Hoodies in the ‘Hood – Wait, What?

It’s actually getting (relatively) near the time when I’ll need a hood for the Jeep so that we can make sure the grille is set the proper distance from the firewall – or is it that the firewall needs to be set the proper distance from the grille? [It gets confusing when there are very few hard-and-fast locations on the new frame…]

The hood from my ’61, like everything else, got bent a bit when I rolled the Jeep back in 2005. You can see in this picture that it no longer sits flat:

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The Jeep came down rather hard on the front passenger corner of the hood and bent it down, relative to where it should be. There are also a couple other minor – “imperfections,” shall we say? – as well, but there’s no rust, and if the hood could be twisted back so it lies flat, it would work just fine.

I took the hood to a body shop yesterday and asked if they could “un-tweak” it. The estimator said they couldn’t, and he didn’t know of any shop that could. He recommended finding a straight one somewhere. *sigh*

The CJ-6 came with a hood, but that one is in way worse shape than mine. In addition to its being tweaked the *other* way, many of the spot welds that hold the thing together have popped and there’s a lot of rust on it, to boot:

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I really didn’t want to use this one, but if it had been straight, I would have considered it. It’s not straight.

Last night I got online and Googled something like “Jeep CJ Hood.” I found some forum discussions about them; most of the discussions were about the poor quality (fitment, thinner sheetmetal than the originals have, etc.) of the replacement hoods that are available. So I thought I’d do a quick search on Craigslist to see if anything would pop up. I wasn’t expecting it to, because early-CJ (’55-’71) hoods aren’t exactly something that you have extras of lying around. I fully expected to have to broaden my search beyond Tucson and/or talk to Willys Works to find out what they might have out back.

I was totally surprised to find an ad for a CJ hood! Even better, the guy *still* had it; he lives in Vail; it’s paint-ready (he was prepping it for use on a Jeepster Commando restoration he’s doing, but then found a Commando hood to use); and he had it priced reasonably! *AND* he got it from Willys Works.

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It’s from one of the last years of the “short” CJ-5, before AMC extended the front so they could fit their straight-6 in the engine bay. I think it’s a ’70 or ’71. I know it’s newer than ’68, because this hood has provisions for a safety latch, and my ’68 didn’t have that. Its relative youth also means it doesn’t have the passenger-side snorkel cutout – I think Kaiser dropped that around ’64. But that’s okay. While I would *like* to have the cutout to match the styling / design cues elsewhere on the tub, I’d much rather have a clean, straight hood without the cutout than a bent hood with it. [If you look closely, perhaps at the full-size photo, you can see some holes drilled in the side. There are matching holes on the passenger side. They’re for the Jeepster Commando badges the seller was going to put on it. I might fill them in, or I might not. I haven’t decided yet. I have a couple of old Chevy “8-350” badges I want on the hood, and they might fit into a couple of these holes.]

So now I have *something* straight – wait, I also have a straight, rust-free (reproduction, I think) windshield frame – for the Jeep. Progress!

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Categories: CJ-5, CJ-6, Jeep, JeepMonster | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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