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Cut-Out Grill vs. Bolt-Over Grill

What is the difference?

Whether you’re going all-out custom or you simply want to stand out at the shopping center, all truck and SUV owners can agree on one thing: no vehicle should ever suffer the embarrassment of wearing a plain-old stock grill. From frame-draggin’ mini trucks to rock-crawlin’ lifted trucks and everything in between – at, we believe no truck or SUV is complete without the greatest of all truck accessories, a custom grill.

Now-a-days, most custom grill manufacturers offer many of the same designs in both cut-out and bolt-over installations. That way, custom truckers can get the clean look of a cut-out grill, and daily drivers (many of whom might have their trucks or SUVs on lease) can get the easy, no-modification install of a bolt-over grill. And, best of all, both truck owners and lessees can get similar looking results!

What's the difference?
Generally speaking, most cut-out grills require the removal of a portion of your factory grill shell. While it does require a little more work, the overall finished look is cleaner and more custom. That’s because unlike a bolt-over grill, cut-out grills remove the factory cross bars and/or plastic grill inserts so they can’t be seen behind the new custom grill. With a little care, the average handyman can get factory-installed results from his or her cut-out grill in a lazy afternoon.

Bolt-over grills, on the other hand, are typically easier to install and do NOT require the cutting or modification of your factory grill shell. That means if you decide to sell, trade-in or turn in your leased truck or SUV you can simply remove your bolt-over grill with no evidence that you ever had a custom grill in the first place.

So, whichever way you decide to go, we’re confident there’s a custom grill out there that matches the personality of your truck, and fits within your installation and modification comfort zone. The following images and captions will help walk you through the steps of a typical bolt-over grill and cut-out grill installation.

Bolt-over Grill Installation:

1. Here is what the F150 looked like before installation of the bolt-over grill.

2. Place the new grill over your existing factory grill.

3. Attach the grill using the mounting hardware that's provided in the kit.

4. When complete, the grill insert looks great. For easy installation and good looks, get a bolt-over grill insert.

Cut-out Grill Installation:

1. Our factory Ford F150 before installation of the cut-out flamed grill insert.

2. Remove the entire stock grill shell.

3. Remove the grill frame to make room to cut and remove the factory plastic grill insert.

4. Use a cutting tool to remove the factory plastic grill insert.

5. Sand and smooth the eges for a professional look. Take your time, make it look good.

6. Install your new grill insert into the stock grill shell using the hardware provided.

7. Bolt the new grill and grill shell back on the truck.

8. Success! The new grill looks clean and custom with no stock grill showing.

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