FRED TIP

‘53 Skylark hood fitment, HELP!!

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Thanks Al,

I like your diagram. Centering everything is exactly what we plan to address today, as careful centering seems to be the best plan. The reason the gap from side to side on the hood/cowl is that when we reinstalled the fender supports and radiator bracket, we probably were slightly off center.  A fraction of an inch in front would be a substantial gap at the rear of the hood.  It might also be possible that the radiator support may need raised slightly,  so this will be checked later today. 

 

Thanks to everyone for so much encouragement and helpful ideas. 


Fred

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On Friday, it took all of 6 hours to do so, as we took our time and carefully made some great progress. We determined that the hood towards the front of the car was off center by about 1/4".  (Al was correct in his observation). We dropped a plumb line from the center hood hole where the hood ornament is bolted on (also measured from hood crease to hood crease at that point to be doubly sure that the hole itself was centered.  We then carefully measured the space between the inside frame rails and found dead center. We then moved the hood so that everything lined up on center. The gap along the rear edge of the hood at the cowl was then even, although slightly tighter at each side - however the gap was exactly the same on each side. There is no way to correct this without welding metal most of the way across the rear edge of the hood which is not practical. We also raised the center radiator support (hood latch bolts into this) as hood was sitting a little low and front fenders did not line up until we made this adjustment. We have a little tinkering to do, but are 90% of the way.  This coming week, we will fine tune everything and drill some 1/8" pilot holes under each of the three rubber angle bumpers into the front fenders and into the inner panel below.  Reason: We will  be removing the hood and fenders for painting and don't want to have to waste any more time on this, especially with fresh paint.  In conclusion, want to say that 1953 and 1954 Buick hoods are very difficult to properly line up, as can be seen if closely looking at any cars of that vintage.  Having the springs renewed was a big plus, as they now open smoothly.  Before rebuilding the springs, the hood jerked back when being opened and hit the cowl or top of doors - not good.

 

I greatly appreciate all of the helpful ideas regarding this issue and want to thank everyone for their comments and suggestions, as well as encouragement.

 

Fred 

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We are almost finished with the hood alignment, but waiting  on some rubber bumpers, as the originals are hard as a rock.  We need to do some 'fine tuning' to get the hood/door gap even on both sides.  They are close, but need a little more tinkering after the new rubber bumpers come in from Steele.  Having the hinge and door springs remanufactured was the best thing we could have done. The hood hinge rivets were very loose and sloppy, and the springs were stretched and bent, resulting in a loss of tension.  The hinges were rebuilt and because, there are no new springs available, different new springs were adapted, resulting in smooth working hinges.  The hinges were rebuilt by Rowland Hall, 1901 Jackson Street, Burbank, CA 91504, (818)726-9440, rowlandhall@mindspring.com.

 

Fred

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