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Poison Spyder Hood Louver a Cool Upgrade for Hot JKs

Posted in How To: Body Chassis on June 28, 2017
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Heat soak during the hot summer months can be a killer for any off-road vehicle, including Jeeps. It accelerates the deterioration of hoses and wiring, overloads the A/C, puts pressure on the cooling systems for the engine and transmission, plays havoc on batteries, robs the engine of power, and in some instances, it can even cause the failure of electronic systems.

Heat issues under the hood aren’t too much of a concern when there’s a good airflow from the outside. However, when you’re idling along at a snail’s pace while rock crawling or digging through a sandy stretch of trail, the only air moving through your Jeep’s radiator is that which is sucked in by the fan, and that tends to only come on after the water temp is already north of 212 degrees.

The heat issue becomes even worse when the engine stops. The red-hot headers and boiling coolant continue to radiate heat long after the key is turned off. Heat soak can lead to warped heads and premature valve wear, as well as restart issues and a rough running engine.

One remedy to reduce underhood heat is to provide it a way out when the engine is off or the JK is moving slowly. That can be done easily by venting the hood. Poison Spyder Customs’ Wrangler Hood Louver (Amazon.com ASIN B00KDO3B7M) does just that by utilizing 48 louvers for the rising hot air to escape.

Installation can be time consuming (3 to 4 hours) but simple, and required little more than a drill, cutoff wheel or air saw, a couple of basic wrenches, patience on our part, and most of all, the willingness to cut up your JK’s hood for the greater good.

Working with Dunks Performance in Springfield, Oregon, we performed hood surgery on a 2016 Wrangler Rubicon. The time spent adding the hood louver could add years to the life of the engine and transmission, and help gain back a little lost power on those hot summer trail rides.

Poison Spyder Customs’ Hood Louver kit (#17-53-011) comes with the steel panel, instruction sheet (also serves as the template for cutting drilling), and stainless hardware. We had ours powdercoated black to match the JK Wrangler.
Once we removed the hood, the template (it has the instructions printed on it) is taped on the Wrangler’s hood. We placed a flashlight underneath the hood to shine through the washer nozzle holes to easily align the holes traced on the template before taping it down.
All of the indicated drilled holes on the template need to be hit with a center punch just hard enough to dimple the hood beneath.
A 7/32-inch drill bit took care of the pilot holes needed for the ¾-inch hole saw that followed. Holes were needed to create smooth radius corners on the areas where the hood skin would be removed.
It took a steady hand to cut through the paper template and score the paint beneath. The line marks the areas where a cutoff wheel or saw were soon used to remove the hood’s thin sheet metal.
A ¾-inch hole saw was used to cut the corners for the sheet metal that’s removed, and for access points along the rear of the hood where some of the hood louver’s mounting bolts are behind a raised section of sheet metal.
We used a new blade in the saw to make the cuts clean. It’s critical to make shallow cuts so the braces underneath the hood skin are not cut.
Jp Pro Tip: Use automotive touch-up paint that matches the hood color to coat the edges of all the drilled holes and cut out areas to prevent the steel from rusting.
The hood louver was held in the proper position by the hood handle and the window bump rubbers. Once it was in place, we drilled out the holes for the mounting bolts.
The final step in our install just took an 1/8-inch hex head driver and 3/8-inch wrench to tighten all the hardware that holds the hood louver tight to the JK Wrangler’s hood. It’ll never vibrate loose.
Now the heat built up under the hood of our ’16 JK Wrangler Rubicon has plenty of escape routes, keeping heat soak to a minimum on those slow, hot summer days on the trail—or in heavy stop-and-go city traffic (should you ever find yourself stuck in that).

Amazon Affiliate links are our attempt to show you real-world pricing and availability for the products we review and install, and while the Amazon links are separate from editorial and advertising, the Four Wheeler Network may receive a commission on purchases made through our posts.

Poison Spyder 17-53-011-PC Hood Louver

Sources

Poison Spyder Customs
Banning, CA 92220
951-849-5911
www.poisonspyder.com
Dunks Performance
541-726-1006
http://dunksperformance.com/

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