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1951 Ford hood blew up while driving!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hillbillyhellcat, May 30, 2013.

  1. hillbillyhellcat
    Joined: Aug 26, 2002
    Posts: 595


    My '49 sedan has '51 front end treatment and somehow the hood blew up while driving and is now junk. Quite a shame since it was a really nice hood but I was unscathed and so was the car except for a dent in the left fender and another in the cowl.

    Any how-tos on how to secure the hood with a safety latch? I guess this is a common problem on these cars... Also, anyone want to part with a '51 hood, or even a '49 or '50 within a reasonable drive of western Pennsylvania?


  2. This is a common thing with these shoeboxes and almost ready for the road, it troubles me. That style of latch was used on many cars right up onto the 80's without the common thing with the shoeboxes. The only thing i can come up with is the rediculous center rad cradle mount that ford carried over from previous years that rocks the front sheetmetal back and forth from road force. I tied my cradle with 2 mounts but not sure if this is the ticket. I hope it doesn't play hell with my gap alignment but stressing the front but i don't think so. Guess i'll find out. At any rate i'm adding a strap under neath just in case. I'm using a 50 meteor hood which is real hard to find. Especially a usable one.
  3. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope

    Fords from '49 to '56 were infamous for pop-up hoods. Why do you think the '57-'59's had the front hinges?
    Engine man likes this.
  4. Strap, or chain, or well designed modern latch hook modified to fit your car.

  5. I've used aftermarket latches and just adapted them.
  6. oldiron73
    Joined: May 26, 2009
    Posts: 400

    from WISCONSIN

    This happened to me about 6 years ago and had a hard time finding a decent hood. The Hamb site should help in your search.
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  7. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,400


    I frequently hear about those hoods opening but I have two mild customs from Missouri that dont have latches, only the safety catch and they never flew open. We got one of these cars in 1967. Keep your damaged hood, someone will need it and it can be straightened
  8. How about a chain and snap hook so you can open your hood 4-6", reach in and unhook? Put it somewhere that won't allow it to get in the fan!
  9. worn shoes
    Joined: Mar 16, 2007
    Posts: 310

    worn shoes

    Maybe it can be fixed? Happened to be about 10 years ago and I fixed it. It stretched and tore and created dents on both sides of the hood. Some cutting,welding,bending and heating fixed it. If its already trash it might be worth the try :)
  10. beyond static
    Joined: Apr 3, 2011
    Posts: 136

    beyond static
    from Louisiana

    The hood on my '51 flew up on the previous owner. I've been trying to find a decent hood to replace it, but I'm having no luck. I'll more than likely straighten the bent up one.
  11. I reworked a 70s mopar on my 52
  12. Paul B
    Joined: Sep 29, 2007
    Posts: 881

    Paul B

    Happened to me ,at about 60 mph.I put a safty chain on the replacement hood
  13. Don Martin
    Joined: Nov 2, 2006
    Posts: 157

    Don Martin
    from West Tenn

    WOW!!! I thought I was the only one. My 51 came up, just glad the driver window was down or my head might have broke it. Have'nt found a decent hood yet.
  14. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,444


    Use a couple of Chevy U-joints and a plastic coated wire cable (available at your local hardware store)...put a loop in both ends and secure them with "cable stops". Slip one end over one U-joint and bolt that to your car's hood brace. Do the same on the lower pan or somewhere under the hood. Then go find a padlock. Lower the hood, slip the loop and the padlock onto the U-joint and secure with the won't ever come up at any speed again.

    Will cost you less than $10.00 and keeps unwanted fingers out of your engine department...

    NEVER trust the stock secondary latch when you're moving at 70 mph...

  15. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,110

    from Burton, MI

    I have a chain that's secured to the hood and latches into a steel loop bolted to the center support. Scary stuff when the hood flies up.
  16. Really? This is the #1 most common problem with shoeboxes.
  17. On mine there is a cable actuated latch and a spring loaded safety hook, both from the factory. I have had the cable latch come loose a few times if I didn't slam it good but the hook has always caught it. Does the hook normally fail too? Have I just been lucky?
  18. hillbillyhellcat
    Joined: Aug 26, 2002
    Posts: 595


    Well, it looks like I am going to have to fix the one I have got. I found some for around $1000 shipped, I don't feel like spending that much dough! Thanks for the ideas. I think I'll just drive it without a hood for awhile.
  19. captainflight
    Joined: Jul 7, 2007
    Posts: 196


    Go to . There has been quite a few posts about the hood latch and solutions to cure it.
  20. when they come up they can also do more than ruin the hood. like dent the front of the roof and take out the windshield.
    olscrounger likes this.
  21. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    The hood on my brothers '68 Impala blew up, back in the day. A rubber wrapped bicycle chain and a small lock cured that. Secure and theft proof.
  22. Here is mine

    Attached Files:

  23. Only took me 5 years to come up with a solution for mine. Street rod hood pins go down through the valance in front of the rad, had to build small brackets to get them located where I wanted them.They're just mocked up in this pic, I mounted them with bolts and lock washers etc, painted the brackets so now they're secure and not really noticeable...



    Works like a charm (although some future owner or a mechanic might take a crowbar to the hood trying to get it open if they don't realize there are pins hidden behind the grille...

  24. I adapted a Cadillac trunk latch.
    Pulls it down tight.
    flatheadpete and cracker head like this.
  25. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,493


    "Big A" - I didn't know how much I liked the Dodge grilles until I saw yours.:cool:
    Boryca and Hnstray like this.
  26. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,103


    This was common on these cars even back in the day. Was in a friends 49 bombing down Hwy 99 at about 70 when his hood blew up--quite a thrill! Dented the top and broke one of the windshields. I have never owned one but am sure getting interested in a 49-50 coupe!!
  27. Evidently this was a problem on Mopar products as well. My hood has damage consistent with having opened at speed. A previous owner had replaced the Dodge letters on the hood with ten chrome "bullets". I drilled small holes through the end ones and ran cables and clips from under the hood for added security.
  28. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,665

    Kan Kustom

    Count me in. I had the hood fly up on a 49 sedan I had. I don't feel as bad about it now that I see its so common.
  29. sevenhills1952
    Joined: Mar 14, 2018
    Posts: 954


    This happened to me years ago, Nash Metropolitan going down a long hill near home, 55 mph all at once I'm blind!
    Lucky I made it to shoulder, closed hood and limped it home. Luckily I was having it painted anyway, body shop fixed the dented cowl. I fabricated a latch mechanism so you pop the good and it goes up about 2", you press a spring loaded bracket to open rest of way.

    Sent from my SM-S320VL using Tapatalk... Gary from Virginia
  30. Not a shoebox, but my 49 COE hood was popping open. That hood would be near impossible to find if it had gotten messed up. I put a piece of chain with a spring clip, open the hood about 5 inches and reach in to undo the chain. Now even if it pops open, it will not go far enough to damage anything. Still requires a stop to put the hood back down and relatch it. But better than the hood blocking your view and potential damage to it or other parts.

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