AUSTIN VERT'S HOOD'S A REAL GASSER!

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Hi to All,

Going back a few years ago, i posted a tutorial thread regards my trunk/boot lid not staying up when opened.(where did that end up going?) This was to do with the fact that i had installed a rear deck fiberglass spoiler, which was too much weight for the standard factory trunk springs to cope with. I got around the problem by coming up with a solution involving the use of a single gas strut to assist the lift. After much thought and planning, i did the install and the whole thing ended up working really well. See photos below.

Which brings me to my new topic of taking care of my hood/ bonnet problem. When i bought my '73 Vert in 2011, it came with a stock factory standard Hood. I wanted to upgrade it to a NASA hood, which weights more, but did not want to commit to buying a Ram Air setup, which would have ended up being heavier on top of that as well. That went OK, but given that the car came with stock factory hood hinges that were in good working condition, i never bothered to upgrade the hinges, as they coped ok with lifting up the NASA hood, and keeping it up too. The only thing on gong that has managed to annoy me over the years is when i come to lift up the hood. Because it's heavy, it requires a fair bit of grunt and muscle power to raise it up. Gorilla grade! I believe that if you install a Ram Air kit, it's odds on that you will need to upgrade to heavy duty springs. Are these made in repo today? I don't know. Heavy duty springs should keep any heavy hood staying up when opened, but i wonder if they would have a better easier outcome when lifting up the hood than stock factory or repo ones.

Anyway, given that i had a good win with my trunk strut setup, i thought maybe i could do a similar thing with my hood, by adding two gas struts to assist the lifting process, and thererfore make it a lot easier to lift the hood up. I figured i could do a DIY job on this project on the setup and install, but after taking a closer look at my options, i discovered that this was kind of beyond my level of expertise. I got lucky, as a friend recommended a mobile gas strut specialist who does it all. (custom installs to anything, regassed struts etc) He came out to tackle the job and i ended up watching him from start to finish. He would have spent around 4 hours doing the job. What slowed him down was coming up with a positioning setup that would A, fit in the engine bay, and B, have the correct install geometry to end up working properly. That was the tricky part, believe me. After much trial and error, he came up with a position mount setup that ended up working very well, and looking pretty good in the bargain. See my photos below. Now, the hood opens and lifts up much more easily than before with minimum effort,(one arm if needed) is guaranteed to stay opened, closes and latches up really well. Problem solved! This setup would be a win for the guys that have Ram Air, and maybe can't get heavy duty hinges. I don't know if the repo hinges made today are ok with NASA hoods, Ram Air or not.

The only thing i would say, is that for the guys that insist on keeping their rides strictly stock original, then this retro upgrade would not be for you i guess. Now that i have had a win with the pro install, i see no reason for this not to be a DIY project. My photos should give you an accurate position placement of the struts. Here is some tech info on what to buy as well. These struts have an overall open length of 375 mm or 14 and 3/4 inches. The barrel thickness or gauge is 8mm or 5/16 ths. It takes a gas charge ending up with 250nm and close to 600psi pressure. This install process is strictly drill and bolt on only to the hood hinges, and self tap steel drilling bolt head style screws are used to attach the other strut end to the car body. There is no thread tapping involved at all. Lastly, this problem may not arise for you, but on the passengers side rear hinge lower back bolt where the hinge bolts onto the car body - that bolt head had to be ground down somewhat so the strut cylinder body cleared it when lifting the hood up and down. Strangely, this same issue did not occur on the drivers side at all, as no special fitting up mods were needed. By the way, don't skimp and think you will get away with using just one strut only. It won't work properly for you, and will end up being a waste of time.

Well there you go! This one got me out of trouble and ended up being a win/ win for me. Could be worth thinking about it for yourselves as well.

Many thanks,

Greg.:)
 

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Last edited:
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I like this idea.
Any way you could get more specs on the strut? I see 15in, 67lb/300N, not sure how to translate that to what you listed above.
Mike
Hi Mike,
Thanks. All i can say is that when it comes to buying struts around the world, i do know they come in many brands, sizes and quality. Regards the specs i gave on mine, these were passed onto me by my gas strut installer here in Australia. Shopping around may bring a closer result to what specs you have quoted above. He did not supply the brand name of the struts he used for me, but let me know if that info is important to you.

Greg.
 
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Greg,
Thanks for the reply.
No worries regarding the specs. I only did a quick look on Amazon. There sure are a lot of choices.
I'm sure if I did a more thorough search I could find what I'm looking for.

Mike
 
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Greg,
Thanks for the reply.
No worries regarding the specs. I only did a quick look on Amazon. There sure are a lot of choices.
I'm sure if I did a more thorough search I could find what I'm looking for.

Mike
All good Mike! Just for the record, my Strut install guy has the ability to put and adjust whatever level of charge into any strut from his mobile van. He first tried a charge of 800psi, but we discovered that was too much for my setup,and made the closing of the hood somewhat stiffer. We settled on a charge of 600psi, and that did the trick for a win/win.
Cheers!
(y)
 
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Very nice, Greg. You keep coming up with nice modifications that I have thought about, too, but then you do all of the hard prototype work and inspire me to get off my lazy a$$ and do something. Your mirrors are another good example.
 
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Very nice, Greg. You keep coming up with nice modifications that I have thought about, too, but then you do all of the hard prototype work and inspire me to get off my lazy a$$ and do something. Your mirrors are another good example.
Hi Don,

Thanks and much appreciated. To be honest, i get inspired and motivated when it comes to being creative and inventive when owning and working on an old car i like very much. I get a strong sense of achievement and pleasure in trying to build a better mouse trap so to speak. Passing these things on to a like minded community like the Forum, that can benefit as well from them, is a big plus and bonus for me too. It's a hobby that i am very interested and keen on. Just a lot of good fun all 'round really. Hope you are keeping well and enjoying your cars.

Greg.:)
 

NG8264723

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Purchased in 1997 or so
Does anyone have a link to the rear decklid post? Awesome idea!
 
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Does anyone have a link to the rear decklid post? Awesome idea!
Hi there,
As i mentioned above, i wrote a tutorial on my rear trunk lid setup going back several years ago, but sadly that tutorial disappeared from the Forum archives some time ago i discovered, when newer upgraded versions of the Forum were progressively introduced over the last four or so years. Sadly, for me, it was one of several tutorials and write ups that i did for the Forum covering many interesting topics about our Mustangs since i joined in 2012 that went west.
I will try and make time to rewrite the tutorial in the near future, so members can take another look at what i ended up doing and how i did it.

Thanks,

Greg.
 

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