Why buy from Unlimited?
A. One of the biggest
challenges all customers face when buying fiberglass parts is
avoiding the low-end aftermarket items that have flooded the
market. Most of these parts consist of low quality replacement
hoods for trucks and other vehicles that are built to
low-quality standards. They are laminated dry, or poor
secondary bonding techniques are used, resulting in
de-laminating of layers cloth and mat. Some parts are built
with sub-standard resins and hardeners, which do not ever
"fully" cure. These parts also are have blisters, bubbles and
Most of the time, it is impossible to identify a poorly-made
part from a well-built one. The sad thing is that many of
these issues do not show up until the part has been
painted, installed and put in use. Cost is not a factor. Just
because a part might cost more does not mean it is better.
They can still be built to low-quality standards.
At Unlimited, we use a specially formulated gel coat made by
"Cook Composites". One of the largest makers of resins and gel
coats. They are the parent company of "Composites One". The
fiberglass matting we use is 1-1/2 oz and 2 oz. depending upon
the part and multiple layers are used. At Unlimited we also
make all parts with the added layer of fiberglass "Cloth". Te
fiberglass to resin ratio is always above 50%. The ratio
in a "chopper" part is 30% (not good, too heavy and brittle).
At Unlimited we use high quality resins in all parts. We
maintain a QC lab on premises to check all resin batches for:
Curing time, strength, viscosity and HDT. What is HDT? It is
one of the most important qualities of resin. It stands for
This is the temperature at which the cured resin (in an
unlaminated form) will soften. We check our resin batches to
make sure it will exceed 180 degrees F. There are resins
available that go as low as 112 degrees F ...Bad!
do use some non-fiber reinforcing materials in some of our
products. These consist of steel plates for latching areas of
hoods and steels inserts or steel plates in hinge mount areas.
Steel is used since the bolts used to mount the hood to the
hinges are 1/4-20 or 5/16-18 standard bolts and must properly
thread into the steel threaded inserts we use.
In some of our "Full Race / Full Pin-on" hoods we use a
laminated tube reinforced with light weight structural
fiberglass and resin. We never use wood, plywood or MDF type
products in our parts. Some companies use wood in the hinge
areas for "Screwing" into for mounting the hinges...not our
fiberglass parts continue to cure many weeks after they are
made. At Unlimited we use a special catalyst system that
causes the resin to achieve a full cure before the parts comes
out of the mold. All parts are left in the mold at least
"overnight" to insure this full cure. We have been using this
proprietary catalyst system since 1994. When, with the help of
Cook Composites it developed especially for us. We continue to
use it to this day. This system is more costly, but insures
our customers of a great fiberglass part.
Parts that require an inner bracing or a "Liner" have liners
that are built in separate molds and "glassed" into the
underside of the main part. We do not use "glue" or adhesives
to achieve the "Bond". We use fiberglass matting and resin
(same as what is used in the parts) to "Bond" these
structures. This "Bond" is also enhanced and made perfect
through the use of special resins both on the part and liner.
These resins assure maximum "Secondary Bonding" because of
their formulation. Many low priced resins must have secondary
bonding done within hours of layup, thus opening up the
opportunity for human error and parts will de-laminate!
Parts purchased from Unlimited come with a full 90 day
When installing a fiberglass hood can you use the stock
Partially. You can employ the factory hinge assembly, but
you must change the springs to some with less tension.
If you keep the stock springs you’ll likely damage
the hood over time. Unlimited offers a full selection of
low-tension replacement springs, as well as optional prop
What is required to install a scoop?
Many of Unlimited’s hood scoops are equipped with
either internal or external flanges. This facilitates installation
with pop-rivets or bolts. It’s recommended to also
use fiberglass and epoxy resin for reinforcement and a
finishing touch. Non-flanged scoops are installed using
fiberglass cloth and resin. Complete installation details
are available on this website.
Can I use fiberglass doors on the street?
You can, but the reality is that you probably wouldn’t
want to. The doors are designed for racing applications
and for use with bolt-in Lexan windows. There are no provisions
to mount roll-up window tracks, cranking mechanisms, etc.
Why are Unlimited scoops and body parts plain gray?
Since 99.9% of the hoods, scoops and body panels we sell
will be painted to match the vehicle, we do not burden our
customers with the added expense of a white or black gel-coat
finish. This makes it easy to take care of any imperfections,
and our components are easy to prep and paint.
What are the advantages of fiberglass components over stamped
For openers, fiberglass won’t dent or ding under
mild contacts like steel panels, and it won’t rust.
Ever. Of course, fiberglass body parts are substantially
lighter than their steel counterparts and can shave hundreds
of pounds of performance-robbing weight.
How about the weight difference in hoods?
A fiberglass hood is typically about 1/3 the weight of
a steel hood.
Why would I want fiberglass bumpers?
Here’s where some serious weight gains can be made.
And the fiberglass is easily painted to match the vehicle
for a monochromatic look. Many are used for racing.
Do hoods, fenders, etc. have to be fitted to the vehicle?
In most cases, yes. You will find there are surprisingly
generous OEM tolerances, and this combines with vehicles
that have been subjected to road abuse and flexing for
30, 40 or 50 years. Some applications may require trimming
Can I get a good with a different scoop?
Yes. We can custom-build a hood with most any scoop. In
many instances this makes for a strikingly different look
(like Hemi scoop on a Camaro).
What about clearances for hi-rise manifolds, blowers, etc.?
To accommodate highly modified engines, Unlimited offers
cowl induction-style hoods for most applications with heights
up to nine inches.
Can I install a fiberglass scoop on a steel hood?
Sure. The same basic procedures apply for all hood installations.
Why is hand-laid fiberglass better?
The “chopper guns” used to make some fiberglass
components spray a mixture of short fiberglass strands
and resin into the mold. Controlling thickness is difficult.
And because the strands are short, they do not have the
structural integrity of woven fiberglass cloth. The resin-to-glass
ratio is much higher in a “chopped” part, which
greatly reduces its strength.
With our hand laid process, thickness is accurately controlled
through the number of layers employed, and the resin is
hand-worked through the cloth to assure optimum consistency
and maximum strength.
What happens when a part is damaged in transit?
Great care is taken packaging all Unlimited components, but
we have no control over what happens after the freight company
takes over. It is absolutely IMPERATIVE to note any damage
to the box—regardless of how insignificant it may appear—and
it’s highly advisable to examine the contents before
signing off. Any issues with damaged shipments MUST be taken
care of with the freight company. However, we are here to help
with ANY freight problems.
What are the differences in hoods?
Unlimited makes three different style hoods. One is designed
to utilize the factory hinges (with a low-tension spring)
and latch assembly. It will operate just like stock. Another
uses the OEM hinges (remove springs and use our low
tension springs), but has no provisions for a hood latch.
You must use hood pins to secure the front. Both of these
are medium-weight hoods. There is also a lightweight lift-off
style race hood that is for use with hood pins all around.
Here are photos and
description of the 3 different mounting
style of hoods that we produce.