Dodge Ram loose hood - how to adjust?

JHZR2

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Hood latches fine, both primary and secondary. But there is just so much play. Rubber buffers are there, maybe they’re worn down or too low? There’s similar play at the back, but all hinge parts, bolts, etc. seem fine. Hinge was lubed and runs well.


Any suggestions on how to adjust? Running down the highway it does move up and down. That’s my main concern, when something does fail, then it will fly. A tighter held down hood would prevent the latches from wearing and hitting due to that motion.

I have no idea if the main latch has been adjusted. Certainly years and lots of miles might have shifted something. But I don’t want to just move a latch, for example, and be covering other issues.

Any recommendations?

Thanks!
 
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Prolly a little wear on everything including the hinges, I had to adjust the hood latch on my '97 Ram CTD at least once. Also don't overlook the Latch Striker on the hood itself.....Could be about cut in two ;)
 
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JHZR2

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Prolly a little wear on everything including the hinges, I had to adjust the hood latch on my '97 Ram CTD at least once. Also don't overlook the Latch Striker on the hood itself.....Could be about cut in two ;)

The striker was what I looked at first and was most concerned with. There’s some wear but nothing overly concerning, IMO...

I guess I’ll start to tighten each piece in the right direction up or down, and see where it goes.

I wonder if a new striker is a smart move anyway?
 
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I wouldn't if there's still good "meat" there, Some new Bump Stops would be a good idea.
Aren't there some secondary rubber isolators down the outer edges of the hood on or the Fenders? ......Been awhile since I've worked on one of these.
 

JHZR2

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I wouldn't if there's still good "meat" there, Some new Bump Stops would be a good idea.
Aren't there some secondary rubber isolators down the outer edges of the hood on or the Fenders? ......Been awhile since I've worked on one of these.

Maybe there were long ago...
 
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British Columbia, Canada
While it doesn't sound like your hood is about to come loose, I was in a vehicle when it happened. We were driving on the highway in a friend's '57 or '58 Dodge sedan. The hood suddenly flipped open and the airflow bent it back over the windshield and roof. My friend was able to see a bit between the hood and the A pillar. He quickly opened the window and put his head out as we came to a stop.

The hood was pretty bent up but we straightened it out a bit and managed to tie it down into place - more or less. The windshield was fine.

Pretty exciting episode just the same.
 
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25,462
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Hood latches fine, both primary and secondary. But there is just so much play. Rubber buffers are there, maybe they’re worn down or too low? There’s similar play at the back, but all hinge parts, bolts, etc. seem fine. Hinge was lubed and runs well.


Any suggestions on how to adjust? Running down the highway it does move up and down. That’s my main concern, when something does fail, then it will fly. A tighter held down hood would prevent the latches from wearing and hitting due to that motion.

I have no idea if the main latch has been adjusted. Certainly years and lots of miles might have shifted something. But I don’t want to just move a latch, for example, and be covering other issues.

Any recommendations?

Thanks!
Any chance you can post a picture of the hinges and latch?
 
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3,099
Location
USA
Looseness at the back suggests the hinge bolts are loose. Most owners don't have enough patience with engine trouble to wear out the hood hinges, they would trade or junk the truck.

Adjust the front side bumpers so the hood is level with the fenders when closed. Loosen the bolts holding the latch to the radiator support and move it downward to tighten the hood. Set it as far down as you can to still have the hood fully latch when you slam it down.
 
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Bremerton, WA
There's bump stops on the radiator support bar that are adjustable or replaceable that tension the hood upwards into the latch to dampen this. Judging how the hood actually comes down all the way and makes contact with the fenders I'm almost sure that this is the issue.
 
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It looks like the hood also needs to go back slightly, I wouldn't be surprised if the hinge bolts were loose or missing a few also as the other poster said there would have to be a lot of wear to get that much play. I doubt that is the case.
The stops may be missing up front and should be replaced before trying to set the latch.
 

JHZR2

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Looseness at the back suggests the hinge bolts are loose. Most owners don't have enough patience with engine trouble to wear out the hood hinges, they would trade or junk the truck.
AC012C3F-CC93-47E6-897B-D9AE3A5379E0.jpeg

It has been opened and shut a few times...


There's bump stops on the radiator support bar that are adjustable or replaceable that tension the hood upwards into the latch to dampen this. Judging how the hood actually comes down all the way and makes contact with the fenders I'm almost sure that this is the issue.
06FD94C1-CD61-4E8B-98A1-C0710B441969.jpeg
A6356820-8A8F-4F6A-958E-7A546919AE39.jpeg

Stops look ok but I wonder if the hood part has gotten beaten in?


Any chance you can post a picture of the hinges and latch?
E172AF23-E119-4318-B912-22AF8A8F7E3F.jpeg
B62DA20A-0D4B-4F78-9878-C15210D924CB.jpeg
347E8EF9-26BC-473F-A40C-6EF58758C98D.jpeg
B5B7F0E2-3CCB-4BE9-967F-04F51E2BCD50.jpeg
31E11FEF-0C80-472F-B54A-F59C9752EE15.jpeg
 
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USA
I don't know about this model but usually there's a fairly big compression spring on the hood at the front center that makes it "pop" up when the latch is released. This spring keeps constant upward pressure on the latch so the hood doesn't rattle up and down at that point.

You can always move the side bumpers up a little more to contribute to that effect.
 

JHZR2

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My S-10 has that type of spring. Don’t think the Ram does. It has springs in its hinges.
 
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That latch is looking tired and hogged out and the striker is shot, I would probably change them. Check the hinges for play, you may have to swap those out as well.
If the hood (I assume its aluminum) is dented in from the bump stops and there is no more adjustment you can JB weld a couple of thick fender washers on the hood.
 

JHZR2

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That latch is looking tired and hogged out and the striker is shot, I would probably change them. Check the hinges for play, you may have to swap those out as well.
If the hood (I assume its aluminum) is dented in from the bump stops and there is no more adjustment you can JB weld a couple of thick fender washers on the hood.

There is play in the hinges but it’s difficult to see where.
It’s easy enough to replace the latch.

The hood, at least the outer part, is steel. I’ll need to see if the inner part where the buffers beat into the metal is stee or aluminum. I like the idea of some fender washers on there. I got some with some tiny screws and JB weld. Will see what I can do with that.
 

JHZR2

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45,659
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That latch is looking tired and hogged out and the striker is shot, I would probably change them. Check the hinges for play, you may have to swap those out as well.
If the hood (I assume its aluminum) is dented in from the bump stops and there is no more adjustment you can JB weld a couple of thick fender washers on the hood.
Tried this. Used some tiny neodymium magnets to hold on a washer. It fixed the issue about 75%. Will job weld maybe two washers on there when I have a warm second.

E0B6F3DD-888F-4553-AC8D-59DB3C1F0502.jpeg
1C0B1045-DFDE-4B90-B903-32119E2C8A67.jpeg
 
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