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Has a one pc body front ever been done ?  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: 02-09-2012 12:26 am
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Scottm5407
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Probably a dumb question.  I acquired along with my partially restored Mk1, 2 fibreglass fenders and a fiberglass hood, ( not installed ) and I was curious about the pros and cons of putting these together somehow to create a one piece ( for lack of  better words) body front end, a la E-type Jaguar.

Has this ever been attempted ? Any thoughts about the feasability of such an idea ?

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 Posted: 02-09-2012 01:22 pm
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jcdean
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I thought along these same lines as far as just having a front opening hood. I have even went as far as obtaining a set of hinges from a late 80's Park Avenue. Now all I need is motivation. At times it is hard to talk yourself into messing with a car that is working.

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 Posted: 02-09-2012 03:49 pm
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JodyKerr
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Well, don't want to dissuade you from a crazy idea, as I'm a big fan of crazy ideas, but this is not a small order project. We have a pair of Spitfires and the flip up front makes working on them a joy.

If you want to do this the main issue/concern is structural rigidity. The fenders do add some structural rigidity to the front end of the car. You would also have to decide where on the fender you were going to cut it onto two (as the fender runs all the way to the door and wraps around to create part of the door frame. In addition, to make it truly worthwile you'd want to remove as much of the inner fender as well (just imagine how easy it would be to get to the lower valve cover or exhaust manifold).

If I were attempting this, once I figured out the structural part I would adapt a Spitfire front end hinge assembly to use as the interior structure under the fibreglass as well as the front hinge mechanism. But I think the hardest part would be figuring out how to keep the front end from flexing like a slinky.

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 Posted: 02-09-2012 04:07 pm
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Art DeKneef
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I believe this has been done twice before. All I have seen were pictures.

One of the cars I believe was for sale on eBay at onr time, was a red car with the full front end flip job. The car looked clean and appeared to be very well done. I agree with Jody it will take a lot of work to accomplish this.

The other car just had the hood open to the front. It might have been a car that had a different engine installed as well. But I don't remember for sure. This would be the simpler of the two choices.

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 Posted: 02-10-2012 12:27 am
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Scottm5407
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Great feedback....thanks !!

As there is no body currently on my car from the doors forward, I don't really have to worry too much about screwing up something that already works, as it's not there yet anyway. At this stage, it's a totally blank page.

 The fibreglass hood that I have is the not-terribly-rigid ( racing ?) one that has 4 pins rather than hinges that hold it in place, and I can see where the structural integrity of what I was considering could be a major issue.

I also have a metal hood, and perhaps a front-opening version of that combined with the one-piece conventionally installed fibreglass fenders would be a wiser avenue to explore.

This is my first attempt at something like this, so any and all suggestions, positive and negative, are welcome.

Scottm 

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 Posted: 02-10-2012 01:23 am
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Art DeKneef
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Just for my own clarafication when you say there is no body on the front you have all the pieces, metal fenders and hood, plus the fiberglass fenders and hood. Just that nothing is installed at the moment.

You say you have a Mark I. Are the fiberglass fenders for a Mark I or are they for a Mark 2 car? Not the same thing and depending on what you have you may have more work to do. The headlight surrounds and fenders are different between the two types.

The fiberglass hood can be strengthen if needed. Does it have what looks like mounting plates for the hinges?

Another thing to consider, if you decide to undertake this project, is what pieces get discarded, which get replaced or made in fiberglass, and what stays metal. While there have been advances in bonding fiberglass and metal, they flex differently and they heat differently. Where they bond together there is the possibility of cracks.

It's an interesting idea but does it pass the time and money test? Says the guy whose idea for his modification originally did but now is not so sure it was a good idea. Nothing is impossible, it just takes longer and costs more money.

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 Posted: 02-10-2012 02:03 pm
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Scottm5407
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Hi Art

You are correct. I have a bunch of parts, none of which are installed.

