Five Points to Consider Before Replacing Your Bonnet With a Carbon Fiber Bonnet

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Wondering if you should replace the original bonnet on your Toyota ute with a carbon fiber one? There are pros and cons to both sides of the equation, and ultimately, the right answer depends on your objectives. Here's a closer look at the facts you should consider:

1. Carbon fiber is lighter than steel.

In most cases, Toyota trucks are made with steel, with some plastic accents. A steel bonnet weighs more than a carbon fiber one. As a result, if you plan to race your car, if you want the ability to reach high speeds in short amounts of time or if you like the thought of reducing weight to improve your fuel efficiency, a carbon-fiber hood may be better for you.

However, research shows that people are less likely to be injured in crashes if their vehicles are bigger and heavier than average. By keeping the original bonnet, you don't make your car any bigger, but you maintain its weight, a fact that could translate to safety.

2. Carbon-fiber bonnets can be designed to accommodate larger engines.

If you are altering the engine of your Toyota ute so that you can use the vehicle for racing, the stock bonnet may no longer fit over the engine. Some racing enthusiasts deal with this issue by cutting into their bonnets and creating a space for the engine to jut out. This can be a labour-intensive process, however, and it leaves the engine exposed to the elements.

If you want your modified engine to be protected, you may want to consider a custom, carbon-fiber bonnet. In many cases, you can also buy carbon-fiber bonnets that are designed to work with large engines. If you have put in new cylinders and you have a raised valve cover, there are carbon-fiber bonnets that have the clearance you need.

3. Carbon-fiber bonnets offer aesthetic value.

Many drivers simply like the look of a carbon-fiber bonnet. Traditionally, these bonnets are dark grey or black, and they often feature a slightly textured look with a reflective finish. This is a stylistic departure from hoods that match the rest of the vehicle, and it's a sleek and sophisticated look many drivers crave.

Ultimately, if you decide that you just want the style of a carbon-fiber hood, you may want to opt for a carbon-fiber wrap. These are simply installed on the top of your original hood. This is cheaper and less intensive than putting in a new hood, but it gives you the same look.

4. Carbon-fiber bonnets may not work with hydraulic pistons.

Unfortunately, if your car uses hydraulic pistons to open the bonnet, that may not work with a carbon-fiber bonnet. Because they are lightweight and relatively flexible, these bonnets need to be supported more gently than they would be by hydraulic pistons. As a result, you may need to work with a Toyota truck parts specialist to replace some of the opening mechanisms you have with your original bonnet, if you decide to put in a carbon-fiber bonnet.

5. Carbon-fiber bonnets require pins.

Finally, as these hoods are so lightweight, they have been known to fly open whilst driving or even just lift a bit on the road, potentially causing visibility issues. To avoid that, you may need to add pins to hold your carbon-fiber bonnet in place. Luckily, it's relatively easy to add pins.

You only need a basic tool set, a drill, and a dremel with sanding and grinding bits. Additionally, you need some painted tape, sealant, rags and something to mark the spots for the pins on your hood. Basically, although the exact steps are slightly more complicated, you are going to drill holes in your hood, put in the pins and seal the surrounding area.

If you're looking for more truck body parts for your vehicle, contact a company like Moore Truck Parts.