(approx) 1 Hour
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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Hey, guys. Adam here with americanmuscle.com, and today we're taking a closer look at and installing the MP Concepts Aluminum GT500 Style Hood in the Unpainted finish, available for the 2018 and newer Mustang GT and V6. You should be checking this out for your own new S550 if you're looking for a GT500 inspired front-end look. This is gonna be way more aggressive than the factory GT hood as you can see on our '19 GT here. Now, as I said in the beginning, this is going to ship unpainted, we did paint-match ours to our Velocity Blue '19 just to show you guys what it would look like as a finished product. But keep in mind, you do have to take it to a local paint shop of your choice to either get paint-matched to your OEM color or custom painted to a color of your choice. Now, the louver insert there for the heat extractor does come painted in a gloss black finish. We chose to leave it like that. But it's up to you guys if you wanna paint match that as well. Finally, there are some hood pin inserts here that you can use if you're not picking up aftermarket hood pins, those are also gloss black.Now, the hood itself is made from a pretty lightweight aluminum. Now, compare that to some of the other options in the hood category that are typically fiberglass, or carbon fiber for the lightweight options, this is actually something a little bit different. The aluminum finish is gonna be a lot lighter than the factory hood. At least it isn't noticeably lighter from what we had from our install here. Keep in mind, guys, that the aluminum does come with a gel coat on the top and bottom to make it easier for paint. Now, the styling here for the GT500 is one that obviously everybody can recognize. It's a really iconic look, especially on the newer S550s. This GT500 option has that heat extractor vent in the middle, that does come with a rain tray for the underside and the louvers you can see here on top. Now, that's gonna help push all the hot engine bay heat out to the back as you're pulling in cool air from the front. So, it's a little bit more functional than the factory hood as well. As you know, keeping the engine temps down under the hood can translate to a better horsepower and torque gain and more efficient engine.With that said, hood pins are of course are going to be optional, you can pick those up separately, but if you don't wanna use them, the inserts are what we're using here. Now, the hood itself does come with all the pre-drilled holes on the underside. So, you are gonna be able to reuse your factory prop rod, you're gonna be able to transfer over the factory weatherstripping by the cowl at the top. You're also gonna transfer over the heat shield, which is pre-drilled, and finally your washer nozzles. Not the case for a lot of the aftermarket hood options. A lot of times you have to custom-drill all those options out if you want to or pick up relocation kits if you're not looking to do the custom drilling. The nice thing about MP Concepts and a lot of the MP Concepts options is that the mold for the actual hood does include all those pre-drilled spots open. So you can just pop everything back in, it easily transfers over, no custom drilling, no welding, none of that nonsense.With that said, the price tag is gonna come in right around 1,000 bucks. So, it is a little bit more premium in terms of price compared to some of the other options. But if you're not looking to get custom with it and you're just looking for something that is really all-inclusive in terms of that stuff, this is a great way to go and the price tag is gonna be worthwhile. Install, two out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter, just because it is a little bit more difficult working with body panels. It's definitely gonna be a two-man job, you don't wanna try to tackle this yourself because you probably will end up damaging the hood or your fenders or front bumper here. So, you wanna have a helping hand on deck to tackle one side while you do the other. Now, another reason I give it two out of three is just because getting the body gaps on each side to be even, top, bottom, side to side for the fender, and preventing any damage is gonna take some trial and error. It's gonna take a process that requires some patience, it can be a little tedious so I brought the difficulty up there.Now, if you're not competent tackling a body panel like a hood here yourself, no shame in handing it over to a professional to get done properly. With that said, the install will take you about an hour, maybe two from start to finish depending on your experience. What do you say we get started? Tools used in the install include an impact gun, quarter-inch ratchet, 10-millimeter deep socket for both the impact and the ratchet, Phillips head screwdriver, panel removal tool.First step here, pop your hood, we're gonna have to take off this under-hood heat shield. There's a bunch of these Christmas tree plastic clips all along the inside here on the heat shield, grab a panel removal tool, we're gonna start popping these guys off. All right, with the last one, the heat shield will fall and you can just set that guy aside. Next up, we're going to disconnect and remove our washer fluid accessories. Now, the first thing we wanna do is grab that panel tool and pry off the clip holding