Upgrading hood latches

kmas0n

Has a "Thing" for Jeeps
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Well, I understand there are aftermarket options out there. I'm not wanting to "do what everyone else has done." I like the look of the 2018 JL hood latches. I guess I'll be the first on this one. They are on back order from Jeep. But I'll let you know how it turns out.View attachment 44730
You ever get this put together?
 

Tray Burge

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Not all of the Chinese stuff is junk. Some of it can be quite good. My Chinese-made Trucklite knockoffs have performed exemplary (lets face it, the original lights created a very low bar to surpass), at a very attractive price point. But at the same time, I still hang on to my old halogens, just in case something goes wrong.

As has been mentioned here before, the problem is consistency. The quality control for a lot of these products are sub-par, so two people can order the same product, but it may only perform well for one of them.

For the really cheap stuff, where the product can almost be considered disposable, or you have spares you can fall back on, it's one thing, but when you're protecting your windshield from a hood that has aspirations of flight, do you really want to take that wager?
I agree with this, I typically buy American, but sometimes I just wanna save a buck or two.
The Chinese Trucklites on mine are still performing great, even after hitting a deer.
I also have the Drake knock-off hood pins and love em, holding up well too.
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Muddyninja1

Muddyninja1

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Jun 17, 2018
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You ever get this put together?
Well, it can not be done. At least it can't be done AND look good, or right.
I purchased a set. The way the "base" or lower piece mounts is different from a TJ to a JK. The TJ mounts horizontally, were as the JK mounts vertically. Because of the way the base is designed I had to disassemble the base & loop. Turn the loop 180° and re-assemble it. That only fixed half of the problem. So out came the Dremel. Had to do some cutting to allow the loop to be "opened" enough to clear the latch block which mounts to the hood. Fortunately for me, no drilling was required. After getting the bases trimmed enough to work properly, I mounted them on one side.
Because of the size of the base, the bottom piece sets out away from the hood so far that when latched, it sets at a 45° to 60° angle. The short answer here is, they just don't look "right". Kinda silly looking. Sorry, I was so disappointed that I didn't take any pictures.
When I started this, So many JK owners in my area were flocking to the dealers to buy the JL latches for their JK's that they were on backorder. So I purchased mine off of Amazon for $27. So it didn't hurt so bad when they failed to work. I did compare them to a set of factory latches before starting the process, and the looked identical. I was not doing this to eliminate hood flutter, or to replace broken latches. For me it was simply a cosmetic thing, the "WOW" factor. I just wanted something.....different.
It kind of worked out alright in the end though, because it pushed me to bite the bullet on the double din touch screen head unit upgrade with backup camera. And that turned out great. So in the end, I got to spend a day "tinkering" on my Jeep. And that's always a good day.

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kmas0n

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Well very cool you tried. Things don't always work the way we want, but i applaud the effort
 

Tim Redman

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I agree with this, I typically buy American, but sometimes I just wanna save a buck or two.
The Chinese Trucklites on mine are still performing great, even after hitting a deer.
I also have the Drake knock-off hood pins and love em, holding up well too.
Agreed, and I didn't really go into the decision to buy the headlights blind, if you'll pardon the pun. My purchase was based on the reviews of people (mostly on here, actually) who had purchased the same headlights over a year prior, who had a chance to break them in and use them in real world situations. Regardless of where it's made, I've always felt that, generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Cheap gets you cheap. But every once in a while, something just works, and I'm far too pragmatic to ignore that possibility.
 

bluescapegoat

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Jul 7, 2019
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MN
I installed the Rugged Ridge black coated aluminum hood latches when I did my fenders, I liked the look and adjustability. Really solid part, installed nice. Coating has chipped since, not exactly a surprise.

My Chinese-made Trucklite knockoffs have performed exemplary (lets face it, the original lights created a very low bar to surpass), at a very attractive price point.
I just want to add my 2 cents, but my headlights/taillights are Truck-Lite and they're fantastic. Not sure what low bar you're talking about, unless you're referring to the OEM lights, which are indisputably garbage.
 

Tray Burge

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Jan 15, 2019
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On the front porch with a cuban and a scotch
Agreed, and I didn't really go into the decision to buy the headlights blind, if you'll pardon the pun. My purchase was based on the reviews of people (mostly on here, actually) who had purchased the same headlights over a year prior, who had a chance to break them in and use them in real world situations. Regardless of where it's made, I've always felt that, generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Cheap gets you cheap. But every once in a while, something just works, and I'm far too pragmatic to ignore that possibility.
I agree, I'm willing to try some things out and some things I'll just go ahead and spend the money.
DISCLAIMER: The headlights on my Jeep above aren't the Trucklite knockoffs.
 
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