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Old 01-23-2005, 07:21 AM
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'54 chev truck hood smoothing

Hey guys (or gals),

I want to remove the rib from the hood on my '54 chev half ton project and smooth it over. Actually the trim rib is already off. I know I have to weld the seam to make the hood solid but I'm trying to figure out a good solution to filling the depression where the rib used to be. I'm concerned about body filler because it may crack with time. I think that it would be alot of welding to fill the void. Is lead a viable solution or is there some other way to take care of this?

Anyone with any experience with this, let me know.

Thanks,
Scott
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Old 01-23-2005, 07:49 AM
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Been there. The solution is to use a piece of steel brake line. Just pick a piece of brake line that fits in the depression and tack it every couple inches. That will cut down on the amount of filler required dramatically. If you choose a size that actually sticks up slightly from the surrounding area you can effectively peak the hood if you want. I did this on my pro street car. I used a smaller piece on my '53 pickup.






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Old 01-23-2005, 08:15 AM
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Looks super!
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:37 AM
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Centerline,

That looks awesome!

What kind of body filler did you use? How long has it been done?
Someone on another site said something about welding a piece of flat stock into the depression after welding the hood seam together. I guess that would be similar to the brake line if you wanted it to be flat (not peaked).

Thanks for the feed back and the pics.

Scott
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Old 01-23-2005, 11:30 AM
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Flat stock would work too. If you use the brake line tack the hood together first then just use the brake line to fill the gap or depression.

The hood on the truck was finished about two weeks ago. The hood on the 41 Chevy was done about 8 years ago and is still going strong, although I don't own the car anymore. It's on its third owner now. Pro-street cars are funny.... you either love them or hate them. I thought I would love one and that's why I built it but found out after driving it a while that it wasn't what I wanted. Too finicky and too powerful. Although it turned heads wherever it went, you couldn't relax while driving it. I guess I'm just old enough now that I would rather be able to relax and enjoy the experience rather than tear up the asphalt all the time.

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Old 01-23-2005, 12:16 PM
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About all I can add to this discussion is be very careful welding that seam. You could easily warp that hood beyond hope.
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Old 01-23-2005, 03:10 PM
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Martinsr,

I did hear that about possible warping the hood while welding the seam. I have it off the truck now and someone said it should be on the truck and latched down to help keep it straight. Is that necessary? The way the seam is made, you can't really hammer it to stretch any heat shrinkage out of it after welding.


Centerline,

What kind of filler did you use to fill the joint on your hoods?

Scott
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MARTINSR
About all I can add to this discussion is be very careful welding that seam. You could easily warp that hood beyond hope.
I'll second that. It's best to take your time. What I do is tack a spot on one end and then one on the other then one in the middle. Then I let it cool off completely before I tack again.


Quote:
Originally posted by almega
What kind of filler did you use to fill the joint on your hoods?
I use the world renowned brand name "Bondo". As far as I can tell most body fillers are pretty much alike. The trick is to use a good quality glazing putty as a finish coat before spraying any kind of sanding primer. If you watch American Hotrodder you'll always see the guys in the body shop coat the entire panel with glazing putty before finish sanding and priming.

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Old 01-23-2005, 06:09 PM
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Centerline,

You been watchin' too much TV!!!

My advice would be to cut the center section out of the hood and weld in a 2" strip of metal. If you butt weld it and metalfinish your seam, you won't need any body filler, removing the worry of failure. More often than not, when the seam gets a band aid fix, it fails. I've done it both ways, and experience tells me to cut it out and start with fresh metal.

Randy Ferguson
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Old 01-23-2005, 06:49 PM
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Randy, holymoley, you are asking the world. That hood has no supportive body lines, it doesn't even have a fold on the trailing edge. To cut the center out and weld a strip in should only be left to the most talented metal men.

I myself have done a ton of metal fabrication, metal finishing and so forth. The project you suggest would be extremely challenging for me. For your average home hobbiest it would be sure disaster for that hood.

