Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Two Cents on Hood Alignment

It's no joke, a picture is worth a thousands words--but that wouldn't stop me from writing another thousand to go along with this picture.  Bottom line, I've never really been all that pleased with the front hood alignment on the Nautilus.  It all goes back to having to use a replacement hood on the craft to create something presentable for the painters.  The original hood was a bit caved in from what apparently were two sets of butt cheeks, so I hesitantly provided a really nice spare to further the project.  I wasn't all that keen on its use because Karmann's own body build process for the Ghias matches up the hood and decklid to the main body shell very early on in each car's construction.  This is done because the dimensions vary from car to car, particularly in the trunk openings at the front and rear, mainly due to its hand built nature.  The same could be said for the doors, though to a lesser degree.  Regardless, swapping out any of these movable body panels results in a host of alignment issues that can be really difficult to contend with, but are nearly impossible to resolve invisibly after paint is on the car.  Knowing this well, I badgered all the guys at Motorworks very early on to make sure this particular alignment issue was addressed during the bodywork.

After opening and closing the front hood a bunch of times to test fit the hood seal, the right rear hood height issue made itself known again, along with my acute annoyance.  I let Jeremy at Motorworks know about the situation and he assured me that the problem could be resolved, but never really went in to detail on how.  I decided to 'logic' my way through the issue and what you see is the hack I came up with.  Literally, two pennies were used to model up a hinge shim to lower the right rear of the front hood.  To be completely honest, I actually put the two pennies to the back side of the hinge initially, which raised the hood twice as high as it was.  Either way, a wedge shaped shim will work well.  This change also resulted in the need for a change to the front hood latch hook by using a hammer to reshape it a bit.  For our Type 14 Karman Ghia friends, the hinge shimming would work similarly.

Jeremy at Motorworks Restorations has assured me that he will formalize my investment with a far less noticeable and far more presentable shim after I finish assembly and bring the craft back to them for final tweaks.  In the meantime, two pennies saved are two pennies earned.

No comments: