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  #1  
Old 06-05-2010
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build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt

start date: June 4, 2010 @ 1:00pm

as some of you know, I had requested information on where to purchase a sheet of stamped hex perforated steel. therangerofdanger kindly pointed me in the direction of a company and I ordered a sheet straight away ($34.xx shipped vs the cheapest place I could find on my own @ $175.xx shipped...)
it arrive in good order, maybe 4 business days after I placed my order. the only downside is something had been dropped on it so there was a little dent in the center and it was crimpled a little, but not a big problem as there was plenty of area untouched.
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build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-001.jpg  

Last edited by d0sitmatr; 06-05-2010 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 06-05-2010
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got the materials all together, bought some flat black fusion paint for the inside of the grill, along with a dremmal blade to cut out the slits for tabs Im leaving (see pic below)

started trimming away with snips, took quite a while as I didnt use a template, just formed as I went by checking fitment. maybe 2 hours or so on the lower valance to being close to completion.

pics:
  • 1. almost finished with lower
  • 2. testing fitment
Attached Thumbnails
build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-002.jpg   build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts.jpg  
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Old 06-05-2010
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i like the idea.
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Old 06-05-2010
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now the lower is fitted and I was trying to decide with staying unpainted or painting it black. while thinking it over, I painted the inside chamber black, after taping off the rest of the grill as not to mess up the chrome look.
then put the lower insert back in and decided I like it much better unpainted as it hides the inside chamber better due to contrasting colors.
a couple of pics of the finished lower:
  • 1. unpainted chamber
  • 2. painted and completely finished
Attached Thumbnails
build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-003.jpg   build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-004.jpg  
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Old 06-05-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Downey View Post
i like the idea.
thanks
it looks really good IMO, ive been thinking about doing something like this for a while.
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Old 06-05-2010
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ok, so lower done, but now Im almost out of daylight, but Im headstrong so I go ahead and start on the upper....
big mistake....
due to the low light I misread my tape and cut a portion 1/2" too deep....
so I relent and decide to wait for the next day to continue as to avoid as many mistakes as I can...
Attached Thumbnails
build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-oops-001.jpg   build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-oops-002.jpg  
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Old 06-05-2010
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Day 2 - June 5, 2010

started the day fairly early, went outside before eating breaky, just drank some water.
got all the materials together and laid everything out and got started.

surprisingly, the upper insert took less time.
maybe because I had a better understanding of the shape, or just because I was in a better rhythm, Im not sure, but it def went more smooth.

sorry I forgot to get any pics while actually working on the inserts, I have 1 more left to do for where the valance and bumper meet. so I will try and remember to get a couple of pics while working on that one.
anyways, upper insert is done and installed. only made a minute mistake on it, that was easily corrected by shifting the insert a hair over. (actually worked out better that way too)

a few pics of the finished inserts on the grill:
Attached Thumbnails
build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-001.jpg   build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-002.jpg   build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-003.jpg  
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Old 06-05-2010
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Looks nice.. i want to do the same to mine, since it has (kinda) the same grille... I've had no luck looking for that hex mesh
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Old 06-05-2010
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looks great man. i like everything but your head light covers
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Old 06-05-2010
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thanks guys, Im sort of not liking the headlight covers myself, so they are most likely coming off. I'll probably put an aftermarket set there instead. hoping I can find a good set of "true" projectors, for HID's.

anyways, on to more work done.
the lower valance insert was planned as the easiest to do, and it was as far as trimming... but installation was a true PitA as I had to remove the bumper. then loosen the holding brackets.
  • 1. initial cut of the insert.
  • 2. removal of the bumper
  • 3. my truck looks fugly without a bumper !!
Attached Thumbnails
build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-005.jpg   build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-006.jpg   build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts.jpg  
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Old 06-05-2010
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ok, so now we have the bumper off, and trimming was done (as much as needed) and now I had to mold it around the edges to give it some strength.
as you can see, I had some problems getting it to stay on the lower edge (the bumper is sitting upside-down)
I resolved it by putting a strip of 3M 2 sided tape, then once that was on, put another strip, basically locking the edge between the two, which worked great !
(sorry, thought I had taken a picture, but I must not have...)
  • 1. as you can see, that edge just didnt want to stay.
  • 2. here it is, all set to go back on the truck.
Attached Thumbnails
build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-007.jpg   build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-008.jpg  
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Old 06-05-2010
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so now the insert is installed to the bumper and its locked tight.
then all that was needed is install the bumper and level it.
  • 1. bumper stuck up there with the bolts just holding it on
  • 2. leveled and installed
Attached Thumbnails
build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-010.jpg   build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-009.jpg  
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  #13  
Old 06-05-2010
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all done.
all in all, it took me in total of about 9 hours actual work time, and in my opinion, it was worth it.

