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Technical Stainless louvered marine bilge vents on a hotrod?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by radarsonwheels, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 191

    from Philly

    5FE9F004-ED51-4103-9C38-17B7D0ED167F.jpeg CF11AF54-0392-41AE-AA9A-F3DDC172F6B3.jpeg I have an oven for an engine bay in my bigblock 54 dodge pickup. It doesn’t overheat but it is gotta be hard on plastic and rubber parts in there.

    So I’m looking into venting the hood. It is a hotrod truck but I’m after function here- I don’t really want to cut my hood but it is a really good idea.

    I’m leaning toward three rows of traditional round 3” louvers but before I do that I’m exploring the idea of brightwork louvers- stainless or chrome. The traditional kustom brand & year graft in swaparoo.

    I like the 1940 lasalle vents. They could be swapped to the hood top and made functional, maybe even look right.

    I am also into thinking ‘out of the box’ and adapting non car parts if they look like they belong. I have a boat deck fuel filler in my rear fender tub and it looks just right.

    I’m looking at these stainless louvered bilge vents. They are inexpensive and I am curious if they would look good on a hotrod, or look like cheap garbage trying to imitate a gt40 or something and coming off like double sided tape pep boys fake carbon fiber doo dads...

    Anyway I’d love to hear opinions from “barf!” to “great idea” or whatever. Also if anybody has suggestions for vintage repurposed functional brightwork hood vents I’m all ears!

    Here’s my hood now, and some boat vent examples.
    v8flat44, AHotRod and loudbang like this.
  2. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,820


    If it was me I would go with one of those reversed scoops like gassers run. But that is not your question.
  3. mastergun1980
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 1,095

    from Alva OK

    Do it. You can always get another hood if you tire of the vents

    loudbang likes this.
  4. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,917

    from Quincy, IL

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  5. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 191

    from Philly

    Sorta like these?

    They also have plain domed and slightly peaked clamshell vents for boats like these but I don’t know if two would do the job and four or six would look crazy?

    Got a pic of the style you mean?


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    G-son, lothiandon1940 and loudbang like this.
  6. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,244


    maybe on the side of the hood ???
  7. irishsteve
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 521


    Think I would find someone to punch real louvers in the hood.They are a timeless favorite.Someday you will sell the truck,and the guys who look at it may not be boating fans.
    Jibs, alanp561, olscrounger and 6 others like this.
  8. Why don't you just take the clam shells off, and get some louvers laid out, and punched ? There isn't any hood bracing to worry about removing, on those hoods.

    Louvers would not only look better, but the structural integrity, would be a whole hell of a lot stronger, than slicing slots in them for Autozone style trinket scoops.
    Cosmo49, jimgoetz, blowby and 5 others like this.
  9. AldeanFan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2014
    Posts: 476


    Seems like a great opportunity to learn to do your own louvers!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    alanp561 likes this.
  10. Probably cheaper to find someone with a press, but hard to miss this bitch'n' article on one of Philly's own hot rod families.

    Jerry Labronti hand punching some sweet slots.

    P.S. You can lay out your own louvers. Read up on the louver threads here. Find your louver punch guy, and ask their louver size. Then get busy with some straight edges, and markers. Get your pattern punched. 3 to 5 bucks a slot. Per se ...


    Jibs, exterminator and loudbang like this.
  11. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 1,969

    from NKy

    Look in scrap metal yards for old computer or electrical cabinets , most have super nice louvered doors that can be cut and added to panels . If you were near , I have 2 of them here that I would give you one .
    blowby and loudbang like this.
  12. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 191

    from Philly

    58B44147-F640-4672-A094-65536A30A532.jpeg I’m all set to do three rows of 3” round top louvers- laid out like these from a web sourced photo (owner?) but without the middle 4 rows so I don’t feed hot air to my cowl vent/fresh air scoop.

