1969 firebird convertible with photos - Page 21 - Team Camaro Tech
Build Projects follow along start to finish

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post #301 of 318 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 19, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Patrick
 
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Re: 1969 firebird convertible with photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by anguilla1980 View Post
Great thread, I just read the entire thing between last night and this morning!

I bought very similar fender scoops for my 69. Mine confirmed to my original fenders once I tightened down nuts to the studs. My holes also did not line up with the original scallop holes and I also made my vent hole cuts larger. I can tell you that with my dual electric fans, I can feel a good amount of hot air exiting them so I'm happy.

Tremendous work you did on all of the aftermarket parts! My 69 is all original metal and bumpers, a friends is reproduction parts. He has all of the same issues you did with the nose pieces fitting and the rear bumper sagging. I'm thankful my rear bumper fits and looks perfect and even after removing my front end, it lined back up again. My original headlight surround gaskets have seen better days though. I also had to replace the passenger headlight surround after a hit and run in a parking lot. The reproduction fits "ok", thankfully the original gasket was not damaged.
Hmm... another Firebird owner.
I tried to tighten the scoops to the fender but the edges still had a gap.

I removed so much fiberglass that the bolts would not stay in the scoop. I replace them with 1/4x20 SAE bolts.

Bending Headlight Surround


You mentioned your reproduction headlight surround did fit the same as the original. My reproductions were the same.

My corner where it fits behind the chrome bumper was too high. Its shape was not like the original.
[IMG]bhs 1 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]bhs 2 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]bhs 3 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I heated the plastic with a hot air gun and bent the edge down even with the chrome bumper.
[IMG]bhs 4 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

Now I have a bubble shape in the plastic where it is still too high.
[IMG]bhs 5 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I took the plastic off and heated the bubble just a little. I used a putty knife and rocked the knife over the bubble to push it down. The secret is not to get the plastic too hot. If it gets too hot, the plastic turns to liquid and I would have ruined the piece. I let the knife do the work. It is better to apply more force to the knife while the plastic still somewhat stiff.

The plastic can be sanded to help form the correct shape.

This is the piece before paint. No more bubble.
[IMG]bhs 6 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Patrick
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post #302 of 318 (permalink) Old May 1st, 19, 06:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1969 firebird convertible with photos

Hood to Bumper Filler Assembly (The Batwing) Part 1

This post and the next few posts will could be the most important ones in this build thread for a 1969 Firebird with a Trans Am hood. For those who own a Camaro, sorry not so much.

The photos below show a 1969 Firebird with a Trans Am hood. The first photo is a production model of a 1969 Firebird Trans Am. The second photo is the 1969 TA prototype. The production hood is much flatter in the front center. The prototype hood center is much higher and more pointed. The production hood center is more rounded. I do not think the prototype has a rubber gasket between the hood and the batwing. The production hood has the rubber gasket that is set slightly below the top of the hood. Between the hood and the chrome bumper is a plastic piece commonly called a batwing.

[IMG]batwing 1a by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 2a by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

My Dynacorn steel hood resembles the prototype more than the production hood. Since the reproduction hoods are not really like the production version, the standard batwing does not fit correctly.

My problem is not unique to my hood and car. Some of the cars on E-Bay exhibit the same problem. I found two builders on the internet that have restored the Firebird Trans Am. It is obvious that both of them either modified or fabricated the batwing to provide a smooth transition from the hood to the bumper. Unfortunately, they never mentioned how they did it. The photo below is one of them. The batwing has been extended to the point where it is almost touching the hood. I do not see a rubber gasket. This is probably the easiest way to fix the problem.

[IMG]batwing 3 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

The photos below show my reproduction hood and batwing mounted on the car. Notice the gap between the hood and batwing.
[IMG]batwing 4 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 5 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 6 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

There is a gap between the batwing and the headlight surrounds.
[IMG]batwing 7 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 8 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

There is a gap between the chrome bumper and batwing.
[IMG]batwing 9a by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I installed my original batwing. The problems were the same.
[IMG]batwing 10a by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 11 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I thought about cutting the hood’s top crest and pushing the metal downward to make the peak lower and match the batwing. This might work but I would almost have to cut the hood in half. The radius of curvature along this peak is very sharp. If I just cut a little, then the curve will not be smooth. I would have to remove a lot of metal to get it right. I do not have the skills to accomplish such a feat.

