The Garage - VIS Hood
I need more air and space under my hood and found the perfect solution!

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Last Updated: 12/3/2013
VIS Hood

Octane Motorsports
Phone: (916) 366-0230
Click here to visit their website.

VIS Racing
Address: 18856 E. San Jose Ave. City of Industry, CA 91748
Phone: 626-839-9833
(Mon-Fri 9:00am - 6:00pm PST).
Click here to send an email

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The fact is, I running out of room under my original OEM hood especially with my 12.75" dia. Mopar Airfilter mounted on top of my throttle body.

The intake of cold air high up there was almost impossible to achieve, actually it was likely the hottest area under the hood. Especially in the summer month the hood felt hot to the touch everytime I have returned from a trip, even short ones, and that isn't good at all.

I also carry alot of extra weight in the Durango and it doesn't hurt looking into a way to make my truck a bit lighter. I have seen claims of fiberglass components for cars and trucks which weigh 50% less than steel.
I have been thinking and researching about a fiberglass or other replacement hood for my Durango for over a year now but couldn't decide on what to get. There are many hoods available from Keystone, Composite-Tech Hoods, VIS Racing, Reflexxion, and others. I finally found a hood which offered good looks, cooling vents for forcing air into my intake, and it had a price tag fitting nicely into my limited budget.

The VIS Racing Outlaw II Hood
A fiberglass hood for the Durango
The hood comes with a smooth black gel coat finish. Made with hand laid fiberglass and feels ultra-light weight with about 15 lbs and is definitely quite a bit lighter than the original hood.

The hood reuses factory hinges and latches and thus installs just like a factory hood would. Fitment is excellent and guaranteed. Octane Motorsports recommends the usage of hood pins for all of the hoods in their product catalog.

The hood retails for about $370.00 - $500.00 (depending were you shop) + approx. $175.00 for truck freight to a residential address and usually ships directly from the manufacturer's warehouse.

The hood has the fully functional split vents which are pre-cut and the mesh grille is also included with the hood! Manufactured by ViS Racing.

Octane Motorsports
Octane Motorsports specializes in retail & wholesale in body kits, hoods & accessories and more...

I ordered my VIS hood (VIS-98DGDUR2DOL2-010) from Octane Motorsports online which offers a very good tracking system on their website. Octane Motorsports has also a well established feedback history on ebay. This was quite important to me as it was my first order from them and this is a lot of money for me.

It all worked out though, and I have been very happy with the speed of email replies and shipping updates from them. Octane Motorsport has provided me with a fantastic product, excellent service, and speedy shipment. I can recommend them to you.

VIS has the hood usually in stock and may ship within a couple of business days. If the item is not in stock, it will take 1-2 weeks to ship out via Truck Freight from the manufacturer's warehouse. This hood will fit all models of the 1998-2003 Dodge Durango SUV models, including V6, V8, models.

The new hood has arrived!
The truck just left delivering my new VIS hood which arrived beyond well packed. Two layers of cardboard, bubble wrap, wood sheeting on all fragile corners, and styrofoam on the edges.
What a nice surprise that there are still people out there which do think before handing a product to the shipper. My compliments for a job well done to the people in the warehouse at VIS! I couldn't done it any better even if I tried to

The first step was to completely remove all the packaging. The tape which was used to hold the padding on the edges in places left a very sticky residue behind. I used 3M's adhesive remover to take care of that.

Inspection of the undersid of the hood revealed a clever vent cover system. The super lightweight cover is held in place only by a few stainless steel phillips screws which when removed allowed the cover to be taken off and allows the air to enter the engine room somewhat like the ramjet hoods I have seen at the races.

The new hood get's unpacked with the help of my son!

I was impressed with all the reinforced bolts and tabs for the use of the hardware from the original hood. And yes, the bolts were metric just as the OEM hood.
The only work will be to drill out the holes for the Grill, pre-mounting it to the truck for proper fit, and to give the hood a paintjob.

Looking at the underside of the hood reveals a vent cover.

My son inspects carefully both of the vents to assure some proper air intake for the good 'ol 5.9l in the Durango!
Prefitting and Mounting the Hood
My friend Gary arrived as usual on our weekly wrenching day which is Friday's and we got started on prefitting and mounting the hood. Of course it had to rain like crazy on that afternoon and it was getting cold outside as well. Gary is a trooper, he doesn't mind and is always a great help.

The first step was to remove the OEM hood from the Durango.

Removing the grill from the hood was a simple but time consuming job.

In the rain it's twice the fun, not! We didn't have any other option because my garage isn't high enough to remove the hood.

The OEM hood on the garage wall with the Grill held by only 2 screws for temporary storage.

The next step was to mount the VIS hood to the Durango and drill the holes for the grill and install the hood latch. The hood latching mechanic was absolutely dry, meaning it could have used some oil. However, not oiling it just yet made the install a lot easier because it prevented the hood from jumping open.

The hood mounted right up and the fit was excellent only the gap to the fender needed some adjustment!
I love the bold look of the VIS hood on the Durango. The space gained under the hood will help in every aspect.

The grill has been also sucessfully installed. I drilled the holes carefully using the old chrome grill as a template. They did need a bit of opening up with a Dremmel but everything went smooth as butter.

Painting the Hood
I took a drive down to the Auto Parts store on the following Wednesday to have the paint guy proof test the paint on my Durango and mix me a pint up for purchase. I brought it straight over to my friend Neil from across the street which has offered to paint the hood for me during the upcoming weekend.

My friend Neil is wet sanding the hood an inspection of the hood for inperfections in the surface follows.

The hood was then hung in the paint booth for shooting a coat of black colored sanding surfacer primer.

The backside of the hood was also primed and the grill mesh from the vents have been removed

Mixing the primer and paint is a science by itself. Lot's of cans, primers, hardeners, activators, and what not.

Shooting the second coat of primer was successful.

Next step is again more sanding and then finally the actual paint goes on and several coats of clear coat.

The hood has now received a Graphite Metallic paint coat and several top coats in clear.

After two days of allowing it to dry, the hood top is covered to prevent over shooting while painting the backside.

Normally the back is done first but we didn't know if the paint was enough, I only purchased a pint!

After taping up the intake vents, the backside of the hood is now finally ready for a coat of Graphite Metallic paint as well.

The hood's underside is now being painted.

Well, the remaining paint was just enough to shoot the underside.
The painted hood has now to sit for a day or two for the paint to cure out. Then the hood can be handled safely.

All what's left for me to do is sanding down the two grill mesh inserts from the hood intakes and paint them black.The vent grill meshes are re-installed after the painted VIS hood is mounted to the Durango.

Completing Paint & Install
The paint job is done and the final mounting of the VIS hood onto the Durango went well and without any problems. The hood mechanism and spring received a good amount of oil and it was working like new. Hold on, it is new!!

Neil is a perfectionist and it shows in his work. After the hood was mounted to the truck the few inperfections I actually couldn't see are sanded out from the top coat. He finishes out with buffing the hood to a glorious shine. It looks awesome!

If you would have told me that just changing the hood would make such a appearance difference I would not have believed it!
It's almost like a new truck, she looks awesome. This was worth it and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!!

Mopar paint job on a budget?
Not happening unless you are lucky enough to have a friend like I do! Thus, I would like to thank my friend Neil for painting my hood, for his time and effort, and for all the extra material he used of his own.

I wouldn't have been able to afford an expensive paint job at this time, having a friend like him is sure awesome!
This project was completed on 10-29-2009

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