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New Hood Selection Guide For 1999-2004 Mustangs

Written By: Stanley Sadowski

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When selecting a new hood you have to consider both performance and styling aspects. Whether your goal is weight reduction or placing at the next car show, AmericanMuscle has the selection and expert advice to get you there.

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Picking a hood for a 1999-2004 Mustang can be difficult. Aside from styling, engine clearance, functionality, fitment, and visibility are important aspects.

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Hood Selection for 1999-2004 Mustangs

  • When picking a new hood, it is necessary to be sure it will clear your engine setup
  • Mach 1 hoods allow the shaker system to stick out of the hood and bring in cool air
  • With many different hood styles, some features to keep an eye on are scoops, heat extractors, and stylistic differences
  • To dress up your new hood you may want to add: stripes, decals, hood pins, and hood struts

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 your engine setup. This applies mostly to heavily modified Mustangs with swapped engines, but 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 stock engines.

1999-2004 Mustang with a Cowl Hood

Mach 1 Hoods For 1999-2004 Mustangs

In the picture below is a Mustang with a functional Mach 1 hood which allows the shaker system to stick out of the hood and bring in cool air. A shaker system is a type 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're looking for cooler intake temperatures, a Mach 1 hood is always a good choice. It is also important 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.

1999-2004 Mustang with a Shaker Hood

Visibility Issues 

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 many of those who install one are hiding a boosted/built motor.

Cervini's 4 Inch Cowl Hood on a 2010-2012 Mustang

Different Styles of Hoods

There are plenty of styles out there to choose from. There is the GT hood which featured a scoop as 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's offered, and it's 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.

1994-1998 Mustang with Scoops in the Hood

Aftermarket Hoods - the Pros and Cons

There are many benefits to having an aftermarket hood, performance wise. You can get a lighter hood that not only saves weight, but is also better in terms of aerodynamics. At the same time, some can also allow for better airflow into the engine, keeping the engine cooler and helping out the cooling system itself. However, there can be a few drawbacks. First, the cost of a hood compared to the weight savings is nothing to jump on. While saving some weight helps, it is not the most cost effective modification for saving weight. Second, don't forget it is a body part and does require body work. This includes painting, which can become quite costly. Third, while there are plenty of kits out there to save the day, some hoods eliminate the use of nozzles for windshield wiper fluid.

Mustang Decals and Accessories 

After you select the hood you desire there are also a couple of things you can 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 that go down the center of only the hood. They 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 as well as an appearance only kit which requires no drilling. Appearance kits install very easily. You could also go with the functional version which does requires drilling. The difference between the two is simple—appearance hood pins are for just that, and functional hood pins are actually a safety feature in case the stock hood latch fails. Since aftermarket hoods are made from lightweight material, there is a possibility the stock hood latch can fail and your hood will fly 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. The prop can get in the way while you're working in the engine bay. 

Ford Racing Hood Pin Kit Installed on a 1994-1998 Mustang
Fitment includes: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, GT, V6, Cobra, Mach1, Bullitt