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Old 11-23-2018, 10:57 AM
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JL Hood latches-questions-opinions

So,
My oem rubber/plastic hood hold downs are faded terrible and I'm wanting to replace.
I have watched all the videos, read all the threads, so noow I have some questions.
My questions are for anyone that has switched to the JL hood latches and have been using them for awhile.
*Are happy you did the swap?
*Happy with the way they look?
*Did you get the hood gap line back to stock?
*And finally, would you do it again, or go another route?
Anyone who did the swap, post up some pics if you want.

Thanks in advance for any input and have a great weekend.

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Old 11-23-2018, 12:57 PM   #2
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I did the JL latches on my black JKUR and am very happy with the swap.
There's a YouTube video that has been posted several times on this forum that gives you an overview. Rather than drill 3/8" holes to accommodate the pins and alignment, I used a small diameter chain saw file and enlarged the existing holes only in the direction that was needed. The hardest part of the install is getting to the nut on the lower mount; I had to use a swivel on an extension. I didn't need to adjust anything to adjust the hood gap line.

Some people don't like the look compared to the JK latches because they're larger, but on the black body you don't notice it.

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Old 11-23-2018, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grand Umpah View Post
I did the JL latches on my black JKUR and am very happy with the swap.
There's a YouTube video that has been posted several times on this forum that gives you an overview. Rather than drill 3/8" holes to accommodate the pins and alignment, I used a small diameter chain saw file and enlarged the existing holes only in the direction that was needed. The hardest part of the install is getting to the nut on the lower mount; I had to use a swivel on an extension. I didn't need to adjust anything to adjust the hood gap line.

Some people don't like the look compared to the JK latches because they're larger, but on the black body you don't notice it.
yes, I have seen the video's, and if I do the switch, I was going to do what you did and elongate the holes with a file rather than drill.
I ran down to the local dealer this morning to check them out, and did not think they looked too big.
Did you have to do the holes on the body, and the hood, or just the hood to get the hood gap right?
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Old 11-23-2018, 01:52 PM   #4
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I did the swap and the answer to all your questions is yes, except one. I did not modify the hood, I just filed a little off the plastic alignment pegs to make them into a point so they would engage better and bolted them down. I was a little concerned with the gap as reported in some threads so I measured it before removing the JK latches, after install of the JL latches the gap was within 1/8" of the gap with the JK latches.
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Old 11-23-2018, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroutDaddy View Post
lots of good info in the thread below.

https://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/j...k-2297105.html
I figured that was coming sooner or later.
Read it already.
I'm really more interested in hearing from someone who has done it, and has been living with it for awhile.
Sorry I didn't make that more clear.
Ok, I think I edited the post to make it clear for anyone who decides to read it.
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Old 11-23-2018, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee H View Post
I did the swap and the answer to all your questions is yes, except one. I did not modify the hood, I just filed a little off the plastic alignment pegs to make them into a point so they would engage better and bolted them down. I was a little concerned with the gap as reported in some threads so I measured it before removing the JK latches, after install of the JL latches the gap was within 1/8" of the gap with the JK latches.

Very cool.
Thanks for the reply
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Old 11-23-2018, 06:19 PM   #7
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I swapped the hood latches on my brand-new JKUR Recon following the advise in the video. Using a 3/8” drill bit to enlarge the holes on the hood, I was able to get a pretty straight gap after a couple of tries.

I must say this: the assembly quality on my $52,000 2018 JKUR is the worst of eight JKs I’ve owned. The gap between the hood and the cowl on the passenger is 1/3 of an inch; that’s twice as on the driver side. And the Recon hood decal is crooked —see photos below. The optional oversized spare tire carrier came from the factory untorqued. At 3,000 miles a loud rattle appeared on the passenger side of the dashboard, and the driver seat squeaks non-stop.

After 12 years in production I expected Wrangler quality to improve not worsen.

Given this crummy level of assembly: with the JL latches in place the gap along the hood line looks fine after I fidgeted with their positioning a couple of times. So yes, I’d do the swap all over again: the latches feel well-made and look good.

Having said that, I wouldn’t give Fiat another $50,000+ of my hard-earned dollars: I find their ongoing disregard for quality and customer service followed by non-stop price increases, frankly, insulting.



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Old 11-23-2018, 08:14 PM   #8
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In answer to your question, I filed hood and body before things lined up correctly.
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Old 11-23-2018, 10:03 PM   #9
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I'm very happy with my JL latches, much prefer them to the stock ones. I also have a Tuffy hood lock.
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Old 11-23-2018, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grand Umpah View Post
In answer to your question, I filed hood and body before things lined up correctly.
Thank you
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Old 11-23-2018, 10:52 PM   #11
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I went with the Rugged Ridge black aluminum latches on both Jeeps. I did the TJ first because I initially bought the Daystar replacement rubber centers, but the upper and lower holders were so faded after 15 years in the sun they looked bad. I was having the Jeep painted wanted something that looked good. I liked them so much and go so many comments from other Jeep owners that I didn't install the Daystar rubbers on the JKU. I gave them away and put RR latches on the Chief.

They are all metal, no plastic anywhere.
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Old 11-23-2018, 11:52 PM   #12
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Installed on my JKU Hard Rock Rubicon. Did not enlarge the holes in the body, slotted the holes in the hood using a small Dremel bit to get back to stock gap width. Would absolutely do them again. I was afraid they would be big & bulky after seeing pictures and comments, but installed, they look fine and to me look beefier in a good way.
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Old 11-24-2018, 06:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccarrico29 View Post
Installed on my JKU Hard Rock Rubicon. Did not enlarge the holes in the body, slotted the holes in the hood using a small Dremel bit to get back to stock gap width. Would absolutely do them again. I was afraid they would be big & bulky after seeing pictures and comments, but installed, they look fine and to me look beefier in a good way.
Thanks for the reply.
In all the pics and videos I saw, they did look big, so I took a ride to the local dealer yesterday to check them out on a JL, and I too though they looked fine.

With all these positive reply's, I'm leaning towards ordering a set.


Thank you, and everyone else who has commented

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