    I found (with some help from the HAMB) a guy about 40 mins away who does them- “ol 55” hotrod shop at “East Coast Chevrolet” in Doylestown PA. Seems legit.

    Just exploring my options before making irreversable changes. I agree that the punched louvers are a classic look but tasteful brightwork is always nice if it looks right. If I used boat parts it would be because they looked deluxe and not out of place. I also like those off topic muscle car camaro hood vents but they are too recognizable and wrong era.

    The caddy Lasalle type vents are a classy option for the hood sides- that would be more traditional. I’d love to hear other classic bolt on vent year and model examples to look for!

    To do the punched louvers the truck does have internal braces that will need slicing and re-welding. No big deal. The pain in the butt part is scraping 10 year old heat cycled ‘fat mat’ dynamat stuff off the inside and sanding off three or four paintjobs so I can drop off the hood butterflies at the punch shop in bare metal where the louvers will go.

    Of course sanding the sharp edges off them will be fun too but hey that’s what it’s about.
  13. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 191

    from Philly

    I looked at weld-in options. I think even if I took my time welding and grinding they would still lose some of the roundness of the stock hood?

    I have bead rolled plenty- it’s easy to warp a panel stretching stuff out, but winds up much stiffer after. Same deal with the louvers? Less flimsy after?

    I saw a lot of how-to stuff. The one that looks most doable for consistent results was a male and female die with a ‘fin’ that you slide into slots that you cut, then you slide the mating die over that and hammer the louver in. For the hours of tool making it doesn’t make sense unless I plan on being the local louver guy after that and it’d still be mickey mouse compared to a deep throat press with heat treated tool steel dies.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  14. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 24,709


    Your truck if you like the stainless ones go for it.
    brady1929 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  15. Legitimate punched louvers are classic and would look proper in my opinion. The boat vents, though nice, remind me of when I was building my first model kits as a kid. If it was in the box, I was going to tack it onto the car somewhere, thus I would glue those included louvers in places where in hindsight, they look kinda out of place. I like your thinking as far as re-purposing the boat vents, I just would rather you use them in a less prominent location than on the hood. Not quite sure where that would be yet. 2013-10-22 13.06.45.jpg
  16. Some of those "pusher" style school buses have some interesting, flat engine doors with louvers already punched in them. Might be a source to consider as you are capable of cutting and welding in panels. Just a thought. Might find one in a salvage yard somewhere. Save on the layout and cost to punch louvers in your hood, not to mention the tedious task of sanding them each before painting.
  17. G-son
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 591

    from Sweden

    Whatever you choose, make sure the aerodynamics make sense too. Openings in the wrong area or the wrong shape may not let any air pass, or push air in when you drive down the road. Use the air flow and low pressure zones to draw air out, avoid high pressure zones, turbulence and ineffective shapes.
  18. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,960


    If you want your truck to look like it was built with JC Whitney gizmo parts go for it. Gives it that fiberglass kit car look. :eek: Or....... you could get real louvers in the hood and have a Hot Rod.:D
  19. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,218

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    those boat vents would work in the inner fenders to let air out into the wheel well.
  20. exterminator
    Joined: Apr 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,405


    No Way!!!! Get real louvers.
    Just Gary and radarsonwheels like this.
  21. Dyce
    Joined: Sep 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,819


    If you don't have air conditioning, and your only comfort from the heat is opening your windows, opening the sides of the hood isn't a good idea. I took the side panels below the hood off to cool the engine down on my 40 chevy and it worked, but the hot air goes right into the cab.

    Louvers on top are better. I suppose the cowl vent could pick up some heat.
    loudbang and radarsonwheels like this.
  22. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 191

    from Philly

    Yeah that’s what I’m trying to avoid.

    Welp it’s nice and chilly out today. Might as well get to scraping off the dynamat and paint before driving the hood over to the louver punch shop.

