2014-2018 Silverado 1500 Black Horse Off Road Grille Guard – Stainless Steel Review & Install


Black Horse Off Road Grille Guard is a great
choice for the guys who are looking to add some serious front-end protection to their
2014 to 2018 Silverado. This is a perfect option for extreme off-roading
or those who are just looking for that aggressive beefed up look that a guard like this offers. Now, it’s got a very flashy chrome finish,
lots of coverage up front and mounting possibilities for additional add-ons like lighting. The installation for this big guy is going
to be pretty straightforward, no drilling or cutting really required, so I’m giving
it one out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter. Now, it’s pretty big and heavy, so having
a helping hand on deck is definitely a good idea. There are quite a few brush guards and grille
guard options floating around the aftermarket but not all of them are actually suitable
for off-road use. Some aren’t built to withstand the impact
but this one absolutely is. The bars cover the entire front end including
the headlights with the extended bars with center lens protection. Now, the lower bars and upper bars provide
extra support but also make for a good opportunity for mounting lighting or winch add-ons given
some added modification. This is made from a one and a half inch tubular
heavy-duty steel construction with that chrome or stainless steel finish, blending in really
nicely with the chrome on the front of the truck. Now, the extended headlights are one of my
favorite parts personally but if you’re not into that middle grille look here, with those
headlights, you can completely remove this portion thanks to that modular design which
is very easy. There are pre-drilled holes right here in
the center for additional add-ons like cube lights. You won’t have to worry about drilling into
the actual brush guard yourself if you want to add them in the future. Obviously, this type of brush guard is extremely
beneficial in the fight against off-road or worksite hazards, as well as parking lot shopping
carts, but it also gears toward those who really want that front end badass look. A hefty front guard like this really brings
out the aggression in your truck and with the chrome finish, it’s really gonna catch
some eyes. Now, this is a little more of a serious protector
from Black Horse but it is still one of the more budget-friendly options in the category
coming in right around the $350 mark. To me, that’s a steal. It’s got everything you need in a brush guard,
covering from the bottom bumper to the top of your grille and you’ve got headlight coverage
with detachable wings, and obviously some opportunities for lighting in the future. Now, the installation isn’t too hard at all
for this option. You’re gonna want to have a simple ratchet
and socket set with some extensions on deck and definitely the help of at least one friend
since it is pretty heavy while you do the wrench work. It’ll take about two hours from start to finish
and it’s getting one out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter. Now, we pulled my own 2016 Silverado LT into
the shop, so let’s head over to see how we got this done. Now, in order to get our modular brush guard
installed on my own 2016 Silverado, there are a couple preliminary steps we have to
take. The first of which includes removing our factory
tow hooks. Obviously, if your truck did not come with
factory tow hooks off the line from Chevy, you can completely skip this step. In order to remove those tow hooks, there’s
a couple of things we need to do. There are also different methods to take to
remove tow hooks. Some people do find it easier to remove the
bumper and the upper grille. That’s what we’re gonna do today because we
do find it to be a little more necessary. If you think you don’t need to do that and
you can remove the tow hooks on your own without removing the bumper, feel free to do so but
to make our lives a little bit easier, we’re gonna go ahead and do that. So in order to start off, we’re going to pop
this hood, remove the radiator shroud and get to work removing our grille. All right. We’re gonna use a panel removal tool. There are about 11 or 12 pushpin clips holding
on our shroud. So what we’re gonna do is kind of just put
these under these clips and pry those things off. Since they are the plunger style pushpin clips,
they have a two-step process. So you’ll put your panel removal tool underneath
that top portion and pull that up like a plunger, and that’ll actually help you remove the entire
pushpin clip and you can pull that straight back. Once those pushpins are off, you can just
lift this radiator shroud up and set it aside. Once the top radiator shroud comes off, we’re
gonna have to start removing the bolts holding on our factory upper grille, you’re gonna
