: Hood Ornament Spring Fix - 76 FWB but probably other models also

425 Dual Quad
12-15-07, 07:33 PM
Hi Guys,

In addition to answering posts to help others I wanted to contribute something to the site by way of helping others with their cars.

So in addition to leaning backwards at anything over 30 mph, the hood ornament on my '76 Fleetwood Brougham had started to lean to the right. Drastic action was needed to avoid spoiling what is otherwise a nice drive. The hood ornament on the '76 FWB has a wreath and did not seem easily replaceable.

This will work for most all hood ornaments of most years that have become floppy. Basically tension is lost in the spring.

To remove, undo the two speed nuts and carefully work it away from the hood.
Underneath you will see the spring which allows it to bend back in an emergency and inside the spring are two wires. On mine one comes all the way up to the end of the spring and hooks over the end. The other has its hook part way down inside the spring.

I suspect that both wires should be coming out the end of the spring and this is where it has lost its tension. Bending out the hooks on the wire ends and rebuilding it completely looked like it would result in the 'never getting it back in one peice again' scenario so I decided to pack the spring out.

Do this by working as many washers as needed under the upper end of the spring nearest the crest. This will increase that lost tension in the spring and restore that springiness and rigidity.

I found that spring washers of a size just larger than the diameter of the spring work best. Firstly flatten the washers in a vice or using a set of vice grips. Second open up the gap in the washer slightly more and slip it in the spring and over the wire inside the spring.
You can then wind it down to the bottom of the spring and with a bit of careful work lift the spring up clear of the ornament and slide the washer under where the spring seats.
This compresses the spring more and restores the tension. I put two washers in and held them down with a nylon collar for good measure that I just happenned to have that was the right dimension for the pocket in which the spring sits.

Takes about an hour of so to do plus some scrapes and scratches from the exposed end of the wire. If you have access to a soft jawed vice [or pad a vice with strips of wood] this will hold the ornament in place whilst you work a nd make it much easier.

So far back on the car, looks fine and proud again.:cloud9:

Good luck!

best regards, Nick