View Full Version : Bonnet Latches for Front Tilt BE Bonnet

02-24-2009, 12:32 PM
Someone was asking me about where I got Bonnet Latches the other day for Front Tilting BE Bonnet. I managed to break one of mine last week and could not figure out where I got the set to begin with. Turns out I rummaged around out in the garage and found the original box and Packing Slip.

MiniMania, Part MS117 $17.95 a pair right now.

I had ordered a set from Pegasus Racing which I found will not work for this application. Tolerances on those latches are too close as BE Bonnet moves around a whole lot when forward hinged. These aren't the heaviest duty latches out there but I've put them to some heavy duty use getting my bonnet recurved, no wonder one broke last week.

Hope this helpd someone.

02-24-2009, 07:16 PM
Jim, thanks for posting. I have fabricated tilt hinges for my restoration project and I have been wondering how I was going to secure. Have seen many types but this one looks pretty good, and simple. I had been leaning to the flush mount latch typical on a general aviation cowel flap but that would require additional fabrication.

Thanks, Eric :thumbsup:

02-25-2009, 11:16 AM

I'm still fighting alignment and fitment issues with the BE Bonnet on my '68. Now granted this bonnet served some duty on a racecar in the past and was pretty beat up. Still working on all of the dings and dents and clearance issues with radiator shroud and oil cooler. Got most of that resolved but still need to get entire bonnet shoved back 1/2". Doesn't sound like much be tolerances on BE Bonnets are very, very close.

As much as I would like to do something hidden. the fabrication needed to be done in addition to major cutting just does not seem worth the effort. I have seen and of course I can't locate the picture, someone using a cable pull, spring and bonnet latch mounted on modified original hinges at the rear. Looks like a slick setup but I imagine the alignment issues are even greater.

Hey this setup is cheap and gets you back on the road. Spring is almost here. No time to screw around with hidden hinges. Get your BE ready to get out and drive.

02-25-2009, 01:36 PM
Another option is to do a hinge like the guy with the bmw engine in his blue BE. https://www.britishv8.org/Other/BruceUchida/BruceUchida-CB.jpg

The car was done by a guy named Bruce Uchida, here's a link to more pics at BritishV8.org (https://www.britishv8.org/Other/BruceUchida.htm).

02-26-2009, 10:17 AM
Got the hinge set already built and installed. This one looks far more complicated than when I've already got working. Just need fit resolved.

03-01-2009, 04:13 PM
Jim, my hinge is a simple plate with a few bolts and a pin in it. Found on the internet and had a friend build for me. Seems to work fine and not too many clearance or alignment issues. Although, once everything is painted and final installation is attempted I am sure I will have the same issues you are. Bonnet is heavy and not really meant to be lifted that way, much torque around the grill area and flexes quite a bit if you lift up from just one side. Need to find a way to put some rubber or plastic guides along firewall to help with alignment. Noticed on an unmolested early bugeye some wedge shaped pieces that help holf out the bottom of bonnet, in front of firewall. Have never seen them anywhere else but like the idea. Good Luck

03-01-2009, 04:15 PM
Jim, forgot to mention that my BE is currently a shell and not likey to see the sunshine this year. But, have TR6 and Road King Classic if I get the urge for bugs in teeth.

03-02-2009, 10:47 AM
One solution I found is

1) Get a cowl gasket from McGregor in Canada. It actually fits the track by the cowl which the Moss part only fits after lots of swearing and modification.

2) I reduced the width of the cowl gasket as the end was holding up the sides of the bonnet and not allowing it to bend properly.

3) Remove the side stays from the top of the bonnet to the sides temporarily. This is helping in getting the bonnet to conform to the curve of the cowl. I will reinstall eventually.

4)There are rubber/plastic blocks (4) that go along the back sides of the bonnet behind the wheels mounted to the body to ensure alignment. These keep the bonnet from pinching in too far.

5) If you installed repair panels for the back bottom corner of the bonnet make sure they are absolutely square and straight up and down. I did a great job I thought with the bonnet off of the car. Once in place however the "that looks pretty good" is not good enough. The horizontal and vertical edges in there look like crap if not absolutely straight. I need to redo one side, fortunately not welded but pop riveted in place and bondo had not been applied.

6) Now that I am almost there with fitment next plan will be to remove front bolts, put bonnet in final alignment position so it looks good and then see if I need to modify bracket mounting holes in bonnet or need to remake the front hinge bracket i.e. moving mounting holes up and back 1/2" or so to get the proper alignment and clearance.

I can get it to work just takes time.

03-02-2009, 12:50 PM
Get a cowl gasket from McGregor in Canada. It actually fits the track by the cowl which the Moss part only fits after lots of swearing and modification.

There are rubber/plastic blocks (4) that go along the back sides of the bonnet behind the wheels mounted to the body to ensure alignment. These keep the bonnet from pinching in too far.

The new cowl gasket I have fits fine but it is much shorter than useful. Won't cause the problem you have but could benefit from length. Will check with McGregor.

I have not come across the blocks you are referring to. Have seen in pics? Are they available from the Big3?

One eventual problem to work through is what to grab when lifting the bonnet. I have noticed that doing it from one side exerts a fair amount of torque in places not meant to be. Works well if you have a helper. Had considered mounting two brackets on either side of firewall with springs just strong enough to push bonnet up..........guess could do with one in the middle. Never seen it done but always looking for places to make things much more complicated then they need to be.

Good Luck, Eric

03-03-2009, 10:25 AM
My technique is to undo DS, walk around and undo PS. Since bonnet catches on the wiper motor on the way up raising from PS allows me to scoot the bonnet sideways to clear. Not sure if this is an issue with a BE, but it is with a BE Bonnet on a '68 Sprite.

The Wheel Arch Buffer, VB PArt # 0-272 PArt # 28 on Hood Components page is the part I am referring to. There is also a Hood Buffer Part 0-270 that mounts on top of the inner fender for support that is needed.

Hey hope this helps. note from Mini Mania this AM that part for Bonnet LAtch is currently on Backorder for another 1-2 weeks. OH well, got bonnet secured right now with another type of bonnet latch. Need to replace with Mini Mania part as while not as heavy duty, looks and secures better. Take care hope I was able to help. Tmps in mid 60's for the weekend. Bugsy is getting anxious again. Wish I didn't have class all day Saturday.