Using an '85 AE86 GT-S grille with a JDM Zenki bumper




If you install a JDM Zenki front bumper for the AE86 you'll have two choices when it comes time to install a grille. You can either attempt to track down a real JDM Zenki grille, which could prove to be quite a challenge and expensive, or you can actually modify the 85 GT-S grille to fit.


Modifying the 85 grille is incredibly easy. Cut it in half! (and use the upper half) The three clip-in mounting points are still used and are enough to hold the grille in place.


I ended up taking it a step further, however.


Personally I don't find anything particularly appealing about the authentic Zenki grille, so when I had to choose from the two options I wasn't willing to spend any time tracking one down or spending any more money. Considering everything I had been through just to get the bumper, lip, and brackets, I didn't mind using the GT-S grille. Well...that was until I cut it in half and placed it over the bumper. I hated the way the GT-S grille looked with that silly crossing "XXXX" pattern.


I decided to carefully cut out all the slots accordingly to create a cleaner more unique look...and hopefully something I could get used to.


After spending a couple hours while sipping beers and sitting beside a lake in BC, I made what I pictured in my head and was pleasantly surprised.


have a look... (the car had just been rust-proofed before I took the pics, so it's kinda gooey)





Modifying the grille like this was easy. I used a handheld keyhole saw which is kind of like a hacksaw crossed with a regular saw to cut through the proper slots. It can get quite confusing to keep cutting the proper slots at the proper places (you'll understand once you start doing it), but take your time and all should go well. I found that cutting one end of the slot to be removed was all that was needed, because you could actually break it off on the other side by bending it back and forth. I then used a file to smooth down the little bits that were left after the saw cut through and to generally make it look more like the grille had never actually been modified to begin with.


Neat huh?




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