Menu

Shop

Garage

Cart

Account

Products to Compare (max of 3)
X
Compare These Parts

DIY Hood Spring Removal Tool

6/10/2020
Add Article To List

In this article, I’m going to cover how I removed the hood from my 54 Chevy Bel Air. The hood hinges on these cars are a different configuration than the newer Chevy’s. The hood is attached with four collared bolts, two per side and the hood spring is constantly under tension between the body and the hinge. So, removal of the four bolts without relieving the spring tension would be very dangerous. A quick internet search revealed several options as far as tools to make or buy for hood spring removal. Rather than spending $50 for a pair of what looked like something I could easily make, I hit the scrap metal pile in my garage. I don’t mind taking the time to make a tool if I can save a buck. After all, it has taken me 15 plus years on my 54 project, what’s another day?

You’ve got to love the ingenuity of hot rodders, gear heads, and shade tree mechanics. Here are a few options I found people either used or made. On one site I discovered people putting the spring under tension by lowering the hood enough to reach under then stacking pennies, yes, the copper things that are in every couch of America, in between the spring coils all the way up the spring on both sides. Or, using a thick washer in the same fashion as pictured. Thus, not letting the spring collapse when you raise the hood, then simply lift the spring off the hinge. This option costs pennies on the dollar, pun intended, but when you reattach the spring and lower the hood what do you end up with? A mess of pennies everywhere! Not to mention what happens if the pennies fall out, or for that matter shoot out of the spring. It doesn’t seem like the safest or cleanest way to get the job done.

The second option I found was my first attempt at building an actual tool. For this, I used a piece of 2 ½-inch exhaust pipe cut down the middle, with a piece of flat iron welded as a cap on both ends. This version can be bought online, however, I had the pieces available so why not try to make it? I measured the spring under tension and came up with a 14-inches overall length needed. With the pipe cut and ends welded on, I simply put the spring under tension by lowering the hood. Then, I reached under and slid the tool over the spring covering half of the spring with each end at the top and bottom in between the coils. My first attempt at this didn’t go as planned. The material I used was a little too flimsy for the hood spring. My first prototype began to bend as I lowered the hood and shot out of the spring. Instead of trying to strengthen this to make it work, I went back to the drawing board.

Option three for me was the simplest yet. I hit my local hardware store and purchased some ½-inch rebar. You know, the stuff concrete workers use to strengthen and tie concrete joints together. I got two 18-inch pre-cut pieces for $4. Pretty cheap if you ask me. First, I used my torch to heat up one end of the rebar until it was glowing orange. Then, using a large hammer I flattened one end, and then of course stuck the rebar into a bucket of water to cool it. Not to mention the cool instant boiling and sizzling sounds that it makes. Doing this gave me room on the end to cut a “V” shape into it with a metal cutting disc on my 4-inch grinder.

I then cut the rebar with the same grinder to 14 ½-inches long. The opposite end would need a ¼-inch hole drilled into it. So, using a center punch to locate the drill bit, I drilled the ¼-inch hole about ¾ of an inch deep. The tool was then ready to try.

This version slides down the middle of the spring with the “V” resting on the bottom curl of the spring that hooks around the body. This can be a little tricky to do with the fenders on, but you can feel when it catches after moving the rebar around inside the spring.

Next, I lowered the hood until the spring stretched far enough to insert the top loop into the ¼-inch hole on the other end of the rebar. With that inserted, I raised the hood until the tension was off the hood hinge, and lifted the spring off the hook. What you end up with is the spring extended with the rebar safely inside the middle of the spring. With the success of this one, I made an exact copy for the other side. With both springs off I could now safely unbolt my hood and remove it.

Using a couple of zip ties I secured the springs to the hinges to keep them from flopping around since I would be driving my old 54 with no hood for a while. The reason for that will be another article to come, a little cliff hanger there for you. Speedway offers a variety of hand tools that are essential for DIY projects such as this. You may need drill bits like the Titan Tools 29 piece Titanium Coated Drill Bit Set or a Titan Tools 24oz Ball Pein Hammer. It’s always going to take tools to accomplish something when working on a vehicle, or for even for making your own tools.

Products Featured in this Article

Related Articles

How to Lift An Engine
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
9/18/2018
Different ways to lift an engine, including the most common way and the parts needed to do so.
SBC Thick and Thin Oil Pan Gaskets - Which do I need?
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
5/1/2023
How to pick the right small block Chevy oil pan gasket. We look at a 350 Chevy oil pan gasket and help you identify what thick or thin gasket you will need.
Small Block and Big Block Chevy Engine Flexplate Guide
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
1/11/2023
Over several generations of small block Chevy (and big block Chevy) engines there have been several changes that dictate what flexplate works with them. We’ll help you determine the correct flexplate for your Chevy engine in this buyer’s guide.
Ammeter vs Voltmeter: How They Work, and Which One Is Right for Your Car
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
12/21/2022
Ammeters and voltmeters are two very different ways of monitoring your vehicle’s charging system. Both are better than an “idiot light” but which one is right for your build?
The Best Wiring Solution for Your Hot Rod or Muscle Car Project
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
10/18/2022
Electrical wiring is one of those tasks that enthusiasts dread tackling on their own. We're here to tell you that wiring your project vehicle is something you can do with a little help from your friends at Speedway Motors!
Choosing Parts for Your Ford 9" Third Member Build
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
6/11/2018
Lucas P. explains how to choose the correct part for a Ford 9" third member build in order to achieve a bulletproof rear. You will find specific recommended parts to use from Speedway Motors.
Selecting Quarter-Turn Fasteners
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
8/13/2021
There are several types of quarter-turn fasteners used in the performance automotive aftermarket and in this buyer's guide we'll help show you the correct fastener for your application and how some of the most common types of fasteners are used.
Vortec 4.8 LS Build: Horsepower Recipes, Specs, & Upgrades
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
4/15/2024
The 4.8 LS engine is a salvage yard bargain vs the typical 5.3 or 6.0 LS and can still make great power for your LS swap needs.
Types of Pistons Explained | Dished vs Domed | Forged vs Cast
by Thom Taylor - Posted in Tech
4/3/2024
Choose the best piston for your engine build based on budget and power level with our piston guide
Choose The Right Brake System Parts | Brake System Builder Tips
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
3/29/2024
Use our brake builder tips and product info to create the perfect brake system for your project vehicle needs