Factors When Replacing Your Mustang's Hood
When picking a new hood, the first concern you should have is in making sure it will clear you engine setup. Although this applies mostly to heavily modified cars Mustangs with swapped engines, with all of the new styles coming out it is definitely something you want to keep in mind. Some styles of hoods have vents or other intake/heat extracting abilities to consider as well. Heat extracting hoods help keep engine temps down by allowing hot air and gasses to escape the engine bay when driving or idling—a huge benefit, especially for supercharged and heavily modified Mustangs that tend to run hotter than in stock form.
Mach 1 Hoods For 1999-2004 Mustangs
In the Picture to the left is a Mustang with a functional Mach 1 hood with allows the shaker system to stick out of the hood and bring in cool air. A shaker system is a form of ram air intake that draws cold air in directly and, for the most part, avoids the hot temps of the engine bay. If you are looking for cooler intake temperatures, a Mach 1 hood is always a good choice. It is also important that the hood you choose fits well on the car. Some companies, such as Cervini, have superior fitment and install on the car just as factory OE equipment would.
Most hoods available do not present any visibility issues except for cowl hoods that exceed 3 inches. It is important that you have a clear view of the road ahead so unless you are selecting a hood for your weekend warrior or a track car that requires the extra clearance, I would suggest selecting a hood that doesn’t obstruct your view. A cowl hood is also one of the most aggressive styles you can choose due to the fact many of those who install one are hiding a boosted/built motor.
Different Styles of Hoods
There are plenty of styles out there to choose from. There is the GT hood which featured a scoop which was also part of the pony package available for the V6 models from 1999-2004. Cobra and Saleen model hoods have two heat extractors and have a more aggressive appearance than your average hood. There are also some aftermarket styles to choose from such as the ram air hood below or a cowl hood, also referred to as a 1995 Cobra R style, as shown in the first picture. There is one more style that it offered and it is the hood that came on the 2000 Cobra R. This hood was exclusive to the Cobra R but because of high demand it was later offered as an aftermarket hood.
Mustang Decals and Accessories
After you select the hood you desire there are also a couple of things you add to dress it up a bit. You can add stripes down the whole car or if you have chosen a GT, V6, or Mach 1 hood there are decals available that go down the center of the hood only and come in black, matte black, silver, and white. To give your front end more of that classic muscle car look you can install a set of hood pins. They come in chrome or black and can be purchased as an appearance kit which requires no drilling and installs very easily or you can go with the functional version which does requires drilling. The difference between the two is simple—appearance hood pins are for just that, appearance, and functional hood pins are actually a safety feature in case the stock hood latch fails. With aftermarket hoods made from lightweight material such as fiberglass, there is the possibility the stock hood latch can fail and your hood come flying up while driving. A performance set of hood pins will prevent this and could save you a lot of money, not to mention the peace of mind in knowing your hood is always secure.
One more touch to add to your new hood would be a set of hood struts. They come in black or chrome and allow your hood to stay open on its own instead of using the factory prop rod which can get in the way when you are working in the engine bay.