During the dawn of automobiles, hood ornaments were made to cover up the unsightly appearance of a radiator cap or temperature gauge. However, as time passed, these ornaments started to become more common, and they gave vehicles an added level of class. Slowly, they also became a status symbol as more luxury cars affixed their models with unique and stunning pieces. Today, they have become a favorite accessory among customization buffs. If you happen to be one of them or if you just need a replacement for your car's broken hood ornament, here's a quick and basic guide that you can read to help you make the right purchase.
Original vs. Replica
The main difference between original and replica hood ornaments are their prices. You can expect original pieces to cost more, especially if you choose one for an antique car. On the other hand, you can buy replicas and other designs at around $50 or even less. They also differ in terms of the material used. Depending on the car that you drive, your hood ornament can be made of brass, zinc, bronze, etc. Other ornaments are also chrome-plated while some automakers use plastic or glass to make their pieces. When choosing a new one for your vehicle, make sure it will match the overall look of your ride.
Old vs. New
If your current ornament is damaged, you'd better replace it right away to bring back the look of your vehicle. If you want, you can take this chance to do a little customization in your ride. Instead of buying a replacement for your broken ornament, you can buy a new design to shake things up. There's a wide variety of designs available in the market today. But to narrow down your search, you can start with a theme or an era when looking for a new style that will fit your car and personal preference.
Installing a Hood Ornament
Step 1: Measure the surface area of your car's hood to ensure that the ornament will be placed at the center. Then, using a masking tape, mark the spot where you intend to place the accessory.
Step 2: After that, check the mounting holes at the bottom of the ornament. There are usually two holes and you should measure the distance between them so that you can calculate the center part of the piece.
Step 3: As soon as you have the measurements all figured out, mark the masking tape that you pasted on the hood's surface earlier.
Step 4: Next, double check if the measurements are correct by placing the hood ornament on top of the marked masking tape.
Step 5: If it's correct, drill two holes on your hood to accommodate the new ornament.
Step 6: After that, remove the masking tape before bolting the new ornament in place. Use a socket and ratchet to secure it in position.
Step 7: When it's already bolted in, try to move the hood ornament a little to see if it already fits your vehicle right.