I seem to have acquired all the parts from both this car ( originally red) and a donor car ( sort of a green color )

Hood #1 is Fiberglass, red, 4 mounting holes with round plates that pins would go through and held on by locking clips on top. No hinge mounting plates. I'm guessing from the color this was on the original car. Hood would need to be lifted off the car to access the engine compartment.

Hood # 2 is metal, green, and appears to be in pretty good shape. Again, from the color, I think this would have come from the donor car.

Fiberglass fender #1 is the same green color, probably from the donor car, and appears in good shape.

Fiberglass fender #2 is a gray primer color, looks like it has never been painted or installed.

Metal fenders: I seem to have 4, all of the 2-piece variety, all red, and all of which have severe rust damage.

Headlight surrounds. I have 3 pairs, 2 pairs red, 1 pair unpainted and look new. All look the same.

Based on what I have, I think the fiberglass fenders are my best bet moving forward, but I haven't yet tried them out to see if they fit. As to the hood, unless I do some kind of modifications, it looks like the options are the fiberglass one that I would have to lift off the car every time, or the metal one that would open in the conventional way.

I have checked into it, and both the original car and the donor car are early '73 Mk 1 's. As to the newer parts, I'm afraid I have no way of knowing, other than by comparison to the older used parts.

What should I be looking for as the difference between Mk1 and MK2 fenders ??

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 Posted: 02-11-2012 02:10 am
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Art DeKneef
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It sounds like the fiberglass fenders will be the way to go. I would try hanging the pieces temporarily and see how everything looks. That will help you visualize what's going on.

The Mk1  surround is about 3" longer on the outside and has a square corner toward the back. This fits with the fender.

The Mk2 surround doesn't have the longer side and has a rounded corner. If the surround lifts up on the outside it's a Mk 1. If it lays pretty flat it's a Mk 2.

As long at the surround and fender fit together you are good. If you have one of each you will be able to tell pretty easily that they do not match. On the car I'm restoring, a 74, someone previously had an incident and replaced the fender with a Mk1 fender. And then used a lot of bondo to try and make it look good. They didn't succeed. I replaced it with a Mk 2, rounded corner, fender.

As for the hood I can see going either way. It depends on how often you think you will be raising the hood to get to the engine compartment. Having it off completely to work is nice. But how easy will it be if it's just you. Does the metal hood have the dreaded crease by the hood support? If not you're lucky. It's a pain to fix that.

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 Posted: 02-11-2012 02:07 pm
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Scottm5407
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I'm afraid I don't have a heated garage, ( and in Ontario Canada this can be a bit of a problem in February ), so the car is pretty much in storage for the next month or 2. I will see what headlight surrounds fit with what fenders and take it from there.

You're right. I will usually be by myself, and the removable hood could prove to be a pain. This is what initially got me thinking about the one-piece solution.

I don't recall seeing a crease on the metal hood, but I will look at it again.

Thanks for the feedback!

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 Posted: 12-01-2012 08:38 pm
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roverman
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Scott, I suppose part of the equation, is application ? The JH roadster was never noted for rigidity, hence those pesky stories of cowl shake. If your going to drive enthusiastically, I would consider some skilled floor/firewall to suspension pickup points, of reinforcement,(at least pita. bars).Just a front pivot hood will make the engine compartment, more accessible.Consider your options carfully. Good Luck, roverman.

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 Posted: 12-03-2012 03:55 pm
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Scottm5407
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I'm still a long way from there. At a car show this summer I was looking at a corvette that had a system that might work. The lower part of the front fenders and the front bumper were in their conventional places and rigidly attached to the car, while the upper part of the front fenders and the hood were all one piece, which pivoted forward and were supported by hydraulic cylinders ( sort of like those on the lift-gate of a minivan. Might be a good solution, as the lower fender parts forward of the front wheel well would be attached to the car instead of the upper fenders.But,like I said, I am still a long way from there. Thanks for the ideas ! Scott

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