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Old 04-24-2011, 10:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fiberglass vs. Bolt-on hood scoop

I'm wanting to have a Shelby style hood on my 1966 coupe. I'm getting ready to send my car to the body shop for some extensive body work and a new paint job so I need to make a decision sooner rather than later on what to do. I'd previously resigned myself to getting a fiberglass hood but I'm not a fan of hood pins and the typical fitment issues with fiberglass parts. I'm not overly concerned about the weight savings a fiberglass hood would give me.

I've seen both the bolt-on and bond-on scoops from a local supplier and I'm wondering if anyone has experience using these? Of the two I'm thinking the bolt-on would be more secure and look better but my concerns are these;

1) I'd like to cut a hole in the hood to make it "functional". I know there isn't much benefit but putting a scoop on a hood w/o having a hole there seems wrong. Does this hurt the integrity of the hood and would it make it weaker or prone to flexing/flaking?

2) Would it be appropriate to put body filler on the seam between the bolt-on scoop and the hood to smooth the transition? Seems would be prone to cracking.

If there is risks to using these I'll gladly pony up the money and deal with the headaches that come along with the fiberglass hoods...but wanted to ask. Thanks in advance.

Here's a link to the local supplier I'd get the scoops from; http://www.fiberglassspecialtiesnv.c...g/Hood_Scoops/
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Contact Legendary Motorcar. They make a 65-66 fibreglass hood utilizing an OE style steel frame. I'm certain they can meet your needs.

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Old 04-24-2011, 10:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If ya want a seamless look, get the hood with a scoop.
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Get a hood with a scoop in it. May not fit perfect out of the box, but any body shop can make short work of it.

They make hoods with steel frames so you can use original hood latches and not pins. Also, I believe they make low tension springs for them.
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm working on the same issue. I may be going with the Tony Branda hood ($595). Been looking at a lot of hoods and that one seems to be the hot ticket.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Spend the extra cash and get the expensive hood from Tony Branda. It fits really well and you can use the factory latch if you want.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the opinions...it's what I was looking for. Sounds like going with the whole hood is the way to go.

I've heard good things about Branda's stuff but he's in Florida and I'm in Las Vegas. If I have a problem with the local guy I can throw the hood in my truck and drive to his shop. Not to mention the shipping charge...although I guess I'll pay taxes here.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Branda is in Pa.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I believe Legendary supplies the hoods to Branda.

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Old 04-26-2011, 11:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The problem with bonding on a scoop is it is almost impossible to keep them from cracking where they are bonded on.

The scoop on my car was bonded on in 1986 and is fine except for one very small crack on the leading edge of one side. My experience is very unusual. They almost always crack quite bit with time.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I have a bolt-on scoop on my stock metal hood (not shown in the current sig picture). I think if you have the body shop pay attention to the edge of the scoop (a bit of filler, fitting, and sanding to get a uniform edge and fit/gap) then having a seam between the hood and scoop looks very good.

My original plan was to drill six large holes, centered above the air cleaner, in a one, two, two, one pattern. However the installer screwed up the holes so I ended up with two larger stretched triangular holes instead of the six I had anticipated. I plan to add an air box around the carb which will seal against the bottom of the hood eventually - with potentially an air duct to a sectioned off portion of the cowl vents. The effect of this would be to isolate the outside air going to the carb (through the box) from the air which goes through the radiator into the engine bay.

The hole/s you cut will be inside the structural webbing of the hood, given that the hood will bolt to the scoop in at least 6 places I think the integrity is not compromised very much. The hood's structural webbing has a circular structure that will completely contain the anticipated holes.
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I went through this same exact decision this time last year. Wound up with a 'glass hood from Mustangs Unlimited. It's the steel frame with purple gelcoat. Decent hood, but I called a couple of bodyshops that had photos on the web, and they all told me the same thing. ALL early fiberglass hoods are going to require MANY hours of work to get them right. And I have found this out on the brand I chose. (Lots of high praises on forums for the MU brand) First thing I did was to block sand with a long board and 80 grit paper. There is one "massive" dip in front of the scoop just to the right side that is going to require a skim coat of filler to get it out.

