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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm considering these hood latches. I've searched the forum, but didn't find any reference to them. Anyone have any thoughts on these?

Kentrol hood latches

I like the looks of the JL latches, but the thought of drilling/elongating the mounting holes still makes me cringe. So, these latches seem like a good alternative.

By the way, I've watched a few videos on swapping out the hood latches, and the ones I've seen make it sound like it's a real ordeal to remove and reinstall the bolt in the body (such as removing the air cleaner assembly, using a bunch of wrench extensions and universal joints (and duct tape, of course), removing the grill, and/or going in from underneath through the fender). So, I checked mine out, and found that I could easily get to the bolt with this wrench (and with my fingers to thread the bolt back on) with no removal of parts at all. :)

Wrench2.jpg
Wrench1.jpg
 

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Grumpy Old Guy
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No need to drill for JL versions. There is a simple tab that is in the way that a lot of us just removed and it slides right into place. No drilling. I had the right tools but my hands are too damn big to fit in the tight spaces. Had my daughter come out to start them by hand. Easy Peasy.
 

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I have a set and love them. They have a very positive click, when they engage. They are very well made and installation is not too bad.

Edited to add that removing your grill will make installation a very easy project. Taking the grill off is a 2 minute task and well worth it for this one.
 

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I’ve had them for about a year and they work great. IMO they look better on the JK then the JL latches.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for your posts. I went ahead and ordered the Kentrol latches today. I like the fact that they're all metal too.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Got the Kentrol latches and installed them yesterday. Seem solid as a rock. It's really windy here today, so I took the Jeep out on the highway and there's no hood movement whatsoever. I like the way they look and they're way easier to open and close than the factory latches.

A couple of installation notes for anyone interested:

1. While the instructions don't mention it, you need to transfer the rubber hood bumper that's attached to the lower portion of the factory latch to the new latch. There's a tab on the new latch for it. In reading reviews (and looking at customer pictures) on the vendors' websites, it seems that some people miss this.

Hood-bumper.jpg


2. Underneath the factory hood catch is a plastic piece that mates up with the aforementioned rubber bumper. The Kentrol instructions don't mention this, but their pictures for attaching the hood catch don't show it being there. Instead of using the Kentrol hood catch gasket, I left this plastic piece in, since it provides a wider surface to meet up with the rubber bumper and also to retain the factory hood gap. It doesn't exactly match up with the Kentrol hood catch, but it's close enough that you don't notice the difference when the latch is closed.

20200413_180708.jpg



Hood-catch-underneath.jpg


Here are pictures of the completed latches:

Driver-side.jpg


Passenger-side.jpg
 

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I have them, and they faded incredibly quickly. They're a full grayish black color.

They also rattle. If I tighten them, the hood touches the body and causes rubbing.

Definitely my biggest regret purchase. I'll replace these with JL latches.


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Discussion Starter #10
They also rattle. If I tighten them, the hood touches the body and causes rubbing.
I could see that happening if you had removed the plastic piece that's underneath the factory hood catch, as over time the sharp edge of the hood would dig into the rubber bumper (the piece I pointed the red arrow to in my pictures above). To me that's a flaw in the design, and I plan to note it in my product review on the vendor's site.

Another flaw (not in the product, but the instructions) is that the instructions don't tell you to transfer the factory rubber bumper to the new latch. Leaving that off would be bad as there would be metal to metal contact between the hood and the fender. I'll note that in my product review too.

However, by leaving the plastic piece intact, I don't foresee ever having that problem as I'm retaining the same cushioning between the hood and the fender that the factory latch had.

Someone had noted the fading in one of the product reviews I read on the vendor's site. I figure if that happens to mine, a shot of SEM Trim Black paint (#39143) will take care of that (it worked great on touching up my rock rails). :)
 

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I have them, and they faded incredibly quickly. They're a full grayish black color.

They also rattle. If I tighten them, the hood touches the body and causes rubbing.

Definitely my biggest regret purchase. I'll replace these with JL latches.


Sent from my HD1925 using Tapatalk
I can see that if you lived in the desert and parked you car outside but Virginia?
Im in Chicago and even though they're not as dark black as original I wouldnt call them gray.
If $100 is your biggest regret purchase you're doing pretty well.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
JL latches do not require drilling, I installed them in less than 10 minutes and they look great
I was leaning towards the JL latches, but then watched the installation video in this link and noticed the large hood gap that resulted.

CJ Pony Parts JL Latch Conversion Kit

I noted in other forum posts that people have drilled (or otherwise elongated) the mounting holes in the hood to tighten up the gap. I didn't want to do that.
 

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I can see that if you lived in the desert and parked you car outside but Virginia?
Im in Chicago and even though they're not as dark black as original I wouldnt call them gray.
If $100 is your biggest regret purchase you're doing pretty well.
It was fast, too. Within a few months of having them.

I usually take a lot of time to review reviews and research products before I buy them. I should have clarified "biggest purchase regret on my JK." I've certainly regretted larger purchases in my life (Cherokee KL).

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I have them too. I like them for the most part. They did fade very quickly as others have mentioned. I don't have the rattle issue though.
 

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I have these, been on close to a year now and no fade or rattle. Still tight as a drum, they come for all model Jeeps too.
IMG_1248.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Holy. Crap. I never installed / moved those rubber bumpers over. How in the crap did I miss that.

Fortunately I kept the factory ones, just went and installed them.
I bet your latches work a work a lot better now. You could also get the plastic piece that I referred to in my post to put under the hood catch and then the hood should be nice and solid.

Here's a link to where you can get it - Piece for under the hood catch

SEM Trim Black paint (#39143) will take care of your faded finish. I used this paint to restore the roof rack on my old Grand Cherokee, and it's still looks great after several years of baking in the Colorado sun.
 
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