Best method and tool for cutting bonnet - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old March 14th, 2012, 06:56 AM
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Clark Bowen
1969 Series 2a/OM617 Bugeye 88"
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Best method and tool for cutting bonnet

I'm going to install vents on the bonnet of my 1995 RRC, but even though I have reciprocating saw, cut-off saw and shear air tools I've never done this type of cut before.
The cuts will be visible when the bonnet is open so I'm looking to do the best job possible. Straight and smooth.
The vents will be rectangular.
Any help would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old March 14th, 2012, 08:12 AM
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Bill Adams
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Air nibbler, it will cut without warping or distorting. I would make a template for the hole out of thin ply (like door skin or the 1/16th stuff from the hobby shop) and hot glue it to the under side of the bonnet. Use it as a guide for the nibbler and you should end up with a pretty darn clean hole that needs very little finishing.
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  #3  
Old March 14th, 2012, 09:31 AM
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Matthew
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and if your cheap a hand nibbler will also do the same work
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  #4  
Old March 14th, 2012, 07:53 PM
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Clark Bowen
1969 Series 2a/OM617 Bugeye 88"
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Bill.......

1. Will the initial drill hole be the same size as the hole cut by the nibbler?
2. Will a $40 Amazon nibbler be good enough (think I'll forget the hand powered version) or do I need to step up to the $140 IR to get quality?
3. How do you make square corners with a nibbler? Besides a file.
4. Any idea what gauge the bonnet is?
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  #5  
Old March 14th, 2012, 08:03 PM
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Air nibbler. Worked perfect for cutting holes for safari windows. Only down side is that it leaves hundreds of little half moon shavings everywhere inside my truck!
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  #6  
Old March 14th, 2012, 08:33 PM
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Mike
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Square cuts shouldn't be a problem. The tight radius can get tricky.
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  #7  
Old March 14th, 2012, 09:28 PM
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Bill Adams
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You will make a hole large enough to get the nibbler head thru, which is bigger than the nibbler's kerf.
You will need to work the nibbler out to the inside edge of your guide template. It won't make a tight turn so you have to work it around and open the cut a bit to make the turn.
It's an easy tool to use.
A $40 one will be fine.
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1966 109 5 door wagon 300Tdi "spermaceti fueled"
1994 RRC LeWiB "ruining the air behind me"
1968 2A 88

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  #8  
Old March 15th, 2012, 09:26 AM
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Chris Hinkle
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I suggest the corners have a small radius - square corners on sheet metal and vibrations result in cracks at the corners.
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  #9  
Old March 15th, 2012, 11:26 AM
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Charles Galpin
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Can you show us a picture of the vents you are installing? I have some scrap aluminum from a series roof if you want something to practice on (assuming the RRC hood is aluminum and a similar thickness).
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  #10  
Old March 15th, 2012, 12:28 PM
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Bill Adams
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Sadly, RRC bonnets are steel and rust like nobody's business.
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1966 109 5 door wagon 300Tdi "spermaceti fueled"
1994 RRC LeWiB "ruining the air behind me"
1968 2A 88

All my troubles are Rover
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  #11  
Old March 15th, 2012, 11:33 PM
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Clark Bowen
1969 Series 2a/OM617 Bugeye 88"
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Charles.... this is from the WestMarine.com website: http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=431825&catalogId=10001&la ngId=-1&storeId=11151&storeNum=50667&subdeptNum=50677&cl assNum=50679
They are shiny black so I sprayed them with flat black. Wanted them to go on the bonnet sides, but there is too much arc for them to lay flat. Now, they'll be going on the bonnet near the outside edges and a few inches before the cowling. West Marine also had a very nice stainless steel recessed vent, but I'm not looking for flash. Thanks for the offer Charles, but I think I'm all set on this end.

Chris... Thanks for the advice. I'll use it.

Bill..... I was upside down in my template thinking. I was going to have the template be the inside of the hole and cut around it. The surround template will work much better.
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