    Thanks for all the enthusiastic feedback! I really don’t want to cut the hood at all but the traditional louvers will probably give the best result visually and functionally
  23. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,194


    I like different and those are different! I'd have no problem installing them. :)
  24. Dirk35
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 1,984


    In my opinion, those would look like someone cut a hole and put a louvered insert into the hole.
    I'm also personally not a fan of the louvers like others have posted on the horizontal surface. I just don't like the thought of being concerned about leaving my vehicle out in the rain and having the water come in to the engine bay (or trunk area). I got it, its traditional because it allowed ventilation on race cars, but I just prefer to keep a vehicle accessible in all weather.

    In the picture in my avatar, my 49 usually stays outside year around. Every time I see louvered panels on horizontal surfaces, it make me think that they can no longer leave the vehicle outside should it need.

    The hood louvers from either a 48-49, or a 50-52 Ford Pickup could both be easily cut out, then cut down in height or length and welded back together, then grafted into the sides of your hood. For the 48-49 louvers, you'd need to just cut them down the middle in length, then weld back together to get a final length that you need. For the 50-52 louvers, you'd need to cut them down in height, then weld back together to get a final height that you need.

    You could also see if the Buick Portholes behind your hood handles would be a decent look.

    Most people would never know that they aren't stock if you take your time and do it well.

    These hoods come up in the classified and are relatively cheap ($100-200 usually).

    49 Hood.jpg

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
  25. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,166


    Have a pair like the second pic. I can't make myself throw them away and I can't make myself put them on anything I own. Hope this helps.
  26. Chavezk21
    Joined: Jan 3, 2013
    Posts: 594


    IMHO early buick portholes in the side of hood would look bettter. Would an air dam at radiator create a low pressure to pull out under pickup? or ^^^^
    radarsonwheels likes this.
  27. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,821


    Your timing is perfect...I just ordered some two days ago for similar reasons !
    Done right I think they will look great.
    Will follow this tread for what you do..
    radarsonwheels likes this.
  28. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,823

    Atwater Mike

    Buick portholes have a purpose. They release pressure "when Dyna Flows"!
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  29. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 191

    from Philly

    I ordered some freeze spray today- wasn’t cold enough outside yet to crack the dynamat off the inside of the hood skin.

    The traditional police might have successfully led me back to the path of homogenous hotrodding- it is different enough for me that I did a dodge instead of a ford like everybody else.

    Even though I’m preparing to take the hood for stamped louvers I didn’t totally give up on the stainless vents. They are cheap enough that I might buy a set just to see them in person before deciding.

    I did a lot of modeling as a kid and it is amazing how much stuff you can pirate from different sources. It looks crazy and a bad idea all glued together but once you prime it and start painting it nobody would ever know that you didn’t sculpt it from scratch or be able to tell where the pieces came from.

    I really appreciate the ford hood idea but I don’t want to steal styling cues from a similar vehicle or era.

    I park my truck in the driveway and if I drive my challenger to work on a rainy day it’s because the truck’s wipers suck, not because I’m afraid of water. I am fine with louvers or vents letting some dirt and water in. My engine block is painted and I went off topic with all weatherpack connectors for the ‘lectrix.

    Thanks again for the responses. I’ll post up whatever I end up doing and HDonlybob PLEASE DO hijack this thread with pics of your project and repurposed vents!

  30. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,821


    I love doing things out of the box...and not having a show car I can gamble a bit..
    I wanted push button doors, but being retired an on fixed income could no swing the ~$125 bucks a pop..
    So took some exhaust pipe, squashed it a bit....took some push buttons from a front seat back to move the upper seat forward, and cut/welded them to the original door interior parts..
    worked perfect, but didn't like the look of the square buttons, so put the finishing touch on ...the outside rubber...
    Yep cut my wife's turkey baster in half and painted it..
    Perfection at a total cost of less than ~$15 total..
    And I get a lot of compliments on them...
    If I don't like my louvers in the hood, I will just grab a different hood...


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