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grille/brush guard fits Aspen

Old 09-01-2015, 03:23 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 6
Smile grille/brush guard fits Aspen

Hello Aspen owners, I'm new to this forum and got an 09 Aspen 2 months ago. Cool Vanilla, 4WD, 5.7L, tow package, 20" wheels. I've used this forum to figure out what size tires to get and it has been helpful. So here is some info someone might find useful.

I wanted to put a grille/brush guard on my Aspen. I live in the mountains of southern Oregon down a long winding, gravel road. I try not to go off road but there are enough hazards on the road, like deer, falling branches, and reckless drivers. So I wanted some protection for my "new" ride. I want to keep it intact as long as I can, since there are no new ones being made. My previous ride was a 99 Durango which I still have, so you get an idea of how long I keep a car I like.

Unfortunately, there are no manufacturers of grille/brush guards I could find that make a unit for the Aspen. There are bull guards, but that's not what I wanted. I also could not find any images or web listings for a grille guard on an Aspen.

So I took a risk and ordered a GoRhino 3200MC grille/brush guard for an 07-09 Durango. I wanted it in chrome but all the vendors I tried were out of stock. It was only available in black. I contacted GoRhino directly and their customer service was very helpful. They said the chrome model was discontinued, but they gave me the name and info of the vendor they sold their last units to... and they had it in stock. So I ordered that.

Installing it was beyond my abilities, both physically (due to injuries) and mechanically. So I took the Aspen and the grille to body and paint shop of the local Lithia Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep dealer, and they put it on. It cost almost as much as the grille to have them do it, but I am glad they did it and not me. Like many Aspens, this one has a lot of rust underneath. The bolts where it attaches to where the tow hooks are were so rusted they broke. They had to drill them out and order special replacement bolts, nuts and washers. Finally they got it done. And it looks great!

Does it fit? Yes... mostly. It hugs the front end beautifully, without sticking out or above like some monster truck accessory. The only problem is that the two vertical posts that form the main frame of the grille, slightly touch the top front edge of the bumper. The body shop didn't think it would be a problem, but I could see that over time it would cut a nick into the bumper. For some reason it is touching on the passenger side, and almost touching on the driver's side. A difference of maybe 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch from side to side. I guess that with different Aspens it may not touch at all, or it may press into the bumper more.

My solution for was to cut a narrow strip of 2" wide chrome body molding, and slip it under the frame, between the bumper and the frame. I couldn't budge the grille to get the molding under it, but I could press the bumper in a bit with one foot while I positioned the molding with my hands. The molding has 3M tape so it sticks in place, plus the grille holds it firmly against the bumper. The molding is hardly noticeable... and if it is, it looks like it may be part of the set up. It's also pretty thick and tough so I think it will hold up over time. It's been on a week and so far, so good.

I also put on a Mopar chrome colored hood bug guard, which looks great with the grille/brush guard.

If anyone wants a grille/brush guard on their Aspen, you can do it this way. You might not be able to find a chrome unit from GoRhino, but black would look great also, especially on a black, grey or silver Aspen.
Old 09-02-2015, 01:00 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 262

Although I do like the look of that one, it's quite a bit more than I would want to spend on one. I picked up a Bull Bar for my 08' for $110 and I'm good with it. I had the same issue as you with it rubbing the bumper. Seems like these are actually made for the Durango and they just assume it fits perfectly on the Aspen as well. Problem is I think our bumpers are slightly bigger. I used 3/4" foam trim with 3M backing to do the same thing as you did. Keeps it from scratching the bumper.
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