A Buying Guide:
Purchasing a custom hood for your truck is probably one of the easiest decisions you can make. Exactly which hood to buy is another story.
Do you want the classic looks of a cowl induction hood or something a little more race-inspired, like a ram air hood? What about functionality? Do you want it to attach to your current intake system? Are you a steel guy, or are you ready to break into the world of high-quality fiberglass?
At Stylin' Concepts, we understand that different people like different things. There are a lot of trucks on the road and just as many hood options available. Though there are many to choose from, most hoods fall into three main categories: Cowl Induction, Ram Air, and Heat Extractor.
Cowl Induction Hoods
The cowl induction hood has the classic look from the days of huge intake manifolds, carbs, and air cleaners. Though we don’t have the clearance issues that these bad boys were originally designed for, we do still love the look. The right cowl induction hood on your ride will smooth the transition from the hood to the top of your truck and make the whole thing scream “Fast!”
The performance aspect of these hoods is great too. As you drive down the road, the hood creates an area of low pressure at the back of the cowl. As the air sweeps across your hood it is sucked down into the cowl and into your engine compartment. This cool rush of air not only feeds your engine through your intake system, but keeps your engine cooler as well. Remember, colder air means more power.
Ram Air Hoods
Ram air hoods give your truck a mean look that says “Get out of my way!” The tough styling of these hoods has been used for years in the muscle car market and is now a staple in the truck market.
The performance gains to be had from a ram air hood are pretty obvious. Cool, fresh air blasts through the scoops and into your engine compartment. Just like the cowl hood, this cool blast of air feeds your engine and keeps it cooler.
Heat Extractor Hoods
Heat extractor hoods give your truck a very aggressive look. The top-side vents are reminiscent of those found on many Trans-ams and Firebirds. Fact is, this is a tough looking hood that has a lot of functionality.
Heat extractor hoods do just what the name implies. They help to extract the heat from your engine compartment. As cold air rushes through your radiator and into your engine compartment, the hot air that was once trapped inside can escape through the vents in the hood. It keeps your engine cooler, which means more power and better gas mileage.
Not only are there differences in hood style, there are differences in hood construction. It is commonly thought that only hoods made of high quality, American steel are any good. Yes, those are good, but there are companies making very high quality fiberglass hoods as well.
Steel hoods are a great investment for your truck. They are sturdy, they look good, and most meet or exceed OEM specifications and quality standards. Companies like Reflexxion and Goodmark make perfect-fitting hoods that are fully framed underneath.
Long gone are the days where you get a flimsy fiberglass hood that has to be tweaked six-ways-to-Sunday just to get it to fit right. Take Keystone Restyling for example; they’ve got some of the best fiberglass hoods on the market today. They feature steel inner framing that’s covered with fiberglass composite. The top and bottom are fully finished in a brilliant white gel coat and the hood bolts on to existing hardware.
Shop for hoods:
|Hood Buying TipsHere are a few pointers when buying a performance hood:
Manufacturer: Make sure that the hood is manufactured by a high-quality, reputable company. We stand by Reflexxion, Goodmark, Keystone, Suncoast, and APC hoods.
Shipping: Hoods are big, difficult to package and expensive to ship. Sometimes there can be accidental damage during shipping. When you receive your hood, make sure that you inspect it before you sign for it and before the delivery driver leaves. Always check to make sure that the corners aren’t bent and if it’s a cowl hood, check the top of the cowl for dents or other damage.
Fit: Before you paint your hood or modify it in any way, check to see that it fits properly. Companies will not accept a return on a hood that has been modified or painted.