I just finished customizing my 2014 Cherokee grill with aluminum mesh and thought I'd share how to do it (as I couldn't find anything online for this vehicle/mod).
I found a piece of aluminum mesh from a sheet metal supplier for about $5 and I simply hand cut the pieces to fit over the existing ugly black honeycomb-style plastic inside the grill rings. Originally I was going to cut out the black honeycomb with a dremmel and insert new aluminum mesh from behind but the way I did it ended up being much easier/faster and turned out looking much better than expected.
First pic is of the stock grill inserts (black with chrome rings). Second pic shows tools etc required for install. First step is removing grill inserts with a 10mm socket, secondly I drilled small 3/16 holes where I want to fasten zip ties (had to drill top of inserts only because of design). Thirdly I wiped clean and plasti-dipped the inserts. After 4 coats and drying time between coats (1 1/2-2 hours) I custom cut the mesh with tinsnips to fit snug inside the rings, then simply installed a zip tie on the top of mesh and one on the bottom to secure in place. I used clear/white zip ties at first but switched to black after which ended up looking better. I will be plastidipping the emblems black next weekend and possibly the chrome window trim eventually.
If you have any questions feel free to ask.
The Following User Says Thank You to dreich68 For This Useful Post:
How were the aviation snips as far as cutting the material? I have tried the yellow handled WISS aviation snips in the past to cut this stuff, and I really had very little luck - perhaps I was cutting some mesh that had a larger wire diameter.
One last issue - will this aluminum not eventually rust? I know it was only $5 or so - but I would think the time to take it out, switch out the mesh, and replace with another piece may be painful if this does rust in a short period of time? Perhaps we should take a look at stainless steel.
Project came out great - looks really sharp - well done!
The aluminum expanded mesh is raised expanded aluminum, not welded or woven.
Aluminum does not rust, house gutters were made of aluminum for many years until recently when they started using vinyl. I have had aluminum mesh on my car grill for 5 yrs now and it still looks brand new. As for the tin snips, I normally use wiss reds for most sheet metal (I'm a sheet metal/hvac shop foreman) but ended up using these longer straight cheap snips for the aluminum for easier/straighter cuts, the light guage aluminum cuts like butter.