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Bonnet Alignment

Bonnet Alignment

I have finished all the metal work and priming on my 150 FHC with the exception of the bonnet. Anyone willing to share some tips and techniques on bonnet alignment and fitting? I ask this because I am having difficulty in getting a good fit on the last major item before we proceed to painting on the weekend of Nov 29-30. I had some twist which has been corrected. Also, I had a large sunken area which was carefully returned to a good plane. But the final adjustment is starting to work a number on us. The difficulty I am having with the bonnet is upon raising. The trailing edge just barely touches the scuttle. We have positioned and repositioned the hinges where they mount on the scuttle and also where they bolt to the scuttle. We have moved the hinges the full range at both of these points with various combinations of positions. After every adjustment we hold our breath but the edge still touches. I have even removed a very slight (perhaps 1/16 of an inch) amount of aluminum to get the clearance. I do note what appears to be hinge wear. But I try to compensate for this buy pulling toward the front as I gently raise the bonnet. This helps and does give some clearance but it still wants to rub a little. I am next going to try some shimming. I wasn't too careful in noting details when I removed it so I may be paying the cost. Since I accept the fact that everything is difficult on these cars, I thought I would slug it out on the bonnet as I have the other restoration aspects. At any rate, I will make some shims for a renewed effort. Final alignment of the bonnet is not going to delay my painting in the short term. Perhaps something else will but we intend to shoot the car with the bonnet removed anyway. I would appreciate anyone's thoughts. - Bob Oates

If the scuttle is painted, adding material thus decreasing your already dubious clearance, and then the bonnet adjustment is attempted, you will repaint the scuttle. At least once. Do it right now and you'll be VERY happy later. - George Badger

Dear Mr. Oates, I am not one to give advise, but I have learned that when I start a project like yours, I tend to get so excited to achieve my final goal that I end up shooting myself in the foot, so to speak. If I were in your position I would reschedule the paint job and achieve the perfect fit on everything before painting. You will be saving time in the long run because you will not have to paint the car twice. In regard to the fitting, You might elongate the slotted bolt holes to give you extra reach. This will not be as noticeable as shims but this will only work if you only have a very small distance to go such as 1/16" to 3/32". If you are only hitting in the middle maybe the radius of the bonnet could be increased slightly to allow clearance. - E.W. Blake

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