This grille guard is sold on many websites, and on every one of those websites the fitment parameters (model year compatibility) are different. Even on the SC website, their instructions say that this piece only fits up to 2009 models. (Their instructions also mention that the valance may need to be slightly notched) And if it was only a pair of notches in the bumper fascia valance, that would be no big deal.
However -- and this is far more troubling -- on one of those websites there is a clear & obvious notation indicating that:
1) if you have a skidplate it must be removed
2) your tow hooks must be removed
So I phoned Steelcraft for clarification. I figured that since they make
the thing, they should know what's what, right?
I told the owner what his instructions say about model year fitment. And I opined that if there was any source that SHOULD have the most up-to-date & accurate info, it is the manufacturer's site. He called in his design engineer (tech?) and they told me that the piece will definitely fit my 2011, and that they are about to overhaul their website and the instructions would be updated. Okay I can live with that.
And while we were having our little conference call, of course I told him about that one webpage that says I have to take off the skidplate & the tow hooks. I offered that -- if indeed I had to sacrifice my skidplate or
my tow hooks -- I would not be buying their GG! In response to my concerns, their assurance was:
1) there is no valance cutting required (the support bars extend low enough to dip under
the valance) AND...
2) it is NOT necessary to remove the skidplate to use this bar, and...
3) it is NOT necessary to remove the tow hooks to use this bar, therefore...
4) we will be sure to instruct that website to remove those unnecessary cautions.
Sadly, that one website was partly right.
I had been wondering whether their notation meant that the skidplate and/or the tow hooks had to be temporarily
removed for the grille guard installation...then could be put back. Well, the tow hooks are nowhere near the attachment points for the guard, so no action is required there.
But -- contrary to what SC said
-- the skidplate must be removed to expose the inboard sides of the chassis rails (for securing the Nyloc nuts that attach the grille guard brackets) Okay - not a big deal - it's four screws and CLAAANG down it comes.
But it won't go back on.
The available space between the new brackets is 31.5", and the width of the skidplate at the front end is 32.675".
As if that wasn't enough...
There are two steel braces that look like this:
that come with the GG (one per side) and once they're in place, they will not allow the skidplate to sit tightly against the underside of the chassis rails where it must sit so that it can be secured with the factory bolts
. So even if it did still fit between the chassis rails...a notch would have to be carved out of it on each side to allow for the brackets.
And before you say: "Why don't you put the skidplate on first, THEN the brackets..."
The skidplate completely blocks access to the threaded ends of the two bolts that secure the brackets to the chassis on both sides. No go.
Therefore there are only three options if I wanna keep the grille guard:
1) store the skidplate in the garage
2) carve up the skidplate on both sides
3) affix a completely different skidplate
I am waiting to see what the boys @ SC have to say on Monday.