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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!

I was at my local Honda dealer today, hammering down the final number for my 2021 RTL-E, which the dealer was finally invoiced for. The vehicle is supposed to arrive by late this week, or early next week, and we were finalizing options, and pricing.

My question is this -- I would like to replace the chrome "grill garnish," at the top of the grill, with a black one (as is included on the Sport, and the Black Edition). However, when I checked to see if this were "do-able," with the parts department, they said they were not sure. Reason being, the Sport, the RTL-E, and the Black Edition have different part numbers for the grill itself. And so, whether or not a "Sport/Black edition" grill garnish would "fit" on an RTL-E (i.e. whether the mounting holes are the same) is the question. The parts department could not confirm that despite the different model numbers for the grills, that the mount holes on all of the grills are the same (such that the chrome OR the black "garnish" could be installed). If they ARE the same, then I can simply order the black garnish, and presumably remove the chrome one and install the black one myself (I assume it's not difficult).

Can anyone confirm that EITHER garnish can be mounted on the RTL-E? My guess is that the only reason the grills have different model numbers, is because the "Sport" grill includes the "SPORT" emblem on it, the "Black Edition" grill has the "BLACK EDITION" emblem, and the RTL-E has NO emblem. Otherwise my guess is that the grills are the same, and the black "garnish" should install properly onto the RTL-E grill (or vice versa, the chrome RTL-E garnish would install onto the Sport or Black grill)...

Thanks!

Steve
 

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When you replace the “standard” grill with the HPD variant, the existing garish is reused. And because there is only version of the HPD grill, you can rest assured that a single garnish is compatible across all grill variants.


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Discussion Starter #4
LateApex -- interesting; I didn't know that, but if that's true for 2021, then that would answer the question definitively.

GhostYK1 -- perhaps so; I've considered it. I don't know how much vinyl wrap is, how hard it is to install and make it look "professional," and how durable it is...and I don't know yet how expensive the black grill garnish is. I'm going to check Bernardi tomorrow. Does anyone know the other Honda parts place that many people talk about here, besides Bernardi?

Thanks!

Steve
 

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You could save the money and vinyl wrap it.
That's what I would do.

The grill garnish mount pins on my '17 RTS failed very early into the trucks life. I recall a very strange discussions between the parts guys and the service advisor when getting this fixed under warranty. If I recall correctly, they had to order an entire grill assembly to get the garnish. They could not order the garnish separately. That was 4 years ago, maybe circumstances are different now.
 

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Steve.... my E showed up at the dealer today. I take delivery on Thursday. I’m having my chrome “brow” vinyl wrapped on Monday. Despite having ordered an HPD grill, I never thought to order a black brow. I’m interested to know what they’re priced at


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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Roger -- thanks for that info. Yes, if the situation is still the same now, then I will certainly consider the vinyl. How hard is it to do, to have it look good, and how durable is it? Is there a particular brand that anyone would recommend?

I LIKE to think that ordering just the garnish would be possible. The guy at the dealership's parts department gave me a part number for the black garnish...so hopefully if it could not be ordered, he would have told me...

LateApex -- where do you have a vinyl wrap done at? Meanwhile, I'll speak with Bernardi (and the other place, if I can remember the name), and see what they tell me. I'll report back, with whatever I find out about pricing and availability.

EDIT -- oh, CONGRATS, LateApex, on your new E. Let me know what you think, when you get it.

Mine is coming pre-installed with the "function" package (in-bed trunk dividers, cargo nets, first aid kit), and the "utility" package (roof rails, crossbars, running boards), which I did not know, but I'm OK with that. I was going to add a few of those items anyway. I also added the door edge film, door handle film, black lug nuts, side welcome lights, and "all-season protection package 1" (front and rear splash guards, all-season mats, and cargo tray). I REALLY wanted to add the black wheels, but couldn't justify $2300 installed... I LOVE those wheels, though...

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #9
mbertolero -- I think we discussed this a bit before. Is "auto-flex" something that can be DIY, with good results? There are no "installers" in my state...

