Media Coverage on Specialty Cars

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One of the coolest hood-hinge assemblies we’ve seen is offered by Tri-C Engineering
Note: This item is no longer available and this tutorial is for educational purposes only.


This design allows the hood to open from the front, and it’s commonly known among the street rod ranks as an “alligator hood,” for obvious reasons. This hinge is different, very strong, and looks great when it’s detailed to perfection.

'HOW TO INSTALL THE TRI-C ENGINEERING HOOD KIT'
The Tri-C hood hinge is available in kit form for a wide variety of cars, and here we show you how it was installed on a ’32 Ford. If you are an experienced street rod builder with an adequate supply of tools in your shop, you should be able to install this hood hinge on your street rod. If you are a novice, you may want to contact a hot rod shop to do it for you. This installation required a MIG or TIG welder, a metal band saw (a chop saw would probably work fine) and ordinary hand tools.
Customer Photos

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Installation Steps

The Tri-C hood hinge is available in kit form for a wide variety of cars, and here we show you how it was installed on a ’32 Ford. If you are an experienced street rod builder with an adequate supply of tools in your shop, you should be able to install this hood hinge on your street rod.

If you are a novice, you may want to contact a hot rod shop to do it for you. This installation required a MIG or TIG welder, a metal band saw (a chop saw would probably work fine) and ordinary hand tools. The hinge comes with end brackets, but in this case the brackets were fabricated to work even better.

The hinge comes with end brackets, but in this case the brackets were fabricated to work even better.

Steps 1 & 2

This is the universal hood hinge prior to installation. It includes the upper and lower hood braces, the parts required to raise the hood, and the small gas shock that will hold the hood open. What’s nice about this mechanism is that all the important brackets and latch mechanisms are already installed. If you are careful when installing this hood, everything should line up perfectly.

Using a long straightedge, the location of the lower hood brace was determined. With the bodyline as a guide, the location of the hood should be slightly lower to allow room for the upper hood section.

Step 3

The lower hood brace was then held up against the body and the required length was determined. All the hood braces are delivered longer than necessary because it’s designed to work on many different models.


Step 4

After the length was determined, the square-tube sections were marked with a black felt-tip pen for cutting.

Step 5

The square tubing was cut to size with a metal band saw. This provides a nice, clean and precise cut.

Step 6

The kit comes with end brackets, but in this case the installer decided to fabricate his own. Here, the front bracket is TIG-welded to the hood brace. This brace is very strong and looks nice, too.

Step 7

An offset rear bracket was installed and welded to the brace. Both the front and rear brackets were offset to keep the brace in perfect alignment with the top section of the hood.


Step 8

Here is the lower bracket assembly after the ends and hood arms were installed. The small gas strut makes it easier to open the hood and also holds the hood up.


Step 9

Before the hood brace was installed, a small metal spacer plate was used to help find the perfect location for the bracket holes. This metal spacer eliminates the guesswork. Here, the front is marked and will be used when the measurement is made.


Step 10

The rear measurement was made using the metal spacer as a guide. The spacer is used to allow clearance for the hood top.


Step 11

A measurement was made from the top of the brace to the first hole in the mounting bracket to get the spacing for the first bolt hole.


Step 12

The measurement was transferred to the side of the hood in preparation for a hole that will be drilled.


Step 13

Here is the lower bracket assembly after the ends and hood arms were installed. The small gas strut makes it easier to open the hood and also holds the hood up.


Step 14

Using the measurement that was just made, the hole was drilled for the bracket. A small hole was made and then opened up to the bolt size. The same was done on the other side of the car.


Step 15

The hole was then drilled to size. In this case it was drilled with a small drill bit and then opened up with a larger bit.


Step 16

After the holes were drilled, the top brace was attached to the grille shell with two stainless button-head Allen bolts.


Step 17

Everything that was done on the driver’s side of the car was also done on the passenger side. Here, the top brace is connected to the grille shell.


Step 18

The gas strut was removed to allow the hood brackets to relax, and the hood top was installed to see how it would fit. The hood was also measured so that the upper brace structure could be made to size.


Step 19

The rear bracket was attached to the firewall with two stainless steel hex-head bolts.


Step 20

The rear bracket on the passenger side also was installed on the firewall.


Step 21

Using the hood as a guide, an upper structure was made from the parts in the kit. When this is made, it is important to make sure the structure lines up with the lower hood brace.


Step 22

When the hood arm is connected to the upper brace, a thin and a thick spacer washer should be installed first. After the bracket is installed, another thin washer is installed before the locknut.