How-tos
Photography By: 
Eric Ammerman

by Eric Ammerman
Quadratec Channel Staff Writer


For all you JK Wrangler owners out there with factory hood latches, there is a good chance they are starting to look faded these days, while the rubber is probably no longer tight. Which could mean hood flutter. Or worse.

But rather than replacing with the same old boring JK latches, why not fix those issues by upgrading to new, stylish, Mopar JL hood catches.

That’s right. If you’ve admired those neat and modern latches on your buddy's JL Wrangler, you should know this same product can also fit right on your JK hood. And all without too much effort.

Here is what you need to start, two JL Wrangler Hood Catches, and two Catch Brackets.


There are a couple ways to do this install, as the lower body side latch doesn't line up exactly right coming straight off the shelf. You can either drill into the hood and bolt on, or forgo the drilling and modify the latch. I chose the no drill installation, as I would rather not drill into the body of my Jeep. So, for this method, all you need to do is cut off a couple plastic tabs on the lower side of the latch.

The only tools you need for this install are:

  • A pair of side cutters.
  • A 10mm socket.
  • A 13mm socket.
  • An extension.
  • A universal swivel adapter for the socket.
  • A ratchet.
  • Either a file, or dremel tool with a sanding wheel.


To start, you need to remove the two locating tabs on the back of both hood hold downs that bolt to the body side. I found it easiest to snip them off with the side cutters, then grind them flat with the dremel and sanding wheel. If you have a file, that will work just as well.


Next, use the 10mm socket to remove your current factory hood hold downs by taking out the hood side’s two bolts, and the 13mm socket with extension and swivel for the body side. Be careful not to drop the nuts down inside the engine bay when removing, as you will be reusing them, as well as the gasket, on the new hood catches.

Once those bolts are out of the way, it is time to begin installing the new JL hood hold latches. One quick note, you may want to trim the gaskets a little so they don't stick out from behind the new catches.

First, starting with the hood side and hook facing up, insert the studs through the gasket, then the holes on your hood. Next, reinstall the 10mm nuts you took off your old hold downs.


Now, getting that nut on the lower side is somewhat difficult, but as long as you take your time then you shouldn't drop it down into the engine abyss. Once that is set, install the trimmed gasket on the stud, and the stud through the body.

Then, without being able to see the process, start that 13mm nut from the old hold down onto the stud. Once you get it started, you can snake the extension with the swivel and 13mm socket to the fender’s back side to tighten.



If you decide to install these hold downs with the no drill method, then you will notice the latches do not perfectly line up. However, once you close the latch, you won't see anything different at all.


Overall, this is one of the easiest installs you can do to your JK to freshen up its front look a bit. In all, the entire process should take 15-20 minutes.

Top Jeep Articles

Blog
Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival Puts Rare Jeep Up For Grabs
  • Matt Konkle
  • January 21, 2020
One of the country's premier Jeep events raffling off restored 1981 Jeep Scrambler.
Blog
Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel Awarded FOUR WHEELER'S 2020 'SUV of the Year'
  • Matt Konkle
  • January 15, 2020
Vehicle beat out Wrangler's 3.6L eTorque and Ranger Rover Sport HSE P3600 for the 47th annual FOUR WHEELER award.
Reference
How and Why to Engage Your Jeep's Four Wheel Drive
  • Matt Konkle
  • January 13, 2020
Not all road, or off-road, conditions are created equal. So knowing which four-wheel-drive setting to use in those different conditions is certainly helpful. So, too, is knowing how to reach those settings.
Blog
Young Jeep Gladiator Wins 2020 North American Truck of the Year Award
  • Matt Konkle
  • January 13, 2020
Jeep's newest vehicle sold 40k units in 2019, and marked the brand's first truck since 1992.
How-tos
Installing TJ Wrangler Fishbone Fenders and Sliders
  • Scott Ammerman
  • January 8, 2020
If you are looking to retool your TJ look with some new flares and sliders, Fishbone has some pieces that are perfect for your needs.
Blog
FCA Displays Electric Jeep Wrangler 4XE Plug-In Hybrid At CES 2020
  • Matt Konkle
  • January 7, 2020
While information on FCA's first-ever electric Wrangler won't be available until March, the automaker
Reference
Installing an S&B Filters JK Wrangler Cold Air Intake
  • Scott Ammerman
  • January 6, 2020
With increased airflow over the factory intake, as well as near-perfect efficiency, the S&B Cold Air Intake is a cost-effective way to increase your vehicle's horsepower and performance.
Reference
Do I Really Need a Hardtop Seal Kit?
  • Scott Ammerman
  • January 3, 2020
These rubber pieces can be the perfect solution for those who have water leakage, or simply just loud wind noise.
Blog
FCA Reports 2019 Sales Off 1% Despite Strong Performance From Gladiator, Ram
  • Matt Konkle
  • January 3, 2020
Wrangler posts record fourth quarter numbers, but Jeep brand slows five percent for year as FCA reports mixed bag of 2019 sales.