05 November 2016

How To Get That Fuel Flap Look

DeLorean fuel flap
It has been said that "only the best DeLoreans have fuel flap hoods."  Okay, I said that...and my DeLorean is by far from being the best.  It is pretty well known that I am a fan of the fuel flap.  It was part of the original design, but eventually removed for a variety of reasons including cost and spite.

So, you have one of those regular hoods but you want that fuel flap look.  Sure, you can do it for real and cut into your hood.  This has been done, but as you can guess, it is a lot of work...and you get one shot at it.  If you want a cheap version, I can help.

You will need to get some graphic tape that is about 3/8 inch (about 10mm) wide.  These can be found in most art supply stores. Make sure the finish on it is matte, and not gloss.  You will also need a ruler or measuring tape.

Things you will need
Since I have a fuel flap, I will demonstrate on the other side of the hood.  I am also using a thinner tape, but you get the idea.

Hood measurements
I took these hood measurements a few years ago at the request of a forum member.  These will come in handy in laying out the fuel flap outline.  Or, if you want to make your own hood.

From the outside edge, measure 11.75 inches in and run your tape parallel down. Remember, I am doing this on the opposite side, and I am too lazy to mirror my images before posting.

First edge
Use your grain lines to help guide you, they should be parallel.  I did this quick and dirty, but it might be a good idea with mark with a pencil before laying the tape down.

First turn
It is important to pull the tape taut when laying it down.  The tricky parts are the corners.  Again, you want tension on the tape as you curve it around.  If you have an iPhone, use that as the radius of your corners.  Make sure your line is perpendicular, this line should be 7.125 from the top.

Second turn
The second turn is 5 inches from the first corner.  Just follow your grain lines and you are done.  The inside edge should be 6.675 in length.

Ha!  I have two fuel flaps.
An alternate way, if you have access to a vinyl cutter, is to make this shape and have it cut.  Again, use a matte finish vinyl.  The width of the line should be about 3/8 inch wide.  Use the measurements I have provided to make your vinyl decal, just leave extra to wrap the ends around the top edges.

Wow, looks great.  You now have a fuel flap hood, you have joined the elite of DeLorean owners.

I hope by now, you know I am joking...except for the part about fuel flaps being the on the best of DeLoreans.  Taping a flap line on your hood only looks good from far away and in low-res pictures.  Although, the stickers will add a few horsepower to your car.

Next time, I will show how to make your regular car doors look like they are gull-winged doors...you will need 1/4 inch tape and a ruler.

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