What Are Hood Pins?


There are a bewildering array of accessories that can be installed on a car. There are exterior body parts, wheels, suspension parts and brake parts, just to name a few. Many of them are inspired by parts originally developed for race cars. Hood pins are one such accessory.


  • The purpose of hood pins is to keep the hood or trunk of a vehicle closed in the absence of a hood latch. Hood pins were originally designed for race cars so the hood release could be eliminated in the interest of reducing weight and complexity. However, they became popular with modified street car owners for the same reasons and because they make a car look more purposeful and "racy."


  • The most common pin is the type that comes up through a hole in the hood. The pin has a hole in it that a metal clip goes through at a 90-degree angle. Latch type hood pins feature a mechanism that pivots on a hinge to lock the hood in place. Hood pins are generally made from aluminum or steel, though there are carbon fiber hood pins.


  • The main component is the actual pin or whatever device is bolted to the vehicle under the hood. The pin, which is threaded on the bottom, is installed in a hole that is drilled in the sheetmetal of the vehicle and fastened in place with two nuts, one on each side of the sheet metal. When the hood is closed the pin goes through a hole on the hood. A clip is then slid through a hole in the pin from the outside of the hood to keep the hood in place. A trim plate goes around the pin and the hole to protect the paint from becoming scratched. The trim plate is screwed to the hood itself.

Where to Find Them

  • Hood pins can be found from auto part stores like Pep Boys and from companies that sell racing parts. Companies that sell specialty accessories for cars and truck also carry hood pins.


  • To install hood pins, open the hood and find an appropriate place to mount the pin. Use a power drill and a bit to drill a hole. Install the pin with the two supplied nuts. Determine where the pin needs to go through the hood and drill corresponding holes in the hood. Install the trim plates on the hood.

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