Big Dent? Scratched Paint? Replace That Hood!

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Nothing detracts from your vehicle’s appearance quite like a scratched or dented hood. It can literally take its aesthetics from magnificent to “meh” within mere seconds. If the dents are too severe to repair, replacement is your only option. Thankfully, you don’t have to visit the local junkyards to find a high-quality hood. This short guide reviews several beneficial replacement options to restore your vehicle back to top condition.

Types of Vehicle Hoods

Hoods come in many shapes and designs. You have the standard versions, which are basically curved sheets of aluminum, steel, carbon fiber and straight carbon. They perform one basic function: protecting the components in your engine bay from dirt, water, leaves and fly-by bird attacks. However, you have many options besides traditional stock hoods. In fact, aftermarket hoods are a great option to help boost engine power. 

Cowl Hoods

Like other auto enthusiasts, you see most components and subsystems in your vehicle as untapped opportunities to improve performance. Your vehicle’s hood is no different. A cowl hood, for instance, includes at least one air scoop integrated into or sticking out of its construction. This design helps draw more air under the hood, forcing it into the air inductors to mix with fuel inside the engine.

Some cowl hoods are created by modifying a vehicle’s existing hood. Others, such as JEGS’ Chevy cowl hood, are manufactured to fit specific vehicle makes and model years. JEGS’ collection of cowl hoods includes fitments for 1967 through 2013 Chevy and GMC trucks. As the company expands its lineup, more options may become available. 

Air Hoods

Air hoods seek to accomplish the same goal as cowl hoods: boosting available airflow to your engine. However, they use a different design and construction. An air ram hood achieves this feat by using ram pressure generated by your vehicle’s motion to boost static pressure inside the intake manifold.

Air ram hoods usually include either a raised portion or a depression on its top surface. Thin, low-profile induction ports allow air to enter the engine bay. Cooler air is especially beneficial, as it supplies additional oxygen while helping the engine remain at optimal temperatures.

With so many air ram hoods available, you may find it hard to choose the best one for your vehicle. You can find models for several kinds of cars and trucks, but they’re especially popular for Pontiac, Chevy and Ford sports cars. They also come from several different brands, including 3rd gen Firebird RAM air hood models from OER.

How To Find a Replacement Hood

Shopping at a trustworthy aftermarket parts and accessories dealer gains you access to many hood replacement options. Look for a large inventory of hood parts designed to precisely fit each vehicle and deliver aesthetics, durability and dependability that meet or exceed OEM specs. Your preferred retailer is also an excellent source for other upgrades such as a performance transmission, electronic fuel injection mods, exhaust components and even completely assembled engines. With all these options and more, it’s easy to convert your vehicle into your dream machine. 

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