grab a 10-millimeter socket and a ratchet. There are four bolts right up the top here
underneath that shroud, so let’s get to work on those. Once the four top bolts are out of your factory
upper grille, it’s just a matter of using gentle but firm pressure. Now, you definitely don’t wanna break any
of these push pin clips that are along here. You’re gonna have one across the top on each
side under those bolts, and then you have a couple of pushpin pressure clips, two on
the right side, two in the middle, two on the left. So what you’ll do is start from the top here
and pull up and out toward yourself a little bit, making sure you’re not breaking any plastic
clips and these pressure things should pop right out as well. Down here, you’re actually gonna put a little
pressure on the bottom of the grille and pull straight back, and the grille will come off. It is just a bunch of pressure clips so again
it will feel like it’s stuck on, but put a little firm pressure on there and you’ll pull
it right off. Once the upper grille is removed, there are
a total of six bolts holding the bumper on it that’ll allow you to pull it off from there. Four of those bolts are up top here, two are
gonna be underneath. Now, the four up here are gonna be 17-millimeter
bolts so have your 17-mil socket handy and your ratchet, which we’ve got here. You’re gonna remove your 17 mils on both sides. There’s one right up top and then one on the
inside of the bracket, same thing for the opposite side. They’re super easy to get to. Obviously, this one you don’t really need
an extension, but the inside one it would be helpful to have one on deck. Once those are removed, you go underneath
this splitter and there’s gonna be one 15-millimeter socket on the inside here holding on to a
bar, same thing for the opposite side. We’re gonna tackle the ones underneath first
so that these will support the bracket and it doesn’t fall on your face. From there, we’ll come up here and remove
the 17 mils and pull the bumper right off. Now when you’re removing these 15-millimeter
bolts underneath here, you’ll notice that there is this long bar. This side has the one bolt, the other side
has two. We find that you don’t need to remove those
two if you just get this one on the right side. Once this comes off, this is really what’s
holding the bumper to that bracket or that bar. So with this one bolt out of the way, you
won’t have to worry about doing any extra work. And we can finish that off by hand. Once you have those 15 mils underneath taken
care of, just break loose these 17s up top. They are torqued down from the factory so
they are really tight, so you might want to just put a little elbow grease into it, you’ll
break these things loose and then you should be able to grab them out by hand. We’re gonna do the two up top first and then
I’m gonna grab an extension and get the ones down low. All right. with the top ones out of play, we can grab
a little bit of a longer extension to make our life a little easier, strapped it on to
a ratchet, still using the 17-mil. We’re gonna go a little bit deeper. This one again is facing directly up toward
you so it’s a little easier to get to. You’re just gonna want to break that one loose. For this last 17-millimeter, this is the last
one holding on your front bumper. So once this comes off, your bumper is most
likely going to drop off of the frame. Since I’m working by myself here, I’m gonna
keep a knee on it so that it just stays up on these brackets once the last bolt is out. If you have a helping hand, make sure they’re
just holding onto the bumper so it doesn’t fall. But once this bumper bracket bolt comes out,
the bumper will be free to come off. With that bold out, set the ratchet aside. Come up to the middle of the bumper, just
kind of slowly feed it off of your frame and set it aside. With the bumper out of place, we’re just going
to remove the tow hooks on our front end. Now, each tow hook, one for the driver, one
for the passenger side. They’re both held on by two bolts. One bolt goes all the way through that frame
and is held on by a nut on the other side, the other bolt stops midway through and you’ll
see that when we start wrenching. Now, I’m going to use my 18-millimeter socket
on the one side with an extension, the other side for the bolt that goes all the way through. We’re just going to hold on to that nut with
a wrench just to make our lives easier. So I’m gonna start down here on that front
bolt, we can wrench that off and get things going. Feed that nut off of there, and we’ll be able
to pull that bolt out from the other side. Now, it looks like the socket is actually
stuck on there. There’s not a lot of room at the top of this
bracket here, so we might have to bang that out from the other side. There we go. So now that we got that nut off the other
side, this bolt is actually being held on by this bracket. There’s not a lot of clearance here, not enough
