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Username Post: Hood spring problem - ya gotta love old cars!        (Topic#352865)
Brian D from NJ 
Senior Member
Posts: 603
Brian D from NJ
Loc: Riverside, New Jersey
Reg: 04-28-04
09-05-18 12:00 PM - Post#2745408    

Well, removed the right side spring (passenger) on my '56 BA. Did this to remove the battery for my recent alternator issue. (Thank you acardon)

Don't remember how I did it! because now I can't get it back on. I replaced the hinges and springs years ago and do not remember having any issues back then.

The originals were shot. They wouldn't hold the hood up at all. I got the replacements from, I believe, Mutton Hollow. They are nice springs, chromed. But very, very stiff to bend.

I've tried the trick to insert washers, pennies, dimes, shims in between the coils but these springs are tight. I mean I have to put them in a vise to bend them. And they are hard to do even at that.

It is about an inch and a half short from spring mount to spring mount.

I tried opening the hood as high as it would go and lowering it as far as it would go, but it makes no difference.

I'm tempted to remove the hinge, but then, is THAT going to be and issue when I try to bolt it back to the hood?

Sound familiar to anyone else?

Just because your car/truck was "Made In America" doesn't mean it's American made... think about it. Buy American First.


 


craig32 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1310

Age: 57
Loc: PA
Reg: 08-05-07
09-05-18 12:57 PM - Post#2745417    
    In response to Brian D from NJ

Are you saying the hood is on the hinge with no spring and it doesn't seem to fit now?
If so, you should remove the hood and put the spring on first, as the hinge has more movement without the hood.
That's how I remember it anyway.

66 Impala (in progress}
56 Stepside shortbed
55 Bel Air sedan
81 Corvette
02 Monte Carlo (bought new)


 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 27664
Rick_L
Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
09-05-18 02:37 PM - Post#2745429    
    In response to Brian D from NJ

Are you sure you have the correct spring? Is it the same length as your old tired one?

Here's what to do if you do have the correct spring.

Put one spring eye in the vise. String about ten 3/8" flat washers loosely on a long tie wrap. Bend the spring and insert each washer between a coil. Now you can take the spring to the hinge (on the car) and with the washers in it, it will fit over the hooks/notches on the hinge. Using some pliers or channel locks, remove the washers one at a time. They may come out easier if you partially lower the hood. The tie wrap keeps all the washers together so that they don't fall down into nooks and crannies in your car, or fall on the floor.



 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11303
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
09-05-18 02:47 PM - Post#2745432    
    In response to Rick_L

  • Quote:
It is about an inch and a half short from spring mount to spring mount.



I agree, sounds like you have the wrong springs. 55 and 56 springs will usually slip over the hooks if you raise the hood as high as it will go. The hinges don't have stops on the gears like a 57 hinge, so it can be raised past the normal open position. The new springs should be stiffer, not shorter.


Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


 
warpwr 
"13th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 955
warpwr
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
Reg: 04-11-06
09-05-18 10:06 PM - Post#2745453    
    In response to acardon


New springs (on the right) are a bit shorter than the originals.

Vaughn
56 Delray 327, 5 spd



 
Brian D from NJ 
Senior Member
Posts: 603
Brian D from NJ
Loc: Riverside, New Jersey
Reg: 04-28-04
09-06-18 11:23 AM - Post#2745495    
    In response to Rick_L

Rick, these have been on there for about seven years. No issues.

I did try the washer trick as I said, this is one tough sucker to bend.

Just because your car/truck was "Made In America" doesn't mean it's American made... think about it. Buy American First.


 
Brian D from NJ 
Senior Member
Posts: 603
Brian D from NJ
Loc: Riverside, New Jersey
Reg: 04-28-04
09-06-18 11:53 AM - Post#2745498    
    In response to Rick_L

Another problem that I just noticed is that when the hood is open, it is higher on the left side (driver side) than the right side(the problem side).

Measuring from the cowl, there is about two inches of space to the back of the hood from the cowl. However; on the right side (the problem side) there is only about a half of an inch space.

When I try to close the hood, that back left side looks OK, 1/8 of an inch space(?). But the right side (the problem side) is tight and I mean TIGHT. I can barely get the width of a matchbook between the cowl and the back of the hood. So much so, the back of the hood has scraped paint off of the cowl.

To let you know, I DID NOT touch the right side hinge in any way.

Also, neither hinge looks bent or disfigured. I can't figure it out.

As I mentioned before the springs are correct. I did find the receipt for Mutton Hollow. The hinges are also aftermarket. I remember checking to make sure they looked like the originals. Which they do. I kept the originals.

