Those of you who saw Abel’s rendering of our Project Sentra in the last issue of LRE know that we planned on replacing the factory plastic honeycomb grille with a custom billet aluminum grille to give the car a real facelift. Yet, when we went looking for a grille, we found that there weren’t any available for the new model. However, in talking to Robert and Dom at Action Autosports (Corona, California), a huge retail/mail order parts and accessories store and LRE advertiser, they said that they sell and install high-quality billet truck grilles from T-Rex (also in Corona) and maybe they could help us.

Project Sentra gets a real facelift from T-Rex.

Install a Custom Billet Grille

Well, as luck would have it, the T-Rex factory is located directly behind Action, so we contacted general sales manager Ernie Salazar about the Nissan Sentra. He said that they were already interested in expanding their line to include sport compact grilles, and they would prototype a grille just for us. Naturally we were excited; the world’s first billet grille for a 2001 Sentra! Plus, they also made cool billet inserts for the lower bumper openings, giving the front end a real custom look.

“All T-Rex grilles are built with an emphasis on quality, fit and style; all grilles must meet strict quality control standards,” said Ernie. “Constructed of 6063-T6 aluminum, our grilles are carefully welded using TIG welders to ensure clean and splatter free welds.” We noticed that brackets and fittings are double welded to maintain strength and long life. There are more bars in each grille for a high-class look and each grille receives a thick layer of high-grade powdercoating. The grilles are all hand-finished and, as a final touch, grilles receive either a brushed or highly polished face.

Comprehensive step-by-step instructions allow easy, hassle free installation (we only needed a Phillips screwdriver, an electric drill with a 1/8-inch bit and a pop rivet gun with smooth-top rivets). Follow along now as Eugene Gonzalez makes quick work of the installation. Call Action Autosports to purchase a grille directly or have one installed; contact T-Rex for a dealer in your area. (Special thanks to T-Rex general manager Mike Targett for his help in compiling this article.)