Hood alignment tips?

E9Wayne

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Hi folks, I'm starting to get my E9 ready for Monterey and have a good punch list of little things to take care of. One in particular has me confused. My hood alignment from driver to passenger side is a more than a few mms off to the extent that the seam between the hood and fender is bigger on one side and smaller on the other. In particular, the triangle gap between the hood where it meets the metal below the windshield on the driver side of my car is too close (almost metal to metal touching). You can see the differences in the photos here.

Last weekend I tried what I thought would be a simple fix of loosening the 3 bolts on each side holding the hood to its swivel bracket to shift the hood a little down on the upper right and a little left to the passenger side but it didn't really move.

I guess I need to loosen more bolts than the three each on each hinge?

Anyone done this?
 

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MyFemurHurts

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I got mine to line up by loosening the three bolts on the hinge.

It's still not perfect, but that's when I shrug and say "hand built car." :lol:
 

Arde

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The wolf shall dwell with the lamb before you ever get the hood to align.

Isaiah 11:something.
 

johanaxelson

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time, time and lots of time.

I finally gave mine to a bodyshop person, he did it at a fixed price which he regretted :)

Otherwise:
1. put car on stands
2. remove front axle and engine
3. loosen bolts
4. adjust hood
5. tighten bolts
6. put engine and front axle back
:)
 

adawil2002

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Get some wooden shims, loosen the hinge bolts. Be careful the hood doesn't fall forward against the nose or has too small a gap as it may pinch and chip the paint. Use the shims to adjust the gaps.

May want to contact VSR1.com as they remove and realign hoods regularly. They have spent 4 months prepping Athena for Monterey.
 
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I just love answer #4 <BIGEST GRIN> and answer #5 is just bizarre. Back in the day when I was a young pup in the auto body trade (early seventies) an old timer gave me some advice that has served me well thru the years. Whenever you’re trying to align a panel that opens always remove the latch or catch / striker bolt first (which ever half is easier), then you are truly aligning the hinges without any interference from the locking mechanisms. Then only after you get your best gap do you reattach your half lock which you move around to maintain the best alignment you had already achieved. In a nut shell you align the hood, deck lid or door to the opening then align the lock to the just aligned opening panel if that makes any sense.

On our coupes I’d remove the hood grilles, the latch halves off the hood and the rubber cowl gaskets so the hood can sit down in it’s opening with the latches half removed. I’d set the hood hinge bolts to barely finger tight and pull the hood all the way back in its adjustment slots with a helper and carefully lower the hood into its opening. Move the hood into alignment and carefully open the hood just enough to tighten one bolt on each hinge, after re-checking alignment tighten all the hinge bolts and then align one lock at a time to the hood. Possibly if the headlight doors, the headlights and grilles are removed you might be able to reach the hinge bolts with an open end wrench, I just can’t remember for sure. Okay, a piece of cake right, if you believe that I can sell you the Brooklyn bridge too.

PROBLEMS YOU MAY RUN INTO. If our coupes have been hit or even had body panels replaced you can’t count on everything being in the right place and then you will never get perfect body gaps. Believe me it takes very little to knock a uni-body cars nose off center an 1/8”, then without bolt on fenders & header panel you can never get good lines. You will probably open and close the hood dozens of times during alignment, locks can jam during all this for whatever reasons, you may be glad you removed the hood grilles so you can reach in to somehow free them up. There is almost no clearance between the front hood edge and the header panel so obviously all alignment work should ideally be done before the car is painted, after it’s painted chipped edges can happen in a blink. All I can think of tonight and probably not what everyone wanted to hear :?: :x. ~ John Buchtenkirch

P.S. my own coupe doesn’t have perfect hood alignment, I will fix it if I end up painting the car but for now I don’t let it bother me so I guess answer #4 is really correct :lol::lol:.
 

vince

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Funny timing.

Yesterday, I promised my two most trusted BMW friends (one with a perfect '02 and one with a perfect 635 euro) lunch if they would help tweak my hood alignment. Definitely not a one man job, two maybe, but I figured three set of hands would be perfect. All of us are pretty good when it comes to wrenching on old cars. We got out some of my wife's favorite towels, put painters tape everywhere, and went to work. We went completely backwards in the first hour and every line was worse than before. My one friends said "isn't there anything online that shows how to do this and what the gaps should be". I'm said something like 'are you kidding?, this is all tribal knowledge'. Anyway, we messed and messed with everything when it finally just went into place. We broke for lunch and then came back did a little more tweaking.

We started at noon and finished up after 4 (with an hour lunch break). I thought it would take us about a half hour.

Now all of gap lines look great and it got my buddy with the '02 (the most anal of us all) seal of approval.

Getting the hinges correct is important but you have factor in the hood support mechanism. If the pivot point is off, it can throw everything off.
 
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Aussiecsi

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Funny timing.

Yesterday, I promised my two most trusted BMW friends (one with a perfect '02 and one with a perfect 635 euro) lunch if they would help tweak my hood alignment. Definitely not a one man job, two maybe, but I figured three set of hands would be perfect. All of us are pretty good when it comes to wrenching on old cars. We got out some of my wife's favorite towels, put painters tape everywhere, and went to work. We went completely backwards in the first hour and every line was worse than before. My one friends said "isn't there anything online that shows how to do this and what the gaps should be". I'm said something like 'are you kidding?, this is all tribal knowledge'. Anyway, we messed and messed with everything when it finally just went into place. We broke for lunch and then came back did a little more tweaking.

We started at noon and finished up after 4 (with an hour lunch break). I thought it would take us about a half hour.

Now all of gap lines look great and it got my buddy with the '02 (the most anal of us all) seal of approval.

Getting the hinges correct is important but you have factor in the hood support mechanism. If the pivot point is off, it can throw everything off.
I believe beer goggles help .
 
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