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Aftermarket Brush Guard & Custom front clip Install on 2007 G500

I installed the aftermarket front brush guard, with head light grills, and custom painted late model grill on my '07 G500. Although the process wasn't that hard, it certainly had its eye-opener moments for me. I thought I’d share my experience with the G crowd, or anyone else for that matter. Perhaps this might prove useful to someone contemplating a similar install.

The ingredients of this brush guard-grille pie:

- 2007 G500 purchased a few months ago :)newbie:)
- Chrome aftermarket brush guard package purchased ($775 – eBay)
- Package included the front turn signal guards as well as the tail light guards, all chromed out
- Black aftermarket front grill - ($300 - eBay)

Grille:
It is my personal preference to minimize all things chrome on a vehicle. I therefore had already powder coated the chrome part of the spare tire carrier in flat black and i am liking it mucho. So the entire brush guard package was taken apart and powder coated in the same flat black.



The new grill is a different story. As the grill is made of plastic, Powder coating was not an option. So, i removed the MB star and horizontal bars by manually separating them from the front clip. This is easily done as the assembly is held together with clips. I then had only the front clip painted with the MB stock color of my G (Flint Grey) and reunited the star and bars with the front clip once the clip had dried (forgot to take a pic of the completed custom grille before it went on the truck).

Brush guard:
The brush guard was disassembled completely for powder coating. Only the chrome and aluminum parts were powder coated. I also purchased the tail light and front indicator light guards, which were also powder coated flat black and installed later.





To start the install, one has to drill 8 holes in the front bumper for the two brush guard brackets. I measured and marked the holes to be drilled on blue tape, see pic.



As this is kind of a point-of-no-return type operation, I spent most of the installation time on this part. There are no dimensions or instructions noted on exactly where the brackets need to be located on the bumper, there is no advice on where to drill the holes in the bumper (neither the ANTEC nor the WIS installation guides have this dimension noted). I am sure this is due to fabrication tolerances of the brush guard as this non-MB part certainly has not been designed and fabricated with similar quality in mind that we have gotten so used to at MB. Even my 50+ year old Unimogs have been designed and built with more common sense and quality than this brush guard. Let me give you the breakdown of my thoughts on this brush guard:
  • As mentioned, no instructions on where to drill the most important holes of the entire install
  • The guard hinge mechanism is designed for the single purpose of being able to ‘quickly’ exchange a light bulb in the event one breaks during a trip. This would be a great idea if the quick connect feature was designed with a bit more common sense than this one.
  • The dedicated wrench is too flimsy, I bent it already several times trying to snug up the quick connect bolts. Once the wrench breaks, that’s it. You need to fab something by yourself or get a spare from somewhere, which will be flimsy again. This wrench should have been a common tool like a regular spanner/wrench so you don’t have to rely on this one special tool. Also, not that it happens to me very often, but what if it gets lost? Officially, this would mean front head light bulbs can no longer be replaced, nor can the quick connect bolts be secured if loose, see next point.
  • One of the two quick connect bolts vibrates loose during regular driving, which is quite unsafe as the guard is effectively prevented from rotating forward by only one (!) quick connect bolt, which can also vibrate loose, just like the first one. Not very safe way of connecting large steel parts to the front of your vehicle right? I will probably have to replace this quick connect system with something more sensible, sturdy and therefore, much more safe.
  • Furthermore, in my opinion, there are just too many parts (brackets, bolts, quick connect crap) involved in this design. My plan for a future mod to this guard is to remove the quick connect system and come up with a two U-channel pieces (one on the guard and one on the bumper brackets) and just use a long bolt through both U-channels to secure the guard to the bumper. This way, the guard would be snug, secure and easy to remove with common tools. Of course the challenge is on now to actually do this mod ;)
Grille & Brush Guard Installation
Removing the stock clip is almost too easy. Just four screws on top, some wiggling, and out she comes. Be aware that there is a hose for the driver head lamp washer fluid run through the clip that has to be slid out while removing the clip from the truck. Be careful not to scratch the head light clips while doing this. If needed you can manually separate the head light clips from the truck on the top to give you a little more space to move the clip around, especially during the install of the new clip.

With the clip removed, i removed the skid plate (4 bolts) and removed the bumper (4 bolts, 2 fog light connectors & a (temperature?) sensor on the driver’s side). I did not disconnect the hose going to the heat exchanger (tranny cooler) that is mounted to the bumper as i did not want to deal with draining and flushing fluid that day. It is not necessary to remove this hose anyway as the bumper doesn't have to come off too far of the truck. I just wanted to be able to rotate it so it is looking down (90° forward rotation) to provide optimum access for the 8 nuts to be installed inside the bumper.

With the nuts tight (you’ll have a good excuse to expand your toolbox to get these babies tightened as I used some pretty wacky tool extensions from a buddy of mine), the brackets were secured and the bumper was re-installed. I left the 4 bumper bolts not too tight as I still wanted some wiggle room once the brush guard was installed. Then, some messing around with the marvelous quick connect bolts and the end result looks like this:

Before


After


With the indicator guards (Installed after market LED blinkers)


With the tail light guards (and the flat black tire cover)


Overall, I am very pleased with the modded look of my G. Next on the list are black wheels, 30mm lift, cargo area drawers and shelf, rear hitch.
 

