What happens when you are traveling down the road at about 65 mph and
your hood starts to shake? You suddenly realize that your hood wasn't shut
completely and it is just a matter of moments until the safety catch fails!
You try to slow down safely to pull off the road and then - KERSMACK! The
hood hits the windshield and you can't see a thing. So you pull to the side
of the road and assess the damage. Looks like it's time to replace some
hood had some ripples in it, but what surprised me the most was the fact
that the windshield glass was still intact. It seems that the black hood
stand-offs (part of the windshield fold down kit) took the full force of
the blow while leaving the glass untouched. The frame was pushed in a
little where the stand-offs mount, but the glass still had a tight seal.
hood didn't fair so well as the stand-offs made some pretty nasty
divots. Then I noticed the bondo that cracked off the hood, revealing
some repair work that was done by a previous owner. Looked like I wasn't
the first to have this happen in this Zook...
thought of just beating the dents out from underneath, but the underside
of a Samurai hood has some reinforcement beams (as most hoods do), and
they were in the way. So much for an easy fix. I got a break when I
found out that Rod Ryerson from
Salvage had a clean hood in stock.
a Samurai there are just four bolts to worry about and very little
adjustment necessary. As you can see to the right the hood hinge is
welded to the hood, hence no adjustment. As long as you attach the hinge
to the body tub in the same spot it should line very quickly. You should
be able to see where the old hood lined up, so adjust and tighten the
the fit for proper height and make sure the hood is centered from left
to right by checking that the sides line up on the body. If the latch
doesn't line up while everything else does, you can try a couple of
things to adjust the fit.
latch mechanism looks like most others, coming up through the body in
front of the radiator. When you look down behind it from above you see
the two bolts that keep it in place. There isn't very much adjustment
there is only a small amount of adjustment needed (we only needed about
1/8th of an inch) you can tap the latch bar with a hammer. If you need
much more adjustment, then you have a bigger problem. Either the hood is
already 'tweaked' or the frame is. At that point, stop and reassess any
other possible damage to your vehicle before you continue on.
last step was to reinstall the tie down strap for the windshield fold
down kit. We just marked and drilled the holes from below and then
bolted the loop on using a little black RTV to seal it before tightening
it down. I wasn't worried about leaks, I just didn't want any bare metal
showing. Corrosion (or for those in the upper states - rust) sucks.
swap took only 15 minutes and made the 'stocker' look very respectable
again. The biggest bonus was the fact that the hood had the same factory
paint color as the stocker! If your rig is just for the trails you may
not be concerned with its looks. But if it is a daily driver, look
around before you break out the dent pullers and bondo... Places like
Salvage can make the job much easier for an affordable price.