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Hood Latch Stuck on 1963 - Need Help With A Measurement

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I've struggled, studied and tried everything in my bag of tricks which included swapping with another functioning Latch.

They both function perfectly until they're installed. They both latch upon lowering the hood. But oh boy, I'd say 4 attempts out of 5 are unsuccessful.

With 2 latches doing the exact same thing but only 1 hood, I'd say - the hood.

The hood has definitely been tampered with. A few years back I had to play with the opening for the main and safety catch to work together. It is now 2 3/16" wide. What should it be?

Image #1 shows my spare Latch fully inserted. Upon releasing, #2 shows the spare's main catch stuck part way up. The ratchet is fully released but that articulating catch won't flip upwards fully. A solid mechanical no-can-do. I can re-close the hood at this point but it will only raise an inch with repeated attempts. 

It's that little catch locked part way up😠

The whole mechanism inserts freely without any binding.

Anyone encountered this and how to make it reliable?




Edited by XframeFX (see edit history)
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Since I reassembled my '64 I have had to close the hood, then firmly give one more push with my hands flat to get the final latch. I even sought professional help and neither of us could adjust it to my expectations. My suspicion is that I would need to get into the core support mounts (or inner fender) if I was serious.


The topic reminds me of an incident around 1972 at my Grandfather's car lot. He had a '63 Riviera and the hood wouldn't open. Never one to be intimidated, he picked up his torch and cut a hole in the hood to one side of the peak. Ooops! Wrong side. The second hole was right on. He got it released and bent a few things to get it to work. He had a special pair of gloves for fiberglass work. Those came out, a gallon of "peanut butter", and a couple pieces of screen. Off it went to the auction the next Tuesday. At the time it was probably a $250-$300 car.

He would finish the job by putting a big ball of fiberglass under a piece of paper, then smoothing it out and trimming the edges. That saved a lot of sanding. And he (we) just painted the paper.


Would you like me to take a look at it for you?

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Thanks for the image!

So, what dimension is the opening from left to right? I have it 1/8" wider than the Latch.


The hood stuck closed before I worked on that right tang. That's when I noticed only the main would work, the safety, not. Adjusting the latch enabled the safety (right) side but, the main, not.

I made it smaller by bending down the right tang for both catches to work. It has been messed with before me.


Bernie, you don't scare me. As a boy loitering around open overhead doors of local shops on my bicycle, I've seen plenty of steel wool, screens, fiberglass and spatulas in action slapping on that white lighting!

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  • XframeFX changed the title to Hood Latch Stuck on 1963 - Need Help With A Measurement

I've made the Square Hole in the Hood smaller for the Main and Safety catches to work. Now it gets stuck more often. I started making it bigger again but really need to know how wide I should make it?

Image #3 above is the dimension I'm looking for. I've increased it since and the Hood is still stuck closed.

I am really regretting tossing out a Hood 28 years ago when I moved to our current residence.


It is so unreliable, maybe remove the latch and drill holes for Hood Pins😱!



John B.

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On 2/22/2021 at 8:08 PM, XframeFX said:

So, what dimension is the opening from left to right?

John good day.


Albeit a shaky hand measure of my ‘64, it appears to be a tad (+/-1/16” less of 2”). 


Both tabs have a pretty smooth radius, it looks like you might be challenged to restore the curve for smooth operation. Andy’s ‘63 still has (Aug 2018) the hood if you need to look for a spare.


Nonetheless, hope this helps, good luck.





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2 inch wide? Oh my - I'm at 2 3/16", up from 2" after bringing that right tang down from 2 5/8" where I couldn't make both latches to function and the hood still stuck closed. Unsafe!

Thinking out-loud:

The Latch "Tongue" is 2" wide and I know the Hood opening has to be pretty close to that to keep the hood from slipping past the main catch and for the safety to work.

My latch is positioned to the left extreme. Hole in the Hood, not centered? Judging from Gungeey's image my left corners are different. Someone bashed up the left tang and is why the catch is uncooperative?


So, pulling down the left tang and curving up the right tang for a 2" spread will hopefully center and make the main latch happy? The best image is Gungeey's but is only at 1 angle.


Thank for the measurement Mike!




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Good point. This is not the original hood to my Riv. I'm not happy with the drivers door to fender gap. But the Hood-to-Fender gaps are fine. Images are with the latch in. But the Hood drops right down the middle when I had the Latch out.


I tried having all 3 bolts loose so that it could float and find it's position. Oh boy, had to play with it a long time to get it open.

I tried tilting the Latch using washers for shims. No Luck

My image #3 at the start of this post shows paint gouged away well to the left of the left tang. I think this is where main catch has trouble swiveling. Meaning the left tang has to come down. I will try that next and go slow. I'll bring the left tang down slightly and bring the right up. Doing this little by little and see what happens.


At least I have the advantage of a 2nd latch. If after inserting it loose, I can get it to release without locking-up, I can drop the hood without fear of it being stuck.


All this time to finally realize this issue has been tampered with before. Leaving me to pickup where a previous owner left it.




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here's what i got for you John


the 2nd picture at the beginning of the thread i think shows a lot of distortion on that left side


Maybe hercules sized hand and pipe wrench


Hope that helps

hood measure1.jpg

hood measure2.jpg

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This is exactly what I need. Many Thanks!

I assume the measurement is 13mm.

Also, the view at another angle reveals how my left tang is entirely different.

Will go at it again in short order. Snow is starting to melt!


John B.


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