this wire or the hose itself to the hood. Once that's off, you may have one on the other side, ours is already disconnected. From there, you're just gonna pull and disconnect it from the tube leading down to the nozzle. It's either gonna disconnect here or, like mine did, down at the nozzle itself, either way is fine. We're just gonna set that down.Now, for the nozzle, you're basically gonna go right underneath of it, put your hand here and pull straight back and it disconnects. All right, I'm gonna set this down just at the nose there and repeat that on the other side. All right, disconnect this down here, and then pull the T-fitting off. All right, again, it came off at the nozzle, that's no problem at all. And then grab the nozzle itself, just like that. Next up, we're gonna remove our weather stripping here, the new hood is pre-drilled for that so we can pop that off easily. We're gonna use a panel removal tool, what you're basically gonna do is just gently pull on the weatherstripping to see where the clips are. There's a little clip right there. So, we'll pry out and it's just like that, it's a little blue guy.So, this guy here, same thing. You just wanna be careful because sometimes they can tend to get stuck in the hood and pull straight out of the weatherstripping. It's not the end of the world if that happened, it just makes it a little bit trickier. Now, if it does come off like that, and the clip is still in the hood, grab your needlenose pliers, get a grip on one side, I'm just gonna pry that guy off. And then from there, if you want, you can just put it right back in the hole in the weatherstripping. All right, I think you guys get the point, repeat that for the rest of them.All right, next up, we can focus on taking our hood striker pin off. We have to transfer this one over to our new hood, grab your 10 socket and get these 2 nuts off. Bring that down and set them aside. Next up, we can focus on our hood hinges, grab a 10-millimeter deep socket, we're going to loosen up all four nuts two on each side. Don't completely remove them, just get them hand-tight so you can easily pop them off with a friend. Same thing on the other side. All right, now grab a helping hand and get this hood off. All right, with one person on each side, we're gonna pop this guy up, take our hood prop off, we'll loosen up those nuts and remove them, and then set our hood aside.All right, so we got our factory hood off of our '19 GT in Velocity Blue, and it's on the ground here next to our MP Concepts GT350 style hood. We wanna go through some similarities and differences between the two hoods here, and I gotta say there are a lot of similarities in terms of shape and body lines. But when it comes to its actual functionality and overall look for the front end of the vehicle, it is gonna change up quite a bit. Now, the factory hood, of course, on our '19 GT has those two heat extractors built-in from the factory, that's a standard hood option on the GT. Now, that's gonna switch over to this much larger GT350 style heat extractor with the big gloss black louvers it comes with out of the box. Now, that's gonna help push a lot of that hot engine bay heat out of under the hood while simultaneously pulling in the cool air from the front. So, as cool air comes in, hot air goes out through the much, much larger heat extractor compared to the two smaller ones on the factory '19 GT hood.Aside from that, you're gonna follow the same similar body lines you see here. The center section is just a little bit taller than the factory hood there just to accommodate for that heat extractor, adds a little bit more of an aggressive profile to that. And then aside from the heat extractor itself, you can see the two open holes and divots on each side towards the nose of the hood. Those are there to accommodate hood pins. Now, of course, with aftermarket hoods, especially lighter-weight ones, it's always recommended to pick up aftermarket hood pins. It doesn't come with hood pins, but it does come pre-drilled for them and it does come with fillers there for the guys who don't already have hood pins. So, if you don't have them, you can plug those holes and pick them up aftermarket later on because they're sold separately, but it does come with plugs for them for now, which is what we'll be installing. So, that's what you see there at the nose end. Now, the louvers we just have laid on right now. They do have to be installed properly. So we're gonna pop that off and I'll show you guys what that looks like once we get this back onto the vehicle.Finally, when it comes to construction, this guy is made of a lightweight aluminum. Compare that to some of the other options in the category, typically an aftermarket home to be fiberglass. And if you're looking at a lightweight material, it's usually carbon fiber and pretty expensive. Not the case here when it comes with the aluminum, so it's slightly different than some of the other options out there. Finally, of course, as I mentioned earlier it does come unpainted out of the box, we paint-matched ours to our Velocity Blue '19 GT, yours will not come pre-painted, you'll have to take it to a local paint shop of your choice to get that done. But the aluminum does have a top and bottom gel coat on it to help prep it for paint for the top and bottom side. With that said, we're gonna start installing our hood.All right, with the helping hand of a friend, grab