When doing serious maintenance or rebuild work on your Chevy truck, sometimes you find the spring hinge just doesn't do the job as well anymore. You open the hood and its weight causes the hinge to start to sag and maybe the hood even comes slamming back down. That could be bad. After years of use, the spring hinge can eventually lose its tension and fail to support the weight of the hood. When this happens, it's time to replace the coiled spring.
Removing the Hood
Before you can get to the hinge you have to remove the hood panel. Doing this job is not too difficult but it does require some help. Do not try to lift and carry the wide bulky hood panel alone---that is a great way to end up with a sore back and probably a dented, scratched-up body panel when you drop it!
Just open the hood and remove the fastening bolts securing the hood to the hinge tops. No need to break any welds. Remove all but one bolt on each hinge. Get help to hold the hood open before removing the last two bolts. Do not use a piece of wood or some other support to prop the hood open. All it takes is an errant elbow to bring the support and the hood crashing down! Once the last two bolts are removed, lift the hood panel up and off the engine bay.
Disassembling the Hinge
Once the hood is out of the way there is no more weight on the hinge or hinge spring. Using a socket wrench, remove the four bolts securing the hinge plate from the truck frame. The hinge will then be free to remove. If the hinge isn't immediately free then there may be some built up dirt and grease freezing the hinge to the truck frame. Just gently tap the hinge with a rubber mallet and break it loose. Avoid using a screwdriver, claw hammer or some other piece of metal to pry it off. The seal is not that strong and you don't want to errantly scratch or dent the metal frame or hinge plate.
Removing the Hinge Spring
The spring is fitted into the hinge between two tabs that keep tension on the spring. All you have to do is remove the center bolt securing the spring to the hinge. And no, the spring won't fly open. The spring's natural position is to remain coiled. Closing the hinge release tension on the spring and opening the hood and the hinge adds tension. It's this tension and keeps the hood open and supports the weight of the heavy metal body panel.
- "Chevrolet and GMC Pick-Ups (1988-2000) (Haynes Manuals);" Ken Freund, John H. Haynes; 2001
- "General Motors Full-size Trucks 1999-2001: Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Sierra Pick-ups, 1999-2001 Chevrolet Suburban & Tahoe, 2000 and 2001 GMC Yukon ... (Chilton's Total Car Care Repair Manual);" Jeff Kibler; 2002
- Photo Credit Cat on a Hood of the Car image by Knickerbocker from Fotolia.com
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