How to Build a Hood Scoop

Written by scarlett gauthier
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How to Build a Hood Scoop
Many early model muscle cars had bonnet scoops to help improve performance and to add a visual element. (vintage American muscle car close-up image by Steve Mann from

Hood scoops were originally designed to improve how a vehicle's engine functions. They increased the air flow into the car and around the carburettor, which provides additional coolness for better engine performance. Although they are still used to improve engine performance, they are also often added to define the appearance of a car by making it resemble a muscle car. You can build your own hood scoop to add a customised look to the existing hood cover of your vehicle.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • X-Acto knife
  • Duct tape
  • Cling film
  • Fibreglass fabric
  • Fibreglass spreader
  • Fibreglass resin
  • Small clamps
  • Fine-grit Sandpaper
  • Rag
  • Paint
  • Primer
  • Paintbrushes or roller
  • Drill
  • Bolts, nuts and washers
  • Industrial strength glue
  • Measuring tape
  • Metal grille
  • Metal saw

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  1. 1

    Determine the style of hood scoop you want to build. Place the cardboard on your vehicle's bonnet. Use a pencil to trace the size and shape of the hood scoop desired. Draw only the top of the hood scoop.

  2. 2

    Add the sides and back of the hood scoop by drawing them onto the cardboard. Consider that these pieces will be bent to elevate the hood scoop. Angle the sides slightly so the hood scoop will be higher at the front than at the back. Your cardboard should form a flat pattern for the hood scoop.

  3. 3

    Use an X-acto knife to cut the pattern of the hood scoop from the cardboard box.

  4. 4

    Fold the side and back pieces inward. Use pieces of duct tape along the seams to secure the position of the back and side pieces. The cardboard should form a three-dimensional hood scoop.

  5. 5

    Place the cardboard version of your bonnet scoop on the top of your hood in position. Make any final adjustments to the hood scoop if necessary so the hood sits flush against the hood.

  1. 1

    Wrap the entire cardboard version of your bonnet scoop in cling film. Use the duct tape to secure the cling film to the inside of the model.

  2. 2

    Lay the fibreglass fabric on top of the hood scoop to cover the entire scoop. Leave a doubled strip of fabric along the bottom edge of the hood scoop that will lay flat on the hood inside the hood scoop. Clamp the fabric to the hood scoop while leaving the overhang inside the hood scoop.

  3. 3

    Mix the enough fibreglass resin to cover the hood scoop and fibreglass fabric. Apply the fibreglass resin to the fabric and smooth it into place. Work out all air bubbles from the fabric. Allow enough time for the resin to dry thoroughly.

  4. 4

    Remove the clamps from the fabric and pull the hood scoop carefully off the cardboard model.

  5. 5

    Sand down the fibreglass shape until the surface is smooth. Use a clean rag to remove any dust and debris from the fibreglass.

  6. 6

    Apply a coat of primer base that is specific to the paint you have chosen for the hood scoop. Allow the primer base to dry.

  7. 7

    Apply two coats of the desired top layer of paint. Allow the paint to set between coats and after the final coat until it is thoroughly dry to the touch.

  8. 8

    Mark holes in doubled-strip of cloth inside the hood scoop. These will be for the bolts that will secure the hood scoop to the vehicle. Drill holes matching the size of the bolts in the hood scoop.

  9. 9

    Place the hood scoop in the correct position on the vehicle's hood. Mark the location of the hood scoop holes on the hood of the vehicle. Drill holes in the hood matching the holes in the hood scoop.

  10. 10

    Secure the hood scoop to your vehicle using bolts. Use a bolt, washer and nut for each hole.

  11. 11

    Measure and cut a piece of metal grille to match the size of the front opening of the bonnet scoop. Use industrial strength glue to secure the metal grill in place on the front of the hood scoop.

Tips and warnings

  • Cut an opening into the bonnet under the hood scoop to make the hood scoop functional, rather than an enhancement to the looks of the car.
  • A hood scoop that obstructs the driver's vision can obtain a citation, depending on regulations in your area. Make sure the hood scoop is not in the way of the driver's vision.

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