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Engine heat damage to paint



First, thanks to all of you who contribute to this awesome community! I have recently purchased my first Vette, a 69 350/350 coupe. I am a rookie when it comes to auto repair but am learning as fast as possible. This site is a huge help.

The paint job appears to be brand new. Recently, I have noticed several cracks developing on the hood & near the tops of the front wheel wells. This may be due to excess heat or the recent 40 degree temps in Chicagoland. I friend referred me to Dynamat engine compartment liners. This seems like a reasonable approach but I am concerned this could cause other problems like overheating.

Any advice? Thanks again to all!


I am not sure, but I think the 1969 came with a heat insulation installed on the hood. I know later years of sharks this was discontinued.

The cracks or spider type cracking is usually caused from stressing the fiber glass. If it is near the very front of the hood on each side of the hood, it may be cause from the hinges being over tight, or using the rubber spacers to make the hood align correctly. Most heat problems I relate to more on the center portion of the hood, and is as much the paint just being really old and drying out and causing "feathering" paint seperation, much like when "Bondo" is paint and then contracts as it drys.

My 81 has this on the hood where the scoop comes down from the middle on each side.

I'm sure there is someone here that knows more about this subject than me, and will enlighten us both. Good Luck and let us know what you find out ;)
Not The Heat

I would not suggest driving a fiberglass car in the cold weather as it becomes more likely to crack due to the cold. The area's you have said you're seeing cracks appear are high stress places. Right over the front wheels and in the front inside corners of where the hood mounts are very common in the older vettes. They actually flex at those points under certain conditions, heavy acceleration, hard cornering and so on. I haven't researched this too deeply but I do know you can get reinforcing pieces for these places. Trust me, they won't go away by themselves, they will get worse as you rack up the time and miles. Look at the bright side, it won't rust!:L
Cracks Kill


Welcom to CACC. Nice choice of years. Nice choice of colors.

Now, about the cracks. You said the car has fresh paint. I assume you bought it with the fresh paint and don't know what it looked like before or how many times and with what kind of materials it has been painted.

It is common for the cars to develop cracks for many reasons. The good news is, often the cracks are only paint deep. That is, these cars after 30 years or so may have been painted several times. Unless stripped to the factory primer, the different layers of paint will continue to dry and often develop cracks. If the crack is in the glass, it will be much larger and will tend to actually move, and or open if you put pressure around the area vs. a paint crack that won't seem to change.

Another problem, often painters will simply put spot putty in the old paint cracks when repainting the car. This will only last a short time and open back up again.

Here goes the bad news. There is no way to fix this but to strip the car. All things being equal, if it is starting up front, it will show up in other areas. Most of the time the car can be stripped, feather sanded, primered, sealed, and put back in business for years and years of crack free finish.

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