My Story

Hood hinge rebuilding or complete restoration at its finest, every detail considered, exceptional quality at reasonable prices.

After graduating from high school, I thought I wanted to be a machinist, so in 1960 I enrolled in a machine shop class at LA Trade Tech College in Los Angeles, CA. After two years of school, I worked in several machine shops manufacturing aircraft and missile parts until drafted into the Army in 1966. After being discharged from the Army, I enrolled in college, pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering, all the while working in a machine shop. After graduating from college with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, I went to work for several companies employed in the fields of R & D, Product Development, and Failure Analysis. After passing several rigorous exams, I became a Registered Mechanical Engineer in the State of California, and am the holder of three patents. I found a need for machine shop equipment, so I purchased a new lathe, milling machine, and welding equipment and started my small shop while still employed as an Engineer. In 1990, a friend of mine was having problems with the hood on his 1957 Chevy. It would not stay in the open position and stuck up at the cowl. I brought his hood hinges to my shop and disassembled them. Worn out rivets and out of round rivet holes were the problem. After reaming the rivet holes round, making new rivets, and reassembling the hinges, the hood remained in the open position and did not stick up at the cowl. Thirty years later, and making a large quantity of tooling, I am still rebuilding hood hinges, trunk hinges, door hinges, and hood latches.  I also design and manufacture parts for race cars, old Porsches, restorations, and other projects. 

One-Owner 1965 Pontiac GTO

Nothing is overlooked in my restoration procedure

What I Do

  1. Remove rivets
  2. Aluminum oxide blast hinge parts to clean
  3. Inspect for cracks or other problems
  4. File rubbing surfaces flat
  5. Straighten arms using a flat surface plate and level
  6. Repair any excessively out-of-round holes
  7. Ream rivet holes round
  8. Glass bead blast hinge parts before final assembly
  9. Manufacture new steel rivets with correct rivet head markings (if desired)
  10. Hand fit rivets for minimum lateral clearance
  11. Assemble hinges with thin washers between the rubbing surfaces for smoother operation
  12. Paint, plate, powder coat or other customer requested finishes
    If hinges require plating (cad or cad irridite), hinge parts are tumble polished before assembly for a smoother finish.
    I also manufacture polished stainless steel rivets for chrome-plated hinges, and convertible top arms, but I do not get involved in chrome plating.

I manufacture all of my rivets and can mark the rivet heads, as shown below:

Sample of Marked Rivet Heads
New Rivets Left, Original Rivets Right

Hand Fitting Rivets

1966 Pontiac GTO Hood Hinges

1969 GTO Hood Hinges with Marked Rivet Heads

1962 Chevy

1962 Chevy, Marked Rivet Heads
New Offset Links Above Original Below Note Cracks in Second from Bottom Link

1954 Ford, Mercury & Lincolns

1952- 1954 Ford, Mercury & Lincoln Hood Hinge with New Long Arm,
Larger Diameter Rivets and Extra Internal Reinforcing Plate

I manufacture the long arm that is thicker and wider in the critical areas, reinforce the triangular arm, use larger rivets for more bearing area and strength, and install a 3/16-in thick plate to strengthen the inside rivet attachments. I have addressed the shortcomings of the original hinges.

Many times the original serrated washer is lost, and there are no replacements. The washer on the left is my answer to the original washer. Not using one of the above washers results in the bolt shoulder contacting the hood. There is not enough surface area to prevent the hood from coming out of adjustment. This washer prevents the hood from moving out of alignment.

1957 Pontiac, Buick and Cadillac

After thinking about this problem and studying the tooth arms, the solution was to make a tooth plate that would use the original rivet hole. It would sit on top of the old teeth, with precisely the same tooth profile.  The Pontiac tooth arms are deep enough to accommodate ¼-in thick teeth plates.  Welding of the original teeth and the new teeth required a custom made aligning fixture to prevent binding.

The advantages of this repair method are:

Teeth plates are ¼-in thick, .100-in. thicker than the original teeth

  • Superior strength, using 1018 steel compared to original stamped steel
  • ¼-in. longer rivet and larger diameter head for more contact area
  • Closer gear teeth mesh resulting in less backlash

This design results in very smooth operating hinges

Very Rare 1957 & 1958 Buick Limited Convertible Trunk Hinge Restoration

Spring Stretching Fixture for Blasting and Painting Springs

Springs are aluminum oxide blasted, cleaning inside, outside, and between the coils. Painting springs stretched covers the entire surface, resulting in a new appearing spring.

Contact Me

Rowland Hall

1901 Jackson Street
Burbank, CA 91504
Shop (818)845-3574
Cell (818)726-9440
Email: rowlandhall@mindspring.com