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Hood latch security

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  • Body / Glass: Hood latch security

    I've seen frequent mentions of hood latches which give way at speed. I have a Sky Hawk and want to know if I should either replace mine or use an additional device such as a locking cable to secure it. That hood is so damned heavy it's difficult to believe it would just fly up like that.
    peter lee

  • #2
    I would put a cable strap on it. You would be surprised at how fast that big hood will come up at speed and you wont be able to see a thing. Not to mention what damage it will do.

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    • #3
      isn't there a safety catch? my C-Cab truck has one.

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      • #4
        There is but a good chance it will pass that up in the blink of a eye.

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        • #5
          I have driven Stude Hawks many miles, and never had a hood fly up, or even pop to the second latch (knock wood). However, the first thing I install is a safety mechanism on every Hawk. For years, I used a small linked chain, anchored to a lower right hand corner grill bolt, and to a hole drilled in the latch plate stanchion below, with a padlock. HOWEVER, a much better idea is to drill a 3/16" hole in the "cone", of the "plunger" (the hood part of the latch) and slip a large cotter pin in place when the hood is closed. With hood closed, the pin rests against the bottom of the latch plate, and is easily removable/installable with fingers, by reaching under the bumper. After awhile, muscle memory builds, and it becomes a simple operation, same as the lock and chain. I know pix would help, and maybe I will take some later today, of the one on the wife's 63GT.

          Also highly advisable, is to develop the habit of reaching under the bumper and feeling with fingertips to insure the latch is all the way shut, EVERY time the hood is closed. Sometimes after closing the hood, I find the latch only about 3/4 shut, reopening/re-closing the hood usually corrects it. If this occurs too often, the latch may need adjustment/lube.
          Last edited by JoeHall; 06-27-2019, 07:55 AM.

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          • #6
            I use a similar set-up on my '61 Hawk. I attached a short piece of 3/8" chain to the side of the hood latch (use at least a grade 5 or better X 5/16" bolt and nut). Use a 5/16" or 3/8" eyebolt on the side of the bracket for the lower part of the latch with a back-up washer. use as short of piece of chain as you can with a snap/hook( I don't know the official name of it) from Fleet/Farm. Keep the chain short so the hood cannot gain any momentum if it does unlatch. I used plated hardware. -Jim

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            • #7
              Here is an older thread with photos of safety pin installed. https://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?102998-Hawk-Question&highlight=hood+latch

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              • #8
                I use the hole drilled in the hood "cone" method on my 61 Hawk. Except I use a hood latch pin like the Mustangs use with a short cable attached so I don't take it out and lose it. I think it looks more sanitary as the pin and cable are not visible like the bike locks I have seen and easier than a cotter pin . Just let service station folks know its there.
                Don Watson
                61 Hawk

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by whitehawk759 View Post
                  I use the hole drilled in the hood "cone" method on my 61 Hawk. Except I use a hood latch pin like the Mustangs use with a short cable attached so I don't take it out and lose it. I think it looks more sanitary as the pin and cable are not visible like the bike locks I have seen and easier than a cotter pin . Just let service station folks know its there.
                  That's one good reason for the padlock, NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY opens the hood but me. LOL

                  But I do like your idea of the hood latch pin with cable attached. Sounds like the best idea yet.

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                  • #10
                    Click image for larger version

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ID:	1728565 Here are pics of the hood latch pin mod. This is my '62, it won't work on our '53, you can't reach the latch from the bottom on it.

                    The day after I got my GT the hood popped up to the safety catch twice. The latch was not adjusted properly so it wouldn't completely catch. Since properly adjusting the latch the hood locks down completely and it has never even moved. I believe if the latch is properly adjusted there is no likelyhood of the hood comming up at speed. However, a simple hole and pin is cheap and easy peace of mind; as well as a deterrent to would be hood openers. With the pin in place, you can pull the latch all you want and the hood won't even move.


                    While you're at it; If you're like me and cant easilly reach the saftey catch release once the hood is popped, you can add an extension to the saftey catch lever. Mine is 1/8" thick 2" wide 304 stainless that I shaped with a hammer, but something much simpler will suffice.
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ID:	1728567It was one of the first and best things I did to the car.
                    Last edited by bensherb; 06-27-2019, 12:02 PM.
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      For a long time, I have said this forum needs a, "LIKE" button, as FaceBook does. I definitely woulda 'liked' all these great ideas here.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bensherb View Post
                        [ATTACH=CONFIG]82094[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]82095[/ATTACH] Here are pics of the hood latch pin mod. This is my '62, it won't work on our '53, you can't reach the latch from the bottom on it.
                        The method I used for my 54 coupe uses a truck tailgate cable that allows me to open the hood a few inches to release the pin to raise the hood. Works really well and I can raise the hood like normal without having to get on my knees to release any pin. I posted a thread with photos a few years back, but can't find it right now. Cheers, junior
                        sigpic
                        1954 C5 Hamilton car.

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                        • #13
                          Click image for larger version

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ID:	1822285 I use the same method.
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by blackhawk61; 02-22-2020, 07:44 AM.
                          1961 Hawk ...4-Speed;4bc;Twin Traction

                          Ken Byrd
                          Lewisville,NC

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                          • #14
                            I use a heavy leather belt on my 55's, wrapped several times and buckled tightly. The process has served me well for over forty years, there may be better solutions but it has worked for me.

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                            • #15
                              A properly adjusted hood latch should NEVER allow the hood to come unlatched.

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