Tips on Buying Hood Pins
Originally designed for use in professional racing vehicles, hood pins are meant to replace the standard hood latch and allow for faster opening of the hood before and after a race. But now these accessories have also become a must-have for muscle car and tuning enthusiasts, as it gives their rides that authentic race car look. So whether you are looking for form or function (or a bit of both), here are some tips on buying hood pins for your car:
Things to consider
There are different types of hood pins available in the market, with each one differing in design and functionality. So when shopping for hood pins, here are some things you need to consider:
- Design: Aside from the standard hood pin design, there are also the
Hotchkis style machine aluminum hood pins with its distinct gear-like appearance, the Quick Latch hood pin that sits flush to the surface of the hood for a more discreet look, and other different hood pin designs that you can choose from. In addition, hood pins also come in a variety of finishes, including a machine finish, a polish finish, black surface or black chrome finish. Some pins are also designed to be painted over in order to match the hood color.
- Locking: There are also hood pins that come with a locking device, a good choice for car enthusiasts looking to protect their engine and other expensive parts under the hood from theft and tampering.
- Stick-on plate: Stick-on hood pin kits come with a stick-on trim plate that can be attached to the car using adhesive instead of screws or rivets. This type of plate is suitable for those who want to have a cleaner hood pin appearance.
Checking the kit
Hood pins are sold in a hood pin kit containing all the necessary components to install the hood pin onto your car. The components vary from one kit to another, but the essential parts include a pair of hood pins, cotter pins (for standard hood pin models), trim plates and four nuts to hold the trim plate in place. Make sure that the hood pin kit you purchase contains all of these components.
How to Install Hood Pins on your Car
Whether you want to have a faster way to pop your car's hood open or you just want to give your ride that authentic
racy look, hood pins would be a great addition to your vehicle. In this guide, we are going to teach you how to install hood pins on your vehicle.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- Hood pin kit
- Drill and drill bits
- Ratchet and socket set
- Rivet gun
- Floodlight (optional)
Step 1: Find and mark suitable mounting holes for the pins. You need to take two considerations here. First, the holes must be on a flat surface on the hood that also comes in contact with a flat spot on the frame when the hood is closed. Second, the holes should be at least 2 inches away from the edge of the hood so as not to compromise the pins' functionally. Take your time planning this out before you drill; a misaligned hood pin is something you should avoid at all costs.
Step 2: Once you have located suitable spots for the pins, take your drill and a quarter inch bit and drill pilot holes all the way through the hood. Follow the pilot hole through with the step drill bit until you have bored a hole large enough to accommodate the hood pin.
Step 3: With all the holes are drilled and prepped, take out the nuts from the hood pin kit. Place one on each of the pins and run the nut all the way to the top of the threads. This will give the pins a stopping point and prevent them from falling through the holes.
Step 4: Feed the pins into the holes. Take the second nut and place it on the pin beneath it and tighten the nuts together. The smooth part of the pin should be sticking out and go through the hood.
Step 5: Check the height and alignment of the pins. Adjust the nuts so that the pin sticks out of the hood just enough for the cotter pin can slide in smoothly into the hole on the side of the pin with the hood closed. Once you get the right height use a deep wheel socket and wrench to tighten the nuts.
Step 6: Place the trim plates over the pins on the top of the hood and mark the four holes surrounding the pin with a permanent marker. Next, take the plates off and drill on the marks using the appropriate drill bit size.
Step 7: Rivet in the plates using a rivet gun. Make sure that the hood is closed and that the pins clear the trim plates.
Step 8: Unbolt the factory hood latch and disconnect the linkages. You should now be able to close the hood and secure it with the pins.