Did I Ruin My Ram Air Hood Springs?

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andy72

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Hope this doesn't sound to stupid...
While restoring the hood hinges on my Mach, I used a Harbor Freight winch with a wireless remote control to pull the spring off the hinge for sand blasting purposes. A few times during the process the winch didn't stop when I wanted it to and I know I pulled the spring 6" more than it should have.
So...I put the "restored" hinges back in the car a few years ago and the hood has always been extremely hard to open. I really have to lift hard. I have been convinced that I probably stretched and ruined the springs.
So... today I (Doh) WD-40 the hinge points on the hinges and WHOA...It opens really easy now. But, it won't hold itself up. It will fall closed on its own.

In the hood up position, shouldn't the springs hold the hood open no matter how good WD-40 is?

Does it sound like I ruined my springs if they won't hold the hood up?

I saw the thread about the NPD "flat" coil springs for Ram Air cars. 92 bucks each! I didn't even realize they were special until I typed "hood springs" into the search on this awesome website.

Thoughts?
 

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Sure sounds like they got over stretched. I found a U tube video showing removal and install of those springs several years ago using a screw driver, not sure it’s still available but I can tell you I did it myself and it wasn’t too hard.
 

Sheriff41

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Try spraying your some brake clean on your hinge joints to wash out the WD-40. This may help (DAMHIK).
 

Sheriff41

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If after reinstalling the hinges it was difficult to raise the hood but it stayed open, then after applying WD40 it opens easy but won't stay up the lubricant is likely the problem. Use the brake cleaner to wash the WD40 out of each of the hinge pivot joints and your hood will open with a level of effort somewhere between the difficult and easy. Cheaper to try than new springs! The springs and friction in the joints work together to keep the hood raised.
 
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Are both hinges the same length when laid side by side? If not, then you may need to replace one or both., as unequal tension will be hard to fix. After 50 years, my hinges wound no longer hold up the ram air with plenum hood I carefully pounded the rivets at each joint a little bit to tighten the pivot points. I would clean off as much of the WD40 as possible and lay the hinge on a solid surface and support one side of the rivet with a socket and take a 3/8" rod and give it a solid hit with a hammer. One or two hits to each joint depending on the force you use should be enough to tighten up the pivot points.
 
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You might be interested in a solution like this:

 

1973 Mach-1

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Arizona car, 1973 Mach-1, Still has its original 351 Cleveland engine and its original C-6 trans, All original body panels, most of original paint. Interior is restored.
I have cleaned the hinge points on my '73 with a chip brush and naptha, then lubed them with white lithium grease (really slick). The hood opens easily, and remains open nicely until I choose to close it. So I'd think it isn't a matter of resistance, but rather the springs were indeed stretched.
 

cheezsnake

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Thanks Guys.
I'll clean out the WD-40 and see if adding resistance helps.
...and I did see You*ube video of grabbing the spring with an old seat belt end and pulling.
Like the pants belt mentioned. Seemed easy.
Just replaced mine using a seat belt. Worked well, but you do have to put some muscle behind it.
 

andy72

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Well.. Sprayed every hinge point with a quick shot of brake cleaner...which sucks as it eats the paint off of all my fresh parts as I try to control the spray.
Then I used dish soap (WD-40/grease cutter) and hot water and washed all the hinge points.
No luck.
I open the hood and it will close on its own.
I must have killed the springs.
This is how they looked after I restored them. I hate to have to mess with them.
Thanks
 

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Sheriff41

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Sorry to hear this. Did you also use Rich's (rackerm) recommendation above to tighten the rivets?
 

andy72

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No I didn't try Rich's (rackerm) idea.
I really don't want to pull the hinges off the car.
Still trying to decide next step.
As 1973-Mach 1 stated above, he lubed up his hinges and his springs hold up his hood.
The hinges have been on the car since May 2109 and I've always had a problem opening the hood.
I don't remember after blasting, painting, ect.. any issues with sloppiness. I figured the hood was hard to open
because the springs were weak and not helping. Then I hit them with WD-40 and caused this issue. Hood won't stay up.

Aargh!
 

Sheriff41

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Contact Goodmark and ask if their spring would work for you application. The one below is listed for 1972 Mustangs and has a list price of only $15.79.

 

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