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Old 03-15-2015, 07:31 AM
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Default Made An Aluminum Hood For My Hi-Tech Cobra

For those of you who have ever thought about adding an aluminum hood, trunk or doors to your Cobra, I want to let you know about a 4 day class that I took at Pro Shaper Sheetmetal: Pro Shaper Sheet Metal LLC Home - Pro Shaper Sheet Metal LLC

Wray Schelin is the owner of Proshapers and teaches the 4 day class. He is very patient and helpful. The class is limited to 6 students so he has time to help everyone along in their projects. He is a mad man with a ton of energy and the classes start at 9:00AM and end at Midnight or later each day.

When I started this class, I had absolutely zero experience in working with sheetmetal. I could barely use the tin snips and had never even seen a real English wheel before. That being said, at the end of 4 days, I now have an aluminum hood nicely fitted to my Hi-Tech Cobra.

You can see a lot of the process by visiting Wray’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/people/Wray...00006679607997

Here is the condensed version of what I did:

1. Cut hood frame from fiberglass hood and repaint the frame. In retrospect, I probably should have made a second frame in case the aluminum hood didn’t work out but I just took the plunge…
2. The first thing you need to do is flash the hood frame so that you have somewhere to attach the hood skin. It ends up being just like skinning a door. I used a plastic mallet to bend aluminum sheets over ¾ inch tubing. I used nothing but tin snips, a plastic hammer, a shrinker / stretcher, and a rivet tool to make and attach the 4 pieces of flashing. This is a pretty straight forward process. Nick Acton (Mickmate) helped start flashing the frame the weekend before the class so that I could maximize my time at Proshaper.
3. The next step is to trim and grind the flashing so that it just fits inside of the hood opening. I then use a black sharpie and protractor to scribe the final cut line into the flashing. After that you confirm the gap between the hoop opening and flashed frame and then adjust the height of the flashing so that it aligns with the body.
4. Once you have your flashed frame in place, it is time work on your hood skin. Wray has all of the correct tools and will show you exactly how to make a perfect hood skin on an English wheel. It took me about 15 hours from rough cutting the hood skin to having it rolled to the point where it was ready to attach to the flashed frame. Fortunately I had a couple of willing partners who were taking the class that helped me wheel out the hood.
5. The next step is to lay the flashed frame on the nicely brushed hood, mark a line around the flashing and then tape to the edge of the line. The tape will eventually be your guide for using the tipping wheel to put a flange on the hood skin.
6. After the initial tape line is in place, you add ¾ inch tape all around and then add a second blue tape line. This gives you your first rough cut of the hood skin.
7. I don’t have pictures of the next procedure but you remove all the tape and use a protractor to make and mark your final cut line which for me was a ½ inch from the edge of the blue line. This allows for about a 1/16 inch of hood thickness and a 7/16’s flange once you fold the hood skin over the flashing.
8. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of this step either but we used a tipping wheel to add a flange to the edge of the hood skin using the blue tape line as our guide. We also used the shrinker to keep the corners correct as we formed the flange around the edge of the hood skin. If you take your time and cut and trim everything very carefully, the flashed frame should drop nicely into flanged hood skin.
9. Again, I don’t have pictures as I was running out of time but the next step is to use a hammer and dolly to bend the hood skin flange over the flashed frame. This is done the same way you would skin a door frame which I have also never done before.
10. Attach the hood to the car, step back and admire your handiwork!!


If you ever thought about adding aluminum panels, I would strongly suggest taking one of Wray’s classes. I am not saying this is easy but by taking the class, you will see that it is definitely achievable.

PS: Tim, one of my classmates, was kind enough to make me a trunk skin while I was working on my hood. Now I just need to flash my trunk frame and I will have 2 out of the 4 panels done in aluminum.
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Old 03-15-2015, 07:37 AM
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A few more pictures...
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Old 03-15-2015, 07:42 AM
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Great work, and very nice pictures.
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Old 03-15-2015, 08:22 AM
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Wow, very nice!
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Old 03-15-2015, 09:24 AM
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Kevin

AWESOME!
Very proud you were able to do this........... In awe

Cant wait to see it first hand.........

Jeff
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Old 03-15-2015, 09:46 AM
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Good job. I enjoy reading about these levels of project builds. You should feel proud.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:43 AM
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Great project and results. I always wondered how the skins were attached to the hood, trunk, and doors. Hope your trunk lid looks as good as your hood.
Makes me want to go get an English wheel and have at it!

Is that a street car or are you going to make a hood scoop to go with it?

Bob
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:54 AM
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Very, very nice work. Definitely an accomplishment to be proud of.
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Old 03-15-2015, 11:03 AM
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Hi Bob,

It will have a scoop but I ran out of time. I will be going back to Proshaper sometime this summer to mount my trunk skin and at that time, I will ask Wray for some help in cutting a hole in the hood and adding a flange to it like the original cars had.
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Old 03-15-2015, 11:52 AM
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Perfect..................
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Old 03-15-2015, 11:55 AM
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Think you'll be able to stop with the doors?
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Old 03-15-2015, 12:14 PM
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I hope so!! I really like the hybrid idea. You get the ruggedness of the glass body but the right look with alloy doors, hood and trunk. If I were to do it all over again (which I am not), I would love to have a carbon fiber body with aluminum doors, hood and trunk.
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Old 03-15-2015, 04:43 PM
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Fantastic!
The hard work really paid off.
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Old 03-15-2015, 04:47 PM
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Fantastic!
The hard work really paid off.
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Old 03-15-2015, 09:45 PM
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Incredible job! I wish I had such talent
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Old 03-16-2015, 02:22 AM
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Great result - well done!
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Old 09-24-2015, 12:24 PM
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Well done!
Especially since the hood seems to be the most tricky part to make from one piece!

I had a whole coupe body made (not a Daytona) and the guy said he did the hood 4 times until he was happy.
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Old 09-24-2015, 01:41 PM
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Mongoose930: WOW! Great job! You've got me hooked. Did you have a body/hood buck of some sort to get the hood contours right?

Were can I get a tubular hood (and trunk) frame like yours?

Cheers
Greg
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Old 09-25-2015, 05:55 PM
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Hi Greg,

Wray Schelin, the owner of Proshaper, has developed a method of making flexible tape patterns which do not require a buck. It is hard to explain but I have attached a link which explains it better than I could. I worked really well for me:

Making Flexible Shape Patterns

If you can find a way to do it, I would highly recommend coming to the east coast and taking one of Wray's classes - you will not regret it.

As far as the frames are concerned, fortunately my Hi-Tech came with original style tubular frames. My door frames needed to be modified as they were originally designed for fiberglass and Mickmate has helped me with those. Nick can probably make you a tubular hood and trunk frame but the door frames are a lot more complicated and would need to be carefully fitted to the car.

Now that I am about 2/3 of the way through the process, I would say the hood is actually the easiest panel to build and I would start with that one. It is a compound curve but patience on a good English wheel will yield great results.

I hope you have the opportunity to do this for your Cobra. I have attached a picture of my door frames (almost done) and my boot panel which I still need to attach to the frame.

Name:  Door Frame.jpg
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:26 PM
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Here is the boot courtesy of Tim Welker who also took the class. While I was working on my hood, Tim made the boot panel and he did an amazing job.
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