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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Step #1:
Go to Home Depot and buy a piece of expanded aluminum mesh, AKA: "Gutter Guard", for $1.17 + tax. It's located by all the roof gutters and roofing materials. If the stores are set-up the same, then go to the left-most aisle.

Step #2:
You'll also need:
Black zip ties, medium and small.
Wire cutters or tin snips
Pencil or marker
Piece of white printer paper

Some tools and materials (Pic)

Step #3:
Remove your grill from the car, and take everything in the house. Don’t drink a beer – you’ll need your senses for this. :)

Step #4:
Cut a piece of screen to a height equal to the tallest portion of the grill (in the ballpark of 2.5 to 3 inches), and exactly 1/2 the width of the grill or wider. NOTE: Make sure the bottom edge of the screen is straight, smooth, and ends on a complete row of mesh cells. In other words: UUUUUUUUU not XXXXXXXXX. I cut mine 9 cells high, if it helps for reference.

Step #5:
Now, you're left with a rectangular piece of screen. Repeat step #4 to get the other piece cut out. Make sure both halves match as far as direction and size of the mesh, and that they both have a flat bottom edge. Check out the next picture -- this is what my first attempt looked like. Notice how the direction of the mesh is opposite on each side. It looks good on the car, but I couldn't help buy notice it everytime, so I recreated one of the halves.

Wrong Mesh Direction (Pic)

Step #6:
(This is the "Martha Stewart" tricky part) Now, you need to accurately cut-out the mesh to fit around the Cougar emblem on the grill (at least for the 2001). I took a piece of white printer paper, placed it on the BACKSIDE of the grill while holding the FRONT of the grill up to a light. This projects the oval or elliptical shape you need to cut on one end of each screen. Trace the oval/ellipse. Use this as a pattern to mark & cut the screen. NOTE: Make sure the screens are oriented correctly before cutting them - you want them to match and to fit nice.

Step #7:
You should be able to fit the screens around each side of the oval. Take one screen and fit it around the oval nice and snug. Take your black zip ties and tie down the BOTTOM edge of the screen to the inner edge of the front/bottom of your grill starting at the middle. Essentially, the grill has a "lip" which will serve as the boundary for the screen. The screen will put up a small fight where the edge of the screen doesn't want lie flat with the grill lip since the grill isn't flat, however, make sure the edges are in contact by pulling the zip ties very tight. These zip ties will remain. Remember to space the zip ties evenly -- the more uniform they look, the easier they'll "disappear" and blend with the black grill. I used about 5 or 6 small zip ties on each BOTTOM edge. I zip-tied around the BOTTOM surface of the grill.

Step #8:
You'll notice that if you try to flatten the screen over the surface of the grill, it acts as if it won't fit -- don't worry, it'll fit. :) Starting from the middle, start zip tying the TOP edge of the screen to the grill. Use strategy in your placement of zip ties - make sure they won't be in the way when you go to trim. I used as many zip ties as it took here. This isn't the final attachment of the TOP edge; this is mainly to hold the screen tight while you cut/mark it.

Step #9:
Here you have (2) options: #1: Cut the TOP edge of the screen to the contour of the grill with wire cutters while it's attached, OR, #2: mark the grill with a pencil (NOT permanent marker) and remove the grill and cut along your pencil lines with tin snips (like butta'). NOTE: The TOP edge won't be as pretty as the BOTTOM edge. You'll end up with prickly ends and a few whole mesh cells. You'll need to leave some whole mesh cells to zip tie the screen to the TOP of the grill.

Step #10:
Zip tie the TOP edge of the screen to the TOP of the grill. I zip-tied over the TOP surface of the grill. Again, the more uniform the zip ties are spaced, the more they’ll blend into the black grill and shadows. Since you had to match the contour of the TOP of the grill, there aren’t nearly as many mesh holes to use for attachment. Do your best. (Don’t worry, they won’t stick out.)

Voila` !!! You're half done!!!

Grill Pic #1

Step #11:
Repeat steps #7 through #10.

Step #12:
Cleanup your mess and re-attach that grill!!!

Step #13:
Enjoy the new look. Take pictures, making sure you don't format over or delete the pictures. :biggrin:

Here's what the new grill will look like!!!

Grill Pic #2

Grill Pic #3

Grill Pic #4

Hope this interests someone!!!!


Dan Auxter
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