1955 Ford Part 32B: Hood Adjustment
Updated: Dec 27, 2019
Hood Shim Plates
For this second installment on the work with the hood, we will turn our attention to fabricating, installing, and aligning 1/4" shim plates that had to be made to get the passenger side of the rear of the hood to come up flush with the firewall. 1/4" plate was secured from the fellas at the print shop here at Bearing Precious Seed (www.bpsmilford.org) and when I got home I went to town by making two cardboard templates. The 1955/56 Ford hood hinge flanges are not 180 degrees, and there just happens to be a dogleg that dips down at the rear. The first two bolts are on the same plane with the last bolt being a little lower.
Once these were cut in the most rudimentary of forms, a grinder was used to shape the sides in detail. Then it was over to the drill press to drill holes and make the slots. Again, the cardboard template was used to locate slot position.
The plates were then placed into a vise to clean up the slots with a file. I made sure to check the fitment with a bolt - the slot needed to be large enough to allow the bolt to slide in the opening with no interference. A bastard file was used to clean up any burrs or other irregularities in the way.
Once both plates were ready, I opened up the glass bead cabinet and cleaned the surfaces very good. After a quick wipe down with acetone the bare metal was covered with Rust Prevention Magic and allowed to cool.
The slots were not perfect (as the pictures show), but since these are spacers it was really not a big deal so long as the bolt has free reign to move within the slots on the hinge flange. I did use a different type of bolt than OEM however. You can see in the photo below what the difference is. The original hood bolt is on the left, and the replacement is on the right. Having full thread allowed more "catch" when the bolts were installed.
And the finished product when closed:
This is the before photo:
Things look great. Although it is not a perfect fit, I really cannot go any lower because of the hood lip as it goes towards the middle of the cowl. You can see what I mean by watching this video:
The installation looks clean and is barely noticeable. Plus, I did not have to modify the body in any way. I really think this is more of a hood issue than anything else. Somewhere along the line this thing got flexed or "bent out of shape" but who knows? These cars were not perfect when they rolled off the assembly line.