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Enhancing Front End Styling with Silverado Grilles

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Shop Silverado Grilles

Your Silverado's grille is usually the first part of your truck someone sees. Keeping it as the classic bowtie is one way to ensure recognition, but swapping it out for something more aggressive will surely get heads turnings and folks scrambling to stay out of your way.

Silverado Grilles >

The Chevrolet Silverado is host to some of the most iconic front ends ever used on trucks. By default, these trucks are boastful of their wide squared off front ends. The grille of these trucks actually does a lot for the signature delivery of this style. Without it, the truck would simply appear as a box. Silverado grilles can be swapped out to further emphasize the trucks appearance as well as improve performance. It’s a simple, yet effective method to put a great personal touch on your truck that actually delivers on multiple levels.

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What is a Grille?

The grille on a Silverado is the area between the headlights. It is a grated opening that allows air to pass into the engine compartment. The grill is also where the Chevrolet bowtie is presented on the front of the truck which many will opt to alter. 

What Does a Grille Do?

A grille has a crucial function for vehicle operation. The grille is used to allow air to flow into the engine bay to help the radiator keep things cool. It’s also designed to keep debris from passing through and potentially damaging the radiator. Without the grille, the radiator simply couldn’t exist as a functional piece. Despite being a plastic piece, Silverado owners have the grille to thank for the safe operation of their engine. 

Factory Silverado Grilles

The Silverado has gone through five major body style changes over four generations. Throughout these body changes the grille has been reconfigured for styling purposes. In a pinch, you could identify the generation of a Silverado solely based on the grille. 

Model Year Variations of the Silverado Grille

From 1999-2002 a Silverado’s grille was short and wide. It runs straight across the front of the truck between the headlights. For the generation split of the first-generation 2003-2006, the grille was a trapezoid shape that spans between the headlights completely. The second generation (2007-2014) the grille was wide like the first Silverado but was still a trapezoid design. Third-generation Silverados, 2015-2018, bare a large grille that runs across the headlights and down below the headlights. The fourth generation, 2019 , has a large rectangular shaped grille that hardly extends past the bottom of the headlights. 

Benefits of an Aftermarket Grille

Upgrading the grille can bring a few key benefits to the table. The reason most people will reach for this upgrade is solely based on appearance. However, performance gains and the potential of additional lighting are also on the table. 

Performance: The grille’s key purpose is to allow fresh air to flow into the engine bay. This cool air does help keep the temperature of the radiator down without it getting smashed up by rocks. Cold air in the engine bay is also good for performance as it allows for the engine to draw in dense, oxygen rich, air. Aftermarket grilles can allow more air to flow in to improve on both of these areas.

Appearance: The impact that the design of a grille can have on the entire truck is unbelievable. Chrome accents, black finishes, billet designs, and badge deletes added to the grille alone can make the whole truck appear as a custom piece. 

Additional Mounting: On the aftermarket today, grilles can come with aftermarket light bars built right into them or the room for additional lights to be mounted to them. This allows one to make use of auxiliary lighting without having to fit the truck with a bumper or cut up their factory equipment. 

Silverado Grille Installation

Installation of an aftermarket grille can seem like a massive job only professionals should attempt. However, this job is something that only requires basic hand tools and around an hour’s time. Unless you have a grille with lighting built in, it’s something someone at novice level can easily achieve.

Grille Overlay: Those who are motivated to change the design of their grille solely because of the appearance can opt to use grille inserts. Grille inserts are small accents designed to fasten directly to the factory grille. These inserts essentially just pop over the factory grille to make it appear as if an aftermarket grille has been installed without having to tear the whole front end of the truck apart.

Grille Assembly: Replacing a grille assembly on your Silverado isn’t difficult work but it can be time consuming. To get to the grille, you will need to remove the cover directly beneath the hood, which will have plastic clips holding it in place. So long as all goes smooth, this job shouldn’t take much more than an hour to complete. 

In the case that a grille is fitted with auxiliary lighting, the time frame and difficulty can vary greatly. Tapping into a power source to run the lights on and setting up witches inside of the truck is what will eat up most of the time though. For those unwilling to attempt to wire their lighted grille up, professional help is strongly recommended.

Fitment includes: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, LS, LT, WT, SS, Hybrid, Z71, LTZ, XFE, Custom, HighCountry, RST, TrailBoss