Lightweight GRP bonnet/hood for the KJ???

Discussion in 'KJ General Discussion' started by jeepsterkj, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. jeepsterkj

    jeepsterkj Full Access Member

    Likes Received:
    Jun 3, 2018
    London, UK
    I opened my bonnet to top up my power steering fluid and just as I had finished the job the bonnet came crashing down in an instant, BANG!, with no warning whatsover! If my head had been under it at the time, as it was a few seconds earlier, I could have been killed or at the very least seriously injured! It made me apprecieate how heavy the KJ's steel bonnet actually is. If it had been lighter, and made of GRP say, my obviously worn the gas struts would have still held it up, and even if it did fall it would have had a lot less momentum behind it making it less dangerous to work under.
    This incident has renewed my interest in getting a lightweight GRP bonnet made for my KJ.
    A lighter weight GRP bonnet would only bring positive benefits for KJ owners...It would lower the KJ's centre of gravity, which would improve both the KJ's on-road handling, its off road ability, and it would save fuel as you won't be lugging around so much unnecessary bulk. It will never rust, and it would even be possible to provide a nicer looking bonnet design than the original too if enough potential customers wanted it.
    All it requires is an initial GRP mould to be made, using a KJ bonnet to provide the shape. Used steel KJ bonnets can bought for under £40 ($60) on ebay so at least that part of the process won't be too expensive. The rest is messy, potentially dangerous work, best left to professionals IMO.
    I have made enquiries with several specialist GRP moulding companies in the UK and I'm waiting for their quotes.
    If there was enough interest from other KJ owners, and they could put deposits up front to split the cost, this could be an affordable and beneficial project for all involved.
    So what do you guys think?
  2. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Likes Received:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Southeastern Ohio
    Actual amount saved in weight would be minimal really. The KJ is heavy and saving 20 lbs is not enough to make it worth while in the real world . Install new struts to hold it up
    Just like some guys used to remove all their skids before going on a road trip, waste of time.
  3. LibertyTC

    LibertyTC Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Likes Received:
    Oct 24, 2008
    B.C. Canada
  4. JasonJ

    JasonJ Full Access Member

    Likes Received:
    Jul 8, 2013
    I think you are exaggerating the possible outcomes of being bonked on the head by the hood(bonnet). I've had my head under there working on something plenty of times and had it come down on me. Still not dead or seriously injured.

    What really happens is that there is not enough time for it to accelerate with enough inertia to do any real damage. Remember F=MA. Yeah it smarts, but realistically it hits your upper back/shoulders more often than not, and it only falls down about 10-12" before your body stops it.

    Just buy new hood struts and be done with it. As Tom said, saving 20lbs on a 4000lbs vehicle is not going to benefit much. For as long as the hood struts last, which on mine was about 110,000 miles of use.. seems much simpler to just put a new set of $40 supports on it for the next 7-10 years.