Review & Install Video
Hey, guys. I'm Justin with AmericanMuscle.com here with my detailed review of the Putco Stainless Steel Bumper Grille Insert featuring their black bar design fitting your 2015 and up F-150.
My review's gonna cover a few basic things with the Putco Insert, basically what it's made of, what it's gonna do for your styling, what it's gonna do to your wallet, and what it takes to get it installed. Now speaking of the installation, guys, there is a fair amount of work here, including some massaging with a rubber mallet and some basic nut and bolt stuff. So I'm gonna call it a strong one out of three wrenches on my difficulty meter with a little bit more detail to come.
So the Putco Lower Grille Insert I think will appeal to a good portion of newer F-150 owners out there, looking to take the popular method of updating or customizing their front end by switching out those factory grilles. Now, Putco offers a wide variety of aftermarket options for your newer F-150, and this is just one small example of that. So if you're looking to complement that factory upper or aftermarket upper grille, this would be a great option.
Now this particular grille option that I have with me in this video is what Putco calls their black bar design, and that's simply due to the fact that this thing features the horizontal bar style or design overall. Now, in my opinion, guys, I think this thing would look very killer with the factory XLT grille if you have one of those because they do share a similar design or similar style, and maybe even a Lariat or platinum grilles to a certain extent because they all pretty much have that horizontal bar thing going on.
And Putco really is gonna give you a lot of options here when it does come to these lower inserts. For instance, we have their black bar design here. But Putco also offers this same exact insert with a polished finish or a more stainless finish. They also offer a punch design which is like a circular mesh design, again, in black or stainless. And finally, Putco even takes it a step further, offers both black bar or punch designs with an optional 10-inch Luminix LED Light Bar, gonna give you a ton of additional light output, it's done very well, looks very clean. It does cost you a little bit more money, but basically, guys, what I'm trying to say is you have a lot of options to choose from.
I do wanna point out that Putco does a great job with the construction of their lower grille inserts. You're gonna be looking at a very durable, top quality stainless material for pretty much any of their lower inserts. This particular option, again, is finished off with their black powder coat, which should help take some abuse [SP] of being mounted to the front of your truck.
Another thing I do wanna point out is that Putco throws in an included license plate relocation bracket with their kit here at no additional cost. So for all you guys that have to run a front plate, this is a great option and here's why. They're basically gonna mount this thing using the existing holes in your front bumper. So there's no need to drill any additional holes or anything like that. And with the plate slightly lower now, out of the way of that lower grille, it's gonna allow a lot more air into that factory inner cooler for all my fellow EcoBoost owners out there.
On the topic of price, you're gonna be dropping right around $100 for the lower grille insert here from Putco, which if you look for quality aftermarket lower grille options, it seems to be the going rate. Now, I'm sure you can probably find something a little cheaper on your favorite auction site, but more than likely it's not gonna offer that quality stainless steel construction, probably won't be getting that solid, black powder coat either, and I can almost guarantee that they're not gonna be throwing in the included relocation bracket.
Switching gears, let's talk about the install. And as I mentioned at the top of this video, there are a few steps involved here. And you're gonna need some basic hand tools. This includes a set of pliers, that rubber mallet we talked about earlier, a couple of screwdrivers, both Philips and flathead, and finally a 7/16-inch wrench. Your first step is to remove the front license plate and bracket if your truck is equipped. After that, you're gonna need to remove the front bumper trim. You can muscle this off if you like and simply pull it off or you can use that flathead screwdriver to help you pry it off.
With the factory bumper trim out of the way, now it's time to install some of the included clips and hardware needed to mount the actual Putco Insert to your bumper. Now the fun part, you get to break out that rubber mallet and go to work on the two tabs on either side of the opening, bending them out of the way slightly in order to fit the Putco Insert. Don't worry, guys. This is totally reversible. You can bend those tabs back if you ever wanted to return the stock.
With those tabs bent out of the way, go ahead and finish up the install using a mix of 3M automotive tape, which is included, by the way, and of course, the included hardware and that's gonna pretty much wrap up your install. Now, Putco does include some very detailed instructions along with their lower grille insert which always makes life a little easier. And, again, guys, this really isn't the toughest job in the world. So one out of three wrenches on my difficulty meter, albeit a strong one out of three, and maybe an hour or two in the garage or driveway.
I really do think the Putco black bar design will appeal to a couple of different F-150 owners and here's why. The black bar design, in my opinion, will vibe very well with the factory grilles. Or if you wanna go with a more custom or aftermarket route, it should be a nice complement to those as well. So that's my review of the Putco Black Bar Design Grille which you can find right here at AmericanMuscle.com.