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Old 06-24-2013, 07:29 PM
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DarthRam DarthRam is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Duluth MN
Age: 44
Posts: 1,867
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 2013 Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4x4
Trim Level: Sport
Color: Black
Engine: 2013-20?? 345ci (5.7L) Hemi V8 395hp 410lb/ft
Rep Power: 6
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Default 2013 Ram Sport Plasti Dipped grille inserts

First, let me say 90% of this went pretty well and smooth. The 10% that didn't...well...that was a pain in the ass. From start to finish it took about 3 hours or so. Reassembly was a breeze and only took about 15 minutes total from putting in the grille inserts to installing the grille back on the truck. Here is the process in a nutshell:

Step 1 - Open hood and pop up plastic rivets on radiator shroud. I used a Christmas tree fastener removal tool to get them up. Using both hands pull up on either side of the shroud where the rivets are. The shroud was so flimsy I couldn't get the tool to pull the rivets out all the way.

Step 2 - Using a 10mm socket undo the bolts on the top of the grille. Tip: There are two different lengths of bolts so keep track where they go. The grille can now tilt forward a little bit. It is still fastened with four of the plastic rivets towards the sides and close to the bumper. Slide your hand in between the grille and radiator and push out on the grille from the inside. DO NOT pull on the grille from the outside. This may bend the grille and crack your paint...or vice versa.

Step 3 - I brought mine in the house since I do not have a garage for this type of stuff. Place a clean towel on a table. Place the grille emblem side down on the towel. Be very careful from here on in NOT to put pressure on the grille and by extension the Ram emblem. The top of the grille has a small saddle bolted to it that holds the mounting brackets. This part has to be removed to get to the insert tabs. This is where I used a drill with a socket adapter since there seemed to a lot of these 5/16 bolts. Tip: Resist the urge to clean the tabs that the bolts go through that attach to the front of the truck. You can use the clean/dirty contrast of the bolt holes as a guide to centering the grille on the truck once you are done.

Step 4 - I don't know if all the 2013s or just the Sports have two pieces of air ducting bolted to the grille but the removal of these was the worst part of this job. They were not meant to come off very easy. There job seems to be to funnel the air from the width of the grille to the center. I tried everything I could think of to pry these off. I used a screw driver to try and pry the tabs back but they didn't want to budge. They are made of a flimsy plastic that just bent the tabs instead of moving them out of the way. Finally, after 30 minutes I just pulled really hard. I DO NOT recommend doing this. I didn't damage anything but I am sure this isn't the correct way to do this but I am stumped.

Step 5 - Finally, you can get to the inserts. I used a large screwdriver to slip behind the tabs and pry them back while I lifted the insert in that area up. That seemed to be the easiest way.

Step 6 - Clean the chrome with Windex. Let it dry completely. Mask and Plasti Dip. I used 3/4 of a can on these two inserts. I waited 5 minutes after the final coat and then pulled the masking tape off. I waited another hour with a ceiling fan going over the inserts before I put them back in the grill.

Step 7 - Reverse the process. This went fast and is pretty easy. Just make sure you are not resting the inserts Plasti Dipped side against anything. I held the grille in the same orientation it is on the truck with one hand and put the parts back on with the other. Start in one corner with the tabs and make your way around pushing them in until they click. Re attach Satan's air ducts. Bolt the saddle back on. Homestretch now!

Step 8 - Carefully align the bottom of the grille with the holes the fasteners go in to. Push gently on the bottom fasteners until you hear them click/pop. Repeat with the other three fasteners. Using the clean/dirty contrasts of the saddle holes line them up and hand thread the bolts back in. Make sure you put the different sizes in the correct holes. Tighten with socket but not all the way. Check alignment of grille again. Tighten all bolts down.

Step 9 - Post to ramforumz with pictures immediately.

Tools I used:


The reveal:

Magnaflow 14" Custom Install Bilstein 5100s Front Only Set at 2.8" Vararam Air Grabber Cravenspeed Stubby Antenna Dee Zee Tailgate Assist Billet Technology "The Punisher" Shift Knob Debadged doors and tailgate The Punisher Grille and Tailgate Badges Exterior Chrome Delete 20" XD Series 795 Hoss LT305/55R20 Nitto Trail Grappler M/T Cabin Air Filter BAKFlip Roll-X Tonneau Cover

Last edited by DarthRam; 06-24-2013 at 07:46 PM.
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