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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

In my effort to reduce temps while towing, Ive found several posts on here where folks have recommended replacing the stock grill inserts with less restrictive models. I have a 2017 Big Horn edition, can someone point me in the right direction as to which model and year would be a compatible replacement?

Thanks to everyone, much appreciated.

~Tim
 

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I have a 2014 Laramie and swapped to Tradesman grills. I would expect that 14-17 grills will fit your truck. The Tradesman grill flows a lot more air then my Laramie grill did. My towing temps dropped 2-3deg, which doesn't seem like a helova lot, but was just enough that since then it's definately more rare that I slow down during summer tows due to temp. So for me it was full of win.
 

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I think the Tradesman grille insert is the black mesh if you want better cooling without the chrome.

I switched my Laramie grille inserts out for some from a Laramie Longhorn. Kept the chrome and increased airflow by going with the mesh.
 

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Hi all,

In my effort to reduce temps while towing, Ive found several posts on here where folks have recommended replacing the stock grill inserts with less restrictive models. I have a 2017 Big Horn edition, can someone point me in the right direction as to which model and year would be a compatible replacement?

Thanks to everyone, much appreciated.

~Tim
Timsdca:

I just did this swap this summer before pulling our trailer to Ohio from Northern Michigan. My 2014 ran 10F cooler on engine oil and coolant temperatures. I'll post something up in the towing sub-forum in the coming days. I have data. I swapped in Tradesmen honey comb grille inserts from a nice fellow on the forum. He had a set from repairs from an accident. The inserts look was undamaged but the body shop replaces the whole grille ... shell and inserts ... even though the inserts are removable.

Any grille from 2014 to 2017 will work (and probably the 2018) except for the Ram classic models ... don't know about them.

As for where to get them. Online there are a lot of "inserts" but they are really just overlays. On E-bay you might find a whole grille or inserts but they tend to charge near the price of a new grille. You could to all gun ho and replace the whole grille with a new design. Don't go to the dealer. My dealer parts guy told me they have to order the whole grille (inserts and shell) and he didn't believe that the inserts could be removed. I didn't have the heart (or temperament) to tell him he was blowing smoke. It's a pain but it is doable. Price from dealer is over $300 and probably approaching $400. And that is if they don't try to screw you something special. If you live near junk yards you might be able to find one off a crash wreck that didn't ruin the front. Remember it doesn't have to be an EcoDiesel. Just a 2014-17 Ram 1500.

Edit: A junk yard site: Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Timsdca:

I just did this swap this summer before pulling our trailer to Ohio from Northern Michigan. My 2014 ran 10F cooler on engine oil and coolant temperatures. I'll post something up in the towing sub-forum in the coming days. I have data. I swapped in Tradesmen honey comb grille inserts from a nice fellow on the forum. He had a set from repairs from an accident. The inserts look was undamaged but the body shop replaces the whole grille ... shell and inserts ... even though the inserts are removable.

Any grille from 2014 to 2017 will work (and probably the 2018) except for the Ram classic models ... don't know about them.

As for where to get them. Online there are a lot of "inserts" but they are really just overlays. On E-bay you might find a whole grille or inserts but they tend to charge near the price of a new grille. You could to all gun ho and replace the whole grille with a new design. Don't go to the dealer. My dealer parts guy told me they have to order the whole grille (inserts and shell) and he didn't believe that the inserts could be removed. I didn't have the heart (or temperament) to tell him he was blowing smoke. It's a pain but it is doable. Price from dealer is over $300 and probably approaching $400. And that is if they don't try to screw you something special. If you live near junk yards you might be able to find one off a crash wreck that didn't ruin the front. Remember it doesn't have to be an EcoDiesel. Just a 2014-17 Ram 1500.

Edit: A junk yard site: Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market

Good luck.
Thanks for the info, much appreciated. I'm glad to hear it too, as that's exactly what I ordered for mine - The Tradesman Honeycomb inserts which I was able to find on Amazon. Mine showed up last night, so I'm hoping to do the swap this weekend. I've watched a couple videos on YouTube, looked like a relatively easy job.....I hope.

