A fella shouldn't have to learn new cuss words just to install 2 hood clips.
I can install a radiator in 10 minutes or a carb in 5, so why does it take an hour to install 2 hood clips?
There's gotta be a better way than I'm doing it. I have found that if I put the springs in a vice, compress them, and tie them with safety wire, it helps, but whether I crawl under the running board, or crawl under from the front or try to install them from the engine compartment you just can't get enough hands down there to hold the spring, washer, and cotter pin all at the same time.
So..am I the only one with this problem or do others have it too? Has anybody found a good method?
Had the same problem Bud, I sourced weaker springs
Did you find the weaker springs allowed the clips to stop holding the hood when driving??....l went the other way, installed more tension springs...PS we have plenty at work, that hood aint never gona fly off.
I did them once on my TT. As I recall, they were a real pain in the behind. Sorry, I don't remember exactly how I did it. But, I can sympathize with you.
How about removing the hood shelf and blocks. Installing the clips in an upright position (you) on your work bench then installing the shelf. Soon to be tested.
Good idea, but my clips go through the hood shelf and then through the hole in the frame. The frame holes are too small to permit installing the shelf with the hood clips already installed.
Sure wish Henry had done it that way though!
Insert the spring into the frame then slide in the hook. Have someone hold down on the hook. Now take a pair of needle nose vice grips and place one jaw on either side of the hook under the washer. Compress the spring by lifting the washer up with the vice grips enough to insert the cotter pin then clamp down on the hook. Insert the pin and you are done.
nope, they werent significantly weaker, but just enought to make the job easier
I have a valve spring compressor which I can make narrow enough to compress the spring between the frame members while I put in the cotter pin. It works quite easy.
Norm - You've proved adage to be true,.....that "old age and treachery beats youth and skill anytime"! Ha,ha,....harold
And how did the factory install these and get thousands of cars out the door in a day?
I like your method...seems practical. Do you do this from under the car or through the engine compartment ?
Make the hole in the frame a little larger or use smaller washers and install them on the hood shelves before installing. It worked on my 24and 26.
If you do that, the hood shelf is all that is holding the hood on. The frame is much sturdier. Or am I missing something?
There are two different lengths of hood clip springs. The short ones are used for the brass radiator cars, and the long ones for the steel radiator cars. There is about 1/4" difference in length.
Look at page 2 figure 9 in the Model T service book. I don't know about the early cars with just the wood for a shelf.
Bud, I have done this from above, but it really helps you see better if your remove the hood first.
I discovered the proper way to install spring hood clips on my '26 coupe while I was perusing the pages of The Model T Ford Service Book and happened upon a picture of a Ford mechanic removing one of the hood shelves. As he was lifting it out, you could see that the metal hood shelf, the wood reinforcement block and both hood clips with washers, springs and cotter keys, all came out together. I figured if they came out that way, they sure oughtta go in that way too. When I assembled the hood shelf along with my new hood clips, the new washers were too big for the original holes. Luckily I saved the old hood clip washers and when I compared them with the new ones, they were smaller and fit through the holes, so I re-used them.
1. Take the hood shelf and put the reinforcement block in it with the countersunk holes facing down and at the correct angle for the top washer to seat against.
2. Put the hood clip through the hole, slide on a washer, slide on the spring, then the other washer, then the cotter key.
3. The cotter key should be wrapped as small as the washer so as to fit through the hole.
4. Do the other hood clip the same way and install the assembled hood shelf as a unit.
This is definitely a much easier way of doing it, and the hood clips work alot better too at securing the hood as they were designed to do. Jim Patrick
PS. If you already discarded the old smaller washers, you can make some by taking a stack of regular flat washers and slipping them onto a 2" long machine screw then tighten them with a nut threaded onto the screw. Put the shaft of the screw in a drill press or a drill and turn it on and hold a file against the the edges to file them. Jim Patrick
Just finished doing that on my '25 rdstr pu. Had the motor out so the hood shelves were also out. Put the wood blocks in the shelves then the hood clip assembly-clip, washers,springs and cotter pin. Checked 1st to be sure the springs would fit thru frame hole and splash apron hole. I made small spring washers for the cotter pin end from 1/4 " lock washers un-sprung in a vice with pliers. Fit just fine. Then put hoood shelves in place on car. Very easy.
