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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 09-14-2012, 07:52 PM
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Brian,

Thanks for the informative post. For those of us who aren't professionals schooled in the art of bending hinges and panels, the shim solution works great. And man, you are dead-on about the factory not using hood shims on old cars because anything within 1/8" was good enough. I have found that 55-57 Chevies vary by as much as 1/4" in some dimensions from one car to another, a prime example being fore/after engine placement relative to the firewall.

I haven't been on this forum for quite some time, but just today received an e-mail with links to this post and others. I plan to spend more time here.

Hey, don't get a big head, but from time to time I still refer to an article you wrote many years a go on MIG welding.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 09-15-2012, 08:43 AM
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Thanks so much for the kind words. I don't get a big head as much as I get a big heart when I hear that I have helped someone get something done!

I have a saying for people in a retail business;

When dealing with the public there are two rules.
1. The public is full of a bunch of ignorant morons.
2. I am one of them!

When we are "out of our element" we look pretty stupid to the professional. You have to treat everyone who comes in to have their car fixed as you would want to be treated going somewhere for something that you know nothing about. In my case the first thing that pops in my head is buying a computer or computer components! There is no one that could look more like an ignorant moron than me when talking about computers.

Recently I installed the convertible top on my car, I knew NOTHING about this subject and I looked pretty dumb asking the questions of the experts. But with their help, with them taking the time to explain things to me (sometimes over and over) I was able to do it. This guy who knew nothing was able to pull off a pretty decent job installing a convertible top! I was reminded as I was doing it what my advice does for others who aren't a professional in my field and yes my heart felt good that I am able to give that same feeling of accomplishment to others as Dan in the interior forum gave to me. There is nothing like being able to do something you didn't know you could do!

Brian
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 09-18-2012, 09:24 AM
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Very good post, i to have an issue with my 78 camaro hood , these i can move rotate in the bolt holes etc but still doesn't sit quite right , i am going to try the shin thing and see what happens .Next problem is my hood doesn't want to stay up on its own , i took hinges off a 86 pariesenne that worked well put them on the camaro and still the hood wants to slowly close . I must say here i lubed the hinges with fluid film and that's when i really started to have issues.In my little pea brain this shouldn't matter cause i've done the same to many a hood and its been all good .Case in point the same camaro with the original hinges ,i put those on the pontiac and they worked perfect . All the other hoods i have lubed were on full size cars so all the hoods were heavy .Sorry to cut in on yr thread but this seems like the thing i'm looking for . Sorry also for the ramble ,later bake
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:08 AM
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When a hood won't stay up it is usually simply the springs are worn out. But there is a certain resistance of the hinge pivot points too, if the hinge is worn out new springs won't help.

Brian
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:36 PM
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yeah that's what i thought but why work on one car & not the other ,both cars have long heavy hoods , interesting .later bake
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:37 PM
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ok Brian Mr. Smarty pants. Here's one for ya.

So I had been fitting my hood awhile back and I have a new hinge on the driver's side, stock hinge on passenger's side. I was having an issue with pass. side back of the hood still sitting high at the cowl, driver's side is nice and flush.

On pass. side I loosened the hinge bolts on the fender skirt, closed the hood, then pushed down on the high side till it was flush. Then I crawled underneath and tightened the bolts from the underside. And I was quite pleased with myself.

Then I lifted the hood again and closed it. The passenger's side was high again! If I push down on it it will still go down a little bit. I do not think this would be a shim issue, but I haven't tried it yet. I am wondering if it is a worn out hinge issue, whether it be the spring or the hinge itself. But I need a better way to diagnose as I don't want to buy a new one if it wasn't the problem.

The hinge on the driver's side, while being new, still has the old spring. I have not swapped the driver's spring out with the passenger's spring yet to see if it's a spring issue.

The hood stays up just fine.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:23 PM
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You have not been listening, go to the corner! You don't push the hood down, pushing the hinge down gets you very little on lowering the rear of the hood, you need to ROTATE the hinge! THAT will lower it much more.

Both rotating the hinge and a shim at the front bolt as shown lower the hood. FIRST you rotate the hinge, if that doesn't do it, go ahead and shim it. Simply loosen the hinge bolts to the fender and push up on the hood from the front opening it as far as it will go. This is very easy to do and you can have your wife or child do it while you tighten the bolts. Be careful as it can go WAY down and hit the cowl when you do this!

