How to Install a Car Hood

Written by russell wood
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Cars built in the past 10 years are designed to crumple in the case of a front-end collision. This helps save the lives of those in the car, but if you have a mild fender-bender, then you could also need a new hood without having much of an impact. This isn't a complicated part to install, but it does take some help from an assistant. In this case, the project vehicle is a 2008 Scion xB, but the process is similar for other vehicles as well.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
  • Replacement hood

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  1. 1

    Pop the bonnet and hold the hood vertically so that your hand is between the cowl and the corners of the hood, supporting its weight. It may help to place your shoulder on the underside of the hood to wedge yourself around the factory part, keeping it steady in the process. Have your assistant do the same thing on the other side.

  2. 2

    Unbolt the factory hood from the hood hinges using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. As you undo the last bolts, hold onto the corners so that the hood doesn't fall onto the cowl or worse, the windshield.

  3. 3

    Lift up the stock bonnet with the help of your assistant and place it to the side. Then pick up the replacement hood and stick it up vertically, carrying it in the same manner that you were holding the previous hood. Guide it into place and hand-thread the bolts into the hood hinges, tightening them as much as you can with your hands and without any tools.

  4. 4

    Lightly set the hood down and check for fitment. If you need to adjust it from side to side to clear the fenders, do it now. Then tighten down the bolts on the hood using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Again, slowly lower down the hood and make sure you have adequate clearance before you slam it shut.

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