Silverado, we perused the T-Rex website and settled on the overlay-style X-Metal Series two-piece Studded Grille in all black, part number 6711171.
| The first step of the install is to remove the 12 plastic pop rivets along the top of the radiator cover using a removal tool or flat screwdriver.
| Then, we removed the plastic radiator cover, accessing the back of the factory grille shell.
| We removed the four 10mm bolts located along the top of the grille shell.
| Using a 7mm socket, we removed the two screws from inside each fenderwell, where the bumper and fender meet.
| Then we pulled the plastic bumper pad outward where it meets the fender at the fenderwell until it popped loose and was removed.
| You can remove the final bolts from the bottom edge of the grille.
| Finally, we popped the grille shell off the truck and set it on the bench for modification.
| This body-style truck has an inner shell that seals to the core support for maximum cooling efficiency, which is pretty cool. But we have to remove it temporarily to install the T-Rex inserts.
| We were ready to set the overlay inserts in place on the factory grille, being careful to hold it in place until we got it locked down from the other side.
| Studs from the insert protrude up through the factory grille, where they are topped with a clip and Nyloc nut.
| This setup is used in several places around the insert.
| Before we did the final snug-down, we checked the fitment of the overlays from the front to ensure a perfect fit.
| Now things were tightened down for good, and we reassembled the shell and reinstalled it on the Silverado.
| With the grille and bumper cap back on the truck, this simple install is complete. The simple front-end upgrade of the T-Rex X-Metal grille adds to the good looks of the XD Series wheels and Nitto tires and took this truck from stock to custom in no time.