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Pelican Technical Article:

Grille Removal

Frank Hernandez

Time:

10-20 minutes

Tab:

$0 to $20

Talent:

*

Tools:

8mm socket, socket wrench, socket extension, cardboard

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W123 (1977-85)

Parts Required:

Grille weather strip seal

Hot Tip:

Work on a cold engine

Performance Gain:

Improved engine access

Complementary Modification:

Hood emblem removal and replacement

The chrome grille on the Mercedes W123 series is a beautiful design feature that protects vital engine components like the radiator and fan assembly from road debris. Unfortunately for the home mechanic, this shield against the elements lends little to engine compartment access. Removing this can save you from the literal headache of hitting your head on it while working on your car. Also over time these grilles can become weathered and damaged, reducing their performance and aesthetic appeal. In cases of damage, we highly recommend replacing the grille to keep airflow to the engine optimal. If the grille is still in good, but tired condition, this can also be a great opportunity to refresh the appearance of the grille with new components and polish.

Begin with opening the hood by pulling on the hood release tab (green arrow).
Figure 1

Begin with opening the hood by pulling on the hood release tab (green arrow).

You will need to lean over to access the screws holding the grille, so place something like a piece of cardboard across the engine bay to make it easier to work without getting engine grime on your clothing.
Figure 2

You will need to lean over to access the screws holding the grille, so place something like a piece of cardboard across the engine bay to make it easier to work without getting engine grime on your clothing.

There are six screws holding the grille to the hood (green arrows).
Figure 3

There are six screws holding the grille to the hood (green arrows).

Remove the screws in the hood channels first, as it is easier to remove when the grille is firmly secured by the other screws.
Figure 4

Remove the screws in the hood channels first, as it is easier to remove when the grille is firmly secured by the other screws. Once the screw is loosened, remove the ratchet from the extension and hand thread out the screw to minimize the chance of losing the screw in the hood channel.

Remove the screws at the ends of the grille next.
Figure 5

Remove the screws at the ends of the grille next.

Next, remove the screws from the eyelet holes.
Figure 6

Next, remove the screws from the eyelet holes. Caution! These are the last screws holding the grille to the hood, so ensure you have a firm grasp on the grille to prevent from dropping it.

With the screws removed, remove the grille, taking care to gently slide the hood release tab out from the slot indicated by the green arrow.
Figure 7

With the screws removed, remove the grille, taking care to gently slide the hood release tab out from the slot indicated by the green arrow.

Due to age and weathering, the grille seal strip may have become weak and brittle.
Figure 8

Due to age and weathering, the grille seal strip may have become weak and brittle. You may wish to replace it to ensure a clean and seamless grille fitment to the hood. Also in certain parts of the country, this area is prone to corrosion, so a new clean seal is recommended.

Peel off the old grille seal and clean off the old glue.
Figure 9

Peel off the old grille seal and clean off the old glue. Ensure that the surface is clean and free of any leftover solvents used to remove the old glue prior to installing a new grille seal.

Remember to guide the hood release tab in the slot on the grille prior to reinstalling.
Figure 10

Remember to guide the hood release tab in the slot on the grille prior to reinstalling. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Mölyapina Comments: Sorry, that was unclear... I meant to say, "...when you can just flick the hood into service position, assuming that a PO hasn't messed the hood hinges up."
April 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: got it, thx. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mölyapina Comments: I realize that, but I'm referring to the second and third sentences in the article, which say: "Unfortunately for the home mechanic, this shield against the elements lends little to engine compartment access. Removing this can save you from the literal headache of hitting your head on it while working on your car."

Removing the grille just to work on the car seems somewhat pointless when you can just flick the hood into service position assuming that a PO hasn't messed them up.
April 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Right, agreed. I didn't see that earlier, I was only looking at the article procedure and hood position. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mölyapina Comments: Just curious - why remove the grill to work on the car when you can just use the service position instead? That way the hood isn't in your way, either.

Picture of service position attached.
April 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This article is for replacing the grille, not moving it out of the way. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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