Brian

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Old 09-23-2012, 07:17 AM
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There is no more room to rotate it. That is what I started out doing. In pushing it down I was using some tricks I saw on one of Henry's videos. The hood still seems like it has some spring to it after it's closed, which is why I wasn't so convinced it was a shim issue. I'm still trying the shim though.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:10 AM
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you can slot em to get a little more wiggle room but if you can push it down by hand and it doesn't naturally lay flat then lube it up and move the joints around and get it flowing again. As I said before, it's the most common problem with hinges so shims are out of the question unless it's absolutely needed.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:54 AM
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Think about this, when a hood is closed you are over powering the springs. The springs and a bunch of leverage are saying STAY OPEN. So ever time you pull down on the hood to close it you are bending a number of parts of the hood, hinge, and hinge mounting just a tiny bit. Some hoods bend real easy, I have seen hoods back in the seventies on Chevy pickups fold in half just from shutting them because the hood reinforcement wasn't as strong as the springs and resistance built into the design to hold that big old hood open.

So every time you pull down on the hood a little bit of bending is going on, a little bit of giving up is going on, the hood and everything related to that hinge is giving up just a tiny bit. It's going to be different on every hood and every car but there is a little bit of bending with every closing of the hood.

Your car may simply be at a point where the hood or hinge mounting point has flexed that tiny bit that is effectively "rotating" the hinge mounting points forward, thus raising the back of the hood. Think about this, if you bend the mounting points on the hood up at the front bolt and down at the rear bolt it would be like shimming the hood at the rear bolt. It would be doing the same exact thing as if you shimmed that rear bolt, which raises the back of the hood.

Every time the hood is shut the hinge is pushing up at the front bolt saying NO, I AM NOT GOING TO FOLD UP AND LET YOU COME DOWN, the hinge doing this is pushing the mounting point up a little on the hood at the front bolt, and doing the pulling down on the rear bolt.

I know this is an odd abstract way to look at how this hood works. Picture a diving board.



When you jump on the diving board the rear bolts would want to "stretch", the front bolts aren't doing much at all.

The hood is exactly the same way, every time you shut the hood those rear bolt areas are being stretched and the front are being pushed up.

Sooooo, if the hood has been bent a little bit over the hundreds of times it has been closed (or the few times because it is a repro hood that is weaker than the original) what do you do to bend it back?

It could be as simple as opening the hood too far and pushing it up! If you were to push the hood up open too far and look at the mounting points you may see a flex. If you push up a little bit you may very well bend it back because it has weakened. Often this is all that is keeping the hood from closing as far as it once was.

Often opening up the holes on the hinge so it can rotate further back or a shim are your best options. You an bend the hood by pushing it open but this often will only be a temporary fix as it will simply slowly fail back to where it was.

Worn hinge pivot points will also do this, think about every one of those pivot points being worn just a hair, add up all those hairs and you have enough slop that the spring pushes up the hood at the rear. It could also be a sloppy reproduction. The hinge may not seem bad at all because the spring is pushing it all into place. Remove the spring and move it up and down and you may see a sloppiness to it. That sloppy fit could be allowing the spring to push up the rear of the hood.

Lots of things at play here, to over come them you can slot the holes to rotate the hinge back or shim the front hinge to hood bolt, both will bring the back of the hood down.

Brian
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  #56 (permalink)  
Old 09-23-2012, 11:38 AM
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This photo explains what I am talking about. Pulling it shut is pulling on that bolt you see. It is effectively pulling down on the nut. The hinge is pushing up in the "bending" the trunk. If that nut that is mounted in sheet metal gets pulled down just a little, a fraction the front of the trunk (nearest the rear window) is going to go up right? So to fix it you could push UP on the trunk opening it "too far" and "things" would bend right, the structure of the trunk inner and the hinges, maybe where the hinge mounts too, the pivot would come down, lowering the front of the trunk.

Brian

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Old 09-23-2012, 03:25 PM
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Well once again, folks, Brian is right. With renewed confidence I went and pulled the hinge back up (to 'zero' it so to speak) and pushed up on the front of the hood to pivot it back, tightening it down that way. Close it and bam! Now that side is just barely high, about a 1/16" of an inch which is a significant improvement over what it was. I know it tilted it back because the gap between the hood and the cowl was now missing and I had to slide the hood itself forward just a little bit on the hinge to reset the gap. I think I can get it all the way by trying to get just a little more rotation out of it,but I need to remove the hood to pull the engine back out, so for now 'real close' is good.

