How to Cure Jeep JK Wrangler Hood Flutter
A simple hood latch upgrade from Daystar is the key to keeping your Jeep JK Wrangler hood closed at freeway speeds.
Are you tired of watching the hood of your JK Wrangler flutter and jump as you go down the highway? Does it distract you to the point of wanting to cinch it down with a ratchet strap? Here's the deal. The factory JK rubber hood latches are quite soft and have a lot of stretch built into them. Whether that's to keep the latch mounts from loosening or pulling out over time or to help protect the structural areas on which the latches mount is a matter of conjecture. In reality, if you're leaving your JK Wrangler's suspension stock, then hood flutter isn't as big a deal since the factory suspension rakes the front of the vehicle downward slightly for improved aerodynamics. However, in times of high wind, if you're loaded so the rear of the suspension is level with the front, or if you've added an aftermarket lift or leveling kit that reduces or eliminates that factory nose-down rake, then you're much more likely to get air underneath the hood and trying to lift it upwards in an annoying flutter.
There are some solid hood latch conversion kits out there on the market, but to reiterate one of the potential reasons for the super-slinky factory rubber latches, there's no give to help protect the relatively fragile hood and fenders from fatigue. Daystar, however, has an upgraded hood latch kit that retains the factory JK hood latch hinges and replaces the weak rubber latch with a stronger polyurethane latch that hits that sweet spot of still providing some sheetmetal-saving give while providing enough closing tension to prevent the hood from fluttering. And even if you're not suffering from hood flutter, by now most JKs are old enough that the factory rubber latch may have deteriorated to the point of completely snapping.
We had a buddy with a JK Wrangler that suffered both from the hood flutter issue and then eventually a completely snapped factory rubber latch. We sent him a set of Daystar hood latches, and with only a pair of Phillips head screwdrivers and the expenditure of a couple minutes per side, he had his JK Wrangler's hood secured down.