Installing Automatic Hood Struts
Here is a how-to for installing automatic hood struts in your 3.7L V6 Mustang. I had originally installed hood struts from another supplier, but was dissatisfied with them because they raised the rear part of the hood up higher, relative to the fender. This looked strange, and was most likely due to the length of the shocks used by this vendor. I received a replacement hood strut lift kit as a Christmas present from LRS (Late Model Restoration Supply), P/N CPC-ENG051612 for $119.99. I was assured by them that these hood struts would fit properly. These CPC NXT struts are designed differently than the struts I originally purchased. And the great thing is, they actually do fit. For some reason, LRS no longer carries this hood strut kit, but it is available from other vendors.
Here is a list of what you will need to perform the hood strut installation: 10 mm socket and socket wrench and something to prop the hood up higher than the factory hood prop. I used a piece of wood. I also used a clamp, but this may not be necessary.
1. Open the hood and prop it up using a length of dowel or wood. Just about anything will work. as long as you place it onto a section of the hood and the radiator shroud so it cannot slip during installation. The wider the opening, the better. Place the prop nearest the side you will be working on.
2. Unscrew the bolt on the fender where the bottom hood strut will mount to. In my case, I’m unscrewing the bolt that is holding the MRT bottom connector.
3. Each mount will contain the words “Pass” or “Driver” Separate the top and bottom brackets so that you have a passenger side and a driver side, as shown in the photo below:
4. Attach the lower strut mount to the fender using the bolt you removed in step 2.
5. You will need to pull the two clips holding the windshield washer hose, and reroute this hose so it does not get pinched by the passenger side strut and bracket when you close the hood. Remove the two fasteners that hold the hood bracket to the hood. Take care not to move the hood or bracket too much. This is where the wide hood opening helps to prevent too much movement between the hood and hood bracket. You can take a red pencil, and outline the bracket on the hood, if you want to make sure you replace the bracket in the same position. This is important so that the hood will properly close and lock.
6. Place the passengers bracket as shown in the photograph, and install the two fasteners as shown below. The NXT upper mount has a “dog leg” which allows for higher placement of the ball fastener that the lift shock attaches to. This, and the angle of the ball fastener both contribute to the hood sitting flush.
This is what the upper strut mount looks like installed.
7. Then you attach the lift shock as shown in the next two photographs. Make sure you install the shock as shown, not the reverse way, since the shock will not work properly.
8. Remove the wooden prop and install it on the drivers side of the hood, and repeat the process. I used a small clamp with paper to secure the bracket to the hood, as this side has a tendency to move during the installation, as shown in the photo, below.
9. Carefully close the hood and check for an even gap between the hood and the fenders. Make sure that the hood properly closes and locks. If you need to adjust the hood, use a piece of wood to move the hood in the direction you want it to move. Open the hood and torque down the fasteners to 106 in-lbs.
Here is a photo showing that the hood lies flat, and is not higher than the fender.