Panel Fitting

I spent a lot of time viewing pictures of the Hurricane in the body finishing process. I saw a lot of fiberglass filler being used around the various openings. I was looking for spots that were typical to all builds but really didn’t find any. Some filled around the trunk lid, others filled the trunk lid itself. No consistency. I then decided to spend a little extra time mounting each panel so as to minimize the amount of leveling filler needed and to maximize panel adjustment later.

Each of the hinges uses three 3/8″ bolts thru a 1/2″ hole to mount the panel. I determined it was better to have extra adjustment in the end rather than use it all in the beginning. I cut 1/8″ pieces of 1/2″ od, 3/8″ id tubing, pressed it into the hinge¬†hole, then mounted with the bolts. In a couple of the hinges, I couldn’t do this on all three holes but two sufficed. It centered the hinge over the holes in the panel. Later, after the panel is painted, and the spacers removed, I’ll have extra room for adjustment, if necessary.Hinge bracket

After positioning the panel with the fore mentioned spacers, I then put my panels into place. The hood and trunk hinges don’t have any further adjustment for up and down. It takes a little heat, a BFH (big hammer) and a lot of patience to keep tweaking (bending) the hinge to get the best alignment. It took about four hours one day, mounting, dismounting, bending, mounting, dismounting, bending again . . . you get the picture, to adjust the hood hinges to my satisfaction. When all done, I ended up with the hood essentially the same level as the body. There are a couple spots that will need filling but it’s pretty close.

Doing the doors didn’t require bending the hinge. I mounted the hinges to the door using the hole spacers again. I put a 1/2″ rod thru the upper hole, then centered the bolt in the lower hole. One side matched perfectly but the passenger side required slotting the lower hole to adjust the door in at the bottom. After I got the surfaces to the same level, I then scribed the opening gap.

I was dreading the trunk, after my experiences on the hood. I guess I got lucky. I mounted the hinges with the spacers, lowered the trunk and it fit perfectly. Correct level all the way around.

The panels are ready for the leveling process.