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Products and Performance



Every so often a new product comes along that seems so simple, yet works so well you wonder why no one else had already thought of it. Tin Man Fabrication’s new “Fast Forward” hinge system is one of those great products. 
I will have to admit the first time I saw this hood hinge in action, I just had to raise and lower the hood several times trying to understand its simple and unique design that makes it work so well. NSMC Member Jim Crews has been fabricating these hinges for years on his customers custom-built rods, and his own award winning ’36 Ford Coupe. Over time Jim refined his hinge design and decided to produce a kit to share his hinge system with fellow rodders.
The Fast Forward hood hinge system was developed using 6061-T6 aluminum components and stainless steel hardware. It’s currently available in brushed finish. The design of the hinge system is fairly universal, although there are differences in the kits for different models. Contact Tin Man Fabrication for additional ordering information.
This kit is more involved than a bolt-on installation due to differences between specific applications. The hood support braces will need to be fabricated to fit your hood and the two upper hood sections will need to be welded together by the builder for that smooth look.  If you’re not familiar with welding sheet metal together, I suggest you start with scrap pieces before attempting this on your ride, or leave that part of the install to someone who is familiar with the process.


Tin Man Fabrication’s new Fast Forward hood hinge system’s unique design offers an alternative for street rodders. Pictured is one of their early kits, current kits feature ball milled support rods and all stainless hardware.

2 To begin installing Tin Man Fabrication’s Fast Forward hinge system. The hood panels must be separated and factory center hinge removed.
3 The hinge flanges are then flattened. Using a plastic hammer, the flange is straightened in several steps, then hammered flat on a solid flat surface.
3 The two top hood panels were put in place, The overlap between them was scribed, and the excess metal was trimmed away.
5 The two top hood panels were then clamped and butt welded together. Short stich and hammer welding will prevent heat distortion and help keep it straight.
6 With the top hood in place the bottom edge can be marked on the cowl and the grille shell
7 Measuring 1/4-inch down from the hood line, a 1/4-inch wide slot is cut in the firewall at the height of the new radiator supports.
8 Support brackets were made from 1-1/2-inch angle stock then inserted in the slot and welded.
9 Support brackets were made from 1-1/2-inch angle stock then inserted in the slot and welded.
10 Angle cutting the back edge of the new radiator support rod gave us a flush fit to the firewall. This can also be square cut, then ground to match.
11 The new radiator support is held in place and the location of the mounting holes are transferred to the support and then drilled accordingly.
12 In this particular application we were able to utilize one of the factory holes in the grille shell to mount the radiator support.
13 After bolting the supports to the firewall and grille shell, the forward hinge arm was attached to the hinge block which mounts to the radiator support.

On this installation, the Fast Forward Hinge System has an integrated adjustable hinge stop. Note the location of the hinge block 1-inch behind the grille shell. (Tin Man's kit does NOT include this hinge stop.) Installers will need to incorporate a hood hinge stop with their particular application. It would be custom for each installation.

15 The rear hinge arm is attached to the radiator support using the supplied stainless hardware. The factory support rods should then be removed.
16 The upper hinge bracket was attached to the hinge arms. Tape was used to simulate the hood so adjustments could be made for best fit.
17 With both hinges in place, the hood was put on and the upper hinge bracket locations were marked on the underside of the hood.
18 Working from the lines marked in step 16, a straightedge is used to extend the marks from side-to-side on the underside of the hood.
19 Tape was run from side-to-side to keep the hood from losing its shape when laid flat. Measurements also serve to double-check work during fabrication.
20 Templates are made using poster board, a marker, and a pair of scissors. One template is made for each of the two reference lines under the hood.
21 Starting with a 1/4-inch steel rod and working with nothing more than a 1/2-inch hole in the workbench, the rod is bent to match the cardboard template.
22 In less than five minutes, the rod is bent to precisely match the template. A center reference mark is used to keep everything symmetrical.
23 A second bow brace is made to fit within the first. It will be 1-1/2-inches below the first and intersect the main brace at both ends for strength.
24 The hood brace rods were then welded together and additional braces were added between the rods for added strength.
25 The hood brace rods were trimmed, and short sections of 1/4-inch tubing were welded  to the ends.
26 The finished hood support braces utilized the factory piano hinge location and the original hinge rods, and they’re removable for plating or painting.
27 Steel tabs are attached to the upper hinge bracket. The brackets are then welded to the support braces.
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