In last months DOC, we began our article on Installing and Adjusting Buick Side-Opening Hoods, Part I. We will conclude this month, resuming with


           The hood fastener handle must seat firmly and fully into the recess of the fastener handle body on the hood when the hood is down and locked.  The correct adjustment of the fastener plate allows the fastener arm to snap past center against the stop lug on the fastener plate in locked position, with the maximum free travel available for the initial release of the handle, made possible by the operating rod slot in the hood fastener handle.  In its initial release position, the handle has to extend out far enough to allow a firm pull for unlocking the hood.

        If the hood fastener handle does not fully seat into the recess in the fastener body, it could be because of some kind of interference between the sides of the handle and the body, such as a burr on the handle side, or distortion of the base when it was assembled to the hood panel.  With the hood open and the handle in its locked position, check the clearance between both sides of the handle and the body with a 1/32" feeler gauge.  If the clearance is less than 1/32" on the sides, make these adjustments:

        1.  Loosen the two center stud nuts that fasten the handle body to the hood panel  (See Figure 6)

        2.  Put 1/32metal shims on each side of the handle at the center and close the handle, which will force the sides of the handle body outward.

        3.  Tighten the two center stud nuts securely, then take out the shims.  Re-check the clearance to see if it is sufficient on each side of the handle to let it operate freely.

        If the hood fastener handle has good clearance but does not seat in the handle body as described above, loosen the three bolts that attach the fastener plate to the hood, allowing the plate to be moved forward or backward.  The plate must be shifted forward slightly if the fastener locks correctly but the handle does not lock securely (past center) allowing the handle to snap out of its recess and unlock the hood.  Tighten the plate, attaching the bolts securely.  This adjustment is needed if the the hood becomes unlatched when driving the car on a rough road.

        If the guide pin on a hinge is not aligned with the hole in the pilot plate, or if there is unequal spacing between the hood and the fenders along the side, the hinge will have to be shifted to correct the alignment and spacing.  Before you shift the hinge, be sure to determine the effect this will have on the spacing at the cowl and doors, so that the hood will have equal spacing in these locations.

        The bolt holes in the hinges are slotted to allow front and back adjustments.  To shift the hinge, loosen the attaching bolts that extend through the fender rail, make the required change in its position, then re-tighten the bolts.

        If the hinge needs to be adjusted inward toward the centerline of the car, place a flat bar between the fender rail and the hinge plate and bend the hinge inward slightly as shown in figure 7.  To adjust the hinge outward from the centerline, insert a bar through the opening in the hinge under the plate and bend it outward slightly, as shown in figure 8.  When bending the hinge outward, keep in mind that a light contact on the inner side of the pilot pin is okay, but the pin should not bind in the pilot hole.  If this adjustment of the hinge inward or outward doesnt result in correct pilot pin alignment, or if it causes the spacing between the hood and fenders along the sides to be incorrect, the width of the hood will have to be adjusted as follows:

        On Series 40 only:  Hood width adjustment is provided by an elongated hole in each of the hood pilot plates and an oversized hole in the reinforcement brace for the bolts that attach the tubular hood reinforcement and brace to pilot plate (see figure 9).  To adjust the hood width at either end of the front or rear reinforcement, loosen the attaching bolts, push in or pull out the edge of the hood to change the width as required, then tighten the bolts securely.

        On Series 50-70:  The hood reinforcements are welded to the hood pilot plates, so adjustment for width is usually not necessary.  Rarely, it might be necessary to move a hinge out further than advisable to bend it, so it might be necessary to install spacer washers as needed between the fender rail and the hinge under the fender.  

        After securing proper contact of pilot and hinge plates, or while shifting the hinges to align the pilot pins as above, check the hood and fender contours along the sides of the hood.  Hood and fenders should be in close alignment as shown in figure 10-A.  If the hood is obviously higher than the fender as shown in figure 10-B, it can be corrected by lowering the hood hinges on the fender rail.  Some vertical adjustment is possible with the oversize bolt holes in the fender rail, but in some cases it might be necessary to remove the hinge and elongate the bolt holes in the fender rail with a round file, so that the hinge can be lowered.  When lowering a hinge, it might be necessary to bend up the ends of the bumper on the underside of the hinge plate, but dont bend it so far that it will not support the hinge plate.  This can allow the hinge plate to contact the small flange on the inner edge of the fender rail.  Lowering the hinge decreases the space between the hood and the fender.  Dont reduce this space to less than 3/32" as measured with a feeler gauge.  If the horizontal flange of the fender rail will not permit the hinge to be lowered far enough, bend it downward with a hammer and punch on either side of the hinge.

