Installing a hood vent is a good way to lower the temps under the hood, and bring efficiency to the cooling system while providing front downforce by evacuating high pressure air under the hood. Not to mention is looks pretty neat too, but just like everything here on functiontheory, its all about the function.
My whole Honda life (getting on for almost 20 years now) I have always just run a half sized radiator in all of my cars. 5 years ago when I did my K swap I also installed a half sized radiator, but after my first track day with the car, it was apparent that a half sized radiator wasn’t going to keep my K20 cool. Now yes, a half sized radiator will work just fine if you’re only spiritedly driving your k swap around, street racing, or doing some canyon carving. When it comes to beating on your k swap for 45 minutes straight on a track, a full-size is a must.
For the last two years of owning my EK and doing track days with the D16y8, I was only running a half-size. This was working perfectly and I never once ran into a an overheating issue (even on summer time at SOW) Now that the EK is packing a DOHC VTEC power pant, over heating is on my mind. The increased RPM’s on the B16 with no doubt create more heat. While doing my swap I toyed around with the idea of going full size, but when a brand new C&R radiator, with a SPAL fan mounted to it fell in my lap (thanks Royce) I decided to just do a half size.
Overheating is still in the back of my mind, so to help keep my mind at ease I’m choosing to install a hood vent. When it comes to hood vents, there are many options/styles/brands out there. A few years ago I saw that someone had retrofitted a gt500 mustang hood vent and I thought that it looked pretty good. It took me a few years to justify getting this mod, but with the addition of the B16 I figured it was time.
Now straight away, let me just say that cutting up your hood to put a vent in is very dangerous. You see, there is a very fine line between tasteful and tacky when it comes to doing it. Yes, hood vents can help tremendously but you can definitely do it wrong. I know what you’re thinking, I put a mustang hood vent on my car, how can I tell anyone what’s tasteful.
I’m writing this article, because while doing research on how to install a GT500 hood vent on a civic there wasn’t much info I could find and I wanted to show anyone interested in doing this exactly how it goes.
First off, the GT500 hood vent is actually pretty cheap. Coming in at 120 bucks for an actual OEM Ford part, this is actually a pretty cheap modification. A word of caution though, there are some knock off and replica’s out there. Below is the part number. It’s for a 2010-2014 GT500
This is what it looks like stock.
Below is a few shots of what the vent looks like out of the box. There are no other parts, or hardware that comes with it.
First thing you’ll want to do it create a stencil. This is without a doubt the most difficult part. Do to the way this hood vent fits you’ll have to make the template about 1 inch smaller than the outside of the actual vent.
We chose to make a negative stencil, but you can make it however you choose. Measuring it is very crucial, we used the windshield wiper squitters to help take accurate measurements.
Once we had it centered where I wanted it, we completely tapped down the whole paper stencil. It’s recommended that for the vent to accurately work it should be 4-5 inches from the radiator. It just so happens that it fits perfectly between the edges of the cowl on EK civics.
Before cutting into the hood, cover the engine with a blanket or similar to help stop all the metal bits getting all over the engine bay.
There are multiple different ways to cut it and I’ll leave that up to you. I’m using an air cut off wheel. It’s got a variable speed trigger so its easier to stay on the line when cutting.
There’s a skin to the hood, and there is a skeleton. To keep things clean I cut the skin part off first. There is glue that will be holding it to the skeleton. carefully pry the skin off.
Cut the skeleton from underneath, making sure the skeleton part is wider than the hole cut in the skin. This will allow the vent to fit properly. Ever didn’t have a way to shield my face from the debris, so I guess a helmet will work.
This is what it should look like when its done.
The vent secures with 1 small bolt in the top side center, and two clips on the top side. The bottom side of the vent actually has a groove that slips into the skin part of the hood. Below you can see how I marked the two area’s where the clips lock into the hood. You must make cut outs for the clips to lock into.
You can also see the small hole drilled in the center where the bolt of the vent will go through.
The vent will actually just slide right in, and the two clips should snap into place. It’s just that easy.
Making the template and making sure its perfectly straight is really the hardest part of this whole thing, the rest of it just literally just slip right in. When cutting the small cutouts for the clips start by only cutting a small amount, if you cut too much there won’t be enough pressure to keep the vent tightly in place. The down side to this vent is that it doesn’t sit completely flush (this is just due to the nature of how the vent fits into a mustang hood) so if you’re expecting it to fit flush then just buy another vent. Overall for the cost, the ease of install, and with the amount of hot air that comes out, I’m happy. Plus I feel like the style of the vent matches my car perfectly (not to wild, but just enough)
If you feel like cooling might become an issue for you, this is a pretty easy install and it’s very functional. There are plenty of people choosing to run this vent on their full on track car’s, so I assume if it’s good enough for them, it should be good enough for me. I figure if they can afford to have a full on track car then they could chosen any other vent or vented hood for that matter, so this must work pretty good. (I can see a drop of 8 degrees on my IAT while cruising on the freeway)
I hope this write up helps you see just how easy it is to do this install, and hopefully it will inspire you to make this you next project. As always thanks for reading my blog, and remember if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions you can always email me at Billy@functiontheory.com, DM me on Instagram @Functiontheory, or just comment below I truly want to help you and will reply.