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Old 03-13-2017, 01:49 PM   #1
BIGglaSS
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Hood latch reliability?

How reliable are the factory style hood latches? (55-57). I'm on the fence of buying a repop hood latch. Or fabricate my own modern, cable operated latch/catch. Opinions?
Thanks
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:45 PM   #2
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

They're crap. They ONLY last 50-60 years! Lol
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Old 03-13-2017, 04:36 PM   #3
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

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Originally Posted by Dan in Pasadena View Post
They're crap. They ONLY last 50-60 years! Lol
I'm thinking they only last a hundred years. We only have proof of 50-60 though.


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Old 03-13-2017, 04:40 PM   #4
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

Comedians... who needs 'em...

BIGglaSS, do you have an original...or one that's not working?

I am curious if you are looking for a cable release version...
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Old 03-13-2017, 05:11 PM   #5
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

been driving task force trucks since 73 never had one prematurely pop
even the door latches are good on these trucks but have a 15 year life span
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:18 PM   #6
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

I don't have one.

Looking at pictures on-line, I can't figure out how the primary latch stays secure. Looking at my daily driver, it is a rotary bear claw. That looks 100x more secure than the original design. Yes, I would like an interior cable release, but not totally necessary.

After all, I don't think the engineers designed these for 80 mph.
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Old 03-13-2017, 10:25 PM   #7
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

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Originally Posted by BIGglaSS View Post
....I can't figure out how the primary latch stays secure.
Sorry about the smartass response. Sometimes you have to go with your strengths...and one of mine is being a smartass!

You realize there is NO non-primary latch? No secondary latch like a modern car - the latch is latched or its not.

I have seen at least one very smart secondary/security latch approach. If i can find the photos I'll post them here.

Here it is. An ordinary lock available from Home Depot and lots of other places. Not easily visible once installed:


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Old 03-13-2017, 11:37 PM   #8
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

^ That's an interesting solution.

Disregard. I found the original latch. Started digging through a box of parts that came with the truck. I didn't know I had it. Previous owner took the truck apart, and I brought it home in boxes.

I'll have to look it over and see how it works. Still doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling.
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:02 AM   #9
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

Ah the yard sale 1000 piece puzzle that may be missing a piece or two.

Good on finding the original latch in the mix of parts.

Can't blame you on thinking of running a latch that is operated from the inside of the truck though. I'd like to do the same on my 48 this time around. I've never had anything stolen from under the hood in all the time I owned it but have come back to the truck and found the hood popped open and open and somewhat closed but not closed once when someone decided to look under the hood in a parking lot.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:36 PM   #10
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

I like the original latch but DAN IN PASADENA, that is a cool look. Something for the future consideration.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:37 PM   #11
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

don't know about the 55-57's, but I know the one on my '49 holds great. especially when I rear ended an expedition, the hood didn't come open. but it opened when I pulled the latch.
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:06 AM   #12
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

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I like the original latch but DAN IN PASADENA, that is a cool look. Something for the future consideration.
Thanks. I saw that truck at a rod gathering in Lake Tahoe a couple years ago. I've never seen anyone else do it but it looks pretty ingenious to me. I'm thinking of doing it on mine but I'll use the kind that looks similar but has a barrel type key so it wont be as easy to crack it with a screwdriver. Can't fit them until after the truck is final assembled so it'll be through new paint. Hoping if i tape it and drill through the tape it won't chip.
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:14 AM   #13
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

Quote:
Originally Posted by my56chevytruck View Post
I like the original latch but DAN IN PASADENA, that is a cool look. Something for the future consideration.
Thanks. I saw that truck at a rod gathering in Lake Tahoe a couple years ago. I've never seen anyone else do it but it looks pretty ingenious to me. I'm thinking of doing it on mine but I'll use the kind that looks similar but has a barrel type key so it wont be as easy to crack it with a screwdriver. Can't fit them until after the truck is final assembled so it'll be through new paint. Hoping if i tape it and drill through the tape it won't chip.
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Old 03-16-2017, 10:24 AM   #14
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

am I the only guy that has had a hood latch fail when a semi passed and that wall of air pressure hit the truck? the hood flapped back on the cab, covering the windshield and front of the roof. I was driving blind for a sec or two until I got the side window down and stuck my head out enough to see. i would recomend trying to find a cable operated latch from a newer vehicle that will work. it will have a secondary latch for safety and also the cable operation stops the hood opening by looky lous or thieves. sometimes the looky lous appear to be just looky lous but then you go out to start your truck in the morning and it is gone or parts have disappeared overnight. better to be harder to get to in my books. unless you are going for the bone stock look, a latch from a newer vehicle is just another custom effort to enhance the hotrod culture of your ride.
in the end it is your decision. just keep it safe for yourself and the rest of the people that drive the same roads.
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Old 03-16-2017, 10:59 AM   #15
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

What's funny is I seriously doubt anyone out ripping off car stuff is into these trucks and they don't even know that the hood latch has no inside cable release! Hell, I could leave the keys in the ignition of my Rambler and being no one has a clue what a three on the tree is they can't even drive it! And that is no joke, they literally wouldn't know what to do!

Honestly, if the stock hood latch allowed the hood to open, then it was broken and should have been caught! I see WAY more of a possibility someone modifying my swapping in a latch from some other car failing because of a mistake in that modification than the stock one failing.

It's like any other mod, I love mods! I love hot rods, I love customs, chopping the top swapping in a v8 and five speed, hell yeah! What I hate are the mods people THINK it needs to be "driven on modern highways" and stupid crap like that.

