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Old 05-15-2020, 04:48 PM   #1
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DX3 Grill Guard Installed After A Hard Hit!

Last trip I took a hard hit from a rock a passing semi kicked up. Luckily, rocked dinged the bumper and did not get to the radiator thru the unprotected gaps between Freightliner hood and bumper. That would have ruined my day.

Got me thinking about being proactive with this, so I installed a grill guard and will add some stainless steel mesh to protect these gaps (See pics). Just about done with the project, but I still need to secure the mesh to the guard. Both are stainless steel.

Looking for ideas on the various was to secure mesh. I can drill/screw or tack weld (what I thought of so far). Screw would make for easier replacement but potential of moisture getting in tubes since they are sealed. Weld makes it a bit permanent.

Any ideas/experiences/opinions?

Thanks.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:06 AM   #2
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Very nice!
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hitchn2go View Post
Last trip I took a hard hit from a rock a passing semi kicked up. Luckily, rocked dinged the bumper and did not get to the radiator thru the unprotected gaps between Freightliner hood and bumper. That would have ruined my day.

Got me thinking about being proactive with this, so I installed a grill guard and will add some stainless steel mesh to protect these gaps (See pics). Just about done with the project, but I still need to secure the mesh to the guard. Both are stainless steel.

Looking for ideas on the various was to secure mesh. I can drill/screw or tack weld (what I thought of so far). Screw would make for easier replacement but potential of moisture getting in tubes since they are sealed. Weld makes it a bit permanent.

Any ideas/experiences/opinions?

Thanks.
I'd use the screw method to secure the mesh. Put some clear silicon on ea. screw to avoid moisture from invading the tube framework.
The silicon will stay pliable for easy removal if needed.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tom in Ohio View Post
I'd use the screw method to secure the mesh. Put some clear silicon on ea. screw to avoid moisture from invading the tube framework.
The silicon will stay pliable for easy removal if needed.
Thanks Tom! That is a good idea.

Was also thinking about a small dollop of clear silicone in each corner as well as a couple other spots. That would dry infused between the mesh, but not sure how strong that would be to hold to the tubes with wind loading. It would be on the back side of tubes so not noticeable as long as I donít go crazy with it. Silicone seems to stick to everythingóuntil you need it to...
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Old 05-16-2020, 01:16 PM   #5
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Stainless steel rod

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Originally Posted by hitchn2go View Post
Last trip I took a hard hit from a rock a passing semi kicked up. Luckily, rocked dinged the bumper and did not get to the radiator thru the unprotected gaps between Freightliner hood and bumper. That would have ruined my day.

Got me thinking about being proactive with this, so I installed a grill guard and will add some stainless steel mesh to protect these gaps (See pics). Just about done with the project, but I still need to secure the mesh to the guard. Both are stainless steel.

Looking for ideas on the various was to secure mesh. I can drill/screw or tack weld (what I thought of so far). Screw would make for easier replacement but potential of moisture getting in tubes since they are sealed. Weld makes it a bit permanent.

Any ideas/experiences/opinions?

Thanks.
If you weld, be sure to use Stainless Steel rod. When you clean up afterwards, DO NOT use a steel wire brush. Use a brass brush. If you use regular steel on stainless steel, there is enough metal transfer that the stainless will rust where it was brushed.

Yes, experience. Learned it from a neighbor in Minnesota who took a welding course at the community college. The instructor had experience welding on the stainless steel tanks of the milk trucks.
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Old 05-16-2020, 02:05 PM   #6
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Thanks Larry. Word! (as the kids say)

Welding is not in my repertoire of skills.

ďA man has got to know his limitationsĒ~ Clint Eastwood, I think.

Anyway, my brother has those skills as he use to weld SS for an ice cream plant, so Iíd let a pro do it. I may try a solution not-welded first tho...at least that is my way of thinking at the moment...
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Old 05-16-2020, 02:14 PM   #7
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I would agree with your plan not to weld, but if you do, you could weld on threaded studs so the screen would be removable. They make a spot weld tool for such applications.
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Old 05-16-2020, 02:27 PM   #8
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I would agree with your plan not to weld, but if you do, you could weld on threaded studs so the screen would be removable. They make a spot weld tool for such applications.
Now, that is slick!

I need to do some research to see if it can do stainless steel and if there is an issue with the thickness of materials. I like the way you are thinking!

Thanks for the video...didn’t know they made such a thing...makes sense tho!
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Old 05-16-2020, 03:43 PM   #9
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Another option

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Thanks Larry. Word! (as the kids say)

Welding is not in my repertoire of skills.

