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by: KS-CS

Description: Introduction: This article describes the installation of Motordrive front mesh grills. The front radiators and condensers in the Cayman are rather exposed to debris like rock, bugs, leaves, etc. I noticed that my radiators were starting to show a fair amount of dents, and decided to install some mesh grills which are sold by Motordrive (sponsor). Unlike some DIY grills, the Motordrive grills come with the mesh already attached to the stock front grill frames. You can then return your stock frames back to Motordrive for a core exchange refund.Step 1: Bumper cover removalIt is necessary to remove the front bumper cover to accomplish this installation. Please refer to the following excellent article on removing the front bumper by member, porsches4ed: tools necessary for this installation are basically the same that he lists for removing the bumper cover.Note 1: I did this with the front end up on ramps; in retrospect, I think it would be easier to do it on jack stands with the front tires removed. It might also save time in frequently having to go and turn the wheels to the right and left to gain access to the fender liners.Note 2: One of the trickiest parts of removing the cover the first time you do it, is disconnecting the foglight connector which is behind the right fender liner. I didn't really understand the description in porsches4ed's article, until I managed to figure it out by accident.The picture below shows the connector housing after the plug that goes to the foglights was removed. The red arrow points to a small tab, which is difficult to see without a flashlight (and with the tire in the way). By pushing out on the little tab with a small screwdriver, the whole connector will drop down, and then you can more easily unplug the foglight plug.
Step 2: Clean out the radiators. As the picture below shows, I had accumulated a lot of leaves, gravel, bugs, rubber track marbles, and mud in the recesses in front of my radiators. Now is a good time to clean those spaces. A good vacuuming with a Shop Vac got rid of nearly all of that.
I initially had hopes of trying to straighten out all the dents in the tiny aluminum cooling fins, but quickly realized that it would be an impossibly painstaking task to do that, so I'll have to be satisfied that I am limiting further damage with the mesh grills.Step 3: Remove stock grill framesPlace the bumper cover front-side down, on a suitable protective surface (e.g. blanket, mat, etc) since you will be exerting some force from behind, and don't want to mar your painted surfaces.First you must disconnect the foglight wiring which is attached to each outside frame in two places. The first is shown below:
To remove this you merely twist the connector about 180 deg. while pulling and it comes right out.
The other connector has a rat-tooth friction connector to attach it to the grill frame:
You can gently pry this off with a small, flat-blade screwdriver. There is also a small tab on the rat-tooth mount that you can depress, to slide the connector off, so that it's easier to work on, as shown below:
Note: you may have to "reset" the teeth on the little clips to make sure they hold properly when you reinstall them on the new frames.The frames basically just snap into the bumper cover, to remove them you simply pull them out, starting by pulling up on the large tab on the outside of the frame:
Remove the center frame by pulling up from one end:
Step 4: Install new mesh grill frames.There are little tabs along the bottom of the frames which retain the foglight wire; I found it easier to pass the wire through these clips first, before installing the frames.
To install the new frames, I found it easiest to start on the inner side first, then align the 5 slot tabs on the upper part of the frame (the picture below shows 4 of the 5).
It takes a fair amount of effort and patience to get the whole thing snapped into place, but if you work around the edges, from the inside to the outside, you will eventually get there. Be sure and look at it from the front side of the bumper cover as well, to make sure it is completely seated and flush.Now, reconnect the foglight connectors to the frames in the positions that they were originally located, and you are ready to re-install the bumper cover.Step 5: Re-install the bumper cover.Simply reverse the procedure for removal, but a word of caution for those with Tiptronics or center radiators: there is a rubber collar or duct that surrounds the front radiator opening as shown below:
When you are reinstalling the bumper cover, make sure you have this collar around the outside of the grill frame, or it will make fitting the cover back on more difficult. Finished Product:Not only are they a functional improvement, I think they enhance the appearance of the front end as well.
(Hmmm, looks like I need to repaint my foglight spears!)Level of difficulty (1:easiest, 5:difficult): I would rate this as a 4 if you have never removed the front bumper cover before; not because it is technically difficult, but because of the effort involved, and high frustration and aggravation factor during several of the steps in the process. If you have removed/replaced the front bumper cover before, then I would call it a 3. It took me about 4 hours start to finish (with photography), YMMV.

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