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So, the new hood latches came in yesterday, and I took a look at installing them today. I watched a couple of videos on how to do it, but I can't see any way to get at the nut on the back side of the latch - there is less than an inch of clearance back there: I can't even get my finger in to the nut, let alone a socket! What's the secret? Is there any other way to get in there? I tried pulling the front grill forward a bit, but then the headlight is still in the way - I'm stumped! Anybody in the South San Jose, Ca area want to give me a hand?
I took the grill off and resorted to using a universal ratcheting flex box wrench. It was still tight, but I got it done.
 

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I started with taking the grille off as it was mentioned on a post. I thought I wouldn't need to but just sticking my fingers onto the nut convinced me that was the way to go. It is still tight but doable.
 

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I managed to do my latches with the grill in place, just a little tight getting in there with a wrench.

Try putting some tape on a ratcheting wrench to hold the nut in place
 

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I also removed my grill. Very easy to do, it can be removed in just a few minutes. Made it very easy and no busted knuckles.
 

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So, the new hood latches came in yesterday, and I took a look at installing them today. I watched a couple of videos on how to do it, but I can't see any way to get at the nut on the back side of the latch - there is less than an inch of clearance back there: I can't even get my finger in to the nut, let alone a socket! What's the secret? Is there any other way to get in there? I tried pulling the front grill forward a bit, but then the headlight is still in the way - I'm stumped! Anybody in the South San Jose, Ca area want to give me a hand?
When I installed my new latches, I used the wrench shown in this thread:

Kentrol Hood Latches

This worked well for me to loosen and tighten the nut. You can only turn the nut a small amount with each pass, though. When reattaching it, I taped the nut to a finger and then was able to squeeze my hand in there enough to get the nut back on (using the wrench to tighten it up). Lost a little skin in the process.
 

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My Jeep is a Sport edition with the standard hood and I have seen a bit of flutter a few times. It was not so severe that I thought it would fail but it was not a happy feeling either. After reading through this thread I decided not to take any chances. I now have the JL latches installed along with a Bolt hood look.

Thank you to the OP and all the other helpful replies.
 

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I already installed the Mopar hood lock and finally made a trip that enabled me to encounter some hood flutter. That is when I decided it was time for the JL latches. I think they look better and add security from the flutter, so a win win situation.
 

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I already installed the Mopar hood lock and finally made a trip that enabled me to encounter some hood flutter. That is when I decided it was time for the JL latches. I think they look better and add security from the flutter, so a win win situation.
Bill61- I have a 2017 Rubi...what JL latches did you use? Would they fit my rig? Thanks guys!
 

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Bill61- I have a 2017 Rubi...what JL latches did you use? Would they fit my rig? Thanks guys!
I just bought the JL latches from Mopar Parts Online here on the vender quotes. I have a 2016 Rubicon Hardrock and I imagine they would fit all hoods.
I bolted them on, some people go to the trouble of drilling out one of the holes but mine lined up enough to satisfy me.
Just search a bit for the install threads or check on YouTube.
Here is a link for the Vender Quotes Thread.
Vendor quotes
 

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I finally got my hood latches swapped out - found out that Harbor Freight has a set of stubby, flex head ratchets ( 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2") for about $10. The 1/4" one is a perfect fit for that tiny space you have to get into to get at those 13mm nuts! Once I got that it took me maybe 10 minutes to swap out the latches - no more flutter for us!
 

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I finally got my hood latches swapped out - found out that Harbor Freight has a set of stubby, flex head ratchets ( 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2") for about $10. The 1/4" one is a perfect fit for that tiny space you have to get into to get at those 13mm nuts! Once I got that it took me maybe 10 minutes to swap out the latches - no more flutter for us!
Allen...awesome news, thanks for the heads up. I’m going to head over and pick me up a set today.

Quick question...did anyone find they needed to drill out their holes to 3/8” on the JK in order to replace with the JL latches. I’ve watched 3 YouTube videos and 2 recommended drilling, one said no drilling. Not that it’s a big deal, but it’d be nice if we didn’t have to drill. Thanks!
 

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I ended up drilling the 2 holes that the guide pins mate up with - I tried fitting it without drilling but it looked like the pins would have to bend too much so I went ahead and drilled the 2 holes out to 3/8" - then I covered the resulting bare metal with a quick dab of paint to try and prevent rust.
 

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Looking at the
Smittybilt 74335 Hood Catch Kit in Stainless Steel and it looks to have a rubber bungee just like OEM, am I wrong? They look nice otherwise and I would buy. I would ask on Quadratec but I would need to create an account!!
 

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Ended up with Rugged Ridge aluminum (and I am 77 years old) they went on fairly easily. Used 1/4 inch breaker bar and 1/4 inch ratchet, deep 13 mm socket ground off on the open end so it fit flush with the surface. And the blue masking tape. No hood removal. Who cares where the old nuts go... pick them off the ground!
IMG_5237.JPG
 
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Just got mine... $30 from amazon non OEM aka Chinese knock off , wasn’t ready to drill the jeep , OEMs hinges are $70-90 depending from where you get them, decided to go cheap.

My 0.02:
With front grillre removed istallation takes 15min.
I measured the gap "before", and achieved the same with new hinges without drilling the jeep it self. Small plastic tabs on the lower part aren’t needed. Rubber bumper on the upper part can be trimmed to adjust the gap.
Im not advertising non oem hinges however I have to admit are decent quality copies.
4454413
4454414
 

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When those "cheap" ones fail, that looks like a pretty nice Jeep. Mine does not re-use the old rubber nor the old bolts. Oh and NO drilling,
 
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I was able to drive the same road 4 times in the past few months where my hood blew open. Always very similar conditions too. I have the 'cheaper' amazon JL latches now, been on for over a year and they are mighty fine. On that particular road it's pretty bad when a semi goes by, the flex in my hood is quite a lot. I can see it pop up and my whole jeep feels like it got hit with a mighty wave of air and slows down quite a bit. The hood is actually bowing now - I am 100% positive if I had the original straps the hood could have blown open a few times on those drives. single lane highway , crosswind about 15km per hour (9.5 miles per hour) so still nothing major. Anyway all secured now. JL latch inspection ... they are still good.

I did go for a drive in heavy winds and heavier blasts of air as well this week , so much wind I burned an extra tank of fuel in 1200km. Only a few areas of truck blasts in this but similar results in hood bowing in the middle , at least until the new and aligned center latch connects with the body. jeep is always exciting anyway.
 

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I was thinking about getting Daystars for my JK, but after looking at my Dad's TJ which has had them for a few years I'm not so sure.
 

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