Another issue is the back of the hood. It is about 1/4" thick, and a stock hood is less than half that. As the hood springs rise, the hood goes back against the cowl, then forward. I had to sand down this 1/4" thickness at a 45 degree angle so it would not rub the cowl as the hood was opening. And you will have to set the hood to cowl gap a little larger than a steel hood too. Have someone slowly open your steel hood and watch the rear edge as it opens and you will see what I am talking about.
One more problem is the body seam that lines up on the cowl about two inches in from the outside of the hood. They're off by maybe 1/8" on both sides. I might be able to fudge this a little with some filler and my long block.
Honestly though, after seeing some of the photos and hearing the horror storys of some of the hoods available, I'm getting off easy!
I read where some guys are having to cut the frames, bend everything into proper shape and reweld the frame. Lot of hoods don't match the contour of the cowl and have a dip in the middle. This was one common issue with a lot of the hoods I read about. At this point is where the cut was made, more arch bent into the hood and the cut rewelded.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why someone does not produce a high quality piece of fiberglass for the money we are paying. Late model guys with Fox bodys and SN-95's are getting some really high end stuff for the same money. I've got a Cobra R hood for my '95 that is pure perfection. It is the FRPP part, but it is made by an outside source and not Ford.
My second choice was one of the white SMC "fiberglass" hoods that is an import. I heard a few bad things, but I personally would like to have seen one first hand.

One vendor told me "Well the original hood on the Shelbys were not that good of quality" So we don't focus on making them perfect. WHAT!! Maybe they should sell two types. Original "Low Quality, 1960's technology" and a Restomod "Built to 2011 standards of perfection" for anal retentive car owners.

Forgot to add this: DO NOT USE HOOD SPRINGS!! Set up a prop rod. Even the weaker springs designed for a fiberglass hood will eventually warp the hood. the problem is that the springs are wanting to make the hood hinges open all the time, and it is putting constant pressure on the hood. With the hood closed, you are holding the front down. Then the summer heat comes along and the fiberglass warps from spring pressure.
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:10 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i am a bolt on scoop guy , no cracking to worry about
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I cheaped out with the bond-on hood scoop. Then I *thought* about the cracking issue. I cut out a rectangular-type shape in the stock metal hood, then got my hood scoop fitted on there, and ran 2 bolts in the front, two in the back, and tightened down. They also helped keep the scoop flush with the hood body. I then bondo'ed over that to get it smooth, and finally, I primed it all up. You can't tell it's not stock .

Just remember, you get what you pay for. If you don't want to go for the full scoop, you'll probably end up with cracking later. If you still want to go the cheaper route (can't blame you these days), SPEND THE EXTRA MONEY for bolt on!
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The scoop on my car was bonded onto my steel hood in 1974 an still no cracks-even in the paint.

Most cracks are due to improper installation. One of the biggest is not fitting/trimming the scoop to fit the hood properly i.e forcing it in place with rivets/screws. Forcing itin place always leave tension. Another is leaving the screws and rivets in place-they should be removed. Also not removing old paint, not prepping the surface with 80 grit for a tight bond etc.

There are thousands of race cars out there with widened molded fiberglass wheel openings molded onto steel quarters and they are still going strong. My neighbor has an 9 second Vega and you can see the car twist up in the photos and still no cracks and that car was tubbed in the mid 80's.


I would go with an all fiberglass hood for my car but my hood/scoop combination is not available and I'm trying to keep my car 1970's vintage-that is how it was done back then.

If you go with a steel fiberglass combo today make sure you use flex agent in the paint-it helps.

Last edited by whitetop; 04-26-2011 at 05:35 PM.
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