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How to cut a car hood for shaker type breather

Updated on December 19, 2015

Easy step by step instruction guide

Welcome to this easy step by step guide to cutting a hole in your car hood for a shaker breather style installation. I hope that this will help you to get the job done a little quicker than I was able to, because I had never done this before and was scared to death I was going to screw this up. But, really it wasn't all that bad, just make sure you have the right template for your car, a sharpie, a tape measure, tape and you are on your way. You can find templates online or on ebay for you style of car, they are pretty cheap and worth the money. If not you will need the top portion of the shaker you plan to use to lay out the exact location.

First things first.
We need to get the hood off the car and on to a stand, I used a set of portable saw horses with wood tops to set mine on.

Next, it is a good idea to go ahead and prep the surface by sanding and priming the top if you are going to painting the car. I you don't plan on re painting the hood or car, make sure you mask off anything that could get scratched. Use a good automotive or painters tape so you don't leave residue on the surface once it is removed. Here I plan on paint the entire car so I am using self etching primer to be able to see the outline a little better than on the original color.

Now, we are going to center the template on the hood. On this template it gives the measurement from the back of the hood to the back of the template. Once we have that measurement, we need to center the template side to side, mark the middle line of the template with a marker and measure the distance to edge of the hood and make sure you have the same distance from both sides.

Use masking tape to tack down the template securely so it doesn't move when you begin to trace the outline. Using a sharpie or other type marker, make a series of dot's thru the template about every 1/4" until you are completely around the perimeter. Make sure that the dots penetrate completely thru the template onto the surface of the hood.This method works better that cutting the template and allows you to reuse the template in the future if needed.

Now remove the template and connect the dots until you have a continuous drawing of the desired cutting area. Also, I used clear paint to coat the outline so once I started cutting if was necessary to wipe off the surface i wouldn't smudge the lines.

Next you will need to drill a couple of 3/8" holes near the edge of the outline, make sure that the drill stays inside the template. Once you drill the holes you will be able to see underneath the hood the location of cut, at that point you will want to use duct tape or some other method to secure the entire area. This way when you get to the edge of the final cut it doesn't try and fall and bend the edge of the hood when you finish the cut.

Once you have the cut complete, using a sanding block, file or in my case a grinder with a sanding wheel to debur all the edges. If get off the line while cutting you can use this method to re work any areas that are not as desired.

Now your done. put the hood bay on for a test fit. Install the shaker assembly and rubber weather strip. Now stand back and admire what you have accomplished. And you just save yourself about $400.00 from taking to the body shop or to an outside source.

Take a look at the pictures below and see how I did it, start to finish.



Torino hood cut for shaker

This is the project car that we will be using for this application
This is the project car that we will be using for this application | Source
you will need the proper template for your car, here I am using one for a 1970, 71 Ford Torino
you will need the proper template for your car, here I am using one for a 1970, 71 Ford Torino | Source
center the template making sure that you measure from the back of the hood to the back line of the template, and center side to side.
center the template making sure that you measure from the back of the hood to the back line of the template, and center side to side. | Source
after tracing the template remove the paper and check to make sure you can see the lines all the way around
after tracing the template remove the paper and check to make sure you can see the lines all the way around | Source
clear coat marking to keep it from fading
clear coat marking to keep it from fading | Source
Drill starter holes, using duck tape secure the area that you are cutting so it doesn't fall when you get to the end of the cut.
Drill starter holes, using duck tape secure the area that you are cutting so it doesn't fall when you get to the end of the cut. | Source
Cut hole out using jig saw with metal blade, care to stay on the line. Take your time with this part.
Cut hole out using jig saw with metal blade, care to stay on the line. Take your time with this part. | Source
completed hood
completed hood | Source
once the hole is cut, use a grinder with sanding wheel or sanding block to debur the edges and smooth the cut.
once the hole is cut, use a grinder with sanding wheel or sanding block to debur the edges and smooth the cut. | Source
hood back on car for a test fit
hood back on car for a test fit | Source
This the car with the shaker installed. Perfect fit.
This the car with the shaker installed. Perfect fit. | Source

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    • R.Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      R.Cochran 

      2 years ago from Dahlonega, GA

      I will to try and answer any question as soon as I can just leave your questions here. Thanks,

    working

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