These latches are safe, they have a safety back up that WORKS they don't wear out, they work forever. The door latches, that is a bit different, they suck. They can work, I will have NOS ones on my truck, but yes years ago a door swung open because of the crappy latch that doesn't have the "second latch" modern latches have. But the hood, that sucker is as solid as can be.

I have removed and installed 157,241,268 latches in my 40 years in the autobody industry, pulling them out of smashed up cars where I can't even get them open, aligning them after replacing the rad support, installing them on used hoods, reproduction hoods, new hoods, new latches, used latches, 157,241,268 times! They are so simple it's crazy, you can see them working. But swapping one over from another car, that is a whole different thing. Yes I can do that too, but after 157,241,268 things come easy.

I just don't see a need to get the word out that this needs to be done, it's not a big deal leaving the stock latch.

Brian
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:14 AM   #16
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

I am concerned that someone who wants my show quality hoodbird more than I do might just pop the 'ol hood and make away with it. Even if I secured the hood bird in another way, four bolts removed and the entire hood is bye bye... Other than that, I'm not concerned about locking the hood.
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:36 PM   #17
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
What's funny is I seriously doubt anyone out ripping off car stuff is into these trucks and they don't even know that the hood latch has no inside cable release! Hell, I could leave the keys in the ignition of my Rambler and being no one has a clue what a three on the tree is they can't even drive it! And that is no joke, they literally wouldn't know what to do!

Brian
But I know what to do, Brian. AND I live in California too!

(Fortunately for you, I don't want a Rambler! "Not that there's anything wrong with them")
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Old 03-16-2017, 03:25 PM   #18
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

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But I know what to do, Brian. AND I live in California too!

(Fortunately for you, I don't want a Rambler! "Not that there's anything wrong with them")
But you are a good guy! That's one of my points, the scum aren't into them.

I have an old friend (my oldest friend I still see) who I grew up with CARS (and motorcycles) and we have always went over to the others house to show the other guy our new car when we get one. When I got the Rambler running I drove over and handed him the keys. Now mind you, this guy is an experienced autocrosser with a collection of Vettes. He got in and starred at the shifter wiggling it and said ok, what do I do? LOL He said that the last time he had driven a three on the tree was around 1976 when I taught him how to drive a manual transmission in my 64 Nova! LOL

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Old 03-16-2017, 04:22 PM   #19
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

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Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
I see WAY more of a possibility someone modifying my swapping in a latch from some other car failing because of a mistake in that modification than the stock one failing.
agreed
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Old 03-16-2017, 04:38 PM   #20
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

I haven't driven a column three speed since my dad "sold" his purchased-new black '55 Chevy Belair two door hard top with a 235 straight six and three speed overdrive trans in 1974 for $450. Yeah, I know. It was immaculate too! He bought that engine because he knew, "those new V8's aren't going to amount to anything" lol.

He'd given it to me to drive during high school and I didn't want it because I wanted a '66 Chevy van (Holy Mother of God, what the HELL was I thinking? - don't answer that). I'm very confident I could get into a three-on-the-tree car and drive it flawlessly today, some 45 years since I last did it.

Today I'd LOVE to have one. If my '55 truck had not been converted to an SBC before I bought it I'd have left it. Possibly put a later 292 straight six but I'd have kept the three speed and column shift. Nothing is as cool today.
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:26 PM   #21
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

footstomp, that is a nice bird!
somebody already has mine, prolly a late night hood latch issue. hahaha
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:16 PM   #22
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

I've got (2) 54 hoods and posted one on craigslist. Had a guy contact me and said he lost his hood o the freeway. So I've been thinking, do I need to install some kind of safety mechanism. The more I get into my build, the reality is its gonna be an expensive vehicle when done and I can't afford to loose the hood. So i'm def interested in this thread. The consensus is the stock hood latch is sufficient?
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:00 AM   #23
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

I had a chance to look over the stock latch. Yes, it looks secure. But there is no safety catch! I had the hood on my Olds pop at 65 mph. The safety catch kept it from flipping over the windshield! That's why I'm hesitant to use the stock latch.

I'm thinking of a pin to securely latch it when closed. Maybe a solenoid operated in sync with a power door lock system. Put it in drive or lock the doors, and the hood is electrically pinned shut.

Ideas are turning in my head.
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Old 03-28-2017, 11:57 PM   #24
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

While I agree the average crackhead walking by wouldn't know about our trucks, there are also professional thieves who are looking for certain vehicles for parts, or just lowlife s.o.b.s that want a nice shiny hood bird, or maybe a very old crackhead who wants a new battery. I will be finding a way to add a lock to my hood, haven't figured out how yet.
I think however you lock it, it should be easily accessible in case of a fire.
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Old 03-29-2017, 09:42 AM   #25
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Re: Hood latch reliability?

hey biglass, just ensure you have a fail safe to unlatch the hood in case the battery dies.
I am with speesh on this one. there are guys lurking who make a job out of theft. when they see something out of the ordinary they just can't help thinking how that is a good target if left alone for a minute. I had a truck stolen 3 times, same truck, they used it to haul goods aftert breaking in to houses. the cop told me that thieves look for the easiest target so use a steering wheel lock, like a club, and a theft system with a flashing light and small sticker to show it has a system and wheel nut locks etc. do what you can to slow down the theft process and they will carry on to the next easiest target. it only makes sense if you look at it from the thieves point of view. just my opinion and you guys do whatever you want. hey, it's hotrodding right?
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