Instructables

How to install "Automotive Hood Pins" to a factory steel hood

Picture of How to install
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The other day my wife was going down the highway and the hood latch to my old Dodge Ram broke while she was driving my truck the hood flew back and smashed the windshield bending up the hood hinges and tearing to latch free. Luckily she was able to pull over to the side quickly, however it scared her so bad that she could hardly breathe.  Now I could simply go to a junk yard and replace the latch however knowing she will need to drive this truck she will always be scared this might happen again, I decided to install a couple of hood pins.

For those of you who are unaware of what these are? They are simply what they sound like, two pins that slightly protrude through the hood of your vehicle and are primarily used for racing parts for quick removal of a hood. However I have made good use of these in the past for securing a hood to prevent something like what my wife had experienced (not to mention they lend a little more toughness to look of that big old Dodge)

Total time to install about 37 minutes, barring the smoke breaks and running to the workshop to get the Dremel.

"How to install "Automotive Hood Pins" to a factory steel hood"
 
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I put a set of hood pins into my son's Plymouth Lazer after the hood latch let go (while driving!). It was too easy. First, I pulled out a pair of the rubber feet at the top of the radiator mount to locate two correct-sized holes. I then screwed the pins firmly into the holes. I gently closed the hood to make sure that where the pins would come through would work. Then I slammed the hood as hard as I could against the pins a few times to 'mark' the location for the holes. I drilled up from the newly-made dents in the bottom of the hood, jammed the hood down onto the pins to size the holes and then screwed on the discs. The whole operation took less than 15 minutes from start to finish.
LifeWarrior (author)  Shawn Stanford3 years ago
Wow, I have been working late into the night the last few nights, and when I woke up blurry eyed I check the mail on my phone, and this one made me sit bolt upright, when I got to the part about slamming the hood down on the pins, I've never seen anyone do that before. Hey I always say if it works do it! It's a good way to test the pins strength out of the box. I my case the rubber stoppers bolts where way to tiny for these 1/2 inch pins to screw into, so drilling them out was my only option. Luckily the rubber stoppers had an indention's stamped already on the corresponding hood making it line up easily, But I did have concerns on the write up how someone could line them up with out them, thanks for the input. The biggest problem I had with the time was going and getting the tools back and forth. Thanks again for sharing an interesting twist from your experience and for the reply.
tlynch13 years ago
i think id either put a small tether cable on the pins so you couldn't lose them but otherwise looks nice and is practical

that and if it was mine id use some slightly different pins
something like McMaster carr pn# 90170A650
http://www.mcmaster.com/param/images/Pins/90170awithoutchaincallout.gif

the previous owner of my car had the same thing happen but i think he forgot to latch it as all the latch stuff still works solid just slightly bent at this point
LifeWarrior (author)  tlynch13 years ago
I looked at the tethers they were selling for 8.00 I think I can make a couple for this but haven't got that far yet, and I can probably make them for a cheaper cost too.

Actually I was looking at these for the miata:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BLUE-ANODIZED-ALUMINUM-RACE-SECURITY-HOOD-LOCK-PINS-KIT-/230684106240?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item35b5d81e00

Phil B3 years ago
Thank you for a good practical Instructable.
LifeWarrior (author)  Phil B3 years ago
Thanks for the praise, Phil. I appreciate the comment for someone with your instructables experience. Your wood projects have been very educational, I've been a learning wood worker for years and of all the people that I know no one has ever had a proven method for finding centers on round logs or dowels for a wood lathe, your center finder helped my work ten-fold. Thanks Again for the reply
I am glad you can use the center finder and that it helped what you do. I made one, but have used it only a few times. My wood projects are supposed to be perfect when they are finished, but there is always some little inaccuracy or mistake. I talked to a very good woodworker who taught industrial arts many years in a high school. He said there are always little mistakes in every project. I have learned to photograph my projects so the mistakes do not show.
LifeWarrior (author)  Phil B3 years ago
Actually I use it all the time now, I working on a pool cue with a lions head which was my third try the other two were so warped I couldn't use them, then I found your circle center and now it's coming along
kelseymh3 years ago
Very nice, practical I'ble, as Phil said. The narrative part is great, and really makes it work. Not being a car guy, a big thing I missed was having a series of photos on that last step showing the progress of the installation.

Doing the job at 1 am, to have it finished before the glass crew arrives, probably precluded you spending a lot of time on documentation :-) If you do decide to put a set on your Miata, could you take some pictures as you go through the install and add them here?
LifeWarrior (author)  kelseymh3 years ago
Thanks for the comment Kelsey, Yeah now that I look back at the pics I did miss a couple of pics when it comes to putting the nut on the bottom, and maybe the adjusting process. As it is my wife has the truck right now and I will attempt to get out in the morning and update the pics with those. The kit didn't come with lock washers and I'm one of those kinds that worries about every little possible detail like one of the nuts working loose (I know the way these are designed makes it unlikely but still an added precaution that I would always suggest at the very least thread sealer). It's really straight forward though if your thinking about trying it. I considered making my own (and I might still for the Miata) but for as cheap as the kits are, this is one of car hacks or mods that it would cost more to make a set than buying it already made is.

Though like I said the installation after the drilling is really just put on the bottom nut and keep opening and closing the hood and adjusting the two nuts on the pin till the pin's hole is just above the top of the hood, then tighten. Then install the trim plates and slide the cotter pins through the holes to lock the hood down.

If you try it message me, I'll be glad to help however I can, thanks again for the reply.