We had a tractor repower project at the farm.
This project required that the old hood be reworked and redesigned to improve form, fit, and function. The new engine would require relocation of the exhaust and air cleaner.

It would be a good idea to redesign the hood to add several improvements.

This hood had originally been a single molded piece.

It included the front grill and headlights.
There were also cutouts for the exhaust (muffler) and the air cleaner.

Tractor Hood that Needs to Be Reworked
  • A single piece hood allowed for several advantages:
    • It reduced the number of seams and attachments.
    • This single piece didn’t require body joints and seals.
  • There were also several disadvantages.
    • The hood was oversized and heavy. Removing it required more than one person.
    • Hood Removal also required that the air cleaner and headlights be disconnected.
    • Removing the hood required that it be lifted above the exhaust.
    • Removal required more than one person.

A new design was in the works.

The old hood would need to be cut down to size.
Measurements and lines would guide the cuts.

A sawzall would be used to make the initial rough cut following a line created by a permanent marker.

The result was an edge that would roughly be straight. Straightness needed to be improved.

The edges needed to be cleaned up and fine tuned.
It can be difficult to create a straight edge by eye. Masking tape lines are helpful, but they are also subject to making wavy lines.

A solution that I employed was to use straight pieces of wood as guides.
Drilling holes through the fiberglass hood allowed screws to be passed through the hood and into the wood to securely attach it.
Squaring up the corners and edges would create the final line.

Wood Boards as guides
Strengthening and Filling a Fiberglass hood corner
Hood Edges are Extended and Reinforced with Fiberglass and Epoxy
Straightening the Edge with a Sander

Spots that were low were filled with West System fiberglass and epoxy to bring the edge back up to this new final line. These edges were also reinforced to add strength.

Wood is Removed and Edges are Square and Straight

After the edges were following the wood, this wood was removed.
The screw holes can be easily filled with thickened epoxy resin filler and sanded flat on both sides.
The entire hood will eventually be resurfaced and painted, covering up the marks from the holes.