1962 Chevy Truck - Hands-Free Hood
Automatic Hood Lift System
In the world of custom trucks, it takes a lot these days to turn heads. Perfect paint, custom engine work, an immaculate interior, and you name it. Meanwhile, all of the competition has cool stuff, too. Many folks have raised their game to this level, and what used to be a show winner can now easily get lost in a crowd.
One interesting modification sure to turn heads is an automatic hood-lift system. We have seen something similar with tonneau covers, but automatically lifting the hood on a custom truck is much more rare because it involves a little more engineering. Tom Elliott, the owner of BAD Rods & Restorations, has put together a system for a customer's '62 Chevy that is ingenious in its simplicity. The good news here is that Elliott's system doesn't use any one-off billet components that are impossible for the average Joe to obtain. Instead, along with two Autoloc 250-pound actuators and control modules, most of the system can be fabricated with little more than a welder, a grinder, and some hours in the garage.
Elliott was able to keep the existing hood hinges, which minimizes the number of pieces that must be fabricated and helps to keep the massive hood stable as it is raised and lowered. In order to keep the geometry correct, the actuators must be mounted inside of the cab to push on the hinges, but they are in a location where it can easily be fabricated from 18-gauge steel plate and some square tubing. A Lexan board mounted on the back of the cab, and behind the seat, serves as the perfect mount for the remote-control receivers, the control module, and the rest of the electronics.
Operating the system is also quite simple. A hood release latch is mounted underneath the steering column in the cab of the truck. Once the latch is released, the hood is raised with Autoloc's motor control unit with a touch of a button on the remote key fob. The control unit can be programmed to extend and retract to whatever point the operator desires. So once the actuators are started, they will raise the hood to the fully open position and then stop. Likewise, it can also be programmed to lower the hood slowly until the latch catches and stops.