clearance at least to get this bolt through as you can see. So what we’re gonna have to do is remove the
three bolts here on this faceplate, pull that off in order to get this back bolt through
because there’s just not enough room to work with here to get this bolt out. So let’s get these off, faceplate off, we’ll
pull the bolt out, remove the rest of the tow hook and then we’re gonna put this plate
back on. Now, with this bracket off, we can actually
switch back over to our 18-mil, pull that bolt all the way through. We have one more bolt holding this tow hook
on. This one does not go all the way through so
we don’t need our second wrench. What we’ll do is just put our 18-mil on there,
get this bolt out and this tow hook will slide right out. So now that we’ve got this front-facing plate
off on the other side, we’re just going to remove everything we need to for this tow
hook on this side and we’re switching over to power tools just to make our lives a little
easier. Your hand starts to get tired after a while
just wrenching the same couple of bolts over and over. So we’re still using our 15-millimeter socket
here. We’re just gonna back out these 15 mils. Once that last bolt comes out, you just want
to make sure you’re there to catch this faceplate so it doesn’t fall off on you. With that out of the way, we can finish up
with these two bolts holding our tow hooks on, get that out of the way and we’ll put
the plates back on. Take our wrench back out here for this side. Hold onto your tow hook when you’re taking
out that last bolt because that will be another thing that kind of falls out on you and you
can just slide right out when you’re done with that. Now that we got our tow hooks out, we’re ready
to install the brackets and mounting gear and hardware to get our brush guard installed. Now, we’re gonna start here on the driver’s
side where the tow hook used to be. We’re going to use those factory mounting
locations and for each side, you’re going to need the tow hook bracket here, you’re
gonna need this single bolt and we have another double bolt that we’re going to use to go
through you know, the double side and the single side. Along with that, you’ll need three of the
18-millimeter nuts included it in the kit as well as the spacers. Now, all the hardware you need is in the kit,
you’re not reusing any factory bolts or any factory nuts or hardware. So now that we have everything set up here,
what I’m going to do is take this driver’s side bracket, slide it into place and you’ll
line up these two bolts all in the pre-cut holes. We’re going to use our double-sided bolt here
and it’s going to go from the inside and you’re gonna feed that through. With that through, take one of our spacers,
throw that on, take our nut and just feed that by hand. We’re just gonna tighten them down by hand
just so we have everything into place and then we’ll take our 18-millimeter socket,
tighten them up. Again, spacer, 18 nut, down by hand. Same thing for that single bolt side. So you’ll notice that with each one of these
bracket bolts, the bolt is favoring one side, it has a little bit of excess on the other. That side is going to be facing the inside
of the vehicle. So if you put it in this way, that excess
is going to be a little bit in the way with the brackets, so we’re gonna face that toward
the inside of the vehicle. Now, we’re gonna take that, we’re gonna put
this into place through that factory hole. Again, spacer and nut, these are on first,
18-millimeter nut, tightened by hand. Now that we got this into place, we know that
this is good and ready. We’re going to take our 18-millimeter socket,
tighten things up. All right. Now we’re moving on to the passenger side,
exact same thing. We’re gonna take our bracket, double holes,
line those holes up. I’m gonna take our double bolted bracket and
put this through those holes. Same thing here, spacer, nut. And the same thing for the single bolt. Tighten down my hand, everything is centered,
straight. Gonna take our 18 socket, tighten things up. With the brackets in place, we can actually
start putting our factory parts back together starting with the faceplate and we’ll move
on to the lower bumper and the upper grille. The only reason we had to take those off in
the first place was to remove our factory tow hooks just to gain access to those bolts
and install our new brackets. All that’s taken care of so I’m going to start
by putting this faceplate back on to our passenger side with these three bolts here and then
we’ll continue from there. Grab our 15-millimeter socket again. Next step here, we’re gonna get our factory
bumper back onto the frame. Now, it is a little bit on the heavy side,
it’s not impossible to do by yourself. I’m gonna lone-wolf it today just to show
you guys that it is possible here. You’re just gonna muscle it onto the frame
