The vehicles we drive are a reflection of our own identities. That's why hunting for a new set of wheels is not simply a matter of choosing any vehicle that's on sale down at the lot. On the contrary, we all have our own complex list of criteria that guides us through the decision making process. For some, nothing is more important than engine size and transmission type. For others, it's all about trunk space.
Why Should I Get A Billet Grille?
However, the one unifying criterion that is at the top of everyone's list is style. There is something about the unique design of certain cars, trucks and SUVs that attracts us, often in very primal, inexplicable ways. Like moths to the warming glow of a light bulb, we are drawn in by the curves, lines and contours of certain vehicles. And, once they catch our eye, we are driven to acquire them, or at least another vehicle that looks quite similar.
Even after our thirst for the right automobile is quenched, we still want to project our own unique personality into its design. While there are superficial ways of doing this (e.g. a pair of fuzzy-dice dangling from the rear view mirror, or a personalized license plate frame reading, "I'd rather be driving"), there are more substantial ways of modifying the attitude of your vehicle.
A simple yet significant way of customizing your vehicle's presence is by upgrading the stock grille to a more powerful, more expressive billet grille. AutoAnything carries a huge array of high-quality billet grilles in an almost endless number of designs, so you're sure to find one that perfectly matches and reflects your individual sense of style.
Before you begin sifting through our extensive lineup of premium billet grilles, take a moment to learn a little about the basics of their construction, installation and other important characteristics. Use this resource as a guide for picking your perfect billet grille.
Learning About Billet Grilles
Before we begin learning about the ins and outs of billet grilles, we need a suitable definition of what a grille is and what purpose it serves on your vehicle. In automotive lingo, a grille is an opening in the bodywork that allows air to enter. Usually, there is a large, prominent grille in the front of vehicles for cooling off the radiator and engine compartment. Also, most cars, trucks, SUVs and vans have secondary grilles on their bumpers.
Without these openings letting air blow over the radiator, your engine would not be able to cool down and would eventually overheat, seize and lead to one very expensive trip to the mechanic. However, if the grilles are left open and uncovered, then your engine is exposed to a different kind of hazard: road debris. Thankfully, automotive manufacturers developed a straightforward and stylish way of protecting these holes without suffocating your motor. What's the solution? A billet grille, of course.
In essence, a billet grille is a semipermeable covering that allows air to flow in while deflecting road rubbish. Besides being functional, billet grilles are decoratively designed to accentuate and compliment the vehicle they are ridding on.
Now that we have a clear understanding of what a billet grille is and the important role it plays on your vehicle, it's time to investigate the distinguishing features of billet grilles.
Fundamentals of Billet Grille Style
Here at AutoAnything, we know that everyone has a unique sense of style. That's why we carry dozens of billet grilles—so that there will surely be a design that gets your motor running. For your browsing enjoyment, we've distilled all the various billet grilles into 4 categories:
Traditional Bar Billet Grilles
Capture the power and impact of the automotive world's most recognizable billet grille design: bars. Whether thick or thin, horizontal or vertical, bars give your vehicle a commanding presence that will certainly turn heads while you're cruising around town. For the seamless, free-floating look, go with a set of bars without a perimeter. Or, if you want the bars to really pop out from the front of your vehicle, get a billet grille with a metal perimeter. Either way, a traditional billet grille is sure to add a fierce appearance to your front-end. Some of the most popular bar billet grille manufacturers are Lund and RDX.
Specialty Billet Grilles
If you prefer to drive on the wild side, check out our exciting line of specialty billet grilles. In this category, you'll find billet grilles that are radically pushing the design envelope. Some of the milder styles in this category include grilles with punched holes, interwoven bars and even meshed metal. At the more extreme end of the specialty billet grille spectrum, we have a large selection of custom cutout grilles. Thanks to advances in modern metal-working technology, fabricators are able to cut intricate shapes and designs into grilles. Everything from sizzling flames to spooky skulls is available to propel your vehicle forward to new personalized design heights. As if that wasn't enough, there are even a series of hand-painted billet grilles that'll transform your front end into a work of art on wheels. And, you can quench your specialty billet grille craving with such industry-leading brands as Stull Industries, DJ Motorsports and Putco.
Harley-Davidson Billet Grilles
For all the easy riders who also drive something other than their chopped hog, we have a special line of Harley-Davidson billet grille. Each billet grille features an officially licensed, elaborately etched Harley Davidson logo that is integrated into either a bar, punched-hole or flame design. Putco has the Harley-Davidson billet grille market cornered.
Many of our high-quality billet grilles have matching bumper grilles, otherwise known as valance grilles, to complete your front-end makeover. Since these ground-level grilles are often overlooked by auto manufacturers and left open, adding a flashy new bumper billet grille will definitely elevate the presence and style of your vehicle. Turn to Street Scene and Lund for all your bumper grille needs.
