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Old 01-12-2012, 06:39 PM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Hood and trunk alignment tip, for you pros too!

This is an old trick I learned many years ago from one of my mentors. I take it for granted as being a pretty basic move in aligning panels but again today I was working with an experienced pro who had no idea what I was talking about when I said to “Shim the hood down”. He responded “Shim it DOWN, what are you talking about?” I have had MANY techs do the same thing when I say to "shim it down". Again, this is basic stuff but I guess because it is kind of abstract and you have to look at how the hinge works and then it is clear, but until then “Shim it DOWN?” is what you think.

You can see by photo #1 that this hood is up a little. Number 2 shows where you would put this shim, and #3 and 4 show how the hood is down quite a bit with this shim being installed.

This is of course the same way you can lower the trunk lid on most all cars made for decades. Those ones with the non adjusting pivot at the front like a 68 Camaro, just shim down that hinge at the bolt closest to the rear of the car and the lid will come down.

Brian








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Old 01-12-2012, 09:39 PM
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I'm missing something. Where is the shim?
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:40 PM
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Look at photo number 2, it's between the hinge and the hood on the forward bolt (closest to the front of the car).

Brian
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:42 PM
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I put a really thick shim so that it would drastically lower the hood. If I wanted to align it properly it would have been thinner. You can use a washer too, that way it wouldn't look so funky.

Brian
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:42 PM
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Now that's just crazy talk! Is that just a thin piece of steel?
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:59 PM
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Yes, it's an eighth inch shim. A 1/16" would have been much closer to correct. I even have thinner ones used in wheel alignment that go down to a 64th inch.

Here is an alignment shim kit which is pretty handy. But they have the little handle on the top which makes them kinda funky to use on fenders and such.

Click here

Here are body shims.

Click here

I have some round ones like this as well, these don't look so much like a shim.

Click here
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:51 AM
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Now that is a great illustration on how to do that, using the hinge as it is currently on the car to align the panel up or down. At first it seemed counter-intuitive and then made sense when I studied the picture. I'd rather try this than fool around with moving the location of the hinge, hoping that didn't mess up the alignment somewhere else.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:51 AM
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That is exactly right, you can quickly make one adjustment, a very minor adjustment and see what you have.

Brian
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:42 PM
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Shim

Thanks, for the post. The pictures were very self explanatory!
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:36 PM
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How did you know I was fighting this on my car? It's exactly the issue I'm having. After I close the hood I can push it down into position. Guess I'll give it a shot tomorrow, hope it works. Just curious, would putting the shim at the other bolt "shim it up"?
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evolvo
How did you know I was fighting this on my car? It's exactly the issue I'm having. After I close the hood I can push it down into position. Guess I'll give it a shot tomorrow, hope it works. Just curious, would putting the shim at the other bolt "shim it up"?
YES that would raise the hood.

But hold on here, what kind of car are you talking about? If it's an older car you don't need to do this, you need to "rotate" the hinge back to lower the hood. This lowers it MUCH, MUCH more than simply pushing the hinges down.

Brian
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:12 PM
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Brian, it's my '67 Volvo 122 wagon. The original firewall between the hinges has been cut out and a new one welded in. I was thinking maybe the hinges are now a little out of plane which is giving me all these problems. I tried a different set of hinges and didn't gain anything. I over-sized the holes on the hinges where they bolt to the firewall to gain more adjustment, that didn't help either. Any chance you'd come to Seattle and fix this for me? I'll buy you a beer!
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:28 PM
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I am thinking you are right, the hinges are mounted at a different angle now and are tilted farther forward then they were originally. If this is the case shimming between the hood and hinge will lower the hood but we are just guessing at exactly what will happen. Go for it and give it a try. You could also modify where it is mounted by pushing the metal in at the top mount so the hinge rotates back as it originally was.

Brian
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:36 PM
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OK, I'll give it a try. Guess your not up for a road trip, huh!
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:40 PM
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I had a good time up there once on vacation (drove on up to BC) but I have 21 other states to go see before I start going to ones I have already been to, sorry.

Brian
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