This article was sent to me by Arizona Mike. For some reason, the article will not post from his computer. It is a great article and it is entirely Mike's work.
Mesh Grill Fit
Nothing hurts the pride of your Cub more than a banged up or bad fitting grill The multi bar grills are getting scarce and expensive. They look nice too, but not nicer than a good fitting wire mesh grill.
Here's how I fit one of the after market grills yesterday. All you need is a small bench vice, a large screwdriver, a leather or rubber hammer, a metal file to finish and two hours or more depending on how far you want to go with it.
Almost all mesh grills need to be fit to the tractor. Begin by carefully compressing or expanding the grill by hand until you can mount it best you can on the four fully opened mounting screws. Take your time. If the mounting tabs on the grill don't line up correctly they can be adjusted. This grill is a new (last spring) grill from OEM. The mounting tabs can be adjusted at least a quarter inch by tapping them with a hammer. You can also adjust the vertical fit of the grill this way (moving the tabs down raises the grill After you have the four mounting tabs aligned with the screws correctly, press the rivets back into the mounts and frame in the vise. This will secure the mounts in place. Notice that none of the mesh is securely pressed into the frame, but don't press it yet. Now put the grill back on your Cub and see what you have. Don't tighten the mounting screws on this first test fit.
Tie a string around the radiator neck and hold it down tight across the top of the grill and over the middle of the crank hole so you can see and mark the center of the grill on the center of the hood. Also mark the beginning iof the side bends. Notice the areas between the center mark and the side bend marks are nearly flat.
Put the grill back into the vise and begin forming by makong a slight break in the top and bottom frame members at the center point. You're feeling better now, at least its starting to look like it might fit Next, press the two flat areas on each side of the center mark on the top and bottom frame pieces. Proceed to press all the frame edges in the vice and re press the four mouting tabs again. Test fit again.
What we are doing is moving the slack from the center of the frame to the sides. Now the sides of the grill will hang out way too far, but the next bend will fix that.
You can do these last bends by hand, or by using a hammer, or use the vice again to loosely hold the frame as you make five or six small bends about a quarter inch apart. I like to hammer. I held it on the bench and hammered the sides into a sharper bends. Use a rubber hammer though. This should get you pretty close.
These new replacements don't have the sheet metal clips so you may want to bend the side frames in slightly at the top to compensate. It just depends on your sheet metal though.
Finish the all surfaces and edges of the frame with your file. The amount of time you want to spend here will determine the quality of you final fit. Make sure the two side members of the grill are parallel. The grill will fit onto the mounting screws with ease when you have it right. Always tighten up the mounting screws when evaluating fit. Straighten out any dents you may have gotten into the mesh. Sand and prime again. You're done