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Complete Jeeper’s Guide to Grille Guards

Written By: Louis Orellana

Shop Jeep Wrangler Grille Guards

The Jeep grille is a cornerstone of your rock crawler's unique design. The addition of a grille guard is a great add-on to improve your jeeps look and provide protection during off-road adventures.

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The front grille of your Jeep is an iconic element that has been carried through every generation of Wrangler. The seven slotted openings represent the seven continents and the Jeep’s ability to cross multiple terrains. The grille is also an important exterior element of the Jeep, protecting the engine’s radiator, which is used to cool the coolant circulating through the engine. Protecting such an important element of the Jeep is critical and thankfully can be done through a variety of grille guards that come in several forms. In this information guide we’ll discuss several popular grille guards that are available for Wranglers.

Extreme Terrain

Jeep Grille Slot Opening Inserts

The front grille of your Jeep is an iconic element that has been carried through every generation of Wrangler. The seven slotted openings represent the seven continents and the Jeep’s ability to cross multiple terrains. The grille is also an important exterior element of the Jeep, protecting the engine’s radiator, which is used to cool the coolant circulating through the engine. Protecting such an important element of the Jeep is critical and thankfully can be done through a variety of grille guards that come in several forms. In this information guide, we’ll discuss several popular grille guards that are available for Wranglers.  

Factory Front Bumper Grille Guard vs Aftermarket Bumpers with Grille Guards

When discussing actual grill guard, one of the easiest to install and less expensive guards available consist of a steel tubing frame that attaches around the factory front bumper. These grille guards are designed to give your Wrangler’s grille excellent protection at a fraction of the price and overall weight. On the other hand, if you’re looking for substantially more protection over the factory bumper, then a steel aftermarket bumper is a great option. Aftermarket steel bumpers can come with several different forms of grille guards. Here are a few popular options.



Grille Guards

How is this grille guard attached? The guard typically attaches easily to the Jeep’s front frame rails with heavy-reinforced brackets. Generally, these guards don’t require any modification or drilling to the Jeep, making the install relatively easily and removable. In addition to the seamless integration with the factory bumper, these grille guards provide a substantial amount of protection, through heavy reinforced steel tubing that is generally over 1.5-inches in thickness. The tubing is often covered in a black powder coat finish or come in stainless steel, for added styling and corrosion prevention. 

Who should buy this grille guard? This type of grille guard is ideal for Wrangler owners that are possibly leasing their Jeep, or not looking to overly modify it from the factory look. In addition, the easy installation allows most Jeep owners to install the grille guard generally within an hour, making the process simple to place and remove without permanent modification to the Jeep. These types of grille guards also come in a variety of styling forms, ranging from a simplistic tubular style to covers the grille and headlights, to minimum bars that cover half of the grille. In addition, there are a variety of finishes to choose from, that give your Jeep the added styling you might be looking for.


Grille Guard

Bull Bar

Bull bar: A bull bar is generally a simple singular-centered tubular hoop that is welded or bolted to the steel bumper itself. Bull bars offer a decent amount of protection, while also providing mounting tabs for auxiliary lighting. 

Who should buy a bull bar? Bull bars are among the most common form of grille guard on after-market bumpers, they incorporate a small tubular hoop that doesn’t interfere with visibility or performance of the Jeep. These are a great option if you’re looking for a slight visual upgrade over the traditional flat front bumper. They also offer a variety of mounting solutions for aftermarket lighting, making them very practical for daily driving and trail use. 


Bull Bar

Stinger

Stinger: A stinger is one of the most aggressive looking forms of grille guards available. They extend upwards and past the front bumper line in a tubular hoop. Stingers are designed with an outward angle to stabilize and help prevent the Jeep from rolling forward during extreme downhill angles on the trail. They are heavily reinforced and often welded to the steel framed front bumper, offering a tremendous amount of support that can withstand the weight of the Jeep. 

Who should buy a stinger? There is no doubt that stingers are among the most aggressive looking grille guards and give your Wrangler a distinctively look and function. They are ideal for heavy-trail users that encounter steep down-hill situations that could place the Jeep and occupants into risk of possibly tipping forward. In addition, stinger bumpers offer great overall protection of the grille, by providing an outward projected angle. It’s important to note that the outward projected angle could sometimes make parking in congested areas difficult to navigate. Nonetheless, stingers offer the most amount of overall protection of your grille, with the least amount of mass and weight, making them ideal if you plan to do an extensive amount of harsh off-roading.


Stinger

Full-Width Grille Guard

Full-Width grille guard: These grille guards are generally welded in a triangular form and might incorporate a variation of stinger and bull bar. More aggressive full-width grille guards will also incorporate protection for the headlights and offer complete coverage of the grille. 

Who should buy a full-width grill guard? Full-width grille guards are among the most comprehensive guards available for your Wrangler. They generally are heavily reinforced steel tubular hoops that have triangular braces to help support and reinforce the overall protection. These types of grille guards are for Jeep owners that are looking for the most aggressive looking front end, while offering the greatest amount of overall protection for the entire front face of the Jeep. It’s important to note that the additional steel tubing comes with an increase in overall weight, often requiring assistance during installation, but also lowering the front end of the Jeep. These grille guards are however among the best choice for heavily wooded areas that require the Jeep to drive through bushes and branches that could otherwise damage the exterior or possibly the radiator of the Jeep. 


Full Width Grill Guard

Final Verdict on Wrangler Grille Guards

There is no doubt that grille guards serve a significant function for Jeep, offering important protection of the front grille and help prevent branches and debris from hitting the radiator or front of the Jeep. As detailed in this guide, there are several forms of grille guards to choose from, ranging from simplistic inserts to full-width coverage.  In addition, grille guards can also serve an important safety element during extreme trail use, through stingers that prevent the Jeep from rolling forward on steep downhill trails. Whichever grille guard you choose, they will all serve a layer of protection while offering a unique custom look to the front of your Wrangler.  

Fitment includes: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, YJ, TJ, JK, JL, Laredo, Sport, Islander, S, Sahara, Renegade, SE, X, Rubicon, Unlimited, Sport-S