I know exactly what you're talking about with the bolts in the back pulling down the most on the hood when you close it, too. I move it up and down a few inches to study the play in the hinges and how it pulls on the hood, and I always feel the like hood is going to break because there is so much obvious tension and pull going on with those rear bolts when pushing the hood down. All that torque gets transferred directly to them. Pulling the hood up is the easy part as the tension on the spring is easing up so the front bolts, where most of the strain is going when opening, have an easy time.

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Old 09-23-2012, 05:48 PM
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Very cool, when the hood comes off to pull the engine open the holes in the hinge a little and when you put it back together it will have plenty of movement to get it down where you need it.

Brian
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
Think about this, when a hood is closed you are over powering the springs. The springs and a bunch of leverage are saying STAY OPEN. So ever time you pull down on the hood to close it you are bending a number of parts of the hood, hinge, and hinge mounting just a tiny bit. Some hoods bend real easy, I have seen hoods back in the seventies on Chevy pickups fold in half just from shutting them because the hood reinforcement wasn't as strong as the springs and resistance built into the design to hold that big old hood open.

So every time you pull down on the hood a little bit of bending is going on, a little bit of giving up is going on, the hood and everything related to that hinge is giving up just a tiny bit. It's going to be different on every hood and every car but there is a little bit of bending with every closing of the hood.

Your car may simply be at a point where the hood or hinge mounting point has flexed that tiny bit that is effectively "rotating" the hinge mounting points forward, thus raising the back of the hood. Think about this, if you bend the mounting points on the hood up at the front bolt and down at the rear bolt it would be like shimming the hood at the rear bolt. It would be doing the same exact thing as if you shimmed that rear bolt, which raises the back of the hood.

Every time the hood is shut the hinge is pushing up at the front bolt saying NO, I AM NOT GOING TO FOLD UP AND LET YOU COME DOWN, the hinge doing this is pushing the mounting point up a little on the hood at the front bolt, and doing the pulling down on the rear bolt.

I know this is an odd abstract way to look at how this hood works. Picture a diving board.



When you jump on the diving board the rear bolts would want to "stretch", the front bolts aren't doing much at all.

The hood is exactly the same way, every time you shut the hood those rear bolt areas are being stretched and the front are being pushed up.

Sooooo, if the hood has been bent a little bit over the hundreds of times it has been closed (or the few times because it is a repro hood that is weaker than the original) what do you do to bend it back?

It could be as simple as opening the hood too far and pushing it up! If you were to push the hood up open too far and look at the mounting points you may see a flex. If you push up a little bit you may very well bend it back because it has weakened. Often this is all that is keeping the hood from closing as far as it once was.

Often opening up the holes on the hinge so it can rotate further back or a shim are your best options. You an bend the hood by pushing it open but this often will only be a temporary fix as it will simply slowly fail back to where it was.

Worn hinge pivot points will also do this, think about every one of those pivot points being worn just a hair, add up all those hairs and you have enough slop that the spring pushes up the hood at the rear. It could also be a sloppy reproduction. The hinge may not seem bad at all because the spring is pushing it all into place. Remove the spring and move it up and down and you may see a sloppiness to it. That sloppy fit could be allowing the spring to push up the rear of the hood.

Lots of things at play here, to over come them you can slot the holes to rotate the hinge back or shim the front hinge to hood bolt, both will bring the back of the hood down.

Brian
you can also lube the joints up, especially for your powder coated hinges you said were all of a sudden sitting high after you powder coated them. I can certainly say they need lubing up. An option is to rotate the hinges but you can also lube them up. This is an option when you don't want to rotate the hinges or if rotating them brings the front corner a tad high.

Last edited by tech69; 09-25-2012 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 09-29-2012, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tech69 View Post
you can also lube the joints up, especially for your powder coated hinges you said were all of a sudden sitting high after you powder coated them. I can certainly say they need lubing up. An option is to rotate the hinges but you can also lube them up. This is an option when you don't want to rotate the hinges or if rotating them brings the front corner a tad high.
I want to thank you Henry for repeating this until I was sick of seeing it. It stuck in my head and today I was out in the garage working on something completely unrelated but because you repeated this over and over I thought, "Yep, Henry is probably right, because the hood did fit well before I had them done" and I opened the hood, sprayed some WD40 on the joints and ran the hood up and down a few times and saw that the hood was now going too LOW! I removed the shims, adjusted the other side higher by rotating the hinge back forward a little and wham, hood fits like a charm without the shims. I had never had hinges powder coated and there was a lot of build up. I think they were working their way anyway with the paint being worn off, but it opened my eyes.

Sometimes it sure can be that simple.

Thanks for drilling that into my head.

Brian
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