your new hood, set it onto the factory hinges, and use the factory nuts to tighten them down. Once you have those hand-tight, bring up your hood prop and prop the hood up. You're gonna get these nuts nice and snug but not too tight. You wanna leave a little bit of room for adjustment. Check the clearance on your hood when it comes to the fenders. So, we'll drop our hood, make sure it lines up and then tighten them down. All right from here, what you'll basically do is put your hood prop down, slowly put your hood down, but before it can reach all the way to completely closed, you wanna keep an eye on both sides where it matches up with the fender. You don't wanna have it overlap the fender because if you close your hood too hard, it will crunch the fender and cause a tremendous amount of body damage that can be pretty costly.So, you wanna take your time, use caution, check both sides, make sure that you have the appropriate gap on both sides. If not, lift the hood back up, loosen up those nuts, make the adjustments as you need to on the hood hinges, tighten them down and repeat. It can be a trial and error process sometimes, you might get it right on the first time, might take you 10 tries. Sometimes it just is like that when it comes to body panels, trial and error.All right. So, once you have that taken care of, we're gonna start transferring over some of the factory components like our weatherstripping, we'll focus on our hood latch there, the striker pin, and of course, the louvers in the middle. All right, first thing we'll transfer over is our weatherstripping. We're gonna start down here with these open circle holes. And you're basically just gonna snap these guys in and run it along the entire bottom half here. Next, we can do our striker pin for the hood latch, mount that guy on the studs, take the factory nuts, thread them on and then tighten them down.Next, we can focus on our washer nozzles. Now, depending on how you took it off, if this hose is attached to the nozzle, put the nozzle in first. If it came off like mine, you have to feed this guy down and have it come out the washer nozzle hole just like that and then plug it in, and then snap your nozzle into place. Just like that. Now, from here, you can snap these retainer pins into the hood just like that, one over here. And then connect the other side as well. All right, this doesn't look like it has anywhere to really go over here. So, we'll connect this bottom one.All right, next, we have our louvers for the heat extractor sitting on top of our engine cover on top of a foam padding to protect that paint. You wanna grab the threaded U-nut clips and slide them on to the tabs on the underside of the louvers. I'm gonna do it with the thread side on the bottom so that you can screw straight into them. So now you can take your louvers and set it on top of the hood with the hood open. And it sits itself in there right in that little indent, and now you can bolt it up from the bottom. All right, so now you can grab the Phillips head screws included in the kit along with the washers, and you're basically gonna screw them down right under the hood. All right, once you get one started, it will help line everything else up and then you can get everything else tightened down by hand. Now you can grab your Phillips head screwdriver and tighten those guys down.Next up, you're gonna grab that rain tray, set that up underneath and you're gonna push in those plastic clips into the holes underneath that hood. You may need to get it started in the rain tray first by pushing it into there and then line it up, push it through, while holding it in, grab the screws included in the kit and clip them in. Repeat that for all of them. Once you have two in and it holds itself in, you can repeat that for the rest. Last thing to do under the hood is to apply our factory heat shield because the holes are drilled out for us on the new hood. You're basically gonna lift up one side, which can be pretty difficult, and apply that plastic pushpin clip. That's gonna start holding this on. So, we're just working our way down this side just to get everything lined up and held in. Now you can just continue this for the rest of the holes.Next up, we can focus on our hood pin fillers. I'm gonna use an alcohol wipe not included in the kit, but it's just a good idea to clean off the area the 3M applies to. Have a look at the back of the plastic hood pin, clean off the back of that as well. While that dries, I'm gonna peel off 3M white backing and apply that to the back of the hood pin filler. You just wanna make sure that that guy is all inside the edges so you don't have extra sticking out. If you want to you can use adhesion promoter here as well. And then from there, just peel off the backing with a knife and stick it into place. All right, put firm pressure on that, repeat on the other side. All right, from there, you're good to go.That's gonna wrap up my review and install here for the MP Concepts Aluminum GT500 Style Hood in the Unpainted finish, available for the 2018 and newer GT and V6 Mustang. You can get yours right here at americamuscle.com.
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Fitment: 2018 2019 2020 2021 Details
MP Concepts 409621
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(approx) 1 Hour
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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