here, make sure the bolts are lined up to the pre-drilled holes in the bumper itself. There’s four bolts here on the front end if
you remember the same spots we took them off earlier. One up here on each side and then one down
below. Now, I’m going to put this thing back up,
put those four bolts into place and then we’ve got two more one on each side underneath the
truck. Line these bolts up. Right into place there. All right, we’re gonna go with the bottom
bolt first. Again, it’s an 18-millimeter. I got the holes lined up and you can see where
it used to be, you can see the marks it left on that bracket. I’m gonna kind of use that as a reference
just to make sure it’s kind of the exact same way it was from the factory. I’m not gonna torque it down just yet, just
to make sure everything lines up properly, but you’re just gonna get it nice and snug
with your ratchet or your power tools. Same thing for this other side, bottom bracket
bolt. Feed that down there, nice and snug. Now, we can tackle those top ones. All right, last but not least, this top upper
bolt. Now, it looks like this bracket is just a
little bit off so we might have to muscle this back on a little bit just to get our
bolt in. Start muscling that thing on, it finds its
way. All right. With the bolts up top taken care of, we have
two more underneath if you remember they were across that bar. One in each corner, we’re going to head underneath
there and install those All right. So here is that plastic tab that I was just
speaking of since that is in the way and you slide this bracket in, it’s just gonna stop
you. So what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna take
a really sharp blade here and just slowly cut straight across. Little crooked so we’re gonna go over that
again, the other side. Now with that out of the way, we do have enough
room to slide our bracket in. What we’re gonna do is we’re gonna take our
pry bar and just very little bit slide this underneath. Once you have the nuts on the bottom side
over top of the splitter and you have it into place, you can use this curved portion to
line it up. These things will actually line up perfectly. So if you have these on top of each other,
the bolt holes are gonna be lined up perfectly with where you need them to be and you’ll
be able to feed your bolts through the top and tighten them down to the nuts underneath. Once your bracket is into place, you’ll have
three 8-millimeter bolts that already has a lock and a flat washer already on there. You’re gonna use your 8-millimeter wrench. Now, it is a tight spot in the back two bolts,
we’re gonna do the front one first just to keep the bracket in line so it’s not moving
around. I’m gonna feed that in and tighten that down
by hand. Just get it snug enough that you get a little
playroom but you know, you can still keep it in place. Next, we’ll feed these back to the next bolts. Now, this one’s gonna be tricky. You might have to use just a couple of fingers
to tighten it by hand at first just to get it into place. Once you get it in there, you just feed it
through by hand as best you can before you can get the ratchet in there just to get yourself
enough room. Next step in the process, we still have the
grille and the radiator shroud out of place. What we need access to is this crossbar right
here for these three additional pieces. Now, these pieces are labeled R and L for
each side of the truck. Right hand side is your passenger, left-hand
side as your driver. What’s gonna go first are these two black
brackets. Now, you have a squared off one in kind of
the plate system here. Now, this crossbar has a wiring harness bracket
already on it. We’re gonna use that as a reference. The squared off bracket is gonna go directly
on top of that crossbar and this S-shaped bracket is gonna go underneath and bolt through
it. So it’s gonna sandwich together like this
with that crossbar going in between. So we’re going to install that to this portion
and we’re gonna do the exact same thing for the other side. All right, putting these two brackets in place,
again they’re gonna sandwich. If you’re looking at it straight on, the squared
off bracket is on top, the plate is gonna go on to the bottom. Now, again these are labeled R and L, the
R is gonna be on the system there. These squared off brackets are good for either
side but the S shape, you want to have the R on the passenger side, L on the driver’s
side. So squared off bracket on top, plate on the
bottom. We’re gonna use our 6-millimeter bolt and
you want to take a lock washer, put that on first, flat washer goes on second. Put it through the top and try to line that
up with the hole there and just tighten it down by hand at first. Now when to tighten these down, you want to
make sure this bracket is as close to this wiring harness bracket as possible. That’s kind of the guiding source for where
