KJ Jones
June 20, 2011

As you'll read in an upcoming issue, we've modified the look of our '02 Mustang GT with the addition of several new body pieces from Mr. BodyKit.com, the highlight being a 2.5-inch Mach 2 fiberglass hood. Details on the 'Stang's new hood and other cosmetic improvements (Saleen S281 rear wing, upper and lower sidescoops, Gen-10 LED taillights, 18-inch '10 Shelby GT500 wheels) will be covered later.

However, one addition that won't be mentioned in the story is the billet hoodpin set we installed before taking the Mustang to Ford Auto Body in Van Nuys, California, where body-and-paint specialists performed the bulk of our Pony's cosmetic surgery.

Our purpose for installing hoodpins is twofold. First, with the new Mach 2 hood being fiberglass and much, much lighter than the factory bonnet, we're concerned about the OEM latch assembly's ability to maintain a tight grip on the replacement piece. While the latch should have no problem holding the hood down during normal driving, the last thing we want to see is the hood slammed against the windshield when the 'Stang is at high speed.

The second reason is vanity. The Mach 2 definitely is a sexy hood on its own, but we think pins, especially this particular set (which is actually made for S197 Mustangs and Shelby GTs), will add just the right amount of competitive attitude to further set off our '02's new look.

The following photos and captions cover our in-the-driveway installation of the Shelby billet-aluminum hoodpins (PN 12541; $109), which are available through AmericanMuscle.com. While our install procedure includes minor TIG-welding, the job can be accomplished in full bolt-on fashion using handtools.

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