Bonnet (hood) fit question

I’ve had a first trial fit of my 140DHC’s bonnet, and would appreciate some advice.
It fits OK at the back, but towards the front of the ‘hole’ it starts to overlap the upturned sides of the front wings, by about ½" on both sides. I have to replace the ‘chin’ piece at some point as it’s bent. Is there any adjustment to move the wings slightly further out to align with the bonnet? I’m assuming there shouldn’t be any overhang here. In the vertical dimension, the fit is fine - the bonnet just appears wide towards the front. The metal bracing tube is in position (I’ve never disturbed it), but I don’t think that gives adjustment as the mounting bolts are drilled right through the tube. Maybe a careful bit of jacking?

Anybody here fitted a bonnet? Should it align with the upturns on the wings at the engine bay, or is the slight overhang normal?

Mine overhangs I think as your does, whether that is normal ?

It sort of looks right and I hadn’t questioned the fit before

Thanks Jim,
Very interesting. I’ve been scratching my head wondering how it could have moved, and so symmetrically - I don’t think there’s any adjustment on the tubular tie between the wings and nothing’s been bashed. That’s exactly the same pattern as mine is, so maybe that’s how they were, either by design or just how they rolled off the line intentionally or not. As you know I’m no fan of over-restoration, so if that’s factory quality it stays.

This is how mine looked like before any work was done:

A 36k mile car, The chin is a little molested, but not much. Zero accident car.


Thanks Tadek, nice project car!
It’s a bit hard to tell at that range but blowing the photos up seems to show that the bonnet may be positioned slightly over to the left, with a bit of the wing showing on the right side in the headlamp area, but possibly a slight overhang on the left side. So there’s some variety, no surprise.

Yes, Roger, once the existing chin piece is out of play you will have the ability to splay out the wings to match the bonnet more closely before letting in the new chin piece, though there may be downstream effects, as in making the sides of the rear quarter panels flex slightly inward if they are now appropriately “flat”. Then again, splaying the wings outward a bit may actually improve the overall fit. You won’t know till you try it.

“Factory quality” covers a considerable range of fits. Tadek’s bonnet fit is quite good from what I can see. Better than most. Mine wasn’t - not so much an overlap issue like yours but a very uneven gap, which is also a common factory quality variable from what I’ve observed. I elected to fix it, not seeing the sense of replicating poor factory workmanship - one can be reasonably certain the flanges of the bonnet are not supposed to overlap the opening per original design but it really goes to what you’ll be happy with.

Thanks Nick,
Yes, it’s ‘wait and see’ once I start work on that chin piece. Mine is symmetrical, and the gap is actually very consistent - it’s just lateral overlap at the forward end where the bonnet is slightly wider than the inner upturned edges of the wings. I haven’t got any detail ‘before’ photos of that area up close, but you can see in these pics the shadow along the gap is fairly consistent. It’s not something I had noticed until today, when I was obviously looking a lot more critically.

I know our bonnets are different but I guess only different towards the screen. I dont think it will prove much, but what centers do you have between the front buffers in the wing tops? I have 520mm

Hard to say, Jim - I have six holes down each side of the bonnet shuts so I don’t know which one you are measuring. The ones nearest the front on mine are either side of the grille. The third one back from the front is 425mm centres.

I’ve just been down to Woodham Mortimer to pick up a set of wheels, and in their showroom is a one-family owned 140DHC which is low mileage and completely unmolested. It’s a beautiful thing, scruffy but perfect - no restoration there, and utterly gorgeous in BRG with Suede Green trim, a tan hood and disc wheels with spats.
The bonnet fit is much worse than mine.
I am sure this is original factory fit for this car. I think that in times to come, this sort of preservation will become even more important to the appeal of a car. Obviously I can’t have that as my car is being restored, but these days the goalposts are moving.

You would think that as my bonnet is longer it would have more holes rather than less?

FHC bonnet is the short one Jim, DHC and OTS have the longer bonnet.

I don’t have a radiator in at the moment so I don’t know if that hole is in the same place as mine - as you say the longer bonnet in the open cars may be different.
It looks like someone may have added holes to mine at some point - why would they do that??

That’s what I meant !

The bonnet on my ‘56 DHC overlaps unevenly, on both sides, for almost the entire length of the bonnet !

To correct a narrow gap perhaps. An extra buffer to flex the bonnet up a bit. Not the best practice to achieve even gaps I suppose.

My younger son is an artist. When he was visiting recently and inspecting progress on the XK120 project he remarked that each XK must be unique, that is not perfectly faithful to the pure design. Each is an interpretation of the design, some more precise than others.

The bonnet hinge screws allow for some adjustment side to side, front to back and up and down.