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Cut-Out Grill vs. Bolt-Over Grill

What is the difference?

Grille Install Hero Shot
Hopefully you already read our article about the different types of truck grilles and picked out a real winner. Now you want to know about installation - really there are just two kinds: Bolt-Over and Cut-Out.

Read below as we talk about the different styles of installation. We've also got some step-by-step pictures and a video showing each type of installation.

Bolt-over Grill Installation:

A bolt-over grille insert is exactly what it sounds like; a grille insert that attaches to the front of your truck or SUV's grille, using special hardware to "bolt over" the factory grille insert.

For truck owners who want a great looking grille with an easy installation, a bolt-over grille is the right choice. To install, simply hold the grille in place and use the special hardware to "sandwich" the grille over your factory grille. All it takes is a couple minutes of your time and a few hand tools. And bolt-over grilles are installed without modifying the vehicle, which makes them the perfect choice for those with leased trucks and SUVs.

Let's check out some install photos of a Carriage Works bolt-over grille.

  F150 Bolt-0ver Grille Installation
1. Here's the stock F150. She's mighty fine lookin' but let's spruce her up a bit.
  F150 Bolt-0ver Grille Installation
2. Hold the grille insert up in front of your factory grille and check for proper alignment.
  F150 Bolt-0ver Grille Installation
3. Use the supplied hardware to mount the grille. Different vendors use different methods, but they are all pretty easy.
  F150 Bolt-0ver Grille Installation
4. The finished installation looks hot! For easy installation and great looks, get a bolt-over grill insert.

Cut-out Grill Installation:

A cut-out style grille insert requires you to physically remove the factory grille before installing. This method is slightly more complicated but yields the cleanest results, for a more professional looking installation.

First, you'll need to remove the factory grille insert by unbolting or cutting it from the factory grille shell. Then prep the surface, usually with a bit of sanding. Lastly, use the supplied hardware to attach the grille to the grille shell. The result is a clean, professional look.

Check out the installation pictures below of a Carriage Works cut-out grille installation.

  F150 Cut-Out Grille Installation
1. Our donor F150 before installation of the cut-out grille insert.
  F150 Cut-Out Grille Installation
2. The F150 requires that we remove the entire stock grill shell.
  F150 Cut-Out Grille Installation
3. Then remove the grille frame to make room for cutting.
  F150 Cut-Out Grille Installation
4. Next, use a cutting tool to remove the factory plastic grill insert. A fine-toothed hacksaw blade usually works great.
  F150 Cut-Out Grille Installation
5. Sand the edges smooth for a professional look.
  F150 Cut-Out Grille Installation
6. Using the supplied hardware, attache the grille insert to the stock shell.
  F150 Cut-Out Grille Installation
7. Now bolt the new grille and grille shell back on the truck.
  F150 Cut-Out Grille Installation
8. Score! The new grille looks hot! And not a trace of the factory grille hiding in there.

So whether you get a bolt-over grille insert, or a cut-out style grille insert - you'll be happy with the results. They both feature high-quality craftsmanship and they are both great looking grilles. Get one today!

More Info on Truck Grilles:

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