materials:
1 sheet 36x48 HEX stamped steel (you can get it here McMaster-Carr custom metals)
rt and left sided snips
dremmel circular saw bit. (only 1/2 in diameter)
tight space hack saw
1 can flat black fusion paint
assorted tools for removing bumper
a very large bottle of water
  • 1. tools
  • 2. 1 last pic of the truck.
Attached Thumbnails
build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-004.jpg   build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-inserts-012.jpg  

Last edited by d0sitmatr; 06-05-2010 at 08:04 PM.
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  #14  
Old 06-05-2010
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looks too much like the stuff they use to fill big/widemouth body kits.
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  #15  
Old 06-05-2010
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not quite, that is usually pulled diamond metal.
I specifically stayed away from that stuff as Im not impressed with how it looks.
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Old 06-19-2010
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I had another idea, so I PS'd this to see how it looks, give me your opinions.
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build log: Hex Inserts-99 xlt-ranger_grill-insert_test.jpg  
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  #17  
Old 06-20-2010
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Does that involve getting a new grille? Or you gonna modify yours? Imo, it looks great.
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Old 06-20-2010
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u can get that stuff at home depot. its basically gutter guard lol like 2 bucks a piece for it i did it on my truck when i had the old front end on...gave the truck a different look for cheap so i liked it. yours looks good...idk how that latest PS you made would look but give it a shot...you can always take it off anyways

....those lights though...they're an eyesore take that **** off lol

Last edited by 99offroadrngr; 06-20-2010 at 11:09 AM.
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  #19  
Old 06-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03crewcabranger View Post
Does that involve getting a new grille? Or you gonna modify yours? Imo, it looks great.
I would just take what is left of the sheet I got and trim it like I did the inserts I did before. how I would get it to stay is the only thing Im having a hard time figuring out (without damaging/cutting up the grill)
I would paint the cross center bar flat black, like I did the insider chamber for the inserts already there.
then I would of course pull the Ford emblem and use it to hold the sheet in the center, but the edges are giving me a headache.
I also think it looks tight, and if I can figure out how to attach it on the edges, Im pretty sure I'll do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 99offroadrngr View Post
u can get that stuff at home depot. its basically gutter guard lol like 2 bucks a piece for it i did it on my truck when i had the old front end on...gave the truck a different look for cheap so i liked it. yours looks good...idk how that latest PS you made would look but give it a shot...you can always take it off anyways

....those lights though...they're an eyesore take that **** off lol
actually, it is not gutter guard, Ive used it and while it does work, it doesnt look anywhere near as good. this is a sheet of hex stamped steel, 36x48 (I did mention it twice above, might be a good idea to read before you post next time to avoid .... )
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Old 06-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d0sitmatr View Post
I would just take what is left of the sheet I got and trim it like I did the inserts I did before. how I would get it to stay is the only thing Im having a hard time figuring out (without damaging/cutting up the grill)
I would paint the cross center bar flat black, like I did the insider chamber for the inserts already there.
then I would of course pull the Ford emblem and use it to hold the sheet in the center, but the edges are giving me a headache.
I also think it looks tight, and if I can figure out how to attach it on the edges, Im pretty sure I'll do it.



actually, it is not gutter guard, Ive used it and while it does work, it doesnt look anywhere near as good. this is a sheet of hex stamped steel, 36x48 (I did mention it twice above, might be a good idea to read before you post next time to avoid .... )
Its gutter guard. it looks the same. its ok to admit you got ripped off paying more for it
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  #21  
Old 06-20-2010
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ah, the ignorance of some is simply amazing.
oh well, enjoy your happy little reality.
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Old 06-20-2010
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^ lol yeah hex perf and expanded sheet metal are NOTHING alike... but whatev.
That looks killer man, I really like it! You did a great job with being patient and fitting it well... I did not when I did mine with gutter guard and after seeing yours I am contemplating redoing mine...
I do like the full grill idea.
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  #23  
Old 06-21-2010
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thanks
I also like the fully covered grill, but my wife is saying (like she always does) "why f*** with it when there is nothing wrong ?" lol
women will just never understand
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Old 06-21-2010
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Looks like gutter guard...
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  #25  
Old 06-21-2010
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I say go for it. It'd really look cool.

Do you happen to have a pic of the inside of the grille? I just want to see how it looks. lol.
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