Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Injun Territory, 'Merica!
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Your '73's hood can only be repaired propperly through careful metal replacement. that style hood (NASA with the cowl vents in the rear) is only a 2 year usage hood. I've parted several '73 & '74 LeMans Sports & two '73 GTO's over the years which yielded 3 solid straight hoods. I wouldn't put any such '73 hood up there in value with a perfect '72 endura nose hood or a perfect original '69 RamAir or a '70 RamAir hood, but the '73 style of hood is not an easy one to find.
On repairing the hood, I'd find a clean regular '73/74 or '75-77 LeMans hood, one that even if it was damaged by being folded up on a hood hinge, or had a bad scrape further back, the hood could be bought cheap. Several times a year I frequent several large longtime country yards which don't crush the old stuff. In yards like that, can still find a flat hood that can be used to remove repair sections. On your hood, I'd drill out all the spot welds on the leading edge on each side of the ironing board. I'd eventually do the same going back several inches on each side rail. Next I'd scribe a diagonal line on each side of the raised ironing board area. Personally, would want this scribed line on the flat if rust does not extend that far. Behind the rust, I'd scribe a line sideways from each side of the hood, till that prevous diagonal line intersected. After carefully cutting these scribed lines with a cutoff wheel, I'd remove the spot welds, upfront on the sides of hood. Though very careful measuring, I'd cut an oh so slightly larger panel from the donor hood. The trick is keeping the lines very straight, not getting sloppy. I have a bench mounted belt sander as well as several different type angle grinders & have even used Dremel tools which have came in very handy in getting such repair panels propperly lined up. Usually it takes quite a bit of time to get the cutoff edges of each panel perfect.
As the front of the hood had serious rot to the outer structure (skin), I'd very carefully examine the underlying hood structure for any thinning, pinholing. I'd then tape off the outer skin, taping thick cardboard pieces to the top of the hood, only then would I spot blast the exposed under hood structure from the top side. Any errant blasting of the hood's skin on its top surface or from underneath can warp the hood skin, so one has to be very careful. IF blasting with the hood upside down, make sure with thuck cardboard, there is no path that sand or alum oxide can hit the backside of the hood skin. With the inner structure exposed I'd then repair any pin holes with the MIG. Any more extensive rust outs of the inner structure, those sections are going to have to be cutout & replaced with small pieces from the parts hood.
Once everything is fine with the inner structure & the two repair panels have been prepared for butt welding, personally I would not attempt the welding repair, mention that though Im pretty good with my Miller MIG. Instead, i would get with a local contact who is less than 3/4 a mile away, & have him apply weld though primer on the flange areas, then carefully tack weld, & slowly use his TIG welder to butt weld each repair panel to the hood. it's a slow process, or you will get warpage. I'm not a fan of POR15 & Eastwood Rust Encapsulator, ESP as a top coat on suspension pieces & many other areas where it is so many times misused. Either product does have a use being drizzled down in hidden areas & eventually I'd carefully set the hood up on each side & one by one let which ever product run down into the seams & corners of the hood & the inner structure. Best to you on working toward a long term hidden repair.
Last edited by Pinion head; 08-14-2017 at 02:56 PM.