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GM Hood Hinges

Single-handedly changing GM A-body hood hinges

Jim McGowan - May 09, 2013 10:00 AM

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Lift the hood slightly higher than normal and measure, then cut a piece of wood to the right length. Cover the support with several rags and put several more towels on the core support. Insert the support rod, it should be tightly supported.

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Now cushion the hood under the corner of the side to be worked on first. Do one side at a time. Put enough padding there so the hood can’t move backward. Be sure to also allow the padding to come up over the fender edge.

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Mark the location of the old hinge with masking tape at the top and front extreme edges, and on the hood. This will allow you to correctly position the new hinge without any difficulty. This hinge was painted black, which is incorrect.

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Now loosen the hinge bolts at the top and bottom enough that you can unscrew them by hand. At this point the hood corner should be resting on the rag cushion. Have your wrench and the new hinge handy.

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Without pushing up on the hood, remove the bottom bolts first and check the stability of the hood. If it isn’t moving and is stable, remove the top bolts and take the hinge out.

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Here you can see the passenger side hinge is gone while the driver’s side hinge and support rod are holding the hood in position.

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Here are the new freshly cleaned and painted replacement parts. They are identical to the original factory hinges but will hopefully last through another few decades of use.

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Carefully install the new hinge by using the tape markers and install the two lower bolts, then the top two bolts. After the hinge is in the correct location, tighten all the bolts securely.

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We lubed the hinges with Justice Brother’s White Lithium Grease for ease of movement and also metal-to-metal protection. The aerosol spray grease makes it easy to get deep down into the contact areas.

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The front alignment at the nose was still perfect all the way side to side. The alignment at the rear corner was also identical to before we started the project. Now follow the same procedure to replace the other hinge.

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The front alignment at the nose was still perfect all the way side to side. The alignment at the rear corner was also identical to before we started the project. Now follow the same procedure to replace the other hinge.

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If you’re the owner of a decades-old GM A-body you might have experienced the hood suddenly closing by itself. A gust of wind, or a jiggle of the car, and down it comes.

The GM hood hinges of the ’60s and early ’70s were never made to last 40-plus years, enduring thousands of ups and downs. Eventually, they simply wear out and become dangerous. Fortunately, the restoration aftermarket now has new reproduction hood hinges for almost all the early GM A-body variations. Recently the hinges on our ’70 GTO Judge decided to finally give up. It took almost no effort to close the hood and a Ram Air hood is also carrying the extra weight of the pan, filter, hood tach etc. It’s a very heavy hood.

We obtained a pair of replacement hinges and washed down the bare metal with Eastwood Metal Prep before spraying them with Eastwood cast gray paint. They look much better than the original hinges did from the GM factory. Now, to install them! We’ve all run into a situation where an extra set of hands is required, but is not always available. I believe this process, with variations as required, will work on many other makes and models experiencing the same problem. As it turned out, we now have no fear of doing this project again alone, and you won’t either. Here’s how it’s done!

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