“If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hood Scoop Installation Guide/Tips

As promised, I’m gonna write a blow-by-blow on how to install a hood scoop. I’ve seen lots of DIY guides on the Net and I’ve tried some of ‘em before, but they aren’t that helpful, especially for people who don’t have that much mechanical experience. Well, anyway, give me a couple of minutes and you’ll be well on your way to knowing exactly how to install a hood scoop.

First thing that you should ask yourself: Why in God’s name am I gonna install a hood scoop? Well, there are two reasons why hood scoops are used: 1) to accessorize the hood (non-functional); and 2) to increase cold air intake (functional). If your reason is not one of the two, then I would suggest not going through with it. But if you’ve already bought one, then there’s nothing we can do but attach that to your car.

Then there’s the problem of finding the one that suits your car the best. This can be very taxing, and would require patience on your part. You can do a couple of things here. You can go to the nearest car parts store and browse through their selection. You can ask your mechanic if he has one lying around (that’s what I did when I installed mine). You can have one custom-made. Or you can check out auto parts sites online. The good thing about getting parts from the Net is that you can just input what you need, like for example a Ford Mustang hood scoop, and they’ll choose the best after-market part for your car. One note of advice though, if you have a steel hood, it’s not advisable to attach a fiberglass scoop. The latter works better with a fiberglass hood.

Once your order arrives, you gotta make sure that you have everything that you’d need at hand. It also helps if you have the instructions included in the scoop kit that you just bought because scoops vary in installation. This guide here is only general, and details the ones I’ve done myself. Here is a list of all the things that you should have according to the order you’re gonna need ‘em:

  • Mat
  • Tape
  • Permanent Marker
  • Pencil and Paper
  • Tape Measure
  • Sabre Saw or Jig Saw
  • Drill
  • Sandpaper
  • Plastic Spreader/Squeegee
  • Resin (1 pint)
  • Filler (1 pint)
    1. Remove the hood and place it on top of the mat. If your hood has a heat shield, remove it as well. You can do so by unhooking the fasteners.
    2. Take out the scoop and place it on top of the hood. If it is a non-functional scoop,you can place it wherever you want, although preferably it should be centered. If it is a functional scoop, you should take note of the position of the air intake. Some hood scoops can be held by fasteners while being marked, some need to be taped, while others require you to do some measuring.
    3. Once it is held in place, you can proceed to drilling holes as prescribed in the instruction kit that usually comes with it. Some would require the use of a sabre saw because a portion of the scoop will be inserted into the hood. There are hood scoops which only require you to drill from underneath and hold them in place with fasteners and a couple of bolts. So, the procedure will differ slightly depending on its design and application.
    4. It also works if you place the scoop on top of a pad of paper and trace the contours with a pencil. You can place this at the bottom of the hood so you can mark the spot exactly.
    5. Some hood scoops are not made to fit your vehicle so you would need to do some trimming before it can be installed. This should be done by a professional; otherwise you might end up with mismatched parts.
    6. After you have drilled a hole (any kind, be it one where a bolt can fit, or one where a portion of the scoop fits), you should sand the edges so it’ll be smooth, and to prevent the paint from cracking.
    7. Attach the scoop and hold it in place with the fasteners and bolts that come with it. If there are extra bolts, there’s a good chance you missed drilling some parts.
    8. Lastly, if you’re working with fiberglass materials, be sure to spread the resin evenly, making sure you apply the appropriate amount, nothing more and nothing less. Let dry for half a day, and sand it again for a smooth finish. Paint it to match the color of the hood and you’re done.

    You can now admire your newly installed hood scoop. Some take minutes to install, while others can take the better part of a day. Follow the installation instructions, and be guided by the abovementioned and you’ll do fine.