Installing Billet Hood Hinges - Modern Alignment - CHP Step By Step
From the May, 2010 issue of Chevy High Performance
By Sean Haggai
Photography by Sean Haggai
Just as the shocks, bushings, and springs in a vehicle's suspension will degrade over the years, other components-door strikers and even hood hinges-will wear out as well. Telltale signs of a worn hood hinge would include repeated adjustment fore and aft as well as height corrections. Another sign is when the hood is raised and it droops and will not stay up on its own. While only replacing the hood springs could have corrected our drooping hood, we were after an updated look to match the theme of today's muscle cars.
Swapping hood hinges is a...
Swapping hood hinges is a simple task, although having an extra pair of hands around to remove and reattach the hood makes the job much easier. To get the hood close enough to shut on the first try, we used a scribe to mark the location of the hinges on the hood. This gave us a starting point for the new hinges.
In our search for something a bit different, though, we decided to kill two birds with one stone. We ditched the idea of going with a factory replacement and instead went with a billet hood hinge assembly from Eddie Motorsports. The billet hood hinges have very distinct advantages over the stamped steel versions. First, the billet components are extremely strong, which means the hood won't wiggle once up, keeping the hood rigid. They are CNC-crafted from 6061-T6 billet aluminum and utilize sealed bearings for a smooth operation. Next is its adjustability; the billet hinges provide more in adjustment for aligning the hood to the fenders and hood latch. They also feature stainless steel fine-tuning adjustment turnbuckles for final fitment. Finally, you get a choice of custom color options: a polished; machined; or in our case, matte-black powdercoated finish to match our exterior.
Since we had previously installed...
Since we had previously installed button-head stainless hardware to the hood and hinges, we used a 7/32-inch Allen socket to remove the four bolts. If the factory hardware is still on the vehicle, a 9/16-inch socket should do. Note: All-new stainless hardware is included with the Eddie Motorsports kit.
To get the job done, we raised the hood on our '66 El Camino and got to work using basic handtools. Don't worry, this is no time-consuming chore; it took us less than an hour. And when it was done, we not only have a more rigid and smoother-functioning hood, but it looks downright awesome.
What We Did
Swapped the old spring-style hood hinges with a pair of Eddie Motorsports billet aluminum units
Added adjustment and stability with a modern look
With an extra set of hands,...
With an extra set of hands, we removed the hood and placed it out of the way. From there we could begin to remove the old factory hinges from the fenders.
Using the same 7/32-inch Allen...
Using the same 7/32-inch Allen socket, we removed the stainless bolts that held the hinges to each fender. Again, this original hardware is not reused, so you can toss them into your spare bolts bucket.
One of the key benefits with...
One of the key benefits with these hinges is adjustability. The arms of the hinge come with a turnbuckle link, which allows the hinge arms to spread or contract if needed. We removed the bar that comes already installed on the hinge and replaced it with the turnbuckle. We used the supplied Allen screws and new washers to attach the turnbuckle.
Another great feature is the...
Another great feature is the stainless gas tube shocks that replace the traditional spring assembly, also easy to install. The large side of the tube housing will face the front of the car, while the rod will point toward the firewall.
Side by side, the obvious...
Side by side, the obvious reason for our replacement can be seen. These clapped-out factory hinges have seen better days and the new billet pieces will provide years of trouble-free use. You'll notice that the factory hinge only provides one oblong hole for height adjustment, whereas the billet piece provides two.
Once the gas shocks are in...
Once the gas shocks are in place, it is important to install the keeper spring. These small springs will ensure that the shocks do not pop off the ball of the hinge. We installed one on each side of the shocks.
Using the new, longer stainless...
Using the new, longer stainless hardware, we installed the billet hood hinge to the fender with a 7/32-inch Allen socket. We snugged the bolt enough to hold the hinge but loose enough that we could still adjust the hinge if needed. We did this for both sides.
Next, we grabbed the hood...
Next, we grabbed the hood and lined the edge of the hinge to the scribe marks we made earlier. Then, using the supplied button-head stainless bolts, we secured them into place. As you can see, the hood was still too high and needed to be adjusted. To do this, we loosened the fender bolts and raised the hinge to close the gap after the hood was shut.
Our next adjustment would...
Our next adjustment would take care of the fore and aft fitment. In our case, when the hood was shut, it was too far forward. This adjustment would come from the bolts that secure the top of the hinge to the hood. We simply loosened the hardware and slid the hood toward the firewall about 1/8-inch. After tightening up the bolts, the hood now opens smoothly-and even stays up on its own.