They say looks aren’t everything, but that’s only because we haven’t invented a safe, easy, and affordable way to make our faces look the way we want them to. However, the opposite is true about vehicles, and in our case, trucks.
BMF Offroad has been in the business of making grilles for late-model trucks for nearly 15 years, and their offering for our 2017 Ram 2500 was going to bring its appearance up a notch or two. We were sent the 2013-17 Ram 2500 grille and with it, the chance to revamp the look of our 2500.
At first glance, the word that popped into our brains when seeing the grille was “tough.” All-metal construction would, in and of itself, present a more rugged and take-no-prisoners look to the Ram. Not to mention, its powder coated black appearance looked like it could take a bit of a beating before showing signs of wear and tear.
In order to find out more about the grille, we reached out to BMF Grilles and spoke with Larry Gadette.
Background of the Product
Out of the box, the grille had the look and feel of a piece that was both durable and easy on the eyes. This was by design, as Gadette explained. “Our grilles are uniquely manufactured,” he said. “Every single component on it T304 stainless steel.”
The stainless steel construction is an important differentiator from the competition, as we soon learned. “You’ve probably seen other grilles that have a ‘rust drip,'” said Gadette. “The grille gets wet from rain or a splash of water, and that gets the mild steel fasteners wet. Pretty soon, you have rusty water dripping down from the fasteners and showing up on a highly visible part of the vehicle – rust drip. We sought to prevent that by using stainless steel, and it works beautifully; you can even paint or powder coat it.”
The work that goes into making these grilles is a point of pride as well. “The grilles are made 100-percent here in the USA, from the guy operating the laser cutter to the powder coater,” said Gadette.
Currently, BMF Offroad makes its grilles available for 2010 and up model years of trucks, and covers Ram, GM, and Ford applications, from half-tons to three-quarter-tons. Toyota Tundras are covered, too. More are in development, as Gadette told us, including lighted versions (to be released at SEMA 2018), and painted or color-matched options. “We want to give our customers all the options they can get,” he said.
We kicked off the installation by removing the grille assembly from the truck. Inside of the grille was the mesh grating, which was also removed, as we would only use the shell.
Using some masking tape, we placed strips around certain areas that would be prone to damage. These would be the places where we made cuts using an air tool; basically, the crosshair of the grille shell. With it gone, the BMF grille would be front and center when the job was finished.
After cleaning up the edges of the shell where we made cuts, we test-fit the BMF grille and found it to fit perfectly. With the shell and grille facing down, we went around the perimeter of the BMF grille, drilling holes and bolting down the fasteners to the shell. All that remained was to take the reassembled grille and reattach it to the truck.
The end result was nothing short of sublime. Gone was the boring old crosshair that made it look like every other Ram out on the road. Now, this Power Wagon was looking like a BMF – we’re not going to spell that out for you, but you already know what it is!