Just envision this setup on our 70 Mach 1maybe draped in Competition Orange and with the blacked-out hood center. Oh yeah, that will get some eyeballs rolling.
Merv Rego of Classic Creations begins by taping down a template for the shaker opening that we borrowed from Bob Perkins (see sidebar). The original template has the correct locations for the nonfunctional scoop with turn signals, the shaker opening, shaker trim retaining stud holes, and instructions for locating the lanyard-style hood pins.
The template is fragile. After marking the trim ring retaining stud holes, a local copy shop made an oversized copy of the template for us to cut and write on as needed.
Rego center-punches the locations for the trim ring studs with an automatic center punch. This tool puts less stress on the surrounding metal by making a quick impression with spring pressure instead of a hammer.
A closeup shot with the template removed shows the small dimples the automatic center punch made. The drill bit now rests squarely in the center of the depression, preventing drill bit walking.
Using a 7/32-inch drill bit, Rego drills the holes that eventually will allow the shaker trim ring to be secured to our new Goodmark hood.
As a precautionary measure, you can place a section of tape over the center punch mark to prevent damaging the hood with the drill chuck when the bit cuts through the metal. A drill stop will also damage the hood, so take your time and feel for when the bit is about to break through.
We ran into our first problem when we tried to fit the reproduction trim ring to the holes drilled by the template. The original trim ring uses self-cutting nuts to retain the ring (as with the back of a 67-68 dashboard or some moldings), whereas the reproduction uses threaded studs. These studs arent jig-welded and can be off a little bit.
Rego cleaned up and corrected the holes with a miniature file. Later, we realized the best way to mark the holes for drilling would be to drill the rearmost holes first, which are located 6-9/16 inches from the rear edge of the hood and 2-1/2 inches out from the centerline. Then place the trim ring over the hood, and mark the actual location of each stud for drilling. If you have located an original trim ring, then the template will work for you.
The filing Rego did was just enough to get the shaker trim ring centered and the studs to find their way through the mounting holes.
With the shaker trim ring in place, Rego used a scribe to scribe along the inside edge of the trim ring.
The resulting scribed line would give us the minimum working area for us to cut out of the hood. In actuality, there would be another 1/4 inch or so of material to remove to allow the trim ring to sit flush.
For the intricate work of cutting the shaker opening, Danny Gaydos begins by cutting the four corners of the shaker opening with a large holesaw to give us nice, round corners for the opening.
Gaydos uses his trusty Sawsall to cut the straight side of the opening. The severe angle and approach Gaydos is using, though dangerous-looking, is necessary to cut through the hood without tearing up the metal. He also suggests using a fine blade with 20 or more teeth per inch. Practice on an old scrap part first, if you need to get the feel.
As Gaydos completes the final cuts, Rego holds onto the centersection of hood about to drop free. This prevents the centersection of the hood from getting in the way of the saw blade as Gaydos cuts.
Using a half-round or rat-tail file, clean up the corners where the straight cuts meet the cuts made from the holesaw. Dress all the remaining cut edges as well with a file.
Once Gaydos and Rego are happy with the opening, they test-fit the shaker trim ring to the new opening. A small amount of clearance work is required in the corners to get the trim ring to fit. Remember that it should drop right in and not be forced.
Gaydos checks the fit and finish of the hood to the trim ring, noting problem areas with a marker. He uses a metal file to knock down some of the high spots,
Then he uses a hammer and dolly to smooth out any low spots and bring the hood up to meet the trim ring in the rear corners of the opening.
Once the trim ring and the hood are massaged into what looks like one solid part (a hood with a lip around the opening) and Rego and Gaydos are happy with it, the trim ring reinforcements are installed and the attaching hardware is used to secure everything.
While a bit troublesome for even seasoned professionals, such as Gaydos and Rego, there is no doubt that even in an unpainted, unfinished look, the shaker scoop and hood look positively outrageous.
We made quick templates from our original hood to locate the 31/8-inch openings for the pop-up hood locks. Luckily, the underskin of the hood has the opening already cut out so it is easy to determine where the openings should be. Still, you can use the measurements of roughly 91/4 inches from the front edge of the hood and 5 inches from the outside edge of the hood to locate yours. Both measurements are to the edge of the holenot the center.
While a 3-inch holesaw would have been the perfect answer to making these holes in one clean step, Gaydos toolbox seemed to be lacking that particular size (it isnt every day you are cutting 3-inch holes in anything, let alone a Mustang hood). Gaydos began by cutting the indicated center with the largest saw he had.
Once Gaydos had the centers cut out, he proceeded to finish the rough dimensions with a pair of tin snips. Carefully cutting to the edge of his scribe line took no time at all.
After finishing the rough opening, Gaydos used a small file to make final adjustments to get the hood lock assembly to just slide into the opening, preventing the lock assembly from walking around in too large a hole. The new locks were then secured with our original retainers and hardware (new ones are available if you are converting your Mustang to this style of hood lock).
Our completed hood lock installation sits flush with the new hoods sheetmetal and looks right at home along with the shaker assembly.
When converting to a shaker setup, dont forget to get the correct mounting brackets and hardware. These brackets are specific to the 351 Cleveland engine and are from Virginia Classic Mustang. AMK Products (918) 455-2651, www.amkproducts.com has all the correct hardware for the OE-style shaker trim ring, air cleaner housing, shaker brackets, and more.
Having a Mustang with a shaker scoop brings pointing fingers and open-mouthed stares at car shows. The younger crowd thinks the vibrating scoop poking through the hood is "tight" (trust us, that means really good), while those in the know are envious that your Mustang has such a sought-after option. While difficult to duplicate--as not all parts are reproduced--the conversion to a shaker setup can be accomplished. The most difficult parts to obtain are, of course, the correct air cleaner base and shaker assembly for your particular engine. We conferred with Bob Perkins, who verified our thoughts. The shaker air cleaner base is different between the engines that originally came with the shaker as an option, but the components from the hood seal on up (the top plate, shaker housing itself, and hood seal) are the same.
We contacted Jeff Sneathen at SEMO Mustang for our shaker assembly. Sneathen assembles and restores complete shaker kits for '69-'70 Mustangs. He had a fairly rough core in stock that we could use for our conversion. Though we only briefly use it in this article, we will be completing a detailed restoration of the shaker assembly in the next few months. Prices vary on condition and whether you buy them already restored, so call Sneathen for more information and availability.
The rest of the shaker conversion was the easy part. Our '70 Mach 1 sitting in the Mustang Monthly shop right now will be the receiver of our work here, but the original hood was a mess of body filler and rust. We contacted Goodmark Industries for its new '69-'70 reproduction hood, so we would have a fresh hood to modify. The stamping is quite nice, and the weight on it feels like the original equipment.
To round out the rest of the shaker conversion, we contacted Virginia Classic Mustang for a new shaker hood seal, shaker mounting brackets, shaker hood trim ring, and a pair of pop-up hood locks for our new hood. Once we rounded up everything for our little project, we trekked on down to Classic Creations of Central Florida to have the hood modifications professionally done.