At this time in the build, my hood was mounted and the hood to fender gaps were set. I now have the center of the hood in a fixed position. The center of the hood is now my reference point. The batwing can only move forward and backward in the slots on its mounting plate. I removed the rubber weather stripping and bolted the batwing to the car.

The center of the batwing is too low. I used a hydraulic jack to raise the mounting plate. After raising the batwing, it was obvious the shape of the batwing was different from the hood. I heated the plastic batwing and reshaped it to match the hood.

[IMG]batwing 12 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 13 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 14 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 15a by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 16 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

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post #303 of 318 (permalink) Old May 1st, 19, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1969 firebird convertible with photos

Hood to Bumper Filler Assembly (The Batwing) Part 2

This all proved to be a waste of time. When I lowered the hydraulic jack, there still was a gap between the batwing and hood.

I decided to continue to modify the plastic batwing by heating it and bending it upward. This worked but it caused an excessive gap between the batwing and the hood. The rubber gasket could not fill the gap. The gasket no longer fits tightly next to the batwing after bending it.

I finally threw up my hands and decided to try to fabricate one out of metal. I started on the passenger side and cut out a poster board template.
I used my fingernail to crease the paper along the hood. I cut the paper along the crease.
[IMG]batwing 19 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 20 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 21 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

The photo below shows how much more material is needed on the fabricated batwing compared to the original plastic one. Keep in mind the paper also includes the thickness of the gasket.

[IMG]batwing 22 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I cut out a piece of 18-gauge metal that is the same size as the template. The metal needs to be bent to match the original batwing. I bent the metal by hand. I used a hammer and anvil to get the final shape.
[IMG]batwing 23 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

batwing 24 by patrick smith, on Flickr

The next part is the bottom piece of the batwing. I traced out the shape and transferred it to metal.
[IMG]batwing 25 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

The bottom piece has a 90-degree bend that will be joined to the upper piece made previously. I used my vice and hammer to produce the right-angle curved bend.
[IMG]batwing 26 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 27 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 28 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

After bending the 90-degree angle, the piece no longer fits the shape of the bumper. I used my shrinker and stretcher to reshape the metal correctly.

[IMG]batwing 29 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 30 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

batwing 31 by patrick smith, on Flickr

I marked the final height of the 90-degree bend by scribing a line on the bend. I followed the height of the bumper to make it the right height. I cut off the excess metal. This vertical lip will be welded to the top part of the batwing.
[IMG]batwing 32a by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I welded the two pieces together. I still need to do the other half. I think I can make this work. I am planning to retain the gasket like the original car.
[IMG]batwing 33 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 34 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

The two photos below show the beginnings of the other half of the piece. The bottom half was shaped the same as the passenger side. The 90-degree bend was cut even with the top of the front chrome bumper. I welded three nuts to the metal so that it can be fastened to the car. This is different from the original. The 1969 molding had three studs that point down and are fastened to the car with fast nuts.
[IMG]batwing 35 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 36 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

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post #304 of 318 (permalink) Old May 1st, 19, 07:08 AM
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Re: 1969 firebird convertible with photos

Fought the same issue with my repop fiberglass Trans Am hood back in 2006. Luckily I was able to reshape the hood with fiberglass.

Curious if you are using a repop core support.

Don

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post #305 of 318 (permalink) Old May 1st, 19, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1969 firebird convertible with photos

Hood to Bumper Filler Assembly (The Batwing) Part 3

If you notice the middle of the bat wing is missing. I decided it would be easier to fabricate a third little piece that fits in the center rather than try to bend the two long pieces. I marked a piece of metal with a straight line. The metal was bent along this line.
[IMG]batwing 37 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 38 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

batwing 39 by patrick smith, on Flickr
I cut the bottom of the middle piece to fit the contour of the chrome bumper. I dropped a plumb bob to make sure the crease in the middle piece of the metal lines up with the bumper.
batwing 40 by patrick smith, on FlickR
I cut the sides of the middle piece to butt up to the two outside pieces. I welded the three pieces together.
[IMG]batwing 41 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 42 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 43 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

