YJ Hood Lock

One nice feature of CJ/YJ/TJs is that you can easily pop open the hood without having to get into the vehicle. Nice, that is, until you start dropping lots of goodies like dual Optimas, on-board air, and a Premier Power Welder under your hood. After I bought my welder, and shortly after my YJ was broken into, my wife suggested that I get a hood lock to keep thieves from walking off with portions of my new toys. She’s so smart.

Anyway, I ordered my Midwest Equipment Specialties YJ hood lock (the same brand that everyone sells) from Savanna Jones for $19.  Savanna Jones has gone out of business, but Amazon has a good selection of them.

It’s a very simple design. It installs right next to the in-grill hood release lever. When locked, a metal bar prevents the release lever from moving. When unlocked, the metal bar rotates down out of the way, allowing the lever to operate normally. Unfortunately, the bar is something I could cut through with a hack saw in about 10 minutes, and the lock can’t be too hard to pick. It’s better than nothing, though, and will deter the majority of thieves.  Years later, Tuffy introduced a much more secure version.


Installation took all of 5 minutes and required a large, flat-head screwdriver and a T-30 Torx driver. You just remove two of the three hood latch screws, feed the lock through the grill slats and into place, then fasten it to the vehicle with the new, longer screws that they provide.

One thing I’ll have to get used to is that the hood cannot be shut unless the latch is unlocked. You also can’t remove the key from the lock while it’s unlocked, so you’ll have to carry it around with you (preferably on a separate key chain from your ignition key) at all times. I’ll probably just leave my hood key unlabeled and locked in my Tuffy.

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