One of my customers came to me with a painted vehicle that needed a 3″ longer than stock hood and sides to compliment his newly painted Ford 1932 radiator shell. The tricky part was dealing with a vehicle that was painted, and to a high standard! After taking patterns from the cowl and radiator shell perimeters of his truck, I set about developing the hood on an aluminum sheet.
After everything was mapped out I rolled the hood sides with a purposely built jig/former, that I built for a previous Ford hood. I got this idea from when I was making a run of prototype roofs for the Landrover Discovery 2 ten years back in England. I basically built the same jig and applied the necessary geometry. After rolling the hood sides and checking to the perimeter patterns, I proceeded to incorporate the bead/style line. To achieve this, I made the tooling for the bead roller on a lathe, again for a previous custom lengthened Ford hood. After I was satisfied with the bead, I folded the inner flange and notched the ends for clearance on the rad shell and cowl.
Onto the hood sides next: Patterns were again taken when the hood was in position. Cardboard patterns were transferred onto flat aluminum sheets. From there the bead was formed at the base, along with the upper flange, and the necessary notches for the frame, cowl, and rad shell.
Next on the project was to incorporate louvers for extra cooling in the California heat. I sent the hood sides out to a company that’s set up for punching the louvers and they did an excellent job on return inspection.
Now onto the final stages after hood and sides are mocked up: I used an after market hood hinge kit to tie the assembly together. The hood sides are buttoned down with DZUS fasteners with the backing plate tig welded onto the frame. With panels fixed into place and dry test runs complete, I panel gapped the aluminum panels to the painted body and shell.
Finally, I was able to remove the tape protecting the paint and reveal the sleek lines of the truck. Panels were removed for one final time and metal finished, no filler required, then straight to primer and paint. I was very happy, and the customer even happier!…..and no paint scratched!