It was very difficult to fasten the old original batwing with its studs and fast nuts. The fast nut and washer have to be inserted through a round hole and then threaded to the stud. The washers kept falling off when I tried to get the nut started. I changed to an Allan head bolt. The photo below shows an Allan head bolt screwed into the welded nut on the batwing. The Allan head bolt is turned upside down and screwed into the bottom side of the bracket that holds the batwing. Now I can put the washers on the bolt and the Allan wrench gives me something to hold onto while I thread the bolt and washers to the welded nut.
[IMG]batwing 44 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 45 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I ground off the beak of my hood trying to get it to look like the original hood. This turned out to be a bad idea. I added weld to the hood to reshape the tip. I actually made the beak 1/8” longer and curved it down a little more so that it would fit the batwing better.
[IMG]batwing 46 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 47 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 48 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 49 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I still need to shape and cut the top edge of the batwing next to the hood. I need to fabricate and install a mounting bracket so that I can fasten the rubber gasket to the batwing. The ends need to be shaved to match the headlight surround pieces.
The rubber gasket that goes between the batwing and hood fits ok along the straight part of the hood.
[IMG]batwing 50 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

It does not fit the center beak of the hood. It never did fit. Before I started to reshape the beak in a previous post, it did not fit correctly.
[IMG]batwing 51 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I added some weld to the hood and ground it down to make the gasket fit the beak. I only showed the weld on one side. I had to add weld on both sides of the beak. You can see that I am back to softening the sharp beak and making it look more like the production version the Trans Am hood.
[IMG]batwing 52 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 53 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

The top of the bat wing needs to be trimmed so the gasket can fit between it and the hood.

Part of the gasket fits inside the batwing. There is a rectangular section of the gasket sticks up above the batwing. It is visible when the hood is closed. I took my dial caliper and measured the width of this rectangular section. It is 0.425 inches wide.
[IMG]batwing 54 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

Patrick
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post #306 of 318 (permalink) Old May 1st, 19, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1969 firebird convertible with photos

Hood to Bumper Filler Assembly (The Batwing) Part 4

I used my dial caliper to determine how much metal I needed to remove from the batwing. I placed the caliper on the edge of the hood and used a marker to make a dot that is 0.425” away from the hood. I made a row of dots. Then I connected the dots with a line.
[IMG]batwing 55 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 56 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 57 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 58 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


I cut the metal along the line. The gasket fits tightly between the hood and the just trimmed batwing.
[IMG]batwing 59 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


Now I have to figure out how to fasten the rubber gasket to the batwing. The gasket has several round holes cut into the rubber. The original plastic batwing had holes drilled into the plastic and self-tapping screws were used to fasten the gasket to the plastic piece.

I cut out a small metal tab and aligned it to the edge of the gasket. I stuck the pen through the gasket hole and marked the tab were the mounting screw should be. I drilled a hole where the pen mark was and welded a nut to the metal tab.
[IMG]batwing 60 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 61 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 62 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I welded the tab to the batwing. I continued to make tabs and weld them to the bat wing. The tabs are joined together with more metal, so they look like one continuous piece.
[IMG]batwing 63 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 64 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 65 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

The photo below shows the gasket bolted to the metal tab. I adjusted the metal tab to the correct position. Then I spot-welded the metal tab to the batwing. I removed the gasket quickly so that it would not melt from the heat.
[IMG]batwing 66 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 67 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I have learned a lot from this piece. The photo below shows my different attempts. The first one is the original batwing. I could not use it because it was old and brittle. I call it Plan A even though it never really got off the ground. I bought a reproduction piece. This was Plan B. I heated and bent the plastic piece but after bending it, the gap between the hood and batwing was too wide. Then I went to Plan C and made one out of metal. This worked but I made the mistake of welding the metal before it was bent and shaped properly. The mistake caused me to have to cut the piece and re-weld it a few times. The reworking of the metal caused it to warp and look wavy. I could cover it with bondo, but I want to minimize the use of plastic filler.

[IMG]batwing 68a by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

Another mistake I made was to change the shape of the hood while simultaneously working on the batwing. I would add weld to the beak of the hood. That caused the gasket that goes between the hood and the batwing to be in a different position. Then the batwing metal no longer fit the rubber gasket.

I had too many variables. The shape of the hood was changing from the welding. The rubber gasket shape changed as it was stretched and pushed to get it to fit tightly between the hood and batwing. The batwing metal was changing as it was being shaped and fabricated. All of this was happening at the same time.

