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Done in a Day: Stop Jeep Hood Flutter

Like that proverbial better mousetrap, there are better hold-downs that can keep your Jeep’s hood from jumping

Stuart A. BourdonPhotographer, Writer

We’re introducing a new series of tech articles in Jp Magazine that will focus on quick and easy upgrades or modifications that either make your Jeep work better, make it easier to operate, or make it more fun to wheel. These upgrades or modifications can all be done in just one day. The idea is that on any given Saturday, you could get up, have breakfast, go out to the garage, and do something to your Jeep that improves it—and be done by dinnertime so you can go wheeling on Sunday. Some of our Done in a Day upgrades may even get you on the trail that Saturday afternoon.

This Done in a Day offers a cure for hood lift. Hood lift or flutter can be downright spooky, as the front of your Jeep’s engine hood jumps like it’s about to fly off every time you encounter the bow wave of an 18-wheeler or drive head-on into high winds. The hood lift phenomenon is especially common on YJs, TJs, and JKs, because air collects at the back of the engine compartment creating pressure that forces the hood upward.

This is not so with the new Wrangler JL because Jeep designers incorporated engine compartment vents just behind the front fenders and much better hood hold-downs. However, for the YJ, TJ, and JK owner, there is a simple fix that doesn’t include drilling holes in the body to make vents, cutting panels out to replace with screens, or wrapping a ratchet strap around the nose of your Jeep to keep the engine hood still.

The plastic hood hold-down can get stretched out, degraded, or broken with time and stress; and even brand new, it doesn’t seem capable of keeping the hood from lifting. Just like the proverbial better mousetrap, we thought there must be a better hood hold-down that can replace the plastic factory piece. We went looking for that something better and found Drake Off Road Hood Hold Downs.

Available for Jeep Wrangler YJs, TJs, and JKs, the hood hold-down from Drake is designed to work with stock fenders, and may not work with all aftermarket fenders. Featuring cast-aluminum brackets, a billet-aluminum turnbuckle, and stainless steel Heim joints, the Drake Hood Hold Down is secured by a steel quick-release push-pin on a stainless steel cable lanyard.

The Drake Off Road Hood Hold Downs required no drilling of the Jeep’s body, and with just a few handtools, they were simple to install. Once properly assembled and installed, the turnbuckles could be adjusted so that the closed hood was tightly held against the rubber isolators on the fenders. Check out the photos to see how the Drake Off Road Hood Hold Downs were installed, and stay tuned to Jp Magazine and jpmagazine.com for more Done in a Day upgrades.

Tools Needed

3mm hex
4mm hex
13mm wrench (or 1/2-inch if a neighbor borrowed your 13mm and never returned it)
Ratchet with 10mm and 13mm sockets