New Hood Blocks (and a rant on SAE measurement)

One of the items that was part of my first parts order was a new set of white oak hood blocks.

They aren’t anything special really, just some blocks of wood attached to the front end of the hood. They serve two purposes on the CJ-3A. The first is to keep the hood sheet metal from rubbing against the windshield frame. The second is to keep the windshield frame, and sometimes more importantly the windshield wiper arms, from rubbing against and digging into the hood sheet metal.

Now, keeping with my theme of going as original as possible, I also attached the new blocks using the exact screws used by Willys-Overland in 1950. This presented me with a nice learning experience: the SAE system of identifying screw parts.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve really (and I do mean really) disliked the SAE and Imperial¬† system of measurement. The idea of creating a system of measurement where units aren’t in base 10 (like our numbering system), don’t have direct correlations (like why are inches divided into 16ths, but there are 12 inches in a foot?), and seem so arbitrary as to be just plain stupid (seriously, 5280? feet in a mile?!?!?!??, why not 5296.2 feet if we are just going to make stuff up??).

Luckily, it seems that screws and washer sizes, while still insanely arbitrary, have a system to them. This system doesn’t apply uniformly (of course not!), but instead there is different “sets” of sizes. All of that is a really long way of saying that my frustration with SAE measurements and sizes should be totally and completely thorough by the time I’m done with this rebuild.

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