Guest Blog Submission By: Rigid Nation Member Sean Bonchonsky
I’m sure the UPS driver knew something was up when he approached the driveway and saw the grown man jumping up and down behind the window. As he dropped off the large package, it was difficult to maintain my composure as I tried to get the box in the door while simultaneously opening up the box. As I laid claim to my pride and joy, a Rigid Grille with 30” RDS LED light, I could tell that Rigid didn’t over-think this product and designed it in a way to meet both form AND function. The mounting points on the grille matched up perfectly with the existing hardware already designed and tested by my OEM manufacture. Though the grille itself is considered an aftermarket accessory, it has been designed to complement stock hardware and integrates seamlessly.
For Dodge Ram 1500’s, you will have to cut your stock grille to use the painted or chrome surround to house the grille. In this aspect, I am no professional when it comes to modifying or wiring complex projects, however the install was very smooth during the entire process. A quick jump on YouTube and I was able to find several videos that put me at ease at how the painted surround needed to be cut to house the grille.
Once the cuts are made, the only other modification needed to the surround will be to drill holes to secure the grille to the surround. Rigid has welded 18 metal tabs around the grille so that you can attach the grille to the surround using a screw and bolt. Once attached, the grille is not going to go anywhere…. The truck is more susceptible to being picked up and thrown around during a tornado then the idea of this grille coming off for any reason.
At this point you will attach the 30” RDS LED light bar to the two welded tabs already positioned inside the grille. Mount the light with the wire/plug on the left side or driver’s side of the grille. It will be much easier to run the wiring this way. This option makes the exterior as clean and smooth as possible. No one will steal your prized LED bar without first cutting it out of the grille or ripping the entire grille out of the truck. The light bar fits snug against the mounting tabs with no wiggle room or play that you may encounter with inferior brand products. Tighten the bolts snug into the mounting bracket, however leave them loose enough to adjust the light once installed in the truck. At this point you’re ready to wire the truck. A 1” hole through the firewall is needed. This process could not be any easier as Dodge already has the area marked for access into the cab via a black plastic “cover” over the area you will need to drill. Once drilled, run the wire for the switch into the cab and mount the switch in your desired location. A supplied gasket can be used to cover the 1” hole drilled into the firewall and eliminates having a large hole into the cab of the truck. The rest of the wiring harness is easy. You have a Relay that you can simply zip tie out of the way and in an area for easy access later on, a positive and negative post that will need to be connected directly to the battery and finally the plug that you will run directly to the RDS light bar. Run the wires as you wish, keeping them tucked against the side of the truck and feel free to use several zip ties to secure the wiring. (4) plastic tabs will “click” into place- 2 on the passenger side and 2 on the driver’s side to hold the new grille in place. Connect the plugs from the light bar and wire harness and turn your light on. At this point you can adjust the light up or down until you have aimed the light to your preferences. Simply turn the light off, unplug the wiring and unsnap your plastic tabs from the sides of the truck. Tighten the (2) bolts on either side of the light and then reconnect your wiring. I took this time to add a few more zip ties just to keep the wire harness out of the way and sight from those looking into the grille. Snap the plastic tabs back into place, re-secure the (4) screws that hold the grille onto the truck frame and replace your plastic radiator cover to finish the install. At this point, I recommend grabbing your favorite beverage and grabbing a sturdy chair. Turn your 30” RDS LED Light bar back on and simply sit back and enjoy the endless light that radiates from the LED bar. Take note that there is VERY little heat that comes from the bar unlike halogen and/or HID counterparts made by very reputable competitors.
I added a few extra touches by painting all of the metal bolts black around the outside of the grille. This is another simple process. Simply unbolt all of the screws and paint whatever color you desire. I also took the Ram head out of my stock grille and painted it black as well. After drying, I put all the bolts back in with no issues and attached the Ram head with heavy duty outdoor double-sided tape.
I cannot tell you how impressed I am by Rigid products. They designed a superior product without overthinking or overdesigning the grille. It has everything it needs and nothing it doesn’t. Though it isn’t cheap, it was worth every penny. This is one of the few products I can say that I know will still look just as good 10 years from now as the day I bought it. This is an easy mod to make that ANYONE can accomplish with a little bit of time and planning. For the novice it will take roughly 2-4 hours depending on how long it takes to mark off and make the cuts needed to your OEM grille. For those more familiar with mods, I can see it only taking 1-2 hours at most.
For a more detailed installation process and step by step how I completed this Grille install please visit my post on RAMFormz.com.
Thank you again Rigid Industries for providing products that look just as good as they function. Here’s to lighting the dark roads that others are too timid to tackle!!!