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MODIFYING

AFTERMARKET HOODS

For All 1983-88 Cougars / Thunderbirds
Revised August 26, 2016

Back when these cars were new, there were a few companies that made aftermarket fiberglass hoods for the Fox Cougar/Thunderbird, thanks to the aero Thunderbird's popularity in drag racing. In the 1990s companies pretty much stopped making them altogether, as they focused on newer and more popular cars and trucks. But starting in the late 1990s, a resurgence came about in making quality fiberglass hoods for our cars. Whether you just want a different look, need a lightweight hood for racing, or need a taller hood for engine clearance, this is actually the best time ever to buy one.

Listed below is the most complete and comprehensive list of aftermarket hoods currently available for the 1983-88 Cougar/Thunderbird. If you happen to know of one that's not listed here, please contact us so this information can be shared with everyone.

One note of caution: remember that with any aftermarket fiberglass hood, you will not be able to use your hood latch to pop the hood anymore. These hoods require hood pins of some type, whether a physical pin and lanyard, or a locking key style. You can find either type at Summit Racing or Jeg's easily. You have to ask yourself whether you want to lose your car's functionality in the hood latch department before buying one of these hoods. If you can live with that fact, read on.

NOTE: Please visit manufacturers' websites for current pricing and shipping rates.



US Body - 3" Cowl Hood

US Body - 3" Cowl Hood

Left: The hood at left is from US Body Source in FL. It's a 3" Dominator cowl hood with a fully finished liner (underside), completed in gelcoat and primed for painting. The cowl is not functional; the liner assures that it's completely blocked off underneath. In other words, it's not a functional cowl hood where engine heat can escape in the cowl area. But that shouldn't stop you from considering it if you want the look (and besides, you could always customize it to your needs if necessary). The workmanship is excellent and this is a great choice for a show vehicle. There is minor trimming necessary around the perimeter (removal of a 1" lip) and near the windshield, and it is recommended that you block sand the top to get some of the waves out. We did find minor pinholes in the gelcoat that needed filled in; not really an issue since all hoods have this. Otherwise, that was the extent of the labor involved.

US Body - Stock Hood

US Body - 10" Torpedo Hood

Left: US Body also makes this hood in a lightweight racing version, and makes stock-type hoods in bolt-on and pin-on versions. Part numbers are as follows:

HEAVY DUTY (Street)
1983-88 Stock Hood (top left), p/n FTBH-2
1983-88 Dominator Hood 3", p/n TTBH-83

LIGHTWEIGHT (Race only)
1983-88 Stock Hood, p/n TBH-1
1983-88 Dominator Hood 3", p/n TBH-7C
1983-88 10" Torpedo Hood (bottom left), p/n TBH-92

Champion Hoods - 3" Cowl Hood

Left: This 3" fiberglass cowl hood is from Champion Hoods and Products in OH, which the company says is a bolt-on hood utilizing OEM hinges, latch and hardware, and features a partially finished underside liner.

Crites Performance Hood

Left: This is one of the wildest hoods we've seen. It's a creation of Crites Performance Parts from OH, which specializes in replacement and aftermarket parts for older Ford vehicles. This hood is listed as a ram-air style hood.

VFN Fiberglass - 5" Hood

Left: This 5" hood comes from VFN Fiberglass in IL, and the race version is even extended. Options are below:

  • Stock Flat Pin-On Hood
  • Stock Flat Bolt-On Hood
  • 5" Extended Lift-Off Hood
  • 5" Pin-On Hood (Not Extended)
  • 5" Bolt-On Hood (Not Extended)
Hairy Glass Door

Left: Hairy Glass from FL has been around for many years, and they still produce fiberglass parts for our cars. However, they're mostly for drag cars and not practical for everyday use. Their selection is mostly for Thunderbirds but they have interchangeable Cougar parts available in fiberglass, including doors and hoods.

Showcars Bodyparts Front End

Left: Showcars Bodyparts in Ontario, Canada also features fiberglass hoods and body parts, mostly for drag cars. They also carry stock steel body panels. Check the listings for your needs.

 



If you can't afford a fiberglass hood, or if you prefer more stock-looking hoods, you do have some alternatives:

Thunderbird Turbo Coupe Hood

Thunderbird Turbo Coupe Hood

Left: Most popular is a 1987-88 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe hood, which bolts right up to your Cougar. Obviously the scoops are no longer functional on a V6 or V8 car, and in fact should be capped to prevent water from leaking onto your distributor. Also, on 5.0L V8 cars the a/c bracket must be shaved down so that the driver's scoop will clear. There may be minor clearance issues with other engines but nothing extremely difficult to deal with. With the availablility of these hoods, and the comfort of knowing that it's a factory Ford part, this is a very tempting proposition. Pricing is very erratic, however, so shop wisely.

Fox Mustang Factory Hood Scoop

Left: Another solution would be to use an older Fox Mustang factory hood scoop. These were found on 1979-82 Mustangs and the lines are nearly perfect for the fitment on our hood. We have seen people put this scoop on facing forward or backward, and either looks pretty good. It does bolt on, so this requires drilling holes in your hood, but it will give a factory-type look that's stunningly easy to achieve.

Along those same lines, you can always graft a different aftermarket hood scoop onto your stock hood. Some are fiberglass, some are plastic. Also, some bolt on, and some stick on. Really it's up to you, your budget, and your willingness to drill holes in a perfectly good hood.

 

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