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Back of hood to cowl gap - 53/54 C/K

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  • Body: Back of hood to cowl gap - 53/54 C/K

    I hope someone can help! My painter/bodyman is trying to align the hood on my 54 coupe. The rear edge of the hood "moves back" and scrapes the cowl just as you begin to raise it. He tried two sets of hinges (original set and NOS set I found at "York"), both worked exactly the same. He has tried moving the hood forward. That helps a little, but then the gap is ridiculous (1/2") and it still rubs a little. Both sets of hinge springs are new (repro, I think). Classic Enterprizes hood stiffeners have been added. We want to fix this before paint! Does anyone have experience/suggestions with this problem? It feels like it is a problem with hinge geometry, but these are the correct hinges. HELP! Don

  • #2
    Mock it up with the cowl/hood gasket in place. A couple of small pieces of stiff foam will do. If it still rubs in the middle the hood may have flattened out over time. I needed to add a bit of curve back to the rear of the hood get my 54K to act correctly IIRC.

    Bob

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    • #3
      Thanks for the quick reply, Bob. We did use the cowl weatherstrip (from S.I.). We even shimmed it up a bit in the middle. You are so right, it only rubs in the middle! I'll share your idea for adding some curve back to the middle. That might just do the trick. BTW, what does IIRC mean?

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      • #4
        Something I've seen more than once..."It helps to pull forward on the hood as you raise it".

        On one of my 54 wagons, the hood clears fine. On the other wagon, it touches lightly as I raise it. On my 54, 4dr., running parts car, it rubs the cowl pretty hard.
        On the wagon that touches "lightly" and the parts car...I swapped hoods, not hinges just hoods. The new hood on each car did as it did on each car . On the wagon that rubs lightly, it's easy to tug on it a little as I lift it, and no problem. The parts car, don't care, I just lift..!

        Mike

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Don M View Post
          Thanks for the quick reply, Bob. We did use the cowl weatherstrip (from S.I.). We even shimmed it up a bit in the middle. You are so right, it only rubs in the middle! I'll share your idea for adding some curve back to the middle. That might just do the trick. BTW, what does IIRC mean?
          IIRC = if I remember correctly
          Frank van Doorn
          Omaha, Ne.
          1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
          1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
          1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD

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          • #6
            As I understand it. The proper way to open the hood on any C or k body is to pull forward on the hood then lift up. Same goes with closing push back as you close.

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            • #7
              In order for the front of the hood to meet the fenders and grill properly, the hood on my GT has a large gap at the cowl. The gap between the fenders and doors is VERY small, (they all but drag). Even with a large gap the hood would contact the cowl at the center with a stock or stock type gasket. I replaced the gasket with 5 rubber blocks that were sized to only allow the hood to sit flush with the cowl and no lower. The hood can no longer contact the cowl even if it wanted to. As a bonus, the under hood temp has dropped over 20 degrees.
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Thanks to all who have replied so far. It sounds like all of the replies lead to the same culprit... the hood sags or flattens out in the center, loosing it's arch. My bodyman and I were ready to try a solution like Ben's before I posted. It sounds like those blocks would help maintain the arch.

                Also, Ben, if you are in Goleta, I've been trying to start a "Central Coast" chapter of the SDC. I live in Monarch Dunes - Trilogy in Nipomo. Let me know if you want to be on the prospect list.

                Don

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                • #9
                  Nobody mentioned springs. Old springs (sometimes) or no springs cause this very problem . How do I know ? My 53 just got put together!! No springs or weak springs is most of the problem , when people say you have to pull forward when lifting. I have had all the above mentioned to make a difference on the Saturday night special, Just in the last few weeks. Had to put some bow back in. Had to have the cowl strip in place had to have the springs working good.

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                  • #10
                    Both sets of hood hinge springs are new (from S.I., I think). The "pull forward" technique helps, but in my case the hood scratches the cowl the moment you "pop" the latch, so it is too late to pull it forward.

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                    • #11
                      Don't forget the cross rod with the 2 rubber hose/bumpers on it. Those are intended to help prevent hood sag.

                      The rubber strip on the cowl is critical and even then you may need to have a bit more gap than you would want.

                      Jeff in ND

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Don M View Post
                        Both sets of hood hinge springs are new (from S.I., I think). The "pull forward" technique helps, but in my case the hood scratches the cowl the moment you "pop" the latch, so it is too late to pull it forward.
                        This would indicate your hood is too close to the cowl. My guess is a good hood to cowl gap with no interference would be about 3/8", a 1/4" gap would be a miracle from what I've seen.

                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          I have come across many C/K models with this problem. The center area of the hood seems to sag over time. My fix for this takes a "touch/feel". I place cloth wrapped pieces of wood between the hood and the cowl (in the center area) and apply a "bit" of force to the hood as you bring it near to a closed position. It is easier for me to do this than it is to try and describe how to do it (without causing damage). If you have a body man that is experienced in this type of adjustment, he can probably handle it.
                          Gary L.
                          Wappinger, NY

                          SDC member since 1968
                          Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                          • #14
                            I just went out in the garage and checked the hood to cowl gap on our three Hawks. The 56J is 3/8", the 63GT is 3/8", and the 62GT is 1/4". None of them scrape when opening or closing.

                            Agree with what others have mentioned: the cowl gasket is critical, strong springs and cross rod attached securely on both ends also help.

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                            • #15
                              I measured the hood to cowl gap on my '62 today too. It is .430" (almost 7/16") but if the hood was further back it would fit the fenders and side grills even worse than it does now. Because I was there I also measured the door to fender gaps they are .090" (roughly 3/32") so moving the whole mess rearward is not an option. The '53 is a bit tighter but it's not here to measure.

                              That cross rod between the two hinge arms is there so that the two hinges will work together simultaneously. Without it one side could rise or fall without the other, possibly bending the hinges and dropping the hood on the fender.
                              sigpic

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