DIY Mesh Grille
DISCLAIMER: The information in these documents are a collection from experience (friends or myself), magazine articles, mailing lists and internet web sites etc. So don't take these as 100% correct gospel, hence I don't take any responsibility for any of these guides.
     Difficulty Rating: 1/5 - Very easy modification
Download Adobe Acrobat file Download printable Adobe Acrobat file (220K)
Download zipped HTML version Download zipped HTML version (1.1MB)

Click on any of the pics for a larger view.


..and after.
...and after.

MK2 grille
Showing MK2 Nova SRi grille which is the same as the GSi items.

This is a step-by-step guide on replacing and fitting a mesh grille onto a Nova SR/GTE grille (MK1 Nova). Note; there were several types of front nose grilles available for the MK1, either:-

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3
The all-in-one bumper and grille found most commonly on the first Nova SR's that were produced, as shown above in Figure 1 (not recommended). From the 1L to 1.2L Nova's like the Merit and Club etc. These have slats on the grille with a large Vauxhall Griffin logo in the centre of the grille, as shown above in Figure 2 (not recommend). Not impossible to convert to mesh grille (as shown). The last style for the MK1 Nova's were found on the SR or GTE, both are exactly the same, as shown above in Figure 3 (recommended).

The same may be applicable to the MK2 grilles, but I have never seen these close up so I can't comment upon these. Also the method on how this mesh grille is carried out can also be transferred onto other grilles in the Vauxhall range, its not just Nova's.

The main difference between the older style slat grille and the Nova SR/GTE grilles, although not easily noticeable straight away, is the thickness of the strip of plastic above the grille aperture. The SR/GTE type have a 1in plastic strip with a thin indented pin strip along it. However, the Merit/Club type has a bigger grille aperture. "Well what's the difference?" you might say. One is easier to convert to a mesh grille than the other. The SR/GTE grille have plastic slats, which the Merit/Club grille also have. But the Merit/Club grille slats are part of the plastic grille, where's the SR/GTE item can be VERY easily cut away, they are a separate item, leaving a very clean looking grille aperture with no filling or sanding required.

The Nova Merit/Club grille will need each slat cut away from the grille aperture, leaving triangular gaps which will need some fiberglass to fill them up. After that then the grill needs to be sprayed before the mesh grille is fitted. This isn't impossible, just time consuming if you have a MK1 Nova Merit/Club grille. Or you could simply buy a Nova SR/GTE grille from a scrappy or (if you have some money to burn) from your local Vauxhall dealer.

The process is very easy, this modification can easily be carried out in a weekend. The tricky part is cutting the mesh grille itself, because you WILL cut yourself. And then ideally you need to wait a week before the glue hardens on the mesh grille before it is properly fixed to the plastic aperture.

Tin snips Wire cutters Glue or adhesive Masking tape
Wire mesh Black spray paint Masking tape Sealant or Adhesive
8mm socket and driver Tape measure Pliers to bend mesh Pencil or Pen

Wire mesh - pulled £18 The pulled wire mesh looks like diamond shapes from B&Q. Wicks however do a square 6x6mm grid. The adhesive can be varied, but anything that will bond metal to plastic and used for outdoor use will be suffice.
Wire mesh - square holes £4
Spray paint - enamel - one can £4
Adhesive - one tube £5+

Just before you start, make sure you note the following:

  • It's ideal to buy a SR/GTE grille as a second hand item if you have the MK1 Merit/Club looking grille, as the job is very easy.
  • Take your time cutting out the wire mesh. Remember that the grille is not a perfect rectangle shape, it has a slight V shape to it. So the dimensions given counter for the width to be bigger enough to make decent size flaps around the edge. You will need to do some trimming.
  • To bend the flaps into place depends how thick the wire mesh you get. I needed a block of wood with a 90º bend in it to bend the flaps correctly before offering it up to the grille.
  • Try and get aluminium or galvanised wire mesh, not bare mild steel, because that will rust. Also when you come to spray paint it, you only need to give the wire mesh a quick clean with white sprit to get rid of any grease and dirt on the wire mesh. After that, allow it to evaporate and then spray on the enamel paint. Use as many coats as you can, leaving a 5 minute drying period between each coat if it's a warm day.
  • The glue used was a sealant used in bathrooms etc, I only used that because it was easy to apply plus it was the only thing I had laying around. After a week it went solid and now holds the wire mesh in place with no problems. You will need a brick or something to keep the wire mesh down once you've glued it into place, because the wire mesh won't be completely flat when its on the grille. I also used some tape to hold the wire mesh down in place too.

OK, got all the above? Then follow the steps below (remember to click on the pictures for a bigger view):

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
Click for a bigger view Click for a bigger view Click for a bigger view
With the GTE grille in front of you, flip it over so you can see the back. From here you can see that there are plastic pips along the edges.

Using a pair of sharp wire cutters, snip of the plastic pips all along the way round.

With all the plastic pips snipped off, the grille will simply come off, leaving you with a clean grill aperture.

Step 4 Step 5 Step 6
Click for a bigger view Click for a bigger view Click for a bigger view

Lay the grille on the wire mesh you have brought. Mark out a rectangle size of 30in x 5in. This gives room for flaps on each side to stick down.

Cut out the rectangle and make the flaps 3cm deep. Put the mesh on the back of the grill and bend the flaps over, you need these for the glue to stick the mesh to the grille. With the mesh grille cut out and bent correctly, next is to spray it. I sprayed mine black with Enamel spray paint. One can should do.

Step 7 Step 8 Step 9
Click for a bigger view Click for a bigger view Click for a bigger view
With the paint dry, the next step is to glue it to the grille itself. There are many adhesives on the market. Put the glue all the way round the edge of the grille and then squash the mesh on. Its ideal to hold the mesh on with tape while you waiting for it to dry, so you can now put the grille back on the car. It may take up to a week for it to properly dry. Once it's dry, take the tape off and stand back. You've now got yourself a nice mesh grille. Remember to take you time when cutting the wire mesh to the correct size.

NB; Thanks are given to the pictures used in this guide from some unkown sources but mainly from mailing lists which are deemed to be public doman.

home | search | contacts | © |