If you are driving or building a 1953-56 F-100 there's a real good chance that you either have or are contemplating a flip-front hood. It seems as though they're as common now as computerized fuel-injection.

The front-tilt hood is so popular now that it is almost unusual to see stock hinges used. The reason Bobco and I have used this kind of hood-opening assembly is because it will maintain the same hood lines when closed, every time. The hood only does two things: rolls forward to open and rolls back to close. With this motion fixed you can adjust your fender lines real close and they will stay like that. Plus the stock hinges have a real problem closing at the same rate.

Once the hood is closed, you almost always have to go to each side and push the corner of the hood down to completely close it. Some hinges won't even hold the hood up. In all the trucks I have touched over the years, I have only seen two sets of stock hinges that worked properly. One set was on a 50,000-mile original barn find.

Although the look of the hood opening in the stock form is classic, the access afforded by the front tilt is great. Working on the sides of the engine is easier and what you lose in front access is negligible. Filling the radiator isn't as easy as it used to be. A small price to pay to be cool.

Classic Performance Products flip-front hood kit comes with everything you need to install it and have it working. It comes in a couple of versions and has a real good set of instructions for the install. The kit I used here is the raw kit. The metal structure is raw metal and my roller tracks, hood support rod and bracket are silver plated. The combo kit still has the raw metal structure, but the roller tracks and hood prop are polished stainless. Finally the stainless kit is just that. Everything is stainless.

When you do the hood install and front end fitment there are a couple of new rubber pieces that need to be replaced. The U-shaped radiator mount (core support) is connected to the crossmember with two 7⁄16-inch studs. There is a flat rubber pad that goes under the core support at the 7⁄16-inch studs. It's called a core support kit and will also include two rubber spacers and 3⁄8-inch bolts for the outer mounting points of the core support as well. While you have Mid Fifty F-100 Parts on the phone, also have them throw in a rubber hood bumper kit too. Those are the ones that go on top of the fender lip where the hood meets the fenders. A rear cab mount kit is not a bad idea either. The 1-ton F-300s had a cast rear cab mounting arm. Very heavy-duty. Mid Fifty can set you up with either, the rebuild kit for yours or a set of new cast 1-ton arms.

These kits will not cure a bad-fitting hood. The fender to hood and hood to cowl gaps should be good when you start. These can be adjusted to some extent. If you are putting this kit on a truck that is together and you're not happy with the gaps, start with checking the rear cab mounts. Worn-out cab mounts will let the back of the cab sag and open the gap of the hood and top of the cowl up. To adjust the fenders and cab to the hood, loosen the bolts for the fenders at the front air dams, lower valance, at the top of the fender/inner fender mating point, and at the firewall. Also loosen the fender at where it bolts to the cowl, behind the kick panels. This will allow you to move fenders forward or back, with the air dam bolts loose, you can roll the fender up the air dam a bit more to close up the hood gap.

Large gaps at the top of the back of the hood and the cowl of the cab can sometimes be caused by the front end install. If the truck had a Camaro, Volare, or some other subframe-style front clip installed, the front radiator mount crossmember could be off slightly. Shimming the radiator's U-shaped mount can help close that gap sometimes.

If you are moving into paint mode after doing the flip hood kit install and fitting the frontend, then take a few minutes and drill a few strategically located 1⁄8-inch alignment holes. This way all the fitting you have just done won't be wasted. If you drill a few realignment holes now, when you reassemble the sheetmetal after paint you can get the pieces back in the same spots.

I drill a couple of holes at the back of the fenders where they bolt to the cab. Then drill a couple, top and bottom, through the front air dams where they bolt to the radiator mount. Then drill one on each side under where it will be covered with the plates that mount the fender rods. Those holes ought to get you right back where you were when you reassemble. We have done them this way for years and it really speeds up reassembly of the front end and hood. Follow along with the pictures and see just how easy a flip front hood can be to install.

SOURCE
Classic Performance Products
378 E Orangethorpe Ave.
Placentia
CA  92870
800-830-1724
http://www.classicperf.com
Mid-Fifty F-100 Parts
5221 Hwy 68
Golden Valley
AZ  86413
800-252-1956
http://www.midfifty.com
Bobco
18225 Eucalyptus St.
Lake Elsinore
CA  92532
951-674-0575
http://www.bobcoauto.com
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