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Cowl Hood (Lots and Lots Of Pictures!!)

Old 08-29-2013, 10:49 AM
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Default Cowl Hood (Lots and Lots Of Pictures!!)

For a while now I've wanted a Cowl hood since it gets so hot in the XJ's engine bay, but the only company that made a metal one (wouldn't want anything other than metal) and that was a reasonable price at less than $400 and free shipping with 4wp/4wd ship to store, was Reflexxion Domination Series Steel Cowl Hood. But there mold broke and didn't have enough orders to set the need to get another couple thousand or more dollar mold made, so they discontinued it. The only other ones they make for the XJ are fiberglass (Never) and are over $600.... So I started to make my own a couple days ago after reading quite a bit on how other people make theirs.

Plus I probably would've made one anyway since $400 is still quite a lot of money, so far I'm $50 in a hood, $40 something in all the metal, body work will be free from a friend, and $100 for paint... 50+40+100= $190 so right around $200, thats $300 in my pocket after paint if I could of still got the Reflexxion Hood.

Started off by going to Pull-A-Part about a month ago to get a hood. Ended up being black and had some dents, but it was better than the other one that was bent.




Then later that week I got some 24x48 22 gauge sheet steel (you really need to get a thicker gauge, this was really hard to weld without burning through. 20 might work, but 16 would be great) along with 2 72" by 1/4" steel rods for supports.




I marked and tapped off the hood not long after I got it, but I didn't have a grinder since it decided to die... the 4th one. But we had got an air compressor not long after then so I was waiting to get a cutoff wheel attachment.


Then late last week I started cutting the hood now that I had a chance to get a cutoff wheel attachment for the air grinder.
Cutting the Hood skin away from the hood frame.



One of the sides cut off the frame.



The other side off and both sides cut.




Then I cut the lip off the back.



Then my friend called so I stopped for the night and went over to his house.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

The next day I started to separate the center section from the hood. Make sure you get the VERY tip at the front of the hood, if not when you lift it, it will crease. I caught it before it was too bad, but it still creased the passenger side front. Use whatever you want, but I used a saw.



Then I used a 2x4 to get shape of the cowl so it wasn't straight up.



Then I put some weights in the back to get it close to 3" in the back.




Then I cut some 3" pieces out of the 1/4" rod and welded them in place.





Then I welded some down the side to keep the curve.



Then I welded some center supports.



All the supports in place, final cowl shape.






Then I stopped for the night since it was late and I also really couldn't see well enough to weld the metal down the side out of out mask.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

The next day I got up and headed out to get an auto-darkening welding helmet... Made a world of difference welding, especially with that flux core.

$70 auto-darkening mask. I like that it has sensitivity and speed settings and grinding mode and not just the darkness.



Started Saturday off by cutting out a cardboard template of the cowl sides and transferring them to the sheet of steel and cutting them out.


Then I test fit the side pieces.



Then I tacked the bottom in place so I could shave the top to match the curve more.




Then I shaved the top to match the curve and tacked the top.



Then started to stitch the sides in place.



That was as far as I got Saturday night.






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Old 08-29-2013, 10:50 AM
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Then Sunday I stitched more of it in place. Even still with how slow I was going, I was moving too fast and it started to warp on me. Hopefully most of it will bang out and be filled with the bondo/filler.



Lets do the Wave!!.... Oh, well.. could've been worse.... and at least I'm showing it and not hiding the mistakes. It could've been a lot worse too.



All done with the sides... Welded and ground down.











Then I wiped the hood off and got the grinding dust and metal off it.







x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

Monday I didn't do anything since it was the first day of classes and I had my night class.

Tuesday I wanted to get it done, and I would've if I had all the materials... but I had to go out and get some expanded metal.

First thing I did though was take my stock hood off.



Maybe I should just keep it like this... no overheating and plenty of cold air...


Then I test fit the Cowl hood to see what it looked like and to also measure for the back lip.









Can definitely see it inside, might take some getting used to.



Now I going to skip the part where I was cutting out a sheet of steel to cover the back and drill holes in.... Was my friends idea that worked at the bodyshop, but I went with what I originally planed and went to Lowe's and got some expanded metal and a 3/4" strip for the lip.


Then i cut the expanded metal in two even halves.


Started to cut to fit the expanded metal.... though I cut this one too short on accident, so this one was scrapped.


Both halves of the grill on, ended up lining up great


Where the two overlap.


Tacked in place.


Overlap welded together and to the support behind it.


Grill all welded in.


Cut the 3/4" strip in two to follow the cowl curve and also left a gap to create the dip in the hood on the lip.



Dip piece welded in.




That was as far as I got Tuesday.






x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

Then last night after my night class I finished up the welding on the lip and ground it all down.

Got the lip all welded.



Ground down.



Might try to mount it again tonight after my night class to do final prep to make sure it still opens with room, if so, I'll take some pictures. Then the waiting process for it to get bondoed and painted, will be a couple of weeks or more. I'll try to get my friend (the one doing the bondo and smoothing work, works at a bodyshop) to take pictures while he is working on it... though he only has a 8gb iPhone 4 and he is out of space (Downside of the iPhone, that why I love Android, external memory... Though I love my 64GB iPod Touch 5 too) but I'll give him my camera too.

