I am struggling to get a good and even alignment of the bonnet on my 1948 1 1/2ltr MK IV. All panel work and parts have been off the car for a full restoration, and almost everything now is fitted back - the bonnet panels being the final large parts to go back on the car. Clearly the wheel arches, radiator position and angle, bonnet centre bar, etc all have knock on effect as to how well the bonnet fits. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions on the best fitting and alignment process? Any dimensions, drawings, or production jigs mentioned in anyone’s workshop books or historical records?
The factory probably had a wooden stick with pins in it that would fit the end clip mounting holes, and aligned the radiator and shell with that.
I would fit just the center chrome strip and get everything aligned, adjusting the radiator and shell, with about 1/16" free clearance on each end of the strip. Better to be too wide than too narrow. Then remove the strip, install it in the bonnet, put 2 or 3 layers of masking tape all around the edges of the bonnet to protect the paint, get a helper, and both of you carefully lower it into place.
The bonnet to body [ and grille] alignment is adjusted by washers under the two mounting studs on the radiator and the length of the side stays. The rad can be " tilted’ sideways by adding washer[s] to one side if the gap at the bottom of the side is bigger that the top ad more washers, The radiator can be moved back and forwards as the hole sin the chassis are slotted. Adjusting the 3/8" nuts at the body end of the stays will mov e the top of the rad back and forth
The rubbers that sit on top and under the front cross member can be cut from nitril. We have aplace here where I go and say " I want ** ruber washers cut from 1/2" thick , 2" OD and 3/8" ID and they punch them out while I wait. And cheap.
They are the same as use dfor SS1 and SS100 36/7 engine mounts.
Yes, it is possible to DIY it but tricky. If memory serves me correctly I put a plank of wood across the stays near the bulkhead and with the side panels folded completely inwards I place the bonnet so that the outer faces of the side panels are lying flat on the plank and enter the hinge into the bulkhead fixing. I can then secure the it at the radiator fixing and unfold both side panels and withdraw the plank.
I’ve got the bonnet parts in place ok, it’s just that the four corners when it’s folded down are not all the same alignment with the body work. The radiator is the key element in critical angle and position - a small difference here makes a big difference at the bulkhead corners. More trial and error on my part I guess until I’m happy!! Thanks for the comments and suggestions.