Hinging On Greatness: Project 1PDQ55 Gets New Hinges from Eddie Motorsports

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Project 1PDQ55 gets new hinges from Eddie Motorsports

Words and Photos By: Shawn Brereton

Back when I bought 1PDQ55, there was no such thing as aftermarket hood hinges, unless you were talking about direct OEM replacements, and they certainly weren’t made with looks in mind! I don’t know exactly when all these billet beauties started hitting the market, but I know I’ve been lusting after them for a while now.

I heard some grumblings from early adopters about hood height when open, the hood not staying open, and alignment issues (mostly because of the weak tolerances back in the day). Those complaints, along with it being a “want” part instead of a “need” part, kept me from pulling the trigger on buying.

Well, now that the car is sorted out, I finally have a little money in the bank, so I thought it was time to step up the bling in the engine bay. There are now several companies making billet hinges, but not all are created equal, so do your homework.

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The hinges come tightly wrapped, secured, and separated in the box.

There is nothing more convincing to me than seeing something in action and knowing it works. My friend Bobby VanWart has had a set of Eddie Motorsports hinges on his ’55 since it was finished in 2013 and loves them, so I did a little research and found Eddie’s hinges rose to the top of my list.

Here are a few reasons why. They didn’t cut quality to keep the price affordable. The hinges are CNC machined from solid 6061-T6 billet aluminum, which makes them stronger than my hood. All are made on-site at their southern California facility (Made in the USA is important to me). They use high-quality sealed ball bearings at the pivot points, which is smart when you are talking about longevity. The stainless steel strut not only looks great, but is nitrogen-filled, which along with those bearings, makes the hood open and close smooth as butter.

The hinges come in a variety of finishes: raw, machined, bright polished, and Fusioncoat or anodized colors. I ordered the bright polished with a clearcoat finish, so I wouldn’t have to keep polishing them. Shipping was super quick, and the instructions were easy to follow too. Follow along as Bobby and I install my new Eddie Motorsports hinges.

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Words of advice: Read the instructions a couple of times before doing anything, take your time, and take the advice they have given you, or suffer the consequences of chipped paint or worse. Use tape liberally on the fenders, on the hood itself, and on the cowl. You’ll notice in the photos, we were living dangerously, but got lucky.

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Using protective tape will ensure you reduce the chance of scratching your paint when removing and installing the hinges. Frankly, we should have used more tape than this — you can’t be too careful here.

 

Here is the old hinge (top) and the new hinge below. Note that the new hinge from Eddie Motorsports sits under the hood and on top of the cowl, increasing the possibility of scratching the paint — so be careful. 

Here is the old hinge (top) and the new hinge below. Note that the new hinge from Eddie Motorsports sits under the hood and on top of the cowl, increasing the possibility of scratching the paint — so be careful.

We found a critical step to be checking the height of the hinge at the firewall;when that rear arm on the hinge closes down, it can hit the cowl if you don’t have it high enough! And it is a fine line between the hood height lining up or cracking your paint. It actually took us longer to line up the hood than it did to install the hinges. You’ll want to take your time during alignment. We found that the fenders on the car were not squared correctly and had to loosen some bolts to adjust it. Just be patient!

In the end, it was completely worth it, and we were surprised at how much it changed the look of the engine bay. The greatest side-effect of the install is how sturdy the hood is now. There is virtually no side-to-side movement, and that is saying a lot on a hood with a huge hole and no hood brace!

Source: Eddie Motorsports, eddiemotorsports.com.

About the author

Shawn Brereton

Few are more passionate about the hot rodding scene than Shawn Brereton. The native of Syracuse, New York is a lifelong car enthusiast that appreciates all-things automotive. Shawn’s event coverage and car features have been published in a variety of print and digital publications. In addition to his in-house role at Xceleration Media, Shawn is the coordinator of the Memphis, Tennessee Gear Grinders Cruise and the proud owner of a ’55 Chevy and ’63 Oldsmobile.
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