ďA man has got to know his limitationsĒ~ Clint Eastwood, I think.

Anyway, my brother has those skills as he use to weld SS for an ice cream plant, so Iíd let a pro do it. I may try a solution not-welded first tho...at least that is my way of thinking at the moment...
Zip-Ties?

Clint Eastwood, one of the Dirty Harry movies.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by hitchn2go View Post
Last trip I took a hard hit from a rock a passing semi kicked up. Luckily, rocked dinged the bumper and did not get to the radiator thru the unprotected gaps between Freightliner hood and bumper. That would have ruined my day.

Got me thinking about being proactive with this, so I installed a grill guard and will add some stainless steel mesh to protect these gaps (See pics). Just about done with the project, but I still need to secure the mesh to the guard. Both are stainless steel.

Looking for ideas on the various was to secure mesh. I can drill/screw or tack weld (what I thought of so far). Screw would make for easier replacement but potential of moisture getting in tubes since they are sealed. Weld makes it a bit permanent.

Any ideas/experiences/opinions?

Thanks.
Flex Seal! Then it would withstand cannon balls!
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:36 PM   #11
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Flex Seal! Then it would withstand cannon balls!
Now that may work!

FYI, I tried some hot glue on a test area but it pealed right off. Since glass is likely as porous as metal (maybe less), flex seal may have the adhesive properties Iím looking for. Donít need shear strength but probably needs to withstand some vibration without lifting up.

Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2020, 12:14 AM   #12
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I would agree with your plan not to weld, but if you do, you could weld on threaded studs so the screen would be removable. They make a spot weld tool for such applications.

That tool is awesome.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:41 AM   #13
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Decided to use this product, at least for now. It is a clear adhesive silicone that binds well with metals. It grabbed pretty good on a test area, but it could be removed/cleaned up with your fingernail with a little work at 24 hrs. (Cure time is 72 hrs so I would expect bonding to get better). It dries somewhat flexible which should help dampen vibrations between mesh and the grill tubes.

I found it at Home Depot for about $4.60 which was cheaper than the Flex Glue.

I also added some automotive Door Trim at the bottom of the mesh to cover the rough edge to prevent scratching the tube.

Thanks to all for documenting the various ideas!
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Old 05-20-2020, 03:30 PM   #14
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After a bit more thought, I will also add a couple of clear zip ties (loosely snugged) until I am confident that the E6000 adhesive holds as advertised. (I will keep them loose so that I do not influence the adhesive). This way if the contact points do not hold, the mesh will stay with the grill guard. After a test period, I may decide to remove the zip ties and just add a visual check to my pre-trip inspections.
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:18 PM   #15
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Wanted to provide an update on the e6000 adhesive/chalk.

Traveled 2600 miles up to temps of 98 degrees at one point. The e6000 stuff works great and still has a great bond to the stainless steel grill guard. I will probably leave zip ties on until I get thru a winter condition to see if contractions are a problem. But for now, I am pleased with the product. The fact that it is clear is a plus for other projects where some good transparent bonding may be needed.

Also, did not notice any noticeable increase in transmission temps (something I was concerned about) with the mesh interrupting air flow to the grills. FYI, The SS mesh has 6 squares/inch big enough to allow airflow but small enough to catch many decent size rocks.

I will update thread again after I get thru some cold weather testing.
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:05 PM   #16
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google stainless steel zip ties

Heres an example

https://buyheatshrink.com/stainless-...waAgeOEALw_wcB
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:58 AM   #17
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Nice Job

Thanks for sharing
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:30 AM   #18
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Where did you get that stainless mesh and the stainless edging you trimmed it up with? I've looked at some suppliers but they don't deal in small pieces, and there are endless grades, styles, etc. Like you, I'm just interested in stopping a tray piece of debris or small rock. I would attach it to an Ex-Guard XG-150 on my Force HD.
thanks
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Old 11-24-2020, 06:27 PM   #19
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Where did you get that stainless mesh and the stainless edging you trimmed it up with? I've looked at some suppliers but they don't deal in small pieces, and there are endless grades, styles, etc. Like you, I'm just interested in stopping a tray piece of debris or small rock. I would attach it to an Ex-Guard XG-150 on my Force HD.
thanks
Got the stainless steel mesh from https://www.pegasusautoracing.com
The trim was just door trim from autozone. The e6000 stuff came from Home Depot. It has held up well in heat and cold. Good stuff!
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Old 11-24-2020, 06:38 PM   #20
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Very cool supply website. Thanks!
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