1. To attain that sleek custom look, the “parrot beak” on the leading edge of the ’51 Ford hood would be reshaped into a sleeker and lower shape. The first step was to mark the offensive area and remove it with a cut-off wheel.
2. Here’s the piece of the hood removed, this piece could be reshaped, leaned back, and refitted to the hood, and Honest Charley Garage opted to form a whole new panel.
3. The gaping hole in the leading edge of the hood is a little intimidating, but the work will be worth the effort. Note the hole is cut perfectly symmetrical from side to side, this is imperative to keep the contours identical.
4. Inside the hood the old hood brace is removed and new box tubing braces are tack-welded in place to temporarily brace the hood during surgery.
5. Green foam blocks were glued together with contact cement and held in place by the temporary hood braces. Then Richard Marter carefully formed the new shape using a DA and 80-grit paper. Work slowing to achieve the same contours on both sides of the peak.
6. After achieving the desired shape we held up the profile of the original hood. As you can see the reformed hood is only a couple of inches lower but it makes a dramatic change.
7. Using the foam block as a guide, Marter built a wooden buck that matches the contours of the foam perfectly.
8. The wood buck fits inside the hood and will act as a guide while the panels are being formed. There will be some light hammer work against the buck too, but the buck is designed to be used as a gauge, not an anvil.
9. The center peak was formed from a 3-inch-wide strip of 18-gauge steel that was first bent in a sheetmetal brake, then, using Eastwood shrinker and stretcher tools the radius was formed in the center piece.
10. With the nosepiece fitted to the center of the hood it was time to check the profile before forming the two side panels. Obviously this piece must be perfectly centered.
11. The side panels were formed by gently bending over a large piece of pipe to begin the radius, and then an English wheel was used to finish the compound curves. Bend a little, test-fit, and then shape a little more until you have the desired shape.
12. After both side panels were fit and matched to the buck they were tack-welded to the center strip. All welding on this panel was done with a Miller TIG welder.
13. With all three pieces tack-welded together it was time for one more test-fit on the buck. Satisfied with the fit it was time to finish-weld the pieces and install the panel in the hood.
14. Here’s the reformed hood nose welded in place. Alternating from side to side and welding in 1-inch beads helps minimize warping. Note the welded seams at the center of the hood have already been sanded smooth.
15. Marter continues to carefully grind down the welds. Care must be taken not to thin the base metal or to generate too much heat while grinding as this can cause warping or cracks.
16. As the welds are being finished with the grinder it is easy to find the high and low spots. A little hammer and dolly work during the finishing process produces a nice flat panel.
17. The hood is a long flat panel and after welding it was apparent some metal shrinking would be required. Rather than use a torch as the heat source, Greg Cunningham broke out his vintage Eastwood Stinger stud welder. This generated the heat for the shrinking process perfectly.
18. After the Eastwood stud welder had heated an area the size of a dime to a soft red glow, Cunningham employed hammer, dolly, and a wet rag to shrink the desired area.
19. Meanwhile Delton Scott was busy fabricating a repair panel for the inner hood brace, hopefully the last bit of rust repair to be done on the car.
20. After the new nose was completely welded in place and all the welds had been dressed the new brace was reinstalled in the hood. By matching all the holes perfectly the inner brace looks better than new.
21. Slipping the hood back on the AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour car it was instantly clear that this modification made a huge difference in the front and side view of the car. The new contours are perfect.
22. The welds and recessed areas were given one final pass with the grinder to ensure perfectly clean metal for the tinning process to follow.
23. Of course there is still bodywork to do and to that end we broke out a couple pounds of Eastwood’s finest 30/70 body solder along with a can of Eastwood tinning paste, copper wool, and tallow wax.
24. After adjusting your torch to an acetylene-rich “feather”, gently heat the panel. Keep the torch in motion to prevent warping the panel and test the tinning paste until it achieves a temperature high enough to melt the tinning solder. Wipe the tinning compound over the panel using copper wool.
25. After tinning, the panel it is cleaned with a mixture of baking soda and water to neutralize the acids in the tinning paste. The tinning solder adheres to the base panel and then the lead adheres to the tinning layer.
26. Once again carefully heat the panel and preheat the lead solder sticks so that the lead will flow onto the panel. The lead and the tinned panel will then melt together when they both reach the melting point of the solder.
27. As the lead melts we used our Eastwood lead paddle to shape the lead to fill the recess. The paddle is dipped into the tallow wax to prevent the lead from sticking to the paddles.
28. The lead can be gently reheated and then re-paddled to achieve the desired shape. Having two people working is a great help, one maintains the temperature and applies the lead while the other person does the paddling.
29. After the lead has cooled we shaped the panel with a Vixen file from Eastwood. This heavy-tooth file shaved the lead to shape easily. Like any body filler, remove material slowly so you don’t have to go back and add more lead.
30. After some careful filing the center seam is perfectly filled. Besides being old school and just plain cool to work with, the lead provides a strong, long-lasting filler.
31. The final step was to sand over the filed lead with a DA. Wear a respirator when sanding lead. After this step we’ll wipe the panel down with some Eastwood pre-paint prep solvent and apply primer.
32. Here’s the finish-sanded hood. After a skim coat of body filler and a coat of JP205 polyester primer the hood is looking good, the lines are clean, crisp and simple so they blend perfectly with the rest of the car. After blocking, K36 urethane primer will be applied to the hood.
Check out this video of the guys over at Honest Charley Garage pancaking the hood on our '51 Ford Road Tour car.
To see more videos covering the build of the 2013 AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour '51 Ford, click here.