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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Death of the DIYer

As a gearhead, I take pride in being able to wrench my own stuff. Since I've been able to drive, I've done a lot of my own repairs on my vehicles. I basically built my 86 Monte SS and I did a lot of work on my 2001 Explorer Sport all through college.

With my 2010 Fusion, I have met my match. Here's a picture of my car and what my plan was.
Replace this lower grill:

With this one, from a Fusion Sport:
I assessed the job prior to beginning. Crawling underneath the car, I was faced with a plastic cover underneath the bottom. No problem. Just take off some of the screws that hold the front bumper cover to the plastic piece and it should drop off......wrong!

Turns out there are 4 plastic rivets that hold the cover on. On top of that, you cannot reach the top clips that hold the grille on (#11) from underneath:

So, after bending that plastic cover back as far as I could, trying to reach the top clips, I tried to reach from the top, thinking I could remove the top chrome grille piece and reach it that way.....wrong again.

Turns out that there is no other way to install the lower grille other than removing the whole bumper cover!! For something that is so simple and for someone who considers themselves to be pretty handy, this is infuriating and a shot to my manhood.

With this particular job, there is more required to actually get to the job than there is to do the job itself. What that equates to for you is a bigger charge at the dealership, since you are basically left at their mercy. I called my local Ford dealership to see how much it would be to put in the grille....their answer, $120!!

In a time when money is tight for everyone, to be spending all this money for what was a simple job is disappointing. I understand with the ever changing fuel and safety standards that cars are cramming more and more into smaller packages, but they shouldn't be turning into jigsaw puzzles, where you can only make the pieces fit with tools available at a dealership.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to wrenching on my G-Body to reclaim my ego.

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