I learned this lesson fitting the quarter panels. I had too many variables on that section of the car. I had two different quarter panels, a tail panel and deck filler panel. None of them fit correctly and I was trying to change all the different pieces at one time. Finally, it dawned on me that I needed a reference point. I held the deck lid as a constant and massaged the rest of the panels to fit around the deck lid.

I had to start making some of the variables into constants in the front part of the car. The first was the plastic headlight surrounds. I know they fit the fenders. I took them off the car because they are plastic, and I was afraid that I would melt or scratch them. If they are not installed, there is no way that I could tell if there was a smooth transition from the headlight surround to the fabricated batwing. The shape of the metal on the batwing needs to be the same as the plastic surrounds. I noticed that one of the headlight surrounds was not the same shape as the other. I heated the plastic with a heat gun and bent the plastic down. The heating and bending were shown on a previous post.

The side hood gaps were set to the fenders and front hood gap was adjusted to line up with the cowl grill panel. Now the hood is bounded and gaped on three sides. The front part of the hood is fixed and is now a constant.
Now the headlight surrounds provide a boundary for the ends of the batwing.

The sides of the batwing have a triangle shaped slug that fits into the headlight surround. This slug is needed because it forces the headlight surround to be the same height as the batwing. I fabricated the slug out of metal and welded an end plate to them. Later I will weld the end plates to the batwing.
[IMG]batwing 69 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 70a by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 71 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 72a by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 73 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

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post #307 of 318 (permalink) Old May 1st, 19, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1969 firebird convertible with photos

Hood to Bumper Filler Assembly (The Batwing) Part 5

I remade the bottom of the batwing. I used the same method as described before. The only difference was I did not drill the holes in the bottom of the piece until the final shape was completed. On the previous metal batwing, I welded the #6 nuts to the bottom piece. Then I used my shrinker and stretcher tools to reshape the piece. The welded #6 nuts moved when the metal was manipulated from the shrinker and stretcher tools. They still worked ok, but they were no longer in the center of the slot that holds the batwing to the car. I also had to use large fender washers on the bolts to cover the slots. It looked like I was using scrap bolts out of a baby food jar. I changed the welded nuts to a ¼” x 20 thread nut on the new attempt. I used ¼ x 20 – 5/8” bolts with captive lock and flat washers. The larger bolts have a washer wide enough to cover the slot.

[IMG]batwing 74 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 75 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 76 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 77 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 78 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 79 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 80 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 81 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

The chrome bumper fixes a boundary for the front of the batwing. The rubber gasket has to fit tightly to the hood. I taped the gasket to the hood.
[IMG]batwing 82 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 83 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 84 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I used poster board paper to make a template of the outside part that everyone sees. The outside part of the batwing has a slight arch to it. I did not notice this until I put the flat piece of metal next to the headlight surround. I made the metal bend by using an old pipe and a hammer. The worm gear clamp in the photo below is just used to hold one end to the metal steady while I hammer the metal.
[IMG]batwing 85 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 86 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 87 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 88 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 89 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I tack welded the top piece to the base. I bent the top piece with two adjustable wrenches. One was used as an anchor point so the metal would not move. I used the other wrench to move the metal to match the height of the rubber gasket.
[IMG]batwing 90 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

The center part was made the same way as the previous one and I tack welded it to the base and two sidepieces.
[IMG]batwing 91 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 92 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

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post #308 of 318 (permalink) Old May 1st, 19, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1969 firebird convertible with photos

Hood to Bumper Filler Assembly (The Batwing: Plan D) Part 6

I thought that I had the batwing piece under control. It looks good. The gap between the hood and the batwing is perfect and the gasket should slip into place and fit.

The gasket would not fit in the batwing.

The problem was that the new batwing is much higher than the old one. Therefore, the gasket had to be raised. When the gasket was moved up, then the angle of the outside batwing metal became vertical and it hit the gasket. Now I have to rethink how I am going to fix this problem.

The photo below shows the different solutions to my problem. Option 1 is what I am experiencing in the above paragraph. Notice the batwing is a straight piece of metal that clips the corner of the gasket. I could grind down the edge of the gasket and form a bevel. This would fix the problem, but it would weaken the gasket and it could sag.

