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Old 06-07-2006, 10:01 PM
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section a rootlieb hood

Ok so I got the new Rootlieb hood top laying on top of this glass 34 coupe cowl and grill shell. The fit is terrible due to all of the factors described in another recent post about a 32 hood. The shape and sizing of this hood makes me unable to fit it by lining up the belt reveal line and then grinding down the top of the cowl to fit and thickening it up from underneath. That is the way I usually do these.
I have come to the conclusion that I need to extend it.
3/8" will do it.
Here is my question:
Is it better to add a 3/8 strip in the side, above the belt line or should I add it in the top at the hinge? (if I add it at the top I can pull the hood over to get the beltline to line up.)

If I add it at the side I cut the hood at the dotted line, seperate the sections, then weld in a 3/8' strip. That makes 2 40" long welds 3/8 apart from each other. I am afraid that that much heat will wreck up the side of the hood, although I believe that the belt line shape and the curve of the hood will keep the some of the distortion in check if I stitch weld it (tig) and hammer it flat as I go. This is the method that Tom at rootlieb suggested.

If I do the section at the top, I can cut off the current hinge curleycue and return flange , break a new section 90* x 3/8 wide and weld it on. The advantage to doing it this way is that there is only 1 40" weld and won't distort as much from 2 welds worth of heat. Also it is on a flat so I can clamp a heavy bar underneath it for support while I weld and hammer. I can get a new hinge curly thing from rootlieb and spotweld it on to the leg of my new extension. The disadvantage to this method is that I was told that the distortion will show up more in the flat, and be hard to straighten out.

I called Rootlieb and Tom said that if we want to wait a bit we can have them make us a new hood top(s).
A "bit" is too long.

I have done some welding on body panels (I'm marginal to OK) and fenders and alot of chassis welding (no problem there). I just haven't had the opportunity to chop up a brand new hood and I'm just a little bit apprehensive about where to do it.
I know a real man would just start whackin it up but I don't want to buy a new hood for this guy without at least having a little forethought involved in it's demise.
If anyone is interested I will share the photos as I go along.

What would you guys do? Any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks for reading this, mikey
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Old 06-07-2006, 11:14 PM
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I am a little confused, It looks like the body lines line up real well on the sides and the hinge all works as it should. The only problem is where the grille meets the hood, the gap is too tight on the right side, is that correct?

If that is the case why don't you move the grille over?

If I did have to modify the hood, I wouln't think about it for a minute, I would make a new piece and do the top.

Again, I am confused though. If you did the side it would bring the curve of the hood up off the cowl and grille. If you did the center, it would push this curve AND the body line OUT away from the side of the grille and cowl.

I don't think you "want" to do either one, do you?

I say move the grille over.

Brian
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:45 AM
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Hi brian, I was hoping you would see this.

I am not concerned about the grill or the gaps just yet. That grill will move where ever I want it to as it hasn't been installed permanently. It is just in position for getting the height of the front of the hood right. The gaps are of minimal concern to me right now as well, as the gap contours don't match no matter where you put the hood. I always line up the reveal line with the rest of the body's beltline first, get the "attitude" of the hood top right, then set my gaps by trimming.

I fine tune the position of the hood to tighten up the gap at the cowl. Then move the grill back to look right and gapped properly, tighten up and finalize all of my mounting brackets and hinge end brackets , then trim the edge of the hood to match the body. Sometimes I have to build up the body some if the gap line is too wavy or just too big.

What doesn't show up real well in the pics is how the cowl is about 1/4" higher on the top than the hood top when the belt reveal line is aligned. .

Trust me, If I could grind on the cowl some I would. I have no apprehension about taking a milwaukee 9" sidewinder with a 24 grit disc to it. (you saw that streamliner in my photo album. That was alot of grinding. And that "no more using 40 grit" thing does not apply here)

The last 3 '34 coupes that I have fitted the hoods on worked when I did it that way but they were only off by about 1/8" For some reason to make this one fit that way I would have to grind about 1/4" off starting about 3 or 4 inches from the cowl vent opening and blend it all the way across both sides. (both sides are off) If I do that I'm going to have to blend alot into the base of the windshield vertical panel to keep the cowl even close to being on the same plane as the hood. (I hate seeing a level hood and an angled cowl.) I would have to get underneath and cut loose the steel reinforcement at the lower windshield opening so I could thicken up the cowl from the bottom. No easy task as the steel is all laminated in. The cowl is only about 3/8" thick in that area so if I grind it down to fit the hood without adding some thickness from the bottom I am going to be asking for trouble later on. That part of the cowl is susceptible to cracking if it is too thin..
I have come to the conclusion that doing the hood is the easy way out.