Whew...That took about 3 1/2 hours to type out and read back over and fix everything, oh well. Had nothing better to do.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:20 PM
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Love what you're doing man!!! Think I might just have to do this as well....
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mattthomas78 View Post
Love what you're doing man!!! Think I might just have to do this as well....
Thanks!!

I also see you are in TN also, not too, too far away either.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:44 PM
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love it. question for you. that 21 gallon 2.5 hp compressor, im planning on grabbing one from HF myself. how do you like it? good cfm? noisy as f**k or decent? ive got close neighbors lol
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by DDfammobile View Post
love it. question for you. that 21 gallon 2.5 hp compressor, im planning on grabbing one from HF myself. how do you like it? good cfm? noisy as f**k or decent? ive got close neighbors lol
Thanks!

Got mine from HF too. It gets the job done. If you're cutting or grinding It'll run pretty much constantly and you'll eventually have to stop to let it catch up (I usually let it fill), but it is a good compressor and it isn't too terribly loud, especially if you keep the garage door closed. I would get it, only downside (it might be just because how hot and humid it is here right now though) is about every 30 minutes to an hour if it's running a lot is you have to loosen the bottom plug and let water drain, so I'd recommend get a water catcher to put right on the air outlet before the hoes so not as much gets in the tool before you drain it. Even if water dose get in the tool just fill it with oil and run it for a bit and it'll be okay.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:51 PM
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This is awesome! Can't wait to see it finished. Nice job.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by C H E R O K E E 98XJ View Post
This is awesome! Can't wait to see it finished. Nice job.
Thanks!! I'll try to get it done as soon as possible... but it's out of my hands after today since my friend's the one doing all the bodywork on it and then their painter is painting it. He already said it's going to be there a while, so it'll be weeks before I can actually put it on the Jeep. He is doing the bodywork for free so I'm not complaining about the time.
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:04 PM
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WTF? Actual fabrication in the fab section? You sir, are awesome. Good job. Makes your rig look mean, Mongo like...
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by roninofako View Post
WTF? Actual fabrication in the fab section? You sir, are awesome. Good job. Makes your rig look mean, Mongo like...
HA, I know, right? Thanks!
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:04 PM
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making a cowl hood is a pain in the *** huh! its just gonna warp to chit no matter what when you weld it. yours is a little bulky for my taste but I like wuts what I'm seein here

subbed for anticipated bondo work
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:34 PM
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Awesome write up and project. I love to see some metal fabrication. Great job man!
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:02 PM
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man have you been looking in my head? Lol exactly what I was thinking about doing looks awesome!
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:24 PM
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Any chance you would be willing to make one for me. I would really appreciate it.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Atmos View Post
making a cowl hood is a pain in the *** huh! its just gonna warp to chit no matter what when you weld it. yours is a little bulky for my taste but I like wuts what I'm seein here

subbed for anticipated bondo work
Yeah, figured that out. If I had a Tig welder it wouldn't of warped so much since you have so much more heat control with Tig over Mig... But the only Tig welder I could have access to is in one of the labs on campus and I don't know the procedure to have access to the equipment outside of class labs. If you even can, other then when you do your big senior project. I know one of the professors I talked to when I was in the Manufacturing and Processes I (there was a welding lab with Mig, Stick, and Tig to weld a box together with each one... needless to say I passed with flying colors. Even taught the professor a thing or two. ) class and showed him my bumpers and stuff I built, he said they have had engineering students senior projects be to build bumpers for their trucks/jeeps.... Maybe I can build a exo cage for my Jeep if I can, whenever I graduate. lol.

Yeah, it turned out a little bigger than I thought it would be after I added the sides, but it's also different from all the other ones I've seen. Ones I've seen or either too skinny, sides are at 90 angles, or they go all the way to the step down on the hood and cut it there and it be way too big, plus they are almost never curved.

Thanks!! Hopefully i can drop it off at my friend shop tomorrow and hopefully he can start on it.


Originally Posted by Blue Angel View Post
Awesome write up and project. I love to see some metal fabrication. Great job man!
Thanks!!

Originally Posted by ExTrEmExJ99 View Post
man have you been looking in my head? Lol exactly what I was thinking about doing looks awesome!
I don't think so, lol. I've been wanting one for a while, just never had the material or time. Thanks!

Originally Posted by rav View Post
Any chance you would be willing to make one for me. I would really appreciate it.
I..... doubt it. There is a LOT, emphases on LOT, of time and work to make one of these right (on about 4 days now, not continuous days either). Not to mention getting the hood, then metal, then bondo. If I did it, the bondo wouldn't be free, since my friend is doing it because he can, if he did it for someone else's hood he'd charge. I'm $100 in mine right now without the paint, just metal and hood (will be $200 when it's all said and done, paint is going to be $100 and the bondo is free). It'd be more than that if I made one because my friend that did the bondo will have to be paid and I'd have to make a pretty good profit on it because, again, a LOT of labor.

Plus the fact of shipping it (I don't know where you live or anything since it's a new profile.)

I mean, I'd love to help you out, but It's a lot of work and College classes just started back this week so any time I would of had I don't have anymore....





I did get a chance to put the hood on tonight after my night class to do final fitting. Will post those pictures shortly when they upload.

Last edited by dcp1992; 08-29-2013 at 09:54 PM.
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