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Hi,I recently got a VFN 2inch bolt-on cowl hood and am having a problem with adjustments. I've already removed the hood hinge springs and I am still puzzled why both rear corners stick up about 1/2 of inch too high. I was thinking of maybe adding shims to both fenders but figured maybe someone may of that the same problem or a similar one and can give me some pointers.

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I had to work on one of my hinges a bit to get it to go lower when I put my new hood on. I actually took the hinge off and ground down a bump on the bottom of the hinge that let the hinge slide a bit further down before hitting the fender.

If you take the hinge off and look at the bottom, you'll see what I'm talking about. You can also elongate the holes in that part of the hinge if you need it to go down further.


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my VFN hood fits lit crap not happy at all


83 ss monte, 383c.i., Holley 750, super 40's, 350 trans, 9" w/ 3.70's

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Hi Folks,

It's interesting that in a concurrent thread about problems with fitting a Harwood hood, that VFN was praised as being, "the best by far...," of the fiberglass hoods out there. If so, then we have a contradiction that if true, would point to very inconsistent quality from this company.

Concurrent thread:

http://www.montecarloss.com/community/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=796512#Post796512

Two questions:

1.) When you say that the rear corners are sticking 1/2" too high, I presume you mean that you first adjusted the hinges so that most of the hood perimeter aligns with the tops of the fender and nose? In other words, the fundamental problem is really with the shape of the hood and not just a simple height adjustment of the hinges?

2.) If you really have a bad hood, will VFN take it back? Will they also pay for the substantial shipping to get it back?

Thanks,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 06/01/10 05:12 PM.
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The hood is aligned in the front and front sides. I checked out the hinges and do not see any way of adjusting besides what has been posted (cutting and elongating the holes).

As for number 2. I bought the hood second hand so sending it back is not an option.

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Good to know! Thanks for posting, it saved me a headache. tantrum
That is the kind of stuff that would really irritate me, unless it was an absolute bargain.

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Hi JohnsAero,

From your post it's still not clear if the real problem is an out-of-shape hood, or hinge misalignment, or some combination of the two. I'd recommend you do all with the hinges you can to see how well you can mitigate the problem, and then judge the magnitude of what remains.

Best,
MAP

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Hi JonsAero,

Just curious how this turned out?

Best,
MAP

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Well I "customized" the hinges like alot of you guys mentioned and I am very pleased with the way it fits besides the passenger front corner sticks up a little. I was also able to reinstall the hood springs, but I had to remove the windshield wiper sprayers in order to get the hood to shut. I'll have to figure out later where to put them.

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i have a bolt-on trunk lid from vfn and the fit is very poor. these parts for weight savings are great but the sacrifice seems to be in the previously mentioned poor fit. i will be replacing it with a rust free stock trunk lid soon.


1984 blue monte carlo ss,350 crate engine,LT1 t-56,Autometer custom shop gauges, GN 8.5 posi rear 3.42 gear,17x8 torque thrust wheels, 255/45/17 b.f.g. tires
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Hi Zmans,

The trunk lid fit is just as susceptible to bad hinge alignment as is the front - I take it that the trunk was carefully optimized for hinge alignment and the fit is still poor?

Thanks,
MAP

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thats correct. i just had the car painted and the shop couldnt get the back portion between the tail lights to tuck in.maybe my trunk lid happened to be defective. its the only product i have purchased from vfn so i cant vouch for their quality as much as others who have greater experience with them. thanks....


1984 blue monte carlo ss,350 crate engine,LT1 t-56,Autometer custom shop gauges, GN 8.5 posi rear 3.42 gear,17x8 torque thrust wheels, 255/45/17 b.f.g. tires
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Valuable information - thanks, zmans. Best - MAP

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Hi Folks,

Zmans' post prompted me to call VFN to get another perspective on this. They said that all fiberglass parts are shipped "green," (that is, not fully cured,) and therefore are susceptible to distortion and bending until fully cured. Full curing, they say, takes about a month at room temperature, and shorter if baked in an oven.

Also, they said all fiberglass parts are shipped somewhat oversized with the expectation that the customer will need to trim and finish the part to fit properly with the rest of the car.

VFN told me that rough edge trimming needs to be done first so the lid or hood can at least close. Some trimming of the hinge area may be needed too. Then, with the part mounted in the car and no spring pressure applied, the part should be allowed to cure fully. After the part is fully cured, then final body-working can be performed and finishing can be applied. They assured me, however, that overall the part will be as flat and as wave-free as the original steel pieces from which the molds were made, so no major body work ought to be required. The parts are finished with a black gel-coat primer to receive any desired finish coat(s).

Their final comment to me was that many people just expect the part to drop-in like the OEM steel piece, and that simply isn't the nature of working with fiberglass parts. And that's true, they said, no matter who supplies the part.

Hope that helps.

Best,
MAP



Last edited by MAP; 06/16/10 09:01 PM.
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thanks Map

i wasnt aware of this information. so then the correct procedure would have been to mount the trunk lid and allow one month for it to fully cure before the final body work? my fault for taking the term "bolt on" to literally. i apologize to vfn for my fiberglass ignorance and thank you for clearing this up.


1984 blue monte carlo ss,350 crate engine,LT1 t-56,Autometer custom shop gauges, GN 8.5 posi rear 3.42 gear,17x8 torque thrust wheels, 255/45/17 b.f.g. tires
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Hi zmans,

That sounds right. Actually, I'm really glad you brought this up since I never would have suspected this to be the case had I not had to dig-in deeper. And for me, it goes a long way toward explaining why some people say that VFN et al make great parts, while others assert that what they make is indistinguishable from pretzels.

Best,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 06/17/10 12:13 AM.
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"Their final comment to me was that many people just expect the part to drop-in like the OEM steel piece, and that simply isn't the nature of working with fiberglass parts. And that's true, they said, no matter who supplies the part. "


I am sorry, but parts that are designed and enginereed well fit correctly. This is more about their manufacturing process (out of control) which they could improve on! Folks don't take these types of excuses from companies, spend your dollars with quality parts.


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Hi Mr. Engineer,

I agree in principle but where do I get the, "quality parts?" I know almost nothing about fiberglass, but the situation could be that there may be something inherent in the material or process which demands a long curing time, during which there could be dimensional changes which have high variability due to factors possibly outside of the vendor's control, such as temperature, humidity, etc.

Or maybe, the cost for achieving high "quality" is higher than what the vendor thinks the market will bear. Of course, there's also the infamous "cost of poor quality," but I don't know the balance point between the two here in the implied Taguchi loss function.

Best,
MAP


Last edited by MAP; 06/21/10 11:13 PM.
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If it takes a month to cure --then they should wait a month to ship --Mike


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Hi Mike,

You probably hit the nail on the head. And that's my guess why there are problems - a month wait in cure means a lot more space for inventory and more difficulty in trying to have supply match demand, which tends to result in over-production. In other words, it's the exact opposite of the efficient "JIT" (Just-In-Time) inventory model. Both factors drive-up overhead cost considerably for the supplier. Further, once one of the competition starts to cut corners by shipping, "fresh off the mold," you can be sure everyone will quickly jump aboard that bandwagon.

Caveat emptor, as usual. The automotive aftermarket has always been a very tricky place.

Best,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 06/22/10 08:39 PM.
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Mike brings up an interesting point. my car was in the body shop when i ordered the trunk lid. had i known i would have to wait thirty days for the final body work i never would have ordered it. i think this information should be listed on their website unless i missed it. also my power trunk release no longer works because i had to remove the trunk springs although vfn told me the trunk lid would work with the springs. when all is said and done i wish i would replaced it with a mint condition steel replacement. but oh well we all learn...


1984 blue monte carlo ss,350 crate engine,LT1 t-56,Autometer custom shop gauges, GN 8.5 posi rear 3.42 gear,17x8 torque thrust wheels, 255/45/17 b.f.g. tires
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Hi Zmans,

That's a very valid point: at the very, very least, these vendors should be broadcasting on their website, in their catalog, and with every fiberglass piece they ship, a BOLD attention-getting notice that their pieces need to be properly treated during the curing phase so as not to introduce any distortions, and to draw attention to the fact that their pieces need to be trimmed at the edges to fit the car.

I'm guessing that the reason why this isn't the case, is that the vendors don't want to draw any attention to what could be perceived as a weakness or a deficiency in their parts. Either that, or they think it's better to run the risk that the part may cure crookedly, than to let the customer know that - surprise, surprise - they need to wait a whole month before they can perform final finishing and installation.

If I'm right about this, then this is disingenuous at best, and outright deceptive at worst, and they deserve the perception of offering poor quality. In so doing they surely underestimate the, "cost of poor quality," as many small businesses do. In fact, that's probably why they stay small, or vanish altogether.

Wow, I sure hope I'm wrong about this...

Best,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 06/25/10 12:50 AM.
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My last two cents on this topic.......A fiberglass hood that takes one month to cure is a result of a manufacturing process that is not in control. They do not understand the noise factors in their own manufacturing process hence the dimensional variability. Quality is the price of non conformance! Please don't buy this "cure time" excuse....


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Hi Mr Engineer,

Well again, I'm inclined to agree with you. They're pushing this factor out of control and assigning it (unwisely I agree) to noise, since it's a big cost savings for them quite obviously. And we, the consumer, pay the resulting cost of poor quality. How little they appreciate that once bitten by poor quality, as was zmans, they probably lose a customer for life. But since they can't easily measure this factor, they conveniently ignore it - and to everyone's detriment, I might add.

Back to center: if I don't buy the, "cure time excuse," then what do I buy, and where do I buy it? One thing is how we'd like the market to be and voicing our opinion about it loudly, but this is likely to have a small/slow effect. Another thing is given the disappointing state of the market as it is today, where do I go to shop for best quality today?

Best,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 06/25/10 06:45 PM.

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