When the factory produced this style of hood, it was used in conjunction with the separate windshield wiper cover panel, while Corvettes of later vintage had full-length hoods that terminated at the base of the windshield. Hoods produced in this later style are referred to as "long" hoods due to their longer length.
The Keen Parts hood has the...
The Keen Parts hood has the threaded inserts to accept the stock latch hardware, and the parts fit perfectly. We have run across fit problems with some aftermarket hoods, and certainly did not want any unpleasant surprises once this replacement hood is painted and ready to install.
As with removing the stock...
As with removing the stock hood, a helper is a big bonus when installing the replacement. We re-used the stock hardware and bolted the hood in place for a trial fit.
We like to remove the hood...
We like to remove the hood catch for the hinge adjustment since the catch will grab and shift the hood position. Correctly installed, the hood should lower in place naturally, without the influence of the catch and end up perfectly centered to the cavity.
We spoke to Tom Keen, of Keen Parts, looking for a custom hood to meet our need. Keen had exactly what we were looking for-a bolt-on, L-88 long hood for our '76 Corvette.
Since we are preparing to paint our project, it seemed like the correct time to make all the body modifications we've dreamt about come true. The fit of any aftermarket product is an unknown quantity when the part is taken out of the box, so although the hood will be painted separately off the car when it is time to lay down the fresh color, fitting it to the car now, in the preparation stage, was imperative. It is sometimes necessary to make modifications to edges to get perfect panel gaps, and in some instances, the contours of the hood need reworking for a perfect match to the sweeping lines of a C3 Corvette. After the final color is applied, it is too late to make any modifications, and awkward to try and figure out how to make adjustments without damaging the finish. The plan was to complete the installation and fitting, make any modifications as required, and then remove the hood for the final paint application.
Fore-and-aft and side-to-side...
Fore-and-aft and side-to-side adjustment is made at the hinges, while the height at the leading edge can be adjusted with shims. Shimming proved unnecessary in our install. Start by ensuring that the hood is centered from side to side in the body opening.
Lower the hood slowly to avoid...
Lower the hood slowly to avoid catching at the leading edge, pointed out here. Once the hood is down, note the misalignment and adjust the hinge as required. Note the perfect gap all along the fender line, and the way the hood line matches the body contour.
Aggressive is the only word...
Aggressive is the only word to describe the look of an l-88 hood. We can't wait to get the fresh color applied for the full effect.
We were more than a little surprised to find just how well the Keen Parts hood fit our Corvette. From end to end and all around, the gaps proved more than acceptable, with only basic adjustment performed at the hinges. All the stock hood hardware bolted in place without modification, and the hood sat at a level plane with the body contour without shimming, tweaking, or adding putty. The product was exceptional. Surveying the installed hood on our custom coupe, the looks were just what we were after-an outrageous mix of Chevrolet at its wildest and a Corvette that just screams performance.
|DIFFICULTY INDEX NN |
|ANYONE'S PROJECT | no tools required ||N |
|BEGINNER | basic tools ||NN |
|EXPERIENCED | special tools ||NNN |
|ACCOMPLISHED | special tools and outside help ||NNNN |
|PROFESSIONALS ONLY | send this work out ||NNNNN |