        In some cases, it might be necessary to cut a notch in the turned-up edge of the fender rail to ensure proper clearance under the hinge plate.  When adjustment is completed, the hinge plate must rest on the bumper, and not on the fender rail.  The bumper should be bent downward enough to support the hinge plate.  When the hood rubs the corner of the fender on the hinge side when the hood is raised, even after all of the above adjustments have been made, the clearance between the pivot ends of the front hinges and the underside of the fender metal should be checked.  If this clearance is much more than 1/8" (see figure 11), adjustment of the hinges to raise the pivot ends will give additional clearance between the hood and fender when the hood is raised.


        To achieve proper fit of the hood at the grill, fenders and cowl, and proper operation of the hood hinges when opening and closing the hood, there must be correct positioning of the front fenders and correct adjustment of the hinges in relation to the fenders and to the hinges themselves.  For the hood fasteners to operate properly, there must be correct adjustment of the fasteners on the hinges, correct adjustment of the fastener releasing rods, and synchronization between the front and rear fasteners, as well as correct adjustment of the release cables.

        Check the front fenders to ensure that all the fastenings are tight, and that the fenders are in proper alignment with the front doors.  With the hood closed and locked, check the clearance between the fenders and the sides of the hood using a feeler gauge to full depth.  The clearance should be about 3/32" on each side, and fairly uniform from front to rear.  Lateral adjustment of the hinges will correct improper clearance.

        Alignment of the hood and fender contours must be checked.  If the hood is too high or too low, the hinges can be adjusted vertically (See figure 11).

        Clearance between the nose of the hood and the radiator grill should be approximately 5/64" and fairly uniform from side to side.

        The clearance between the rear edge of the hood and the shoulder of the cowl should be approximately 1/8and fairly uniform from side to side.  Any improper space may be corrected by hood adjustment, but uneven spacing might require an adjustment of the radiator mounting strap.

        With the opposite side locked, open and close each side of the hood to check alignment of the pilot pins with the holes in the hinges.  Straighten the pins if the lower ends are out of line.  If there is any binding when the pins are fully within the holes, the hinge will have to be adjusted.

        With the opposite side of the hood raised, check each side to ensure that the hood panel reinforcements are firmly against the hinge pilot plates, both front and rear.  If there is any gap between the reinforcement and the hinge pilot plate, the hood fastener will need adjustment.

        ADJUSTMENT OF HOOD HINGES, Series 50-70

        There are slotted mounting holes on the hood hinges, allowing vertical adjustment.  These holes are oversized in width to allow some forward and backward adjustment.  To move in either direction, loosen the hinge mounting bolts.

        If it is necessary to adjust a hood hinge side to side to change the hood-to-fender clearance, the spacer washer thickness between the hinge and the fender rail can be changed (see figure 12).  All hood hinges should be finally positioned so that the top surfaces of all four hinge pilot plates are level with each other and on the same plane.  Use a straight edge to check the level between the front and rear hinge pilot plates on each side and readjust the hinges as needed to obtain full bearing of both plates against the straight edge.

        On the fender rail lower flange under each hood hinge, there is an adjustable stop screw that bears against a rubber bumper installed in the hinge (see figure 12).  These stop screws should be adjusted to provide a slight upward pressure on the hood hinges after all the hinge adjustments have been done.  Adjust each stop screw individually until, with the hood down and locked, any shaking or looseness is eliminated at each hinge.


        The hood fastener tension is not adjustable, because the latches are spring-loaded to make them automatically seek a firmly locked position.  A slight amount of vertical adjustment can be made, due to the oversized holes for the bolts that attach the fasteners to the hood hinges.  Ideally, the fasteners should be mounted as low in the hinges as the mounting holes will permit, unless this causes improper locking of the fasteners.

        The hood fastener releasing rod is attached to the front fastener trunnion by means of check nuts on both sides of the trunnion.  This way front and rear fastener adjustments can be synchronized to ensure that both fasteners lock simultaneously.  When both fasteners are in full open position, the shoulder on the rear end of the releasing rod should just touch the trunnion of the rear fasteners.  The hood release cables must be free of kinks and must be anchored firmly to the rear hood hinges.  The cable sheaths must be securely fastened to the fender rail.  When the fasteners are open and the release cable knob is pulled into its seat by the cable return spring, there should be 3distance between the rear end of the cable pulley housing and the shoulder on the releasing rod.  This distance can be made by adjusting the cable where it anchors to the rear hood hinge.

        The Buicks system is more labor-intensive than the Packards, but once these adjustments are made, they provide years of reliable service.  Replacement parts are available (knobs, springs, cables, etc.) from Buicks R Us (406-677-2806).

        See you next month, and keep em driving!