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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I did not see any writeups on the faq, nor on here (though I did not really search that hard) so I figured I would snap a couple pics for those who were wondering what is involved.



First of all, get a better looking grille than this one:




Remove the rubber cover (A) There are no screws, you just pull it off.
Remove the 6 compression pins by first using a screwdriver to pop up the inner pin. Then carefully pry up the outer pin by its flange and pull it out of the hole.
These are the easy ones.






This is where it gets a little tricky. You have to pull the grill away a little (the stock one is more flexible than the sport grill) and remove the two compression pins. The hard part is that they are facing away from you. What I did (as shown in the second photo of my ugly-ass hand) is use an awl with the point rounded off to push the inner pin out (from the bottom of the pin which is facing you.) Then I squeezed the bottom of the outer pin and pushed it though. There is just enough room to snake your hand in there and pull them out the rest of the way. Then do the other side.

Then there is a flanged tab between those two pins that you have to pop out.

After that, there are four bottom pins. At this point the grille will now rotate out enough for you to have some room to work. Pins 1 and 4, are pretty easy, as there is about an inch between them and the steel bumper. Pins 2 and 3 are not bad if you use my awl trick. You can kind of pull up a little on the tabs, to push the whole pin through (after you have removed the grille) and take them out. You can throw them away at this point, because I guarantee you are not getting them back in without removing the whole bumper cover (at least with the sport grille.)

After you remove those 4 pins, there are two more tabs between 1-2 and 3-4 that you have to pull out. Then there is a center tab between 2-3 and then the grille will come free.





My little awl trick to push the inner compression pin out of the inside of the pin:






Putting the sport grille on will take some craft. I did not take any pictures, because it would be too hard to explain here. If you buy one, you will see what is involved. On the four bottom pin holes, and the 4 side pin holes, you have to not only align the plastic grille holes with the bumper cover, you also have to align the holes in the metal tabs that hold the mesh in place. I left off the two middle pins on the bottom (2 and 3). The two outer pins (1 and 4) were a PITA! You just have to struggle though it. Or leave them off also. I know others have, and the three tabs on the bottom of the grille hold it pretty securely.

As for the side pins, the lower one (pin 2) I got the hole in the plastic grille aligned, and the pin through, but I could not get the mesh’s metal tab aligned. The top pin I got through both tabs just fine. Once you get past that, of course, the top pins are a piece of cake.

Despite all this, the grill is soundly in place.






The end result makes it all worth it.

 

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Check out my CTS here: http://www.fquick.com/FL01SS
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Car looks great! Nice write up too. You didn't label (A) though. ;)
 

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05 CTS Luxury Sport
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Nice instructions Jimmy. It looks great.

You probably live real close to me. Now that you know how to do it, maybe you could help with mine when I get it. LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks guys, I have to say, I almost like the CTS more than the V. Handling is about 90% of the V, ride quality is 300%. And I lost my thrill for straight line acceleration when I got rid of my Ninja. After a sport bike, every thing else is slow :D

No more exterior mods. I think they are kind of a waste. You hardly ever see them. I just had to do the grille. And I will admit, I do the lookback quite a bit now with the sport grille :D

For those who are nervous about replacing the grille, dont be. It was VERY easy. Except for the small little tricky parts. From popping the hood, to putting the old grille in the box was 20 minutes tops, and that included snapping the photos.
 

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18 ATS-V, 04 CTS-V, 09 CTS, 04 CTS
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I'd rather pull the bumper. Tried taking the grille off that way and thought I was going to break the bumper or crack the paint. But we tried in mid-winter so maybe that's why.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'd rather pull the bumper. Tried taking the grille off that way and thought I was going to break the bumper or crack the paint. But we tried in mid-winter so maybe that's why.
just dont post any of your damn professional quality pictures in my thread :bouncy:
 

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Check out my CTS here: http://www.fquick.com/FL01SS
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For those who are nervous about replacing the grille, dont be. It was VERY easy. Except for the small little tricky parts. From popping the hood, to putting the old grille in the box was 20 minutes tops, and that included snapping the photos.
:yup: I agree. Nothing to it.
 

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Jimmy, I have that same exact color cts and wasnt sure if the sports grille would look good in that color since i havent seen any pictures in that color and i LOVE it. Where did you get that sports grille? Dealers dont offer it anymore. I found it here http://gmaccessoriesstore.com/grille-white-p-4050.html and here http://www.gmpartsdirect.com/results.cfm?singlepart=1&AddPartNumber=19155367&partnumber=19155367 but the prices seem high and I wasnt sure if it came with the logo or not. What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow, old tread.

I got mine from Lindsay (link to the right) for $400 I think. I wasn't even going to do it. I was just going to stay with the stock grille. But I posted in some thread and they just happened to have one, so I got lucky. Looks way better than stock.

My next project is going to get some SS 3 mesh and put in the valence behind the 4 openings down there. Just have to figure out how to mount it.
 

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Thanks for posting such clear instructions and great pictures! I did this all by myself except for a couple of pins that I let DH snap in.
Tip: my solution to replacing the difficult pins in the center tabs was to use plastic drywall anchors that expand.
 

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2007 CTS 3.6L White Diamond
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Jimmy,
Thanks for all that help. I think I can do it and if I screw one up i'll use a dry wall anchor as described by another writer. I have the same color CTS as you do but I put on Black rims with SS rivets. The gray grill is ugly but all the mesh ones and others are SS or chrome NOT black. I did find the OEM grill in Black for $75. and so , in thinking the match with the wheels will look better, opted for that black one . I think it will also be easier to get back on than some of the others. I'm thinking it will look good as long as it's shiny black . The black wheels really change the overall "look" of the car too. It all of a sudden didn't look like my Father's Caddy.....
 

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2007 CTS 3.6L White Diamond
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Thanks for that grill help...I think i'll be fine with that.

I have another side question...What do you all feel about keeping the 16" wheels as opposed to putting on 17" or 18" on this specific CTS?
Pros and cons?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It depends on what you are after. A larger diameter wheel is going to make the tire sidewall shorter, less chance of rollover, less cush, so a little better feedback and grip. But also less cush so a slightly stiffer ride, and more prone to damage. And the larger the wheel, the more unsprung weight and higher moment of inertia.

Someone here will pop up and tell you to get 20s I am sure. As for myself, I feel 17" is the best trade-off of ride and handling.
 

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Maybe I should have gone to 17's but they cost a bunch more for wheel and tires plus I didn't know how they would respond in snow or how much harder they would ride. I hope i'm not sorry later. Not experienced in a bigger car like this...closest i've come is Camaros or A4 ...Only have the car two weeks and it rides great. I've been in an RX8 since '06 and Audi A4 and TT before that ..so this is a big car for me although not much bigger than my 05 A4. Just heavier.
I worry about RWD but since I don't go anywhere early any longer I guess the snow will be plowed already. Maybe a couple cinder blocks in the trunk? I did that in RX7 and Camaros....RX8 had Traction Control and was fine. A4 Quattro was the best. Philly is not that snowbound usually.
 
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