I say I rather be realistic and see him weld it, fill it with a reinforced filler like Everglass, then see his smiling face behind the wheel instead of a painful learning experiance and a warped beyond repair hood.

almega, bolting the hood on will make NO DIFFERNCE WHAT SO EVER. Just go slow with very short welds, a quarter inch or so at a time. Skip around going many feet apart from weld to weld and after making two or three welds let it set for many minutes to cool. This hood should take you all day to weld.
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Old 01-23-2005, 08:53 PM
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.....and still, you WILL have warpage.


Brian, The entire strip doesn't have to be removed at once. I've owned a couple of these trucks, so I know how they're built. Remove a section at a time, weld in the filler strip, work out the warpage and go on. You should be able to work a 2 foot strip easily enough. Planish the welds and move on. The hood will be stronger when finished than it was from the factory, because there won't be a point of weakness. If the welds are worked properly, there will be no filler to deal with, resulting in a trouble free, one piece hood. Several years ago one of the magazines had a write up on doing these hoods this way. I think it may have been Rod and Custom. In the article, they were planishing the welds with an air planishing hammer, but for the home builder, a hammer and dolly and/or and english wheel will do the job. The shrinking disc will easily take care of any over stretched areas, so basically, it's an easy fix.

Randy Ferguson
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:21 PM
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Randy, I respect the hell out of you guy. What you have taught here on metal finishing is pricelsss. Five hundred dollars in videos couldn't have done what you have offered us. We have already seen a couple of guys do things they could never do, including me!

You and I will just have to agree to disagree on this particular project. If it were a roof panel, or welding a quarter together, that is a whole different story. These hoods are tough, I just think it is too much to ask someone without a ton of experiance.

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Old 01-23-2005, 09:52 PM
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Brian,

Think positive, man!!!

The neat thing about metal is that it doesn't know your skill level or your degree of experience. You just tell it what to do, and it'll do it!

Whether it's a small patch panel, or a strip of metal down the center of a hood, makes no difference. Taking small bites and remaining in total control of the metal is what counts. OK, so it may be more of a challenge than some would like to take on, but once it's done, it's done.

I was only offering the BEST approach to the problem, Not the fastest. (maybe) Not the easiest. But the best.

As I said, in the past, I've pulled the band aid treatment and it has failed. Not only that, but warpage is still going to take place, leaving you with the only option to skim the entire top surface of the hood with body filler. Not a good plan on a hood, in my opinion. Of course, I don't like filler period, as you well know. I will also add, that I can now cut out the factory seam, weld in a strip of metal and have it ready for paint, much quicker than I ever could covering the seam with a strip of metal and using filler to smooth it out. No doubt it takes patience and practice to become a proficient matal man, but the rewards are worth it!!

I've worked on many hoods through the years, and most of the ones with a filler strip (or anything else) welded in to cover the void, have failed miserably. Some 'may' never give you fits, but an overwhelming majority fail. You cannot dispute facts.
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:53 PM
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I did mine about 12 years ago and it has done fine all those years. I took off the strip, spot-welded the seam then cut strips of 18ga steel to fit the gap. These were spot welded into the gap (the spot welds were done until they all overlapped and there was a solid weld). The combo of the low heat buildup in the spot welds, the compound curves and the supporting metal in the valley under the weld resulted in virtually no warpage.

I used a good brand of filler, not much required since the steel bridged the gap very well.

As you can see, I am planning on using one of those cheesy dealer optional hood ornaments once the polish is finished.

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Old 01-24-2005, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Randy Ferguson
My advice would be to cut the center section out of the hood and weld in a 2" strip of metal. If you butt weld it and metalfinish your seam, you won't need any body filler, removing the worry of failure. More often than not, when the seam gets a band aid fix, it fails. I've done it both ways, and experience tells me to cut it out and start with fresh metal.
Randy, If I thought for one minute that my skills were up to doing that, believe me I would..... and one of these days when I have the time I will. Till then I'm just going to have to be satisfied to be a mear mortal when it comes to metal work and I'll just have to "worship" you Metal Gods. Your stuff it top notch.

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