So why not improve function and form together! Always my goal. ;) So I have added in 50mm/2" to the height of the grille. This helps as I can lower the radiator and still keep it within the frame or flange that runs along the bottom so the core sits up against the back of the grille. Also the top part of the grille wasn't letting any airflow through anyway and need that area for the lower part of the bonnet latch support. Win win!
Can really see the size difference, but think it disguises the extra 9" of width and the 2" of extra height only helps the proportions. Fitted up the new 50mm-2" longer grille today to check the clearance. I went more than I needed to increase the airflow and proportions of the grille. Have 20mm-3/4" of room above the radiator filler cap and the power steering reservoir now.
Got that truck look back again. :) The step doesn't look that bad actually, bit like the MB and CJ's had. I will deal with the guards when I move the fronts in an inch each side. Want to change the shape of the part alongside the grille anyway.
For the latch I wanted to see what else I could use that was new and didn't need replating. Just doing an image search I came across this latch from a 1990's VW Polo and Jetta. Very similar to the ones they sell for universal latches for hotrods etc, but $100 cheaper! This only cost $30 AUD including freight. I like that this one had a nylon spring retainer so it won't mark up the latch and even nylon bushings.
Turns out that the hole spacing was the same as the Volvo latch so I used the reinforcement plate from it. Used weld through primer before plug welding it on. One thing I didn't like was that the handle for the safety catch had to sit on a little pedestal in front of it to work. So I drilled a hole and attached directly to the arm and turned the catch around to face the other way just like the Volvo one was.