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Discussion Starter #1
I want to remove my grill to do some work on the plastic grill "slats". One is broken, several are a bit worn, and the entire thing is faded. I have removed the top strip of screws from the grill / headlight assemblies, and it leans forward, but appears to be attached to the bumper. Is it retained by the bumper, and if so, what bolts do I need to remove to get the grill free?

Thanks!
 

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It's not attached to the bumper, but there's two screws on each of the headlight covers, and three across the grill, on the early Gen1's. It's similar (not 100% sure on the count!) on the later Gen1's with the Aero headlights.

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks RalphP. Those are the screws I removed earlier, but I couldn't seem to pry the lower part of the grill loose. I assume there are some tabs locked in place down there that I need to work free. I'll give it another go.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I am working on getting the grill off again, and it appears that it's attached along the bottom in 3 places; each corner and in the middle. Pics attached. Anyone know if there's a way to access those lower connections to the radiator frame without removing the bumper? I think the "Sport" grill with "Aero" headlights must mount differently from the other 1st Gen Dakotas.
 

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There's three screws across the bottom that are accessible just above the bumper - unless the bumper's been misaligned high (like by sliding up a bump), in which case you may need to loosen the three bolts on each side (but don't remove them!), pull the bumper down, and get to them.

These are in a line with the two on each side for the headlight covers (or "doors" as they're referred to at RockAuto).

Edit: After viewing the pics (I was sent an email with the original message, with the photo links), I can safely say that your bumper is a bit high. That's why you're having problems getting to those screws. You'll have to either pull it down, or remove it, due to that. I'd try pulling it down first myself - to just enough to clear the screwdriver.

RwP
 

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Yah, see how tight your bumper is up against the grill? There's three bolts on each side holding the bumper support to the frame - loosen, don't remove, those three, and push the bumper down. With that you can get to the screws with a long enough screwdriver.

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You're the man, Ralph. Getting my oil change ramps so I can reach those bumper bolts to loosen! If I can I'll tighten the bumper low enough to reach next time. It looks like the bumper is sitting on the lower valence, so that might take a bit of "finesse".
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
That worked like a charm. It just needed to be loosened up. However, my forearms are eaten up from wrenching in that tight spot in front of the radiator.
 
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