The original hood was quite banged up, had lots of fine cracks around the grille, buckles along the edges, and was choc-o-block full of body filler.
First step was to sand back to bare metal….that’s when I hit all the body filler which was up to 3/8″ thick in places. I found that whoever fixed the car previously did not take the time to dolly out the dents before slathering it on. It must have been good stuff because it didn’ t crack.
It took some very careful welding to fill the cracks because the sheet metal is so thin. I had success welding the ultra thin metal by means of extremely short bursts with the welder. Literally “tick” wait for all colour to disappear, then another short tick until the crack is filled. It is a very long process, but it is the only way to be able to weld such thin metal.
Once you have succeeded in filling the crack, you can the flip it over and safely weld the other side with half-second blasts. Following this, a light pressure pass with a flapper wheel on both sides smooths everything out nicely. If you are really careful, you can’t even see the weld when you are done. It has taken me all this time on the project, to be able to do these welds with any kind off repeatability. Finally, I have learned how, just as the project is nearing completion (sigh).
The metal round the original grille was in such bad shape, I had to cut it back 1″ all around. B McL told me repeatedly that he had brought me back a used replacement grille from France. But darned if I could find it. While pondering what to do, I had a minor inspiration. I built a larger grille from sheet metal whose openings are in the shape of a chevron. I have to admit, I think it looks nicely evil.
kind of evil.