Giving A Super Duty The Royalty Treatment

Last month we started freshening up the nose of a 2006 Super Duty with the installation of a TrailReady prerunner front bumper. Now it’s time to complete our truck’s nose job by giving the truck the Royalty Core treatment.

­­­Royalty Core is a company known for producing bold accessories, from grilles to headache racks to custom emblems; if you want it to look mean, Royalty Core has you covered. The company specializes in grilles that incorporate LED light bars, adorning them with wire mesh, studs and other emblems that give the company’s products a unique and unmistakable look. Even better is that the grille inserts are customizable: you can choose from a variety of finishes for the surrounds, mesh, and even the studs. The built-in LED light bar is manufactured by Vision X, a company known for producing  high-quality, durable components. The light bar sits on adjustable mounts, so it can be properly aimed to compensate for the truck’s lift height.

1 We decided to take a two-pronged approach to our truck’s new nose. The first was the TrailReady bumper, installation of which was covered in our last issue (Diesel World, December 2014). The second is a Royalty Core RC1X Incredible LED grille. This three-piece insert includes a gloss black mesh grille surround with nickel-plated stud accents around all three pieces. The center portion includes a 22-inch Vision X LED light bar on adjustable mounts with an included wiring kit. The grille feels solid and well constructed, with TIG welding and stainless steel mounting hardware.
2 Just like last month’s bumper installation, Brett Corder of 4Wheel Parts Wholesaler is fitting the grille to our F-250. He starts by unbolting the stock grille, which is held in place with four small bolts along the top and retaining clips along the bottom. The grille must be removed with care, as the shell will be re-used.
3 Here’s a closer look at the clips that hold the base of the grille in place. They’re stubborn but they should pop out with a little pressure. Corder’s method is to pull the upper portion of the grille out and then use a long pry bar behind the grille to “help” the clips out of their homes in the core support.
4 From the back, it’s easy to see that the grille shell and the egg-crate insert are actually two separate pieces. They’re held together by about two dozen retaining clips, which were clearly designed for easy assembly with absolutely no thought given to how they might come apart in the future.
5 Corder uses a large screwdriver to work each side of the retaining clips loose. The trick is to keep the grille shell and the insert separated, otherwise they will snap themselves back together. Patience is key. Both the shell and the insert will be re-used, so it’s important not to damage them.
6 With the grille pieces separated, it’s time to break out the cutting tools and do some trimming. For this installation, the two center slats must be removed from the grille shell. Corder applies masking tape to protect the paint, then uses a small body saw to do the necessary trimming. A hacksaw could also be used, though the cut won’t be as quick or as clean. The shell is too thick to cut with a sharp knife.
7 The slats should be cut so they are nearly even with the sides of the shell. After cutting with the body saw, Corder uses a small sanding disc to smooth things out. The cut area will be covered up with the Royalty Core insert, but proper trimming makes for a better fit.
8 This is what the grille shell looks like once trimming is complete.
9 The next step is to remove the center section of the insert. The Royalty Core instructions weren’t 100 percent clear on how much to remove, so Corder chose to be conservative. You can always trim more, but it’s hard to put material back once it’s gone. He starts by cutting the entire egg crate out of the insert. Once again, a body saw makes short work of the plastic grille.

Since we were working with a white truck and adding a black bumper, we chose Royalty Core’s RC1X Incredible grille with a gloss black surround and matching wire mesh. To break up the black, we went with chrome for the studs that are mounted around the perimeter of all three grille inserts. Satin black and chrome were also options, but ultimately we thought the gloss finish was a better choice for our truck.

Just like the bumper install, 4Wheel Parts Wholesalers handled the grille installation for our project. Though there was quite a bit of trimming involved, the end result was well worth the effort, giving the truck a unique and aggressive look. The LED light bar is a handy addition for lighting up those early morning hunting trails, and the entire upgrade was far less expensive than the hefty price tag associated with buying a brand new truck. DW

10 With the trimming completed, Corder snapped the two grille pieces back together to test-fit the Royalty Core insert. While the first attempt was promising, it was clear there was some additional trimming to be done. We also discovered that the mounting studs for the LED light bar kept the insert from seating properly in the shell, so Corder trimmed the excess length of the studs to fit.
11 As it turns out, the key to properly fitting the Royalty Core piece is to trim the factory insert so that there’s a 1-inch lip all the way around the inside perimeter of the shell. This is one area where we would have appreciated a little more detail than what was given in the instructions. Every grille insert manufacturer does things differently, and it’s important not to cut too much from the factory components. Remember what we said earlier: it’s easy to cut more material, but hard to put it back!
12 After more trimming and test fitting, it was time to attach the grille insert to the shell. Royalty Core includes stainless steel tabs and hardware that hook the grille to the factory insert. We would strongly recommend doing this by hand rather than using power tools, as it’s easy to snap the stainless hardware with excessive pressure. Corder is using a power driver; note that he has the clutch at its lightest setting.
13 In addition to the tabs, the insert attaches to the factory shell using screws and metal tabs that are supplied with the kit. The Royalty Core insert is surprisingly heavy, and using all of the available attachment hardware helps ensure that it stays secure.
14 Practice makes perfect; once the center insert was in place, the two outer inserts were a piece of cake. As with the center section, most of the outer factory insert must be cut away with the exception of a small lip around the perimeter. The side inserts are secured using the same method as the center, but note the additional trimming to the factory shell that was required for the stainless steel mounting tabs.
15 It took some work, but the finished insert is worth the effort. Not only does it look mean, but there’s a 22-inch LED light bar built right into the grille!
16 Once assembly is complete, reinstalling the grille assembly is a simple matter. The grille can be installed with the factory bumper in place, but removing it will make the job much easier. If you have an aftermarket bumper, removal will most likely be mandatory.
17 The Incredible RC1X grille includes a simple wiring harness to wire up the LED light bar. Though it looks a bit jumbled up here, installation was a simple matter of routing the wiring into the cab and hooking it up to a power source. Wiring installation took about 15 minutes.
18 A quick check verifies that the Vision X light bar is working and also gives us a glimpse of what the truck will look like after dark with the light bar on. Our installation is wired so that the light bar can only be switched on with the headlights.

19A & 19B As you can see from these before and after shots, the finished product completely transforms the look of the truck. The Royalty Core grille and TrailReady bumper make a great pair and give the nose of the truck a strong, aggressive look. And the modifications are functional—the heavy-duty bumper won’t succumb to parking lot dings, and the lights on the grille turn night into day. Not bad for about four hours of work!

4Wheel Parts

Royalty Core



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