Removing Grille

MGA: Easy Grille Removal

During the years I spent restoring my 1960 MGA, I heard many frightening and cautionary tales about the importance of the hood latch mechanism and the alignment of the hood. Specifically, I was told to make sure the latch was working perfectly before installing the grille; if the hood ever jammed closed, the only way to access the latch would be to cut through my beautiful grille.

This exact thing happened to me soon after I finished the restoration last year — the hood jammed closed. But I refused to damage the grille, so I spent many hours with unlikely tools removing the grille with only minor bending of the slats. If the car had been older and the fasteners tight and rusty, that would have been impossible. I resolved never to let this happen again.

The solution was rather simple, without any modifications to either the body or the grille. Even with the hood closed, I can now remove the grille in about 15 minutes. The solution was to replace the three bolts at the top of the grille with short lengths of brass tubing and some rubber fuel line.

First, reverse the direction of the original bolts that used to go downward through holes in the shroud and into the grille. Screw them upwards through the nuts that are part of the grille. Then get some brass tubing from a hobby shop. The inside diameter should fit the bolts. You’ll also need some rubber hose that fits snugly over this brass tubing. These sections of brass tubing, with the hose sections used to retain them in the original bolt holes, serve simply as locating pins for the top of the grille.

The grille can now be removed by unscrewing the original bottom three bolts behind the valance as usual. Then just pull out the bottom of the grille and slide it downward off the three top pins.

By Bryan Dahlberg

Grille opening

Grille opening

Grille back

Grille back

Tubing bottom

Tubing bottom

tubing-top

Tubing top

Removing Grille

Removing Grille

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'MGA: Easy Grille Removal' have 4 comments

  1. November 7, 2014 @ 9:05 am Bill Chandler

    Great idea! I am going to put some WD 40 on my hood release mechanism right now. Mine stuck once after I was painting some things inside under the hood and it terrified me as to what to do. Fortunately with a very strong pull on the release lever it came loose.
    Thanks for the suggestion.
    Bill

    Reply

  2. November 15, 2014 @ 1:25 pm bobshea2001@yahoo.ca

    5206 MACNEILL COURT
    Peachland, B.C. Canada.
    What a great idea, I am going to do the modification to my 58 today. Every time I opened and closed the hood I always wandered if it would open again. Thanks for sharing that idea.

    Reply

  3. December 16, 2014 @ 11:08 am Brad

    Great idea, I’d like to ask how did you get the grill piping to fit so conformily around the grill edges? I have two, a “56 & ’59 & i’ve had hassles with both, as I replaced the original slats with the mesh grill & the piping on both wavers. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Reply

    • December 19, 2014 @ 8:17 am Carly - Moss Motoring

      Brad,

      A great resource for information on MGAs is mgaguru.com. For grille and grille piping information look to the following links (it’s a two-part article):
      http://mgaguru.com/mgtech/body/bd102.htm
      http://mgaguru.com/mgtech/body/bd102a.htm

      You may find your answer in the second article, in the May 2010 addendum: “I discovered a trick that should save you those six packs of beer when installing grill piping. Brush a thin bead of automotive contact cement onto the circumference of the thin EDGE of the grill. Using a small jewelers screwdriver wipe a small bead of cement into the recess between the two pipes. Let the glue set, then with the grille face down on the bench start with the mid point of the piping and begin gluing at the top center of the grille cutting the piping at the bottom center. If there is any cement showing after installation it is easily removed with a wad of dried contact cement”.

      Hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

      Reply


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