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Written by Tinkerbell_too



The Roush Stage III front bumper cover does not come with anything but a honeycomb style grille that matches the factory upper and also comes with a grille delete. We had already decided on the billet style grilles, so the quest was on to find a grille for the Roush nose. We looked everywhere and it is not made.

Since there was no vendor who sold a billet grille, it was up to us to make our own. We found a site "Mr. Bodykit" who sells sheets of pre-made billet style grilles that you cut to fit your application. Fortunately, the Roush nose is completely flat. So, we ordered the closest size they had and got to work. It was 48 inches by 7 inches & sold for $69.99. The piece was perfect for our application. It was made very well and polished perfectly. I would not hesitate to buy one again for any other custom jobs!

First off, I took measurements of the opening and tried to take in account where mounting would work the best. For us, it was about making it look like it was meant to be there & not an after thought. The other thing was to try out best not to make any holes in the bumper or damage the fresh paint job. And of course, the unit had to be fully removable for service or if the nose ever had to be touched up.

I looked to see if I could mount it similarly to the Roush grille, but the Roush was molded to slip in the individual openings of the grill. I felt that would be way too difficult to keep the billet grille uniform across the nose. Plus the Roush style was not held in with mounting tabs, but instead with slip on clips that would not be transferable to a billet grille.

Here's what the bumper cover came with:

I took a rough measurement of the width it needed to be, keeping in account mounting from the backside. Fortunately, the nose was big enough inside that I got a clear idea of a workable size by fitting it behind the opening. So, I opted to mount it flat from the back. This meant a simple straight cut with the dremel was all I needed. I kept it the height it came in. I measured the opening and gave myself some hang over length for mounting. I taped off across the whole grill where I wanted to cut. I marked my cut line on the tape. This tape would help me stay on the line and protect the finish at the same time. The grille was cut down to approximately 32 inches. Can't believe the important side of the pic got cut off. LOL.

With the grille cut down to a reasonable size, I decided exactly how to mount it. I had to be sure that the brackets would not be visible from the outside of the bumper. I grabbed 4 small simple angle brackets I had laying around the garage. 1.5 inch versions that can be easily found at Home Depot. You can see from the pictures that the inner most hole lines up at the 1 inch mark and the bracket leg is exactly 1.5 inches.

I decided to use 2 at the top of the grille to suspend it and hold it tight to the bumper. Then the other 2, I used at the bottom to lift and hold the grill. Now it was on to the fasteners. In my garage supply, I found a nice stainless bolt set for each bracket. I added 4 washers to bridge the bars of the billet grille to keep the screw head from pulling between them. The bolts were about an inch long, and the washer just shy of 3/4 of an inch. In a perfect world, I would have welded studs on the grill, but I have no welder. Plus that would have made it less of a DIY install for the rest of you all reading this.

On my washers, I added some felt dots. These would keep the washer from marring the polished side of the billet, while allowing them to grip, and they would dampen road vibrations.

This is our top mount. You can see in the picture how well the felt pads line up with the billet bars on the front of the grille. I mounted the 2 brackets at the top of the grille using the outer most hole of the bracket leg to give them the most reach. These will eventually attach to the dense foam bumper reinforcement between the bumper cover and structural bumper. This foam bumper insert sits between the structural bumper and the bumper cover. It absorbs some of the initial impact in a wreck, softening the blow to the structural bumper. This will both suspend the grille up and keep it pushed tightly against the back side of the bumper cover.

Back of grille...

Front of grille...

Top view...

Another frontal view...

I placed the two brackets at the top of the grille approximately an equal distance from each end. I wanted these brackets mounted more towards the center of the grille. The closer you get to the center, the billet bars have more rigidity, thus having less bending and spreading. Any bending or spreading could cause the brackets to loosen from the grille.

With the tape measure starting at one end of the grille, the closest/first bracket measures at approx 8 and 3/4 inches. If you continue down the tape measure the second bracket falls at 21 and 1/8 inches from the same end of the grille. The exact measure is not that important. This was just where mine ended up. Close is good enough. I was more worried about hiding them from the exterior view.

