I have been wanting to do this for a while and I finally found a junk nose to experiment with(thanks John!!) so today I went to the local parts store and bought a bunch of 5/16" brake/trans lines and got started. I needed some strap metal to drill some holes in to hold the lines and got lucky at the local Farm and Home store and found just what I needed, anyhow 2.5 hours and $30 later I have a pretty good looking grille for my SS.
Here is the original nose before cutting:
Here is the nose after I cut out the stock grille, the nose becomes pretty flimsy without it. I know I didn't smooth the nose out like I should have but this nose is just a throwaway nose used for practice on this project.
Here is a picture of the strap steel I found that already had the holes in it, the holes were 3/8" but work just fine for this project.
I cut a third section the same length and cut it in half lengthwise to give me a center section.
Here is a shot of the tubes set in place so I could mark them at the center and start bending the tubes to match the profile of the nose.
Here is a shot of how I set up the grille to get it welded up, I put a couple of spare pieces of the strap metal to space the tubes evenly, I welded up one end and slid the spacers over then welded up the center section then removed the spacers and welded up the last end piece then I removed the entire grille and finished welding the pieces up.
Here is the grille welded up and ready for a test fit:
Here is the grille set in the nose, the grille is just held in from the back with a pair of needle nose vice grips.
I still need to modify the center support so I can support the center of the nose as it is pretty flimsy without the factory grille installed, I will probably add a few more braces between the middle of the grille and the end so I can support the nose a little better.
There is a lot of work that went into this as well as knowing how to gas weld and bending the tubes to match the contour of the nose. I would not suggest just anyone doing this unless you have the proper tools and are willing to take the chance of ruining your nose.