Yesterday the welder was working OK. Today, not so much. So, I tore into it and made some adjustments to the feed mechanism. The good news is that it helped. The bad news is that I had to adjust it all the way out. Not sure what that means. It also still will stop feeding when set on half speed. I usually have to crank it up to full to get it going and then it will be OK for a while. I probably need a new welder.
But, I did manage to get the center strip finished welded. And ground down. Once it was finished to a point, it was checked on the car. The question is never will it warp. The question is how much and am I capable of fixing it? Even though I jumped around and stopped periodically to keep the heat low, the hood still flared out at the back. I figured it needed the center ''humped up'' about a half inch. A ratchet tie down was hooked to the hinge mounting pads. The center support plate was heated with a torch, and a board was used as a reference point to measure. Success! As you can see in the photo, the left side of the hood still needs a bit of tweaking. But for the first rough in, not bad.
And, as can be seen with the level, the hood center-line is not too bad. There are some lows and oil-canning either side of the center, but, again, not too bad. I will do some stretching and shrinking as soon as I get the backing plates welded into the side openings.
Finally, approx. 28 of the 50 holes are ground smooth. The remaining 22 are partially ground and just need finished. (Although there is one which will need one hit of weld for a pin-hole)
A lot of skipping around resulted in about half the welds in before the mosquitoes put an end to the day. In order to allow extra time to cool, some of the side holes were filled. I tried doing them by backing the holes with the copper and filling them instead of cutting sheet metal plugs. It worked pretty well. I got two big ones and one small slit filled and ground. Three down, 47 to go.
Bolted the hood together. Got it all lined up and tightened everything so nothing will move. Used drift punches to center adjacent holes. Once everything was tight, a quick look verified the hood was as good as it was going to get.
The plug welds were put in. Then the bolts were removed one at a time. A copper backing plate was clamped to the flange with Vise Grips and the bolt holes were welded as well.
The rear plate that bolts the two channels together at the back of the hood. A piece of metal was cut to fill the gap at the front of the hood and welded in place.
A strip was cut from 18 ga. and tacked in place in the center of the hood.
At this point, the two piece hood is now for all intents and purposes a one piece hood.
Punched plug weld holes in the flanges, alternating so welds will go in from both sides down the length.
Masked off the hood halves in preparation for weld through primer. Then found out that both cans of weld through primer did not survive the move (or the winter, or the heat, who knows). Mad. Then I found out that the Transtar had gone up about 7 dollars a can. More mad. Then I found out that nobody had any in stock. Even more mad.
Ended up going with an even more expensive primer from a new (to me anyway) manufacturer. Spies Hecker. It's regular primer but the spec sheet says it is good as a weld through.
Decided to let it set up overnight due to the coolness and humidity. Welding should start tomorrow.
The hood was taken apart. The flanges where the hood joins was cleaned. The hood pieces were than taken outside and blasted in the areas where sanding was impractical. The reinforcing plate that joins the hood halves at the back was cleaned and prepped for welding.