you want to bolt this down. You’re gonna grab your 10-millimeter socket
and wrench this on. Now, you want to make sure where you’re tightening
this up is as close to that wiring harness bracket as possible because that’s where you
want it to be. And get that nice and snug, work on the other
side. All right. Next up, we’re gonna do the exact same thing
to the other side. We get our square bracket and the plate bracket
labeled L for the driver’s side. Now, because there is no wiring harness on
this bar, there really isn’t a reference point. So we’re gonna eyeball it the same as the
passenger side. It goes to about the dead center so what we’re
gonna do is kind of put the square bracket there, line up our plate bracket and hold
it into place, line up those holes, take our bolts here and bolt it down. So when you’re putting these bolts in, I would
suggest not tightening them down all the way just because if this position you have the
brackets in is not perfect and you need to make adjustments, they won’t be too tight
in order for you to do that. So we’re gonna tighten these down by hand,
give them a little snug pull on the ratchet but just enough to let us make adjustments
later if needed. Just so it’s snug so it doesn’t move but we
can still loosen that up pretty easily. So the next in line with the install is your
L brackets here for the upper portion of the brush guard. Now, when you’re installing these, you’ll
have to pop the upper grille off, slide the brackets through the opening in the grille,
line them up with the brackets we’ve previously installed and then bolt them down with an
extension through the top here. Now, once you have them bolted down, you might
want to leave a little bit of room for adjustment since you’ll have to line them up with your
bottom bracket just to get them installed on your brush guard. Now, once you have them you know, adjusted
and lined up properly where you want them, you can pop this grille back into place after
you bolt them down completely. Grille’s back in place, you’ll pull up your
body of the brush guard and you can bolt it down to your bracket. Now, I’ve already got these brackets lined
up to where I want them to be, so I’m just going to go ahead and tighten these down,
get them nice and snug. But this might take you a few times of trial
and error just to get them lined up properly. Once they’re on, you can close this grille
back up and get to work on the body of the brush guard. The next step in the process is to throw the
body of our brush guard up onto the truck here. Now, what we’re gonna use, we’ve got 17-millimeter
bolts in the kit here that we’re going to use. We have lock washers and a flat washer on
it, then you’re gonna have a flat washer and a nut go on the other side. When you bolt them down, you have the nut
and the washer on the inside, bolt, lock washer, flat washer on the outside. Once your bolts are in place, take your 17-mil
socket and the socket on the other side holding the nut and you can bolt everything down. Next up, we’re gonna assembly our wings or
our headlight guards here. They are perfect shape so you really can’t
get this one wrong. You’ll have a left side and a right side,
driver, and passenger. The rubber kind of gripping here on the ends
does tend to come off a little bit, just feed it back on and they’ll stay in place once
you have this thing bolted down. So we’re gonna put this into place here and
your first bolt is actually going to go through this little slotted hole in your wing. It’s gonna go straight through to the body
of the brush guard and you’re gonna bolt it down from the other side. Next up, we’re gonna assemble the wing on
the opposite side. Again, line those bolts up. To finish up the install, you’ve got six Allen
head bolts that you’re going to put through. Obviously, you’re gonna again have the bolt
and a flat washer on one side, washer on the other side followed by the nut. There’s going to be one up top here. We’re gonna bolt that down and then there’s
two on the bottom here right under your L bracket. Do the same thing for the opposite side. To finish things up here, you’re going to
use your 10-millimeter socket and ratchet or a wrench, hold the nut from the inside
and use the Allen key provided in the kit for you and tighten things up. To finish things off here, all we’re going
to do is reinstall our four 10-millimeter bolts for our upper grille, throw on our radiator
shroud and then we’re good to go. All right. Since this is the plunger pushpin, it’s going
to be a two-step process. Push the first step in push, the top piece
down. And with that bracket installed, that wraps
up our installation here. So if you like the brush guard here from Black
Horse, all you have to do is check it out right here at americantrucks.com

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