I'll post some before/after pics for anyone interested and followup with towing data and temp changes after I've had a chance to make a run with them.

Thanks again,

~Tim
 

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Well done. The only trouble I had was popping out the inserts as there is several "tabs" that have to be popped nearly simultaneously. Well, okay, you have to get several free then the rest almost fall out on the way. Also, there are air deflects in in the way. Remove them right away. I made the mistake of trying to pop out the inserts with them in place. Big mistake. I ended up removing them ... not too bad.
 

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In one of the videos I watched, the guy used a heat gun to warm up those tabs and it looked like it made a huge difference in getting them free and less chance of breaking one off. I'm going to use that approach and hope for the best.

You didn't permanently remove the air deflectors, did you? I've read/heard arguments on both sides of doing so, but I'm convinced they're there for a reason. Wondering which direction you decided to go on that front....
 

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In one of the videos I watched, the guy used a heat gun to warm up those tabs and it looked like it made a huge difference in getting them free and less chance of breaking one off. I'm going to use that approach and hope for the best.

You didn't permanently remove the air deflectors, did you? I've read/heard arguments on both sides of doing so, but I'm convinced they're there for a reason. Wondering which direction you decided to go on that front....
Nope. I put them back on.
 

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Got my brand new Laramie Longhorn grille inserts on Amazon, then sold my Laramie inserts for close to what I paid for the new ones. Be careful when using heat on plastic. I didn't use heat and broke no tabs.
 

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Got my brand new Laramie Longhorn grille inserts on Amazon, then sold my Laramie inserts for close to what I paid for the new ones. Be careful when using heat on plastic. I didn't use heat and broke no tabs.
Could you post a link to the inserts on amazon? Having trouble finding the listing...
 

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Could you post a link to the inserts on amazon? Having trouble finding the listing...
Here's a link to the ones I ordered, unfortunately they're now showing as unavailable. Quirk Autoparts was the seller, I'll bet they'll have them back in stock shortly. When I ordered mine, there were only 2 showing in stock. They went on very easy, factory parts that shipped in an OEM Mopar box. Definitely the real deal.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FMK2E5Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Good luck,

~Tim
 

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What temps are you guys hitting?

I just towed my 4500lb camper this weekend and was seeing EOT/235 and ECT/220 on flat ground doing ~60mph. That was with tow/haul mode engaged. I know these can run "hot" when towing and that is expected, and I think these numbers are inline? Daily driving I'm EOT/210 and ECT/203. Would ditching the Laramie grill inserts really make a difference? I'm not going to bother if it's only 2-3 degrees.
 

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I swapped out my Bighorn inserts this spring after my experiences from 2018 towing. We have a 22 foot long, 5800 lb GVWR travel trailer. We went to a state park over memorial weekend in the UP of Michigan. About a 2 hour drive. It was cool weekend and I had the old inserts. I then swapped them out just before our big trip to Ohio and southern Michigan. Here are a few comparison plots of the temperature data I recorded with Torque Pro.

Just as a note ... I've seen oil temperatures in the 265F range and coolant approaching 235F when towing in 85-90F outside temps. I was not at all pleased summer of 2018 and informed both FCA and my dealership of my opinion.

Engine Coolant temperatures are reduced. Engine oil temperatures are reduced. Red points are before the change of inserts and blue points after the change of inserts. There is one more wildcard ... I had the AEM performed during the time period between trips.

Engine coolant temperature comparison

Engine oil temperature comparison


Ambient temperatures were different as well. It was warmer for the later trip with the better grille inserts. Blue is the data from the later trip (late June) and green from the early trip (Memorial weekend).

Ambient temperature comparison

I have a lot more data from our summer travels to Ohio and back. I'm still working on a long write-up and short summary.
 

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That is a convincing difference in temps!
I agree. Just for reference, when driving without a load on the truck for long distances the engine coolant and oil run about 210F. The oil will rise to about 215F when climbing hills in lower gears.
 

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Is the Big Horn grill the pig-nose grill?

And, anyone try the Rebel knock off grill? Finding just inserts is about impossible right now but wondering if the Rebel knock off, while being mesh style, is still restrictive since there is a lot of solid mass in the middle of it.
 
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