Billet Grilles Materials Reference
When it comes to automotive parts, great looks are meaningless if the parts are made from substandard materials. Auto accessories must be built as tough as the vehicles they are piggybacking on, especially exterior trimmings. They need to be able to withstand the near constant exposure to harsh weather, moisture and UV radiation. Plus, they have to have the muscle to endure collisions with kicked-up stones, Texas-sized bugs and other road debris that comes hurtling at you every time you head down the road.
Thankfully, our billet grilles are crafted only from materials that are proven to be rugged, dependable and long-lasting.
Aluminum Billet Grilles
The material most widely used in the billet grille industry is aluminum—for good reasons, too. Aluminum is known for its strength, versatility, low-density, durability and resistance to corrosion. Because of its malleability, aluminum can easily be rolled, stamped, drawn, spun, hammered or forged into almost any shape, making it the ideal metal for the automotive and aerospace industries.
While there are 7 different types of aluminum alloy, billet grille manufacturers use either the 5xxx or 6xxx series. The difference between these two types is that they are wrought from different alloy components. 5xxx series aluminum uses magnesium as its principle alloy, which makes it mild to moderately strong, and resistant to corrosion. In the 6xxx series, a mixture of magnesium and silicon are used, producing a higher-strength aluminum with excellent corrosion resistance.
Stainless Steel Billet Grilles
Known the world over for its strength and corrosion resistance, stainless steel is a popular metal used for crafting billet grilles. The reason that it resists rust so successfully is that it has a high chromium content. In fact, for steel to be considered stainless, it needs to have at least a 10.5% chromium content. Plus, stainless steel is incredibly tough, resilient and easily fashioned into a multitude of forms and shapes.
Just like the aluminum, there are two types of stainless steel used in billet grilles. The more economical of the two, 409 series stainless steel, is commonly used for many different automotive accessories because of its sturdiness. The other type of stainless steel, 304, is another popular automotive metal. It has a higher chromium content for the ultimate in corrosion resistance. You’ll find stainless steel used in billet grilles made by Nasta and Stull Industries.
ABS Plastic Billet Grilles
The most cost effective billet grille material available is the ABS Plastic. Widely used across the entire automobile accessories spectrum, ABS Plastic is a lightweight, rigid and durable thermoplastic material. While it is not as strong as stainless steel or aluminum, ABS Plastic still makes an excellent medium for building billet grilles because the plastic is impervious to rust and quite durable. For added customization, it can usually be painted to match or accent your stock paint. For high quality ABS billet grilles, turn to RDX, Street Scene and Stull Industries.
Billet Grille Installation Techniques
Relax. Installing a slick new billet grille onto your vehicle is probably easier than you'd imagine. If you know how to use a screwdriver and an Allen wrench, you have just about all the skills you’ll need to mount most billet grilles.
Aluminum is more valuable than gold? Not in today’s soda saturated society, but back in Ancient Rome, aluminum caused quite a stir. In his seminal tome, Naturalis Historia, Pliny the Elder tells the story of a goldsmith who presents the Second Roman Emperor, Tiberius, with a shimmering plate made from a mysterious new metal, aluminum. Boasting that only he and the gods know the ore's recipe, the goldsmith offers it to Tiberius. Fearing that the new metal would destroy the value of his hoards of gold and silver, Tiberius has the goldsmith executed on the spot. Did Tiberius act too rash? Think of it this way: Fort Knox is full of gold bullion, not cubes of crushed Tab cans.
Bolt Over Billet Grilles
These billet grilles are the easiest, least time-consuming to install. Rather than completely replacing your existing grille work, Bolt Over Billet Grilles sit right on top of the old one. They use a series of hidden bolts, brackets and clamps for a solid, secure and simple installation. They require no drilling or cutting, and the only real downside with some bolt over grilles is that you can still see your original grille peeking through from behind. Putco and DJ Motorsports all craft first-rate bolt over billet grilles.
Replacement Billet Grilles
Unlike a Bolt Over Billet Grille that sits right on top of your stock grille work, a Replacement Billet Grille is a complete transplant. Everything that your auto manufacturer installed in the grille section will be striped off in exchange for your personally chosen new billet grille. Often, this means that you will have to perform a bit of bodywork surgery, but it is not as daunting as it sounds. Most stock grilles are mounted by plastic brackets, so all you have to do is slice through them with a hacksaw, which should take no more than 20 minuets. Before you start cutting, though, make sure that you have read through all of the instructions, and check to make sure that all you have all the required hardware. When you want a complete replacement grille, go with Lund and DJ Motorsports.