One of the first upgrades on the Jeep was the addition of a mesh screen to keep the bugs from clogging the radiator. You can buy a mesh screen insert for $80 or more, or spend less than $20 to have one with your own personal touch. We decided to use red as the colour when adding features, so the quarter inch galvanised wire mesh got a red Tremclad treatment. It actually gives the grille a sophisticated look, hiding the cooling pipes and mounts behind the reddish screen.
I used plastic cable mounts and glued them with a special plastic glue inside the grille. The wire mesh is held in place with cable ties. Search for "Jeep Wrangler DIY Grille Inserts" and you find different options on how to mount the wire mesh. If I have to do it again, I may not even use any mount points. Just fold the wire mesh 2 times around the edges to give it some stability and it will stay in place due to the snug fit.
The mesh grille does work! After a 14,000 km trip across Canada and back (Ontario to British Columbia), the mesh was like new. One winter in Ontario with all the ice and road salt, the mesh was like new. The picture above is actuall from June 2017, more than a year after installation. The bug-fest below was taken in summer 2016 in Winnipeg.
This is a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4-door with automatic transmission. As I found out, there are actually two radiators behind the grille. A full size rad for engine cooling and a half size rad for transmission cooling, the smaller one is just in front of the big one. When you are traveling with a camping trailer you notice that the Jeep transmission was not designed to pull 700 kg. There is enough power under the hood, but the transmission shifts like mad. It is absolutely critical that the transmission cooling works at full capacity. If you find no other reason to have a mesh grille, that is the ONE.
But we all know "it looks so cool" :-)
First published on June 16, 2016