Plus, I need the practice.

By the way, this hood is straight cut at the back and there is no double folded crimped edges except at the bottom and hinged areas. And no inner panel to mess with AND it is AKS or "deep draw" steel so it welds nice and bends like lead sheet. So when I add to the middle it can just be formed back over the curves on the outside and it will put the beltline where I want it.

SO after all of that, you say you would do the top? Does my welding method sound right?
Thanks for reading this, mikey
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Old 06-08-2006, 05:18 AM
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Like you said, it's kinda hard to tell from the pics. I think I had the same problem with my body (Gibbon). The cowl where it rolled over to the side was too high when the hood was fitted up against it, by about 1/4". Luckily Gibbon provided a generous amount of material in this area so I was able to remove some to bring it down to meet the hood. Here is a shot of mine, the red line is what I had to remove.


Man, slicing that hood lengthwise is a bit extreme IMO. Perhaps you can use a very thin weatherstrip that will not place the hood so high. Cutting that hood like that would be a last resort for me, and then only after I had tried everything else.

What body is it?

Vince
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Old 06-08-2006, 07:11 AM
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Thanks vince, I already looked at it like that also. I would love to grind the cowl top to get the panels flush with each other when the belt line is aligned. There just isn't enough material there.
The body isn't overly thin, It would just need alot of grinding. And to thicken it up would be more work than sectioning the hood. The side panels are no problem, they are easily trimmed.
The body is a Poli-form. I am very familiar with the construction of those bodies.
I am proficient at doing the glasswork, This will be the 4th hood I fit on a 34 and although I made the hoods on the others fit by grinding, I want to try fixing the hood on this one.

thanks, Mikey
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Old 06-08-2006, 07:28 AM
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Ok, I understand now. Mikey, in the first picture it looks to me like the body line on the cowl is a little smaller, and the top line is a little lower than on the door, is this correct?

You know where I am going with this, be sure line down the side of the car and hood are on a perfect plain. That is the ONE thing you need to do, and make everything else work around that plain. Raise or lower the grille until you see that this line is perfect but IGNORE the line right at the cowl, just look down the door onto the hood be sure that the line is HOOD is the same as the back of the door.

Could the door go a little up in the front? Look at all the gaps around the door, could it go a little up? Even if it needs to be trimmed here and there. You don't need to trim it just yet, just move it up some. As long as your bodyline plain from the quarter to the door isn't messed up. Being it isn't horizontal for a long distance on the 34 you probably won't have a problem. But THAT plain is the what you want to maintain.

Play around here, move the door a little up in the front. Now, shim the hood up at the lace to line up with the door. FORGET the body line on the cowl. Just look at the hood and the door. If you can get that close, raise the body line up on the cowl and shave the little difference off the top of the cowl.

How would that work? I AWAYS look at CORRECTING what is wrong before I go at MODIFYING what is correct, to fit what is wrong.

Brian
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Old 06-08-2006, 07:44 AM
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now you see it. In my verbose rambling way that is what I have been trying to say.
Line up the bead edge (belt reveal), then line up all the other panels to meet. That line needs to be straight. I hate 34's that look "sway back" because the belt line was not aligned right.

I looked at moving the door and moving that 3" section of the beltline on the cowl side up to meet the hoods beltline when it was flush with the cowl top .
The inner panel will hit the door jamb (or come close enough to be a rattle )and all of the gaps at the bottom and rear would have to be extended and all of the gaps at the top would have to be trimmed. Then I get to move the striker ( that hole doesn't need to get any bigger) and the dovetails.
And lastly, I still get to grind on the cowl to make it work

Can't i play with the hood? Please?
Thanks, mikey
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Old 06-08-2006, 07:46 AM
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Mike and Brian,

You guys have way more experience than I at this, but it looks to me that the hood tapers from back to front both vertically and horizontally.