Just because your car/truck was "Made In America" doesn't mean it's American made... think about it. Buy American First.


 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11303
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
09-06-18 01:10 PM - Post#2745504    
    In response to Brian D from NJ

That sounds like the gears are not meshed correctly. I don't know if 55/56 hinges can be moved far enough to "unmesh" the gears and "remesh" them correctly or not, by lifting the hood past it's normal position. As I said, 57 hinges have stops that prevent them from going too far and getting out of mesh.
I think I invented some new words.

Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


Edited by acardon on 09-06-18 01:11 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 27664
Rick_L
Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
09-06-18 02:30 PM - Post#2745514    
    In response to warpwr

Are ALL replacement springs that much shorter, or just the ones from that vendor? Looks like the wire diameter and number of coils is different too.

My only experience on 57 hinges and springs was helping to put some stainless repro's on a 57. Everything fit well and the installation went well. The hinge bolt that goes in from the interior compartment side of the firewall is a genuine PITA. As well as those pesky little fender clamps. But the springs went right on using the washer trick. As I recall they looked just like stock hinges and springs except they were shiny.




 
Brian D from NJ 
Senior Member
Posts: 603
Brian D from NJ
Loc: Riverside, New Jersey
Reg: 04-28-04
09-06-18 03:59 PM - Post#2745525    
    In response to acardon

I'll submit "unmesh" and "remesh" to the Cambridge Dictionary for 2018 nominations ...

Just because your car/truck was "Made In America" doesn't mean it's American made... think about it. Buy American First.


 
Brian D from NJ 
Senior Member
Posts: 603
Brian D from NJ
Loc: Riverside, New Jersey
Reg: 04-28-04
09-06-18 04:42 PM - Post#2745529    
    In response to acardon

"That sounds like the gears are not meshed correctly"

Don, just checked the gears, on both sides, and they are good. Both hinges look OK, not distorted or bent.

I'll look more tomorrow. It should be cooler here. Right now it's about 1200 degrees and 400 percent humidity in my garage.

Just because your car/truck was "Made In America" doesn't mean it's American made... think about it. Buy American First.


 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11303
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
09-07-18 06:17 AM - Post#2745566    
    In response to Brian D from NJ

  • Quote:
Another problem that I just noticed is that when the hood is open, it is higher on the left side (driver side) than the right side(the problem side).

Measuring from the cowl, there is about two inches of space to the back of the hood from the cowl. However; on the right side (the problem side) there is only about a half of an inch space.



The only way this could happen is the hinge is bent or meshed wrong.



Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


 
beagrizzly 
"11th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 2102
beagrizzly
Age: 69
Loc: south texas
Reg: 08-04-12
09-07-18 08:33 AM - Post#2745579    
    In response to Brian D from NJ

Dude,

That's MESHED up!!!!

Pun.........get it? MESHED up?

BAHAHAHA!!!

Griff

if you're gonna be a bear..................

1960 Biscayne (the 6T)
2005 Yukon XL
2007 GMC Sierra Classic 8.1
2009 Silverado
2011 Escalade ESV


 
Brian D from NJ 
Senior Member
Posts: 603
Brian D from NJ
Loc: Riverside, New Jersey
Reg: 04-28-04
09-10-18 11:26 AM - Post#2745816    
    In response to acardon

Don, I had a friend raise and lower the hood - SLOWLY - while I watched the hinge in question (passenger side) and saw nothing that would indicate the hinge gears are out of alignment or anything like that. No noise, as far as grinding goes, either.

I also measured each hinge and they are both the same. Hmmmm.

Just because your car/truck was "Made In America" doesn't mean it's American made... think about it. Buy American First.


 
warpwr 
"13th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 955
warpwr
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
Reg: 04-11-06
09-10-18 09:53 PM - Post#2745864    
    In response to Brian D from NJ

Have you lubricated the hinges with light engine oil as recommended in the 1956 Guide to your New Chevrolet (page 19)?
...maybe they're binding or too tight on one or both sides?
Might be worth a try if you haven't.
Hood Latch Mechanism and Hinges -- Apply light engine oil.

Vaughn
56 Delray 327, 5 spd



 
Brian D from NJ 
Senior Member
Posts: 603
Brian D from NJ
Loc: Riverside, New Jersey
Reg: 04-28-04
09-12-18 06:04 AM - Post#2745960    
    In response to warpwr

Good point.

Just because your car/truck was "Made In America" doesn't mean it's American made... think about it. Buy American First.


 


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