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  1. #1

    Default How to? Tilt front end?

    I want to make a tilt or flip front end using my factory steel.

    I searched on here but couldn't find anything. Does anyone know where to find the info or could someone tell me how to go about doing this? I've looked at alot of pictures of cars with them but I'd really like more knowledge before I start cutting my car.
    Last edited by ratdaddytattoo; 04-29-2009 at 09:34 PM.

    Rat Daddy and his 55 soto.

  2. #2

    Default Tilt front end

    There is a guy on Ebay that sells plans for tilt front ends and for other hot rod stuff
    I bought the plans for hidden suicide door hinges from him and they are great
    his sellers name is rod_plans just do a search in parts & accessories
    the plans are $9.99 plus $2.99 shipping............FTW

    Chrome don't getcha home..........

  3. #3
    dyce51 Guest


    what car/ truck you working on?

  4. #4


    yeah-- make and model are a pretty big deal for this..

    if you're talking a minitruck, it's a whole different deal than a 54 chevy
    Bodyman, painter, frame guy.. basically I hit sh*t with hammers..

  5. #5

    Default tilt this 55 desoto

    I want to tilt the front end of my 55 Desoto.

    The seams have all been filled with braze. So the nose and fenders are all one piece. It is still complete inside and out. (fenderwells etc)

    I plan on losing the inner fender wells. and cleaning up the underhood down to the bare nescessities. It doesn't have power steering or ac.

    There are a ton of pics in my albums for reference. I'm going to buy the plans on ebay but I would like to hear from people who have done it, so that I can get a "heads up" about any problems that might arise. I assume I will need to lengthen any wires to the lights etc. I assume I would have to build a framework to support it all, but should I use round tubing or square? I saw a hinge that was basically one piece of pipe inside another with one attached to the frame and one to the front end.
    I want to keep my bumper and grill but does it tilt too or does the front lift over it and use it to hide the hinge point?? I have a professional welder who will weld anything I want but I don't want to waste his time or mine with a bunch of experimenting.

    Would anyone suggest attaching the hood to the fenders or leave it operational? I considered welding on tabs and bolting it together just in case I ever want to put it back. I want it be be strong and not shimmy to death.

    What about supporting the radiator? should I keep the stock one and build a support or change over to a 'T" style?

    My whole motivation for doing this is because as big as the front end is, I can't even change spark plugs without climbing into the engine bay. Not fun when your fat and old.

    sorry tons of questions!!
    Rat Daddy and his 55 soto.

  6. #6


    i've built a tilt frontend on a 56 mercury but unfortunately i cant seem to locate the picures i took of it. i'll try to explain the more difficult aspects i encountered. i welded everything up solid-hood to fenders to inner fenders and trimmed the inner fenders to clear the motor when lifted (429 BIGGGG block). i went to a big truck salvage yard and found a hood hinge from an early 70's freightliner. this had brackets and everything needed for the hinge assembly and worked great. the car had the engine removed so i could leave the sheetmetal in place while i put the car on a lift and fabbed up the hinge from under the car and inside the engine compartment. radiator needed its own frame and support brackets cuz it remained stationary when front was tilted. i had to attach the bumper to the sheetmetal and stiffen all this to mount the hinge. (again, semi truck hinge worked perfectly) i used 1" round stock for framework to support sheetmetal. the whole thing basically came together inside the bumper. sheetmetal to bumper, bumper to hinge, hinge to frame rails. i had to cut the fenders (imagine looking at the car from the side, front bumper to the left) at an angle from about the 2 o'clock position in the wheel opening to the corner of the windshield at the top of the cowl then welded the remaining portion of the fender solid to the car. on this portion i built the inside edge strong enough to hold a pin that fits in a hole in the fender part of the tilt hood that lines everything back up when closed. the whole thing was extremely heavy so i had to use two small hydraulic rams attached to the inner framework near the point where the bumper and grill come together. power for the rams is a whole 'nother story. its alot of work on the bigger cars like your desoto but its cool when its done. oh yeah, the rams had quick disconnect pins where they attached to the inner framework so u could reach up under the fender and disconnect incase of hydraulic failure and still be able to manually open the tilt hood. hope this helps-i'll try to find the build pics.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    near yellowstone

    Default tilt front end

    The neatest one I saw was at a car show in gilroy Calif. A retired machinist built his stude chassis with parallel round tubes up front then contoured rollers to ride the "railroad"track " the whole front end was welded together and an air cylinder pushed it foreward until the botton roller hit a stop then it tilted up

  8. #8


    let me know I'd love to look over the pics
    Rat Daddy and his 55 soto.

  9. #9


    Check this thread - covers my '49 Studebaker:

    Scroll to post #48 - talks specifically about the tilt. Check it out and let me know if you have any Q's.

  10. #10


    I'm not too particual about grime or dirt because my engine bay isn't pretty anyway. I have 0 chrome other than the triangle junk breather that is going in the trash.

    I appreciate all the input on this subject I have had my head stuck in the car for days, looking, measuring. Thinking.

    When I begin the process I'll do a step by step photo layout. If it turns out good then maybe it will be a tech article........if it fails then it can be a "What NOT to do" article hahahah. I look at it this way anything cut apart can be welded back together in a worse case scenario.
    Rat Daddy and his 55 soto.


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