Is it possible that the hood is just too short for this particular 'glass body?

I'm just wondering if, rather than cutting and sectioning the hood, you could try extending the back of it by some. Due to the taper, the resulting back of the hood would be slightly higher and slightly wider than what you have now, and you could move the grille shell up a bit to compensate.

May have to do the same with the side panels, however, to get everything to fit.

Seems to my unexperienced brain that extending the panels would be a lot easier, if it would work, than trying to section the hood.

Just something to think about...
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Old 06-08-2006, 07:55 AM
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Well, now I get to thinking, I remember seeing a comment in a Street Rodder mag back in the eighties about a study done and how modifying ONE part led to an average of 13 other parts needing modification because of the first modification. It was said with tongue placed firmly in cheek but there is truth to it.

If you raise that door and modify the cowl body line as I suggested (and you have already looked into) what will it do the the hood side panel fit with the lower panels (forget what those are called on the model 40) have you fit them?

You REALLY need to fit it all at one time. When I said to CORRECT what is wrong, first I would want to CLARIFY what IS wrong. If the cowl is too high, then IT needs to be corrected. If it can't, well, that is when other mods become necessary. And that cowl TOP being too high is what looks like is wrong here, UNLESS the hood is wrong. I have used those hoods on steel bodys and they just about bolted on as original so I have to go with the body being wrong.

I would be sure to have ALL parts on the front INCLUDING the fenders before I did anything. You need to get the BIG picture.

Brian
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:02 AM
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Thanks ckucia, I thought about that on one of the other 34's I did . you would have to add better than an inch or more to the back of those hood panels to get the taper of the hood to do that job. And it would involve welding on the hood and side panels anyway. I'm stubborn, huh? LOL. I blame my northeastern parents for that.
Thanks, mikey
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:19 AM
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Thanks brian, On a model 40, (33-34) those inner fenders are called "splash pans"
On this car those are short in the height, and can stand a little help from a hood extension as it will drop the side panels down.
This car will have no fenders. ( it may not have a hood if this keeps up)
Yes the cowl is wrong, it is a glass body. I looked at grinding the cowl and making it structurally sound again after I grind it and I think it would take more than a day or more worth of work to do that.
I know what is under the cowl on that body. I built it when I worked for Poli Form.

Would it take more than a day to cut and weld the hood top?
2 strips, 40" long.
Could I use the experience? I would like the experience.

I guarantee I have all the experience I need or want grinding and modifying fiberglass and moving doors and beltlines around.. I did that every day for 12 years.
And it is a big part of my current work.
It just looks like it would be easier to change the hood. How long would it take you to add a piece at the top, like previously mentioned?
Thanks, mikey
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:33 AM
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Mikey, warping the hood beyond comprehension is possible if you are not into the metal work. As you mentioned, that hood has no folded lip at the rear and only a tiny one at the front, there are no braces, they are VERY flimsy and even worse once you cut the sucker in half. They have no shape at all along that area to hold it in place. Even an experianced metal man would find that challenging. It is basically like taking a three foot by two foot long piece of new, flat sheet metal, cutting it down the middle and welding it back togther still keeping it perfectly flat, NOT an easy task.

Rethinking this, I would add the metal above the body line. But adding only 3/8" is going to get pretty dicey. You need flawless fit to put two beads down the length of the hood.

And again, if this mod is made, what others will need to be? If the splash pans are in, what will happen to the front being the grille ISN'T too high? The gap at the bottom of the hood will be an issue, without raising the grille I quess.

I would seriously look at doing what you have always done, correct the body.

Brian
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Old 06-08-2006, 05:55 PM
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Thanks guys for taking the time to answer my question. My initial question did get answered.
And thank you for making some really good suggestions.
but,
I was never good at taking direction.
It is too hot to grind fiberglass anyway.
If I mess up really bad, a new hood top is only 305.00
Please don't slight me because I have some sense of adventure left.
I'm going in.
mikey
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:13 PM
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LOL, you are rockin and rolling guy. I wonder why you asked, your mind was made up! AND you know how to do it, I have to get by your shop one of these days.

Brian
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:41 PM
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Hate to admit it, but looks like he is doing a jam up job. Just don't rush those spot welds.

Vince
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