Last May we shared a post on Pepper’s 2020 updates, to showