After the tractor hood was initially put back into one piece, it was time for some customization.
The hood shape needed to change to meet the use for the new application.
The main problem was that it was too tall, and needed to be shortened.
Just like the hot rodders chop hot rod roof heights, this fiberglass hood could be chopped too.
Careful measurement and calculation determined that the proper amount would be 1-1/2 inches.
Fortunately masking tape was handy that also measured 1-1/2 inches wide.
Masking tape has two straight edges for creating straight lines and would work very well.
The cut location on the hood was chosen. It would be an area that was the shortest distance across, as well as an area that would be easy to resurface to smooth and flat.
The structure and the surface would need to be repaired to like-new condition as it was put back together.
The tape was applied horizontally to allow for following the lines and removal of an equal amount of material on both sides of the hood.
A cutoff wheel was moved slowly across the piece taking care to leave a straight line.
All of this cutting left 2 separate pieces of hood. It was a bit unnerving.
Then it was time to clean it all up with a grinder.
This sanding disk allowed for feathering the edges on the back side down into a point. This creates room for the new fiberglass and resin material to be placed across the seam to form a bond.
The thicknesses on both sides of the line need to be on the same plane so that the surfaces match when bridged with fiberglass and resin.
The backside areas also need to be ground and sanded to allow for an area that is clean and bondable.
Fiberglass adhesion is much stronger with proper surface preparation such as grinding or sanding.
The seam was covered with masking tape to keep the resin from running through the seam.
Plywood was screwed onto the outside of the hood to hold everything together.
The areas were wetted out with epoxy resin to begin the process of fiberglassing a permanent bond. The West System epoxy was used with normal fiberglass reinforcement.
Then a layer of 1.5 oz glass was applied, followed by a layer of 1708 and 2 more layers of 1.5 oz glass.
It was all compacted down with a paintbrush to remove the air bubbles and create a compact layer.
Once cured, the plywood supports were removed, along with the tape.
Now the new fiberglass and resin is cured in place to hold the hood together.
The seams are filled and sanded a couple of times to create one smooth surface.
Primer is applied prior to the final paint.
This customized hood is not 1-1/2″ shorter and will work much better for the application that is required.