Steve
 

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Roger -- thanks for that info. Yes, if the situation is still the same now, then I will certainly consider the vinyl. How hard is it to do, to have it look good, and how durable is it? Is there a particular brand that anyone would recommend?
Vinyl graphics film is very durable and chip resistant. I've worked around commercial tour buses for 35 years where it's used for striping & lettering on nose caps. It's the same basic type of film as the clear bra. I put clear bra on the forward hoods on all my vehicles to stop the stone chipping & corrosion.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
RogersRTS -- thanks for the additional info. Can someone with no experience working with it, do a good job?

Steve
 

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I just used craftables vinyl on my hockey mask for the first time this past fall. It stands up well to pucks, water, snow and ice. The vinyl wrap was fairly easy to install. There are DIY vids on Youtube that are very easy to follow. Cut it to the size you want, wet the surface, peal and stick, move it around until you get it to were you want it, squeegee out any air bubbles and water then and let it dry. Then if you need to trim any excess off it's really easy to remove with a razor blade, sharp knife.

$12 for a 1' x 12' roll of gloss black, looks exactly like paint.

This was the results after the first attempt. There are a few creases and overlaps. Figured it was good enough for this season.


by GhostYK1, on Flickr
 

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RogersRTS -- thanks for the additional info. Can someone with no experience working with it, do a good job?

Steve
Yes. It "floats" into place on water-alcohol mix and stretches. Just needs to be warm to works the materials. Some installers use a hairdryer or heat gun. I wouldn't do it under 80 F as it's too difficult to stretch the materials. And if you screw it up, peel it off and try again.

A side story when I installed a clear bra kit on my '17 Ridgeline. I had the large hood section in place but not secured when a really bad gust of wind lifted the film and turned it into a wadded-up ball of tape. Once I stopped screaming obscenities, was able to use the soap spray bottle to unwind the ball and install the film as if nothing bad happened. It still turned out fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
GhostYK1 -- I LOVE the goalie mask! You did a great job, and it standing up to pucks hitting the mask is a good testimonial for the product you used!

RogersRTS -- LOL, that's a great story!

So -- you would install it first, and then "trim" it, afterward (instead of trying to cut the perfect shape beforehand?)
 

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GhostYK1 -- I LOVE the goalie mask! You did a great job, and it standing up to pucks hitting the mask is a good testimonial for the product you used!
Thanks, it is flexable so it rebounds very well against impacts. Unlike a lot of spray/roll on applications that I have used on trim where they have chipped and shown the chrome under the coating. PITA having to remove it and coat it again. I feel as though vinyl would be a lot easier to install and remove if this were to happen. That is defietly the way I will be going now that I know how versatile wrap is.

So -- you would install it first, and then "trim" it, afterward (instead of trying to cut the perfect shape beforehand?)
If you have access to get to all the edges around the garnish with an exacto knife/blade. I would cut it to the general size and shape and then trim it after install. If you have the ability to remove the trim/garnish that would be even better.
 

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GhostYK1 -- I LOVE the goalie mask! You did a great job, and it standing up to pucks hitting the mask is a good testimonial for the product you used!

RogersRTS -- LOL, that's a great story!

So -- you would install it first, and then "trim" it, afterward (instead of trying to cut the perfect shape beforehand?)
On a grill, I would cut/trim afterwards. The film will stretch and would be difficult to pre-cut for long narrow sections. Just check around for the install tool, looks like extremely stiff rubber bondo spreader.

Also get 2 spray bottles, 1 for 50-50 mix of isopropyl rubbing alcohol and water, 2nd for clean water with a drop of liquid dish wash. Sometimes the soap solution works easier to stretch the materials. Place the film on the wet surface, use the rubber tool to force the fluid out from behind starting in the middle.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If you have access to get to all the edges around the garnish with an exacto knife/blade. I would cut it to the general size and shape and then trim it after install. If you have the ability to remove the trim/garnish that would be even better.
Got it, thanks. Makes sense. I'll see what the replacement part will cost from Honda, and then go from there. I was thinking, if I can find the vinyl in a "black carbon fiber" pattern, that might look good, for that garnish...not sure. Just a thought.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Rogers -- great info, thank you very much for your insight.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #20
eurban -- do you mean, Bernardi won't be able to help? I was able to get the part number, and a printout of the "exploded diagram" of the grill, from the parts department at my dealer, but that doesn't mean that the parts are available yet...

Steve
 
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