The top brackets are at the bottom of the picture...

I placed the other 2 brackets at either end on the bottom of the grille to work like a set of legs. They would spread the load suspending the grille across the whole piece. I was worried the constant weight of the grille hanging from the foam would eventually pull the screws out of the top mounts. Any bumps and turns would cause the grille to wobble, thusly straining the mounting screws. Eventually, enlarging the holes in the foam enough to lead to a failure.

I did not place the bracket on the bottom bar of the grill, as it was spreading the billet bars apart badly. I instead moved it up one bar, to give the bracket some more strength. In mounting these brackets, I also used the outer most hole of the bracket leg. Coincidentally, this made the grille sit at the perfect height make the top brackets sit flat against the foam bumper insert surface exactly. On the bottom brackets, I used 3m tape so I could semi-permanantly mount the bracket to the bumper itself. If I had neglected to use the tape, the lower part of the grille could still shift in extreme situations and over time lead to the grille ripping out of the top screw mount.

I noticed some sagging at the billet bars, especially on the side that was further from the vertical bars. Due to the weight of the billet resting on an open end like that, I added rubber feet to help hold the spacing even and prevent this sagging/bending at the mount point.

The picture on the right is a sneak peek and shows you the rest of the rubber feet I added. You can see the spacing of the bars above the mount are narrowing.

I also decided to add 2 more rubber feet at the bottom of the grille to give it a bit more support. I lined them up with the top brackets.

A close up of the rubber feet. The rubber feet have a sticky back and measure about a half and inch.


To install the grille with the bumper on the car was the trick. I had to jack the nose up enough to get myself and the grille in under the car. To get the grille in, I had to use the center recess on the bottom of the bumper.

As I had cut the grille just long enough to span this bottom recess/cut out in the bumper, it was just a bit longer then this cut out. I held the grille as it would sit when mounted in the car, polished side facing front. I angled one side up and set it almost touching the back side of the bumper where it would mount. I slipped it up and sideways into the bumper towards the side of the car. I slid the grille sideways just until the other side would clear the recess and slip upwards. I then centered it up. With the grille centered the 2 lower brackets on either side line up perfect with the cut out of the bumper, they just straddle the recess/cut out in the bottom of the bumper.

I left the 3m tape backing in place while I was still fitting things into their final spots. Once I'm satisfied with the centering right to left and I have mounted my top screws, I will got back and peel the 3m backing off and stick it tight to further stabilize the bottom bracket.

Now the top brackets will line up and touch the dense styrofoam bumper insert I described earlier.

This foam bumper insert will be used as the attachment point for your top mount. This stuff is dense and will hold the screw very well. Its a perfect mounting point if you are going to leave the grille in. If you plan to constantly take it in and out, the hole you make will eventually fail. You can pick either hole or both. Also, you can see the rubber foot in the left hand picture is centered on the upper bracket. It's helping to hold the bracket up and in place to further reduce strain on the screw in the top bracket.

I chose to use only one of the holes in the bracket, that way I can swap to a second if the first ever fails. Here is the screw with attached washer that was used in the hole. It is a 7mm generic 1.5 inch f-body screw. As there is a 3rd generation (87) Firebird in the family, we pick these up by the handfuls at junkyards.

Now that the top is attached solidly, I can remove the backing on the 3m tape on my bottom brackets.

Here are our final install pictures...


To remove it is as simple as taking out the top screw in the styrofoam.

Then you would remove the nut and bolt at the bottom, leaving the bracket taped to the bumper. Now that the lower brackets are attached they will stay in place if you ever want to remove the grille.

To get the grille out... you remove it the reverse of the way you installed it. Since it just bridges the Roush's bumper recess underneath, you have to slide it to one side or the other.

I slid the grille sideways just until the opposite side would clear the recess and slip downwards. With the grille now angled, I slid it sideways the opposite way and down out of the bumper and out of the car.

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