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OK, so I finally received my Stainless Steel Z-style grill from E-Bay and had the chance to install it.

Relatively easy, but I figured that since I took a whole bunch of pictures and hit a couple minor snags, I'd post a combination info/show-off thread to help anyone else that might be doing this in the future.

Step 1: Masking tape anywhere the old or new grill might scrape. I'm VERY happy I did this. I was careful, but I did hit the tape a couple times anyway. Better safe than sorry, right?
 

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Step 2, Remove plastic push-pins and covers that block the top of the grill.
 

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Step 3, Move center plastic cover out of the way, but be careful because it's still attached down below.
 

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Step 4: Remove the grill. This is the toughest part. The bottom clips are very tight and are wedged into the holes in the top of the bumper cover that you see in the picture. You have to somehow snake your hand down in there and squeeze the clip pretty hard before it will slide out. It was frustrating and tough to do without breaking the grill or cutting your hand on the endges of the plastic and metal, but those bottom clips are the only thing holding it on and it eventually comes out. I'm actually quite proud of myself for not breaking off any of the clips.
 

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Step 5: Transfer Nissan emblem to new grill and bend the metal tabs down on the bottom clips of the new grill
 

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Step 6: slide grill into place. The bottom clips should slip in pretty easily. In fact, they were kind of loose, but as long as they're in for now it's ok.

This is where you have to line everything up and make sure it fits.

This is where I started to get annoyed, because the top bracket of the grill was rubbing against the hood latch. Some of the holes for the plastic push-pins didn't seem to line up either at first. I thought this was a flaw, but after I attached all the clips it essentially bent into place without any problems. Just needs a little tension I guess.


Step 7: Making sure the clips in the bottom are staying put, push in the plastic push-pins and replace the plastic covers that you removed previously. This is where you need to make sure that the top bracket is centered with the grill. It has screws behind so that you can adjust it. Mine was REALLY close to being centered. Just off enough that I noticed it when looking closely. I didn't bother to adjust. We'll see if it settles in or if I'll need to adjust it in a few days.
 

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Step 8: Close the hood gently, making sure nothing is in the way and that it can close OK. The gap between the new grill and the hood is MUCH smaller than with the old grill.
 

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Step 9: I noticed at this point that the bottom of the grill was a little loose. Moved in and out. The directions said to use a screwdriver THROUGH the grill and to bend the bottom clips down until the grill is secure. At first I thought they meant the tabs that I had already bent downwards in step 5, but they mean the entire metal bracket. You need a pretty sturdy and long screwdriver to do this, and you need to do it VERY carefully so that you don't bend your beautiful new grill, but it wasn't too hard.


Now you're done! :D
 

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One little problem is that the lights are more rounded than this grill, so if you look at it from the side you can see that it's not perfectly flush with the headlights:
 

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The other problem is that the holes in the Nissan emblem are very noticable. I'm going to try to find a way to plug those up, either with a piece of steel or silver plastic.
 

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NICE JOB Corin! :claphead:
 

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Great job and thanks for all the pics and detailed instruction. This would have been a great help to my husband last Monday. We purchased a z-grill off of ebay as well and he experienced much of the same issues you did with the fit and having to bend things into place. Looks great though and I constantly find myself looking for other MO's on the road while I'm out--and when I see them, I can't help but feel like "look at me! look at me!" :D These grilles are definitely an eye-catcher. So far I have seen only one other MO with this grill on this tiny rock I call home.

**As far as the empty space behind the emblem, my husband swears he saw something on ebay like an emblem backing or something with that description. It had the carbon fiber pattern and fit behind the emblem to close the gap. He says he put it on his "watch list" but someone bought it the next day and it was gone... I've searched and searched but haven't found what he's talking about. If I find anything I'll post it here.
 

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Nice Rock you live on!
 

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It's a T Rex, w/ Top and Btm Grilles. Stillen has it on sale
( their prices anyway) online till 5-15-05.
 

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Great Job Corin!!

I actually have had my grill off twice while installing air horns. Yes the most difficult part is getting the bottom clips out as you feel that too much tension may break the grill. I was only able releasse the tabs on two of the grill clips in the center. I basically used isolated force to get the others loose by just pulling the grill forward. It was scary but the fibergalss bumper does give and the clips released without a problem.

I sure whish we had a few more grill options.

Thanks for the pics and what a great color!!!!!

njmo
 

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By the way, I figured I'd also add a plug for the e-bay seller that I bought this from. The seller was "classicgrillesandautomotiveaccessories" (http://motors.search.ebay.com/_W0QQfgtpZ1QQfrppZ25QQsassZclassicgrillesandautomotiveaccessories)

Cheapest price I could find (when you include shipping) and was very quick to send the shipment as soon as payment was received. Packaged well, too, with everything needed for install and plenty of protective foam.

Normally I don't advertise for someone else, but I was exceptionally pleased with the transaction and figured it would be worthwhile to share my experience.
 

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Excellent "how to" so I've made it sticky...:D
 
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