Option 2 shows the batwing bent at an angle to clear the gasket. This might look good on a Camaro that is full of right angles. There is not a square angle on a Firebird. I think it would look out of place.

Option 3 had the batwing bent in an arch so that it clears the gasket. The arch would match the rest of the Firebird. This would cause the batwing to have multiple arches and that would be hard to fabricate. Along with this arch is another one that is bent to follow the curve of the hood’s beak. I guess the proper tool would be an English wheel to make a multidimensional arch. I don’t want to buy a tool that would cost 100s of dollars to use one time.

I chose option 3 because would look the best.

[IMG]batwing 93 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I cut the top part of the batwing off so I could reuse the base. This time, I attacked the problem in a different direction. I welded the bracket that holds the black rubber gasket to the base. Now my gasket is exactly where I want it to be. It is up next and tight against the hood.
[IMG]batwing 94 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 95 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 96 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 97 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

This time, I used thinner metal, 20 gauge to be exact, for the top of the batwing. The thinner metal is easier to bend. The end parts of the batwing don’t have the compound curves, so they were easy to form. The end section just needs a single arch to be bent in the metal. I used a metal pipe to form them. I cut them to fit between the gasket and the batwing base.
[IMG]batwing 98 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

The middle section that is next to the beak of the hood was much harder to form. This area is where the compound curves are located. I first formed an arch in the metal with the pipe like before. Then I used my shrinker and stretcher machines to form the other arch. The second and third photo below shows the metal after being formed by the shrinker and stretcher machines. The bottom was shrunk, and the top was stretched.
[IMG]batwing 99 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 100 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 101 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

Notice the middle of the piece. You can still see the arch, but the metal is not smooth. I reformed the original arch and smoothed the metal with a hammer and dolly.
[IMG]batwing 102 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

The photo below shows a top piece of metal, which is the driver side. I had been cut to fit the gasket and batwing. The bottom piece of metal is the passenger side that has not been cut to fit the car.
[IMG]batwing 103 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I welded the end piece to the middle piece. I dropped a plumb line to cut the metal at the center beak. This was a complicated cut because of the compound arches. The plumb line made simple work out of figuring out how to cut the tips.
[IMG]batwing 104 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

Here is the batwing tack welded in place. I need to graft some more metal in the center section where it touches the gasket. I need to tap the hood in a section that pushes down on the gasket when the hood is closed.
[IMG]batwing 105 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 106 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 107 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

The new batwing beak is too pronounced. It sticks out too far and looks like a pregnant guppy.
[IMG]batwing 108a by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I also need to graft some metal to the top of the beak. I did not take any photos, but I added a strip of metal to the top of the wing to fill in the space between the gasket and batwing.
[IMG]batwing 109 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

Patrick
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post #309 of 318 (permalink) Old May 1st, 19, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Patrick
 
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Location: Tomball TX, DeRidder LA
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Re: 1969 firebird convertible with photos

Hood to Bumper Filler Assembly (The Batwing: Plan D) Part 7

I cut the center of the batwing and flattened the beak so that it is not so obnoxious.

Here is the batwing after welding.

[IMG]batwing 110a by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 111 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 112 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 113 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 114 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

Batwing with a little filler.
[IMG]batwing 115 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 116 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

Batwing in primer.
[IMG]batwing 117 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 118 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 119 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

When I close the hood, the rubber gasket will bend down from rubbing on the hood. I fabricated a “L” shaped bracket to make the gasket stiff and hold its shape.
[IMG]batwing 120 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 121 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]batwing 122 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 123 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 124 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

The photos below show a comparison between the original batwing and the fabricated one. The new one’s overall height is much greater.
[IMG]batwing 125 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 126 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]batwing 127 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I am very proud of my batwing. This was the most frustrating piece that I had to fabricate but it was also the most rewarding.
[IMG]batwing 128 by patrick smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

I see now why people remove the gaskets and fill the area with fiberglass. I really would like my car to look as close to stock as possible. Except for the 18” rims, the extra wide tires, when you open the hood nothing is going to be stock. Whom am I trying to fool?

Patrick
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post #310 of 318 (permalink) Old May 1st, 19, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1969 firebird convertible with photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhutton View Post
Fought the same issue with my repop fiberglass Trans Am hood back in 2006. Luckily I was able to reshape the hood with fiberglass.