Maybe I'm missing something here or (more likely) there may be a basic difference in how the clips are installed on the wooden hood shelves (which I have on my 15) and the later metal hood shelves.
I think the hole diameter on my wood shelves is 5/16" and the hole diameter in the frame is the same. But at any rate The hole in the frame would have to be drilled out big enough to pass not only the washer and cotter pin, but also the spring (which has to be 3/8 to 7/16 dia).
There is just no way the spring, washer and cotter pin will fit through the hole in the frame, which is what must happen to install the clip assembly on the shelf first and then bolt it to the frame.
I made a tool out of a piece of brass tubing. Actually I made 2 of them that are different in length. I counter bored one end of the tubing so that the lowest washer drops into the recess in the end of the tube and it is deep enough to allow a few turns of the spring to go down into it too and be on top of that washer. I then cut a wide notch across the counterbored end to make it like a slot in a castle nut. Cut it pretty deep so as to be deeper than the bottom of the counterbore. The length of the tube is a key dimension and the need for 2 different lengths is because the frame is wider at the rear spring location than at the front spring location. One end of your tube is counterbored and slotted while the other end is just cut for length as needed. You drop the washer into the end of the tube and place the spring on top of it. Now you place the free end of the spring up against the underside of the top frame surface and compress the spring a bunch so that you can put the unnotched end of the tube inside the frame rail when while the spring is compressed. Now you have the spring compressed between the underside of the top frame surface and the top inside surface of the bottom frame rail where the tubing is sitting. Now carefully slide it along inside the frame until you have the top of the spring centered under the frame hole in the top frame surface that the hook goes through. Drop the hood clip down through the wood, top frame surface and into the spring. It should then also fall the rest of the way down through the entire compressed spring and through the washer. If you have the tubing length right the bottom of the hood clip will be below the washer and you can slide the cotter pin into the end of the hood clip by inserting it into the cut slot with the tubing still compressing the spring. Now pull up on the hood clip and move the tube to the side and remove it out the side of the frame leaving the cotter pin free but holding the spring compressed. Spread the cotter pin and you are done. I made a pair of these installation tubes but loaned them to a fellow on a tour who forgot to return them and now they are gone. Easy to make from a round piece of brass if you have a lathe. They are just long enough to compress the spring enough to get the cotter pin in place. Maybe with a very clever maker you could find one length that will work for both front and back but I just made the back one longer by the difference in frame height after I got the front one to fit and work. It makes the job a piece of cake even if you are by yourself.
Don't think you are missing anything and why I have not commented before.
The later cars are actually easy as on those I've done, the spring assembly does mount on the shelf itself and will pass through the frame holes. Is a bit tight with alignment, jiggles, etc., and have had to pull down the final 'seat' with the shelf bolts...and then exercise the springs to get everything to settle in, but once done is done and works fine without binding.
Now, on my '15 I've never had it apart, so don't know if differs, but it sure sounds like it!
I keep hoping and waiting that someone posts the actual differences between early and late and quite frankly those in the middle. I 'think' and only 'think' that the late low hood 'wood' shelves (the ones closest to the steel ones in form) might just have the same problem as what you are experiencing. I too am looking to get educated here.
A previous thread on frames shows the hole through the frame (that the front clip goes through) elongated from 1923 so that the clip can be fed through the hole while still being attached to the shelf.
Thank you Gavin!
Bud, my son Anthony, then 13 yrs, made a tool which compressed the springs for fitting. IMO the springs supplied by the vendors are way too strong. I used much lighter ones on my 1912 van with an aluminium hood. The ones supplied would have put so much tension on the hood it would have worn very quickly where the latches engage and at wear points on the hood former.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
The hood clip springs on my web site are made EXACTLY to Ford drawing dimensions. The problem with most repro springs is that the coils "stack" when you pull up because the wrong number of turns and wrong size wire is used so that you cannot pull up any further. I made my springs exactly the same as Ford prints except I made them from stainless spring steel because you cannot keep paint on them anyway due to the rubbing.