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Thanks

Planning on doing this myself soon thanks!
 

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!

Great write up, I did mine last night...a few more tips and hints....The bumper does not have to be lowered or rotated, just removing the fog lights in the bumper will provide enough access to tighten the fasteners from the brush guard to the bumper. A stubby 19mm combo wrench fits perfect to get inside the bumper. A half inch drill bit was what was needed to make the holes in the bumper. Attached is a pic of the holes drilled.
 

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Bumper Holes
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the added notes. Didn;t think about removing the fog light brackets.

Cool looking rig man. Is that green one yours? Looks pretty military to me.
 

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As mentioned in my earlier post, the brush guard (BG) securing mechanism is a complete failure, in my opinion. It is cumbersome, clumsy and stupid. But worst of all, it doesn't even do what it is supposed to do (securing the BG to the front bumper), causing severe unsafe situations for me as well as for other drivers around me.

So after several scary times where i would come home after my drive from work to find one of the two hold down bolts had fallen out of the nut, I decided it was time to take action. Last weekend I removed the BG, disassembled the hold down brackets from the BG and 'hot glued' the brackets down to the BG so it can be secured to the truck properly. Pix below.

O, I also performed 'my' first oil change with the mighty MityVac. Using compressed air and Bernoulli's principle the 8.8L bugger sucked about 8+L in 10min. Awesome way to change your oil with hardly no effort at all. Anyway, back to Topic:

BG separated from truck (by removing the one hold down bolt left)


As found hold down bolt, loose on the bumper. Only reason for it still being there is that it can't really fall out due to its size (hey, i found a positive about this design). Instead, its just rambling around while i thunder down the highway with a half secured BG.


Removed the dreaded hold down 'nut'. Just a simple quarter turn securing mechanism that allowed the bolt to vibrate loose almost immediately upon driving)


Added a steel strip to bridge the gap between BG and bumper bracket. This to be able to weld the BG to the bracket.


Weld prep done


Before welding, I disconnected the battery (Noticeable settings lost were the stereo settings for Bass, Treble and Fade. Also, it lost its daylight saving time setting. Everything else seemed to be unaffected. Just FYI. Took 5 min to adjust to 'normal'. I was surprised it didn't even zero out the trip odometer). I would have preferred to remove the BG from the truck and welded on the brackets on the bench. But the unaligned fitting of the brackets vs the plane of rotation of the BG would have potentially led to a lot fit-up problems that i did not care to deal with. This way, I would be assured a good fit. I did cover the Benz with a welding blanket to prevent burns in the paint.


Welded only the two inside sides of the BG to the brackets (the two sides facing the license plate if you will) for looks.


BG on bench for a little satin black coat. The BG was powder coated and I had a feeling that this combo was not going to be pretty.


Nice little surgical tooling required for assembly.


Voila, end result, view from the outer, non-welded side. Pretty satisfied with my work.


End result, view from the license plate side. The flash on my camera totally screwed up the color in this pic though. To the eye, the colors of the BG and the satin black paint are the same. The color is more like the previous pic with the BG on the bench. No flash was used in this pic and so you'll see much less difference in paint color. I only noticed the flash effect upon viewing the pix on my pc. No biggie for me, but for anyone only going by the pix it might look weird.


BG installed, the proper way. With four actual bolt connections holding the BG to the front bumper. No vibrations, no chance of it coming loose, no safety hazard for me or my fellow drivers.


For sale: ridiculously over-designed but under-engineered brush guard hold down hardware. Flimsy tool included for free! No warranty whatsoever :rolleyes:
 

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I just installed my grill guard today. I bought it off eBay two years ago, but couldn't find anyone in LA to install it for less than $700. So it sat in the garage. I didn't think I could install it myself, but when I read is thread, I figured why not try? Discovering you could access the inside of the bumper from the fog light holes ImageUploadedByAG Free1419556691.678493.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1419556706.619532.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1419556720.997817.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1419556730.402183.jpg did the trick! Job took about three hours. Didn't cuss much, either. Car looks so much better with the guard! Thanks for the advice, guys!


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Cool, glad we could be of help bud.

If you used the 'factory' hold down bolt and nut connection, please keep in mind to check the connection once and a while as this assembly has the tendency to vibrate loose during driving.
 

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Hello,

Thank you for the response.

I have not checked ISPPI. I have reached out to a few of the vendors. Fletcher Jones of Fremont told me that they cannot order the parts without a vin. My vin is from a 2002 and the grill is off of a 2013. I got the feeling that they weren’t interested in helping me.

You have me some good advice. I will follow up. Thank you again.
 

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Hello again,

So I got the part number for the 2013+ brush guard brackets.

4638800175 left
4638800275 Right

I also confirmed that the brackets for the brush guard will not fit the 2013+ (with LED daytime lights)

Now if only I can find them cheap.
 

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Hello Guys,
Demon1234 did a great write up of his Brushguard install, and the problems he faced after he was finished.
Please note, he was talking about an Aftermarket Brushguard, and not the original OEM Mercedes-Benz G-wagen Brushguard from Antec, Germany.
We have install this OEM Brushguard on our G500, now with over 220K Miles on the clock with mostly real tuff offroad miles, and never had this guard come loose by itself.



If you like to purchase the real thing, and not an almost good copy, please contact us here:

 
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