How To Install Hood Pins

How To Install Hood Pins

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Hood pins are a necessary evil for people who are rocking lower grade carbon fiber hoods, or perhaps have broken their stock hood latch. As one can imagine having a loose hood is a seriously dangerous proposition, one that can lead to an accident or even death.

We’ll be showing you how to install hood pins on a stock Nissan 240SX S13 hood, but this procedure can be done on any vehicle using the same methods. Also we’ll be installing a set of Aerocatch knockoff flush mount hood pins, but the procedure for install again does not vary much.

Flush Mount Hood Pins like this are very popular
Flush Mount Hood Pins like this are very popular

Safe to say no matter what hood pin kit you’ll be using, this writeup on how to install hood pins can walk you through what you need to do.

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Different hood pin kits do not change much of our guide.

When you purchase a set of hood pins for your car, this How To Install Hood Pins guide might help you installing them.

Depending on the kit in question, you will have a ton of hardware that will be included as well as a set of instructions. Let’s take a look at our instructions or template for the flush hood pin kit we’ve chosen.

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If you don’t have a template handy, try taking your hoodpin base plates and try laying them out in a manner that satisfies you aesthetically.

This part is truly the biggest part of your hood pin install, because the install is straightforward but 90% of this install is cosmetic.

The list of recommended tools :

  • Power Drill
  • Unibit – With the larger step ups the deeper you drill
  • Blue Painter’s tape – if you are working on a carbon fiber hood or fiberglass

Before you begin please make sure this is something you want to do. It’s not a difficult job but it’s an easy one to mess up, and therefore ruin your hood. The first step in How To Install Hood pins is to locate a mounting point on your radiator support or frame that is stable and solid enough to hold down your hood.

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You will want to be looking for strength and clearance as your hood pin bolts are no doubt extra long. Once you have this spot laid out, try test closing your hood and try to imagine where the hood bolt posts would exit from.

Once you have this position laid out, drill into the radiator support and use the washers supplied in your hood pin kit to secure the hood pin post. Do not tighten this down all the way in case you must wiggle or adjust accordingly.

Next up on our how to install hood pins writeup, you will take a dot of white lithium grease or a felt pen marker and attempt to “stamp” the top of the hood by marking the top of your post. Doing this will give you a good “starting point” for you to begin drilling.

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If you own a carbon fiber hood and especially one that you happen to like, you will need to use blue painter’s tape before you drill. Using this painter’s tape will help the fibers of your carbon fiber hood stay together and not fray apart. Trust us, you don’t want that frayed look on your $600 carbon fiber hood.

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Once you have the guide hole drilled all the way through your hood, you can move onto the cutting out your template. Using the templates above, or a template for the hood pin kit you chose, use a felt tip marker to carve out how you would like the hood pins to sit.

Bore and file the opening here so that it’s smooth and doesn’t interfere with the locking mechanism of your hood pin kit, the lanyards or latching system.

Now with your hood properly opened up, align your loosely mounted hood pin posts and close the hood until they line up perfectly.

Clean up on aisle 4 please
Clean up on aisle 4 please

Once your flush mount hood pins have been lined up and click into the hood pin posts, you can now use the felt tip marker to mark the holes that hold the top part of the hood pins in place.

As with all the steps on our How To Install Hood pins guide, take your time and do not rush any part of the writeup. Without trying to sound like a broken record, this is mostly a cosmetic modification because there’s no real wrong way to install hood pins.

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When drilling for the hood pin surface mount in question, make sure to use a smaller drill bit so that the screws supplied do their job. Drilling through with too big of a drill bit is going to ruin your work so far, not to mention your hood.

With the guide holes now marked and drilled through with a smaller bit, you can now screw down the top plate and tighten. Now with one side of the hood completed, you can test fit this unit until you have the hood pin posts properly aligned.

Remember that your hood pin posts are not tightened down all the way, so once you have completed a successful trial run with one side of your hood, you can tighten the hood pin post as well.

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Once you have the top portion tightened and lined up, recheck your bottom post and make sure that everything still lines up. You may need to adjust the hood pin posts several times to achieve this perfect fit.

If you are done with one half of our How To Install Hood Pins writeup, you can now proceed to the other side and repeat the steps above.

NOTE – Some hoods may feature scoops and angles that may prove this flush mount kit install difficult. If you are having these kinds of problems, ask a professional for assistance. 

This kind of flush mount hood pin kit requires that the pin be seated fully against the locking pin. If there is too much angle on the surface of the hood itself, it could create a potentially disastrous situation.

You have now completed our How to Install Hood pins writeup, congratulations! Make sure to double check clearances when you close your hood and the rest is a piece of cake!

Happy drifting!

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