Curious if you are using a repop core support.

Don

Fiberglass and steel must have the same problems.
Yes, I am using a repop dynacorn radiator support.

Patrick
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post #311 of 318 (permalink) Old May 1st, 19, 12:33 PM
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Don
 
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Re: 1969 firebird convertible with photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by tp_smith View Post
Fiberglass and steel must have the same problems.
Yes, I am using a repop dynacorn radiator support.
My suspicion is the repop core support is lower than stock, aggravating the issue but I have not done the measurements. Just suspected this for many years. I have an original, just need to measure it. Are you using rubber or solid bushings? Sounds like rubber since it changed when you lowered the car off the jack if I followed you right.

Back in the day you could only get a fiberglass skin on a metal frame for a T/A hood. Trouble was they were too wide due to using the stock metal frame for a steel hood.

Don

1969 Camaro LSA 6L90E AME subframe and IRS
1969 Camaro vert LS3 4L65E Ridetech level 2 - sold
1959 El Camino project
1969 Mustang Sportsroof project
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1956 Cameo project - C5 drivetrain
1969 Z28 factory air project
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post #312 of 318 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 19, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1969 firebird convertible with photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhutton View Post
My suspicion is the repop core support is lower than stock, aggravating the issue but I have not done the measurements. Just suspected this for many years. I have an original, just need to measure it. Are you using rubber or solid bushings? Sounds like rubber since it changed when you lowered the car off the jack if I followed you right.

Back in the day you could only get a fiberglass skin on a metal frame for a T/A hood. Trouble was they were too wide due to using the stock metal frame for a steel hood.

Don
DSE subframe, DSE aluminum bushings, Dynacorn radiator support.

The hydraulic jack shown in the recent posts just raised the long horizonal bracket that is under the batwing. The car remained on the ground. The long bracket is fastened with two rubber bushings that bolt onto a triangle shaped bracket on the ends. The triangle bracket is bolted to the radiator support.

You peaked my interest about the radiator support being too low. I dug out my old one from the junk pile last night. From the subframe support bracket to the top of the radiator support, I measured 13 inches. I measured the same on my reproduction radiator support. My measurements were not accurate because of the difficulty getting the tape measure in the right spot.

As you can see in the photo below, my original radiator support is not a good candidate for precise measurements. One side the bracket is completely rusted away and the other side still has what is left if the rubber bushing.



Patrick
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post #313 of 318 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 19, 10:30 AM
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Don
 
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Re: 1969 firebird convertible with photos

This comes back to something else that is bugging me. Stock subframe bushings are different thicknesses front and back but the solid bushings are the same thickness front and back. This will affect the effective height of the core support in my mind. Haven’t really gotten a good understanding or explanation from anyone on this.

Don

1969 Camaro LSA 6L90E AME subframe and IRS
1969 Camaro vert LS3 4L65E Ridetech level 2 - sold
1959 El Camino project
1969 Mustang Sportsroof project
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1956 Cameo project - C5 drivetrain
1969 Z28 factory air project
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post #314 of 318 (permalink) Old May 8th, 19, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Patrick
 
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Re: 1969 firebird convertible with photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhutton View Post
This comes back to something else that is bugging me. Stock subframe bushings are different thicknesses front and back but the solid bushings are the same thickness front and back. This will affect the effective height of the core support in my mind. Haven’t really gotten a good understanding or explanation from anyone on this.

Don
What would happen if I really tighten down either the two front or two back rubber bushings? I wonder if that would squeeze the rubber bushings a little and cause the front of the subframe to move up or down.

Patrick
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post #315 of 318 (permalink) Old May 8th, 19, 02:09 PM
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Don
 
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Re: 1969 firebird convertible with photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by tp_smith View Post
What would happen if I really tighten down either the two front or two back rubber bushings? I wonder if that would squeeze the rubber bushings a little and cause the front of the subframe to move up or down.
Yes it would.

Don

1969 Camaro LSA 6L90E AME subframe and IRS
1969 Camaro vert LS3 4L65E Ridetech level 2 - sold
1959 El Camino project
1969 Mustang Sportsroof project
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1956 Cameo project - C5 drivetrain
1969 Z28 factory air project
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