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Jim Piatt's Hood Lift
 

Checking the install directions yet one more time, we broke out the electric drill and a sharp 1/8" drill bit and proceeded to make some holes in the bottom side of my hood brace.  As cautioned in the directions, be careful when drilling the holes so you don't push through the under hood brace and drill into the hood itself.  Jim recommends you wrap some tape around the drill bit so as to prevent it from going too deep.  Good idea!
 

With the holes drilled for the rear upper brackets, we started bolting the brackets into place and said good bye to our pieces of duct tape.  Scott grabbed my Sony and snapped a picture of me (yes, I really do my own work). 


We finished the rear brackets and stepped back to look at our work.  Of course, I got anal again and had to pull the PVC pipe out of the way so we could lower the hood one more time and check for proper clearance.  It was still looking good so we went ahead with the drilling and then bolted the front brackets in place.  Here is a picture of the driver's side front bracket. 
 

As mentioned in the directions, the driver's side rod just rested on the top of the windshield washer bottle.  I grabbed a round file and made short work of the little bit of plastic webbing that lay in the way of the driver's side support. 

We were closing in on the final steps of the project.  The support rods and brackets were firmly in place and all that was left was to install was a couple of ball studs on the support rods and then to attach the gas springs.  Hey, we were almost done and we had only burned up a bit over an hour.  Given three guys with three opinions about where everything was suppose to go, that is pretty good progress!
 

The lower ball stud mounts were tightened and one end of the gas spring was attached to it.  Jim cautions that the ball studs should NOT be tightened too much (only 15 ft. lbs.) as they can break and leave you waiting for a replacement to arrive.  Jim supplies Nylock nuts for these so you don't have to worry about the nut backing off even though it is not on very tight. 


You can select the opening height of the Hood Lift based on which mounting holes you choose for the upper ball studs.  A mounting hole towards the front results in a lower height while one selected more towards the rear results in a higher hood opening.  Since I am not all that tall and my TJ is not all that short, I picked the 2nd hole from the front (I gotta be able to close the hood without Scott or Les' help!).  This setting also allows me to open the hood with the TJ parked under the garage door and not have anything hit.  In case you were wondering, you can pop one end of the gas springs off and lay the hood back onto the windshield frame.  That was one of things I verified with Jim before installing the Hood Lift.

Total time for the install was about an hour and a half.  Just right for a Saturday morning project before it gets too hot (hey, it is summer in Phoenix right now).  I am very pleased with the end results.  Yeah, my crawl ratio is still the same and the TJ doesn't sit any higher than it did yesterday.  But, I can open my hood with one and during this time of the year and I am all for just flipping the hood up and not leaving my burnt fingerprints on it any more!  I would recommend this mod to anyone.

Since this mod is better viewed than described, I thought a movie might give you a better idea of how well it works.

Pick from 56K dial up (325KB) resolution or bandwidth hogging DSL.(3MB) 


Enjoy and remember to TREADLightly!
 

 

 

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