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355 Challenge Grill Installation

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by JDSF355GTS, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. JDSF355GTS

    JDSF355GTS Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 29, 2004
    36
    Hi, I am new to F car ownership...aspired all of my life to own one and just got a 1997 355 GTS; Black/Tan. I searched for about 12 months and finally found what I hope to be a great car. I know opinions vary on the rear challenge grills but I am one who likes them. I talked with a dealer on purchasing one and they are talking $1,200-$1,500 installed. I found a sponsor here at Fchat that will sell one for $850. Has anyone had any experience replacing their stock rear panel with a challenge grill? Thanks for your help!
     
  2. wfo900

    wfo900 Formula Junior

    Aug 19, 2003
    529
    Annapolis
    Full Name:
    Rich C

    I replaced mine on my 355 Spider. It is very simple. Just a few bolts and two rubber dampers. I did it in about an hour and a half with numerous Beer breaks. It would probably be quicker if I had popped out the rear lights for better access to the mounting hardware. GO FOR IT
     
  3. tonyh

    tonyh F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 23, 2002
    14,372
    S W London
    Full Name:
    Tony H
    #3 tonyh, Feb 6, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Just had mine done but it was fitted at a dealer's shop ;here's before and after pics.Hope you go for it as the Challenge totally changes the way car looks.
    Tony
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  4. tonyh

    tonyh F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 23, 2002
    14,372
    S W London
    Full Name:
    Tony H
    #4 tonyh, Feb 6, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  5. jrs

    jrs Formula 3

    Jun 14, 2003
    1,672
    UK
    Full Name:
    James S
    It really is an hour Job and looks great. You will not regret. They cost about £600 here in the UK.

    J
     
  6. cavlino

    cavlino Formula 3

    Mar 6, 2002
    1,475
    Ottawa, Canada
    Full Name:
    Carm Scaffidi
    I also prefer the look with a Challenge Grill and if the look isn't enough to convince you think about the fact they it serves a purpose too which is to help move all that heat out of the engine bay. I am currently in the market for a 355 and if it does not have the grill I will be putting one on. I have heard from a good source that it is very simple to do. Please let us know your experiance if you go ahead with it both from the purchasing side and your installation of it, some before and after pictures just like the ones already posted here would be nice to.
    /Carm
     
  7. F355guy

    F355guy Karting

    Dec 19, 2003
    224
    Full Name:
    John P.
    From what wfo900 said. Couple of hours, you should trying installing it yourself first. It does look easy to do. Black/Tan GTS with challenge grill is going to look awesome! Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  8. Mickey

    Mickey Formula Junior

    Jan 20, 2004
    409
    Linnet Drive
    Full Name:
    Mike
    From the comments above, it looks to me that replacing the grill should be a DIY job.

    I haven't changed the grill on my 355 just yet as it is still freezing here, there is plenty of cold air. But I am inclined to change it and use the Challenge grill when it gets a little warmer here. It is not that much about its looks, instead I am more concerned about engine bay over-heating in the summer and the Challenge grill can improve the cooling effect.

    As a car lover, I am always of the view that you should do the work yourself (as far as possible) instead of leaving it to the dealer. That way, you will get to know your car so much better (provided that you're a real car-lover); secondly, you could also save the money that would have been charged by the dealer for an apparently easy job.

    If I had the tools and know-how, I would love to change the cam-belts myself. BUT I can't. So I had to pay a fair amount of $$$ to the dealer to have the belts done, etc.

    Best of luck.
     
  9. wfo900

    wfo900 Formula Junior

    Aug 19, 2003
    529
    Annapolis
    Full Name:
    Rich C
    It really is that easy. Just look at the Challenge grill. That shows you where all the mounting attachments are. It is very easy plus you get to say "I did it"
     
  10. ghost

    ghost F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    9,836
    Singapore
    I assume that if you are in the market for a 355B, but are not technically/mechanically inclined, you can buy one with a challenge grill (assuming you are satisfied with all the other aspects of the car), and then go the other way -- replacing the challenge with the uni-color from the dealer. Correct?
     
  11. jakermc

    jakermc Formula 3
    Owner

    Jan 17, 2004
    1,778
    Palm Beach, FL
    Full Name:
    Rob

    Yes you can. And if you happen to have a used Challenge grill available, please let me know. I will help you dispose of it. :)
     
  12. JDSF355GTS

    JDSF355GTS Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 29, 2004
    36
    Thanks to everyone for the reply. I am a true sportscar guy (I also own an Alfa for chrissake!) so I do appreciate being able to do a few things on my own. I ordered the grill the other day. I'll take a few pics and reply back when the install is complete. Thanks again!
     

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