Those evil eyes
Even though I did a 99 conversion on the front of the car, I had no interest is using the 99 headlights. Although they are a better projector and the headlights are plastic making them easier to polish and keep looking new, I don’t like the bubbles that they have and they would interfere with the hood modifications I had planned.
I think the most aggressive update that can be done to these cars is the Evil Eye mod to the hood. This can be done multiple ways, buy a new fiberglass or carbon fiber hood that has it already done, Fiberglass the existing stock hood, or go the cheap route and just add the fake lines using vinyl.
I’m not a fan at all of fiberglass or carbon fiber hoods. The quality is always iffy, the fitment is usually crap and the panel gaps are all off. PLus the fact you have to pretty much run hood pins and update to lower pressure hood shocks after already dropping like $1,500 on a hood.
The fiberglass method involves adding the evil eyes by adding fiberglass over the lights to the stock hood, this works but leaves very noticable bumps where the fiberglass meets and goes over the hood. very noticable if you are around these cars enough.
No way I was going to go the cheap sticker route!
My solution was to use sheet metal. I could form and weld it to the hood. Some people have done this in the past but the added the metal to the top of the hood which again leave those noticable bumps.
My plan was to weld the metal flush with the end of the hood, basically extending the stock hood out. This will give me the look I was after without the bumps on the hood.
Only issue is that extending the hood this way now makes the hood sit higher since the metal goes over the headlights themselves. This was easily fixed by shimming the fenders and front bumper to raise them up towards the front like 1/16″. I also raised the hood latch up a hair so that the metal ove the lights wouldn’t smack the glass headlights.
Started by grinding down the light area on the hood and making a straight template that I would transfer over to the sheet metal. I believe I used 14 or 16 gauge steel for this. Cut out the pieces and slowly started to tack weld them onto the hood. You can’t do continuous welds on the hood as the metal is too thin. Plus you have to control the heat to not warp the metal. So it was a back and forth spot weld with my 110v PepBoys flux core mig welder. Once welded it was ground flat, some fiberglass reinforced body filler added and sanded flat, then skim coat of normal body filler and spot putty. Sanded and primed ready for paint.
Outside of my driveway and yard my working conditions and tool storage were contained to an outside storage closet attached to the back of the house that was roughly 5′ x 5′. All of my tools, air compressor, etc resided in this small closet and it’s also were I did a fair amount of work on parts and stuff for the car were done if it was raining or something.
My blasting cabinet also lived in here as I am a firm believer in reusing and rebuilding whatever parts I can instead of just buying new everything.