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Hood Pins and Safety Catch Latch


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I wanted to share what happened to us with 10 min left on Sunday at the COTA race.

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Not the usual latch pins left out, on this one the hood pins broke out of the radiator support.

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Make sure you reinforce the part of the radiator support or otherwise structure that you bolt the pins to.

 

Also, one thing that saved the windshield, we left the hood struts on the hood.  Luckily they were strong enough to hold and kept the hood from flipping over the windshield and breaking it.  It also makes it nice when you pop the hood you don't have to prop it up, etc.  When I lightened the hood, I took most of the structure away on the front edge since that is where most of the weight is.  You can see it folded in the middle but did not fold around.  One other thing, I always leave the factory safety catch on the hood.  When the second pin broke, that is all that was holding the hood down for several minutes as it turned out.  I stayed out thinking the connections had just come loose but holding did not realize both were broken out of the support and the safety catch was all that was holding it.  

1509966165_Hoodupcomingintopits.thumb.jpg.d556347a034f5376f7fd8a30b6225c96.jpg

 

Anyway, my advice is sacrifice a little weight to keep the hood structural strength in place as much as you can, reinforce the pin connection points, leave the safety latch on, and leave the struts in place.  

 

This happened before the bridge at the start of the esses which is turn 3 and I was able to see through the gap and get the car around the remaining 17 turns at a pretty good speed and come if for a ratchet strap across the hood and preserve 2nd place.  In addition to the safety aspects, would not have been able to do that without the structure in place.

Edited by Burningham
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Imagine the amount of lift that would need to be generated on the hood to rip the pin bolt our of the core support.  Have you thought about adding some vents in the hood in order to reduce front end lift? 

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20 minutes ago, LuckyKid said:

Imagine the amount of lift that would need to be generated on the hood to rip the pin bolt our of the core support.  Have you thought about adding some vents in the hood in order to reduce front end lift? 


Not a bad idea on several fronts. Probably something we should do on this next hood. I think Sebring is the next race for this car, it will have the new hood with those vents in it. 

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My car has the stock hood latch.. I'm actually over the idea of hood pins. Designed well, very strong, closes tight to the body, and has a designed in safety catch in case we forget to slam it shut!

My trunk has aerocatches but if the trunk is over the pins you actually don't even need to latch them, it'd hold itself shut anyway.

Glad your windshield came out unscathed! usually not the case.

Edited by Slugworks Paul
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17 minutes ago, Slugworks Paul said:

My car has the stock hood latch.. I'm actually over the idea of hood pins. Designed well, very strong, closes tight to the body, and has a designed in safety catch in case we forget to slam it shut!

My trunk has aerocatches but if the trunk is over the pins you actually don't even need to latch them, it'd hold itself shut anyway.

Glad your windshield came out unscathed! usually not the case.

 

Great minds think alike as the saying goes.  I didn't say it but was considering leaving the factory latch and safety latch on the replacement hood, I think you just convinced me.  Almost as good of an idea as the new electric jack on the trailer that you convinced me of.  I was thinking when I unhooked the other day that was the best $100 I have spent in a while.  

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33 minutes ago, TiredBirds said:

Hood pins are your friend. I would never try and race a car at high speeds with the factory latch. It takes about 2 seconds to pull the pins out.  

 

Not worried about the time, that usually is irrelevant in a champcar pit stop.  If that's what you got out of the post, maybe go back and look at the pics and read again.  They weren't friendly when they pulled out of the radiator support with huge washers under them.  That was kind of the point of this thread, reinforce the pin bolted area when you install them so that doesn't happen. 

 

What Paul and I are discussing is do we want to even run them.  I won't disagree with the point to have them to make sure the hood doesn't come up, but like Paul said the factory one is pretty strong because it was designed to be.  If you lighten the hood and change the structural rigidity of the hood, then flexing might put that in question.  Maybe both are needed.  I may do some variation of that.  One way or the other I will have something to protect from what happened last Sunday.

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1 hour ago, Burningham said:

 

Not worried about the time, that usually is irrelevant in a champcar pit stop.  If that's what you got out of the post, maybe go back and look at the pics and read again.  They weren't friendly when they pulled out of the radiator support with huge washers under them.  That was kind of the point of this thread, reinforce the pin bolted area when you install them so that doesn't happen. 

 

What Paul and I are discussing is do we want to even run them.  I won't disagree with the point to have them to make sure the hood doesn't come up, but like Paul said the factory one is pretty strong because it was designed to be.  If you lighten the hood and change the structural rigidity of the hood, then flexing might put that in question.  Maybe both are needed.  I may do some variation of that.  One way or the other I will have something to protect from what happened last Sunday.


That's a good point - if you have a floppy gutted hood the factory latch may not work (or you might have to push down right over top of the latch to get it to engage. You'd obviously have to leave enough structure in place to also mount the factory striker.

There is no question on the strength, I have yet to see a factory latch fail in any way other than sticking closed because it is super rusted.

The issue I have encountered is that you have to release it from inside the car. Usually not a big deal as I can reach in and pull the lever even with a driver in the car and belted up. But there was one time when I asked someone in the car to release it and he couldn't find it. I've been thinking of painting it red or something.. due to the cage and other changes it is a bit hard to see.

Edited by Slugworks Paul
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1 hour ago, LuckyKid said:

I thought a big reasons why you use hood pins is that the factory latch tends to get stuck closed with a minor collision.

 

And after the collision the latch doesn't line up well

And it can be hard to tell if the stock latch is actually latched

And the stock latch requires you to be in the cockpit to release it (unless you've added a secondary release).

And they are often lighter

 

As far as the lift, I think it is nearly nothing, but a little bump and it raises enough for the leading edge to catch the air it is all done, up she goes.

 

I've had it happen twice to me, once to one of the kids.  The funny part is driving back to the pits the corner workers are having a conniption fit with waving flags at you.  And all you can think is "yeah, no poop, I think I see the problem".

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23 hours ago, Burningham said:

 

Not worried about the time, that usually is irrelevant in a champcar pit stop.  If that's what you got out of the post, maybe go back and look at the pics and read again.  They weren't friendly when they pulled out of the radiator support with huge washers under them.  That was kind of the point of this thread, reinforce the pin bolted area when you install them so that doesn't happen. 

 

What Paul and I are discussing is do we want to even run them.  I won't disagree with the point to have them to make sure the hood doesn't come up, but like Paul said the factory one is pretty strong because it was designed to be.  If you lighten the hood and change the structural rigidity of the hood, then flexing might put that in question.  Maybe both are needed.  I may do some variation of that.  One way or the other I will have something to protect from what happened last Sunday.

I thought you were using the factory hood latch. Our hood is nothing but a skin, so the factory latch is a no-go. That took a lot of air pressure to do that. Maybe a few vents as mentioned would help.

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19 hours ago, MMiskoe said:

 

And after the collision the latch doesn't line up well

And it can be hard to tell if the stock latch is actually latched

And the stock latch requires you to be in the cockpit to release it (unless you've added a secondary release).

And they are often lighter

 

As far as the lift, I think it is nearly nothing, but a little bump and it raises enough for the leading edge to catch the air it is all done, up she goes.

 

I've had it happen twice to me, once to one of the kids.  The funny part is driving back to the pits the corner workers are having a conniption fit with waving flags at you.  And all you can think is "yeah, no poop, I think I see the problem".

 

WRT to the collision issue - same with pins, arguably worse because the stock assembly is actually meant to accommodate more misalignment and you don't have the issue accommodating the arc path of the hood, either.

I actually think it's EASIER to tell if the stock latch isn't latch because the hood sits up an inch or two. Even sitting int he drivers seat you can see the hood propped up. With pins, it usually sits down all the way whether pinned or not. It's weird, almost like a bunch of R&D went into it... or something :)

As for weight - I bet by the time you add pins and reinforcement you're talking like.. a pound, maybe.

As Rodger said, you can relocate the handle. We did that in my old car with the trunk before we added pins. I can still reach in with driver in the car, door closed and window net up and release the hood if needed. Admittedly not quite as convenient as pins.

Proof is in the pudding for me. I've had numerous issues with pins over the years. No mechanical issues with stock latch so far (knock on wood!). my 2 cents

Edited by Slugworks Paul
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It sure was exciting. I had the headset for the last 45 minutes of the race on Sunday. We knew we had the pace to catch the 9-4 car (FCY or not) but also figured Burningham would be giving it everything they had to try and catch us. The lap before the hood on the 855 came up, I was at the wall when they came by and saw the hood sticking up about 6" on the LF corner. So we expected they would get meatballed for it. Glad they got it fixed and held on to P2. 🙂

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23 hours ago, Burningham said:

Just brainstorming I was thinking shorten the unlatch cable and put it at the hood. 
 

A discussion for another day, the ca will probably sit in the trailer until September or later since Sebring isn’t until November this year. 

Had this happen before on a couple different models, the top core support is simply not designed for the load/long term fatigue.

 

Big washers work, specifically cut rectangles work better,  even better is a strip of material welded across the entire width. Either way, the area must be inspected every now and again.

 

 

Edited by Team Infiniti
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3 hours ago, Snorman said:

It sure was exciting. I had the headset for the last 45 minutes of the race on Sunday. We knew we had the pace to catch the 9-4 car (FCY or not) but also figured Burningham would be giving it everything they had to try and catch us. The lap before the hood on the 855 came up, I was at the wall when they came by and saw the hood sticking up about 6" on the LF corner. So we expected they would get meatballed for it. Glad they got it fixed and held on to P2. 🙂

 

Yeah, without the hood pin failure there is no doubt I catch and pass you.  That's my story and I am sticking to it.

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Having a flimsy leading edge on your hood has a greater likelihood of deflection that will catch the air. In addition to that, the further outboard your hood pins are located, the greater that chance of hood deflection, it'll catch more air, and the more you're going to fatigue your hood pins. Based on the images, it looks like you had both a flimsy leading edge, and wide hood pins. I think if you keep some lateral stiffness in the forward part of the hood, and position your hood pins closer to the center (something like 16-20 inches) you should be fine. Some cars are limited as to where you can place the pins, but the further apart the hood pins, the stiffer your hood needs to be.

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9 hours ago, EngEtan said:

Having a flimsy leading edge on your hood has a greater likelihood of deflection that will catch the air. In addition to that, the further outboard your hood pins are located, the greater that chance of hood deflection, it'll catch more air, and the more you're going to fatigue your hood pins. Based on the images, it looks like you had both a flimsy leading edge, and wide hood pins. I think if you keep some lateral stiffness in the forward part of the hood, and position your hood pins closer to the center (something like 16-20 inches) you should be fine. Some cars are limited as to where you can place the pins, but the further apart the hood pins, the stiffer your hood needs to be.

Interesting. On my E39 build I had been thinking of cutting out the support bars to shave weight (it is a bit of a portly car), and using an aerocatch latch/pin system mounted to about where the factor hood lock springs go into the support beam. It seems like maybe certain makes and models are more prone to failure, but perhaps I will retain at least some of hood structure and use what I cut out to strengthen base of the latch.

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