[modern] Leaper Installation Question

Dear Leaper Installers,

I’ve studied the archives and have inspected a couple of cars with leapers
and am ready to install a standard (5-inch) leaper on my '88 XJ6. The cars
I’ve studied both had a large hole (2 inches or so) bored through the
reinforcement rib on the under surface of the hood so the leaper stud nuts
could be tightened to apply pressure directly against the bottom surface of
the hood (with large washers installed on the studs).

However, on my car, there doesn’t seem to be any convenient way of boring
this large clearance hole in the reinforcement rib with the hood installed
because the radiator and front framework will not provide an appropriate
angle of approach for a drill and hole saw. I suppose I could carve a hole
with the Dremel (discomfort, anxiety and tedium), and such a hole wouldn’t
have to be round. The holes on the cars I’ve inspected appeared to be cut
with a hole saw.

Do I have to remove the hood, or do awkward work with a Dremel, or has
someone figured out a slick method of doing this? If I were to remove the
radiator (I haven’t done the in-between radiator cleaning yet), will this
provide adequate clearance to use a drill?

If there isn’t a convenient way of cutting the access hole without removing
the hood, has anyone who has mounted their leaper with long studs that go all
the way through the reinforcement rib had any problems with the resulting
installation? This would certainly be easier, but it does seem that it would
risk pulling a dent into the hood if the nuts were tightened just a little
too much.

All help appreciated.

'88 XJ6