At the 2004 Eastern Nationals in Nashville, Frank Schwartz was kind enough to provide plans and drawings for adding gas struts to the JH as hood supports. I have taken the liberty of re-writing those instructions, as well as putting in my own child-like drawings. A lot of the text has been lifted directly from Frank’s instructions.
Following Frank’s excellent guide I was able to make my own brackets and put the struts on my car in one day.
The Gas struts are made by Sachs and are available at Pep Boys for $32.99 each. They are Pep Boys part # SG127001 or Sachs part # 92110. Included in each package is a flexible foot with three nylon bushings, a pin and an "e" clip.
In addition to the two struts, you will need to buy a nut and washer to go on the ball pivot for each strut. Take one of the pivots to the hardware store to be sure to get the right size washers and nuts. (These are metric)
You will need to make two brackets to attach to the underside of the hood. To make these you will need to buy a piece of 1" X 1/8" steel and ¾" X ¾" X 1/8" angle steel. These should be available at your hardware store in 36" lengths.
Cut two pieces of the 1" X 1/8" flat steel 12" long. Round off the corners a bit to give the pieces a more finished look. (Figure 1)
Next cut two pieces of the angle steel 6" long. Make two beveled cuts along one side. Drill a hole at the top of the bevel. This will be where the ball pivot mounts. (Figure 2 & Figure 3)
Center the angle steel on the flat steel and tack weld them together. Once tacked, weld them in a few more places for strength. Drill 4 evenly spaced 5/32" holes through the bracket that you have just made. Your brackets should now look like Figure 4 & Figure 5.
Paint these brackets once they are done.
Mount the pivot balls on your new brackets. The balls will point away from the center of the brackets and the nut and washer that hold the ball on will go close to the center line of the bracket.
To mount the brackets on your car, measure 25 ¼" up from each back corner of the hood. Mark this in chalk, or place a piece of masking tape here and mark with pencil. Make this mark both on the hood and on the fender. The reason for this line is so that you can check to see if there is going to be anything in the way of the strut once the hood is closed. The point at 25 ¼" is going to be the center of your new bracket, and the center of the pivot ball. Mount the bracket on the underside of the hood, with the ball facing towards the center of the car, using two #12 X ½" screws on the outer two holes, and two #12 X ¾" screws on the inner two holes. (Figure 6)
When drilling the holes in the hood it is important that you use some kind of stop or sleeve over the drill bit so that you do not drill the holes too deep and damage the top side of the hood.
To mount the struts to the inner fenders of the car measure back 10 ½" from the rear lip of the headlamp bezel. Place the front edge of the foot of the lower mounting brackets at this point and drill two 5/32" holes to mount the foot. Use four #12 X ¾" pan head philips sheet metal screws to attach.. (Figure 7)
Attach the struts to the bottom brackets and snap the tops on the ball pivots.
There you are, no more chance of someone bending your hood!
List of materials:
2 – Sachs Gas struts, Pep Boys part # SG127001
2 – Nuts for ball pivots
2 – Washers for ball pivots
8 - #12 X ¾" pan head philips sheet metal screws
4 - #12 X ½" pan head philips sheet metal screws
1 – 36" X 1" X 1/8" flat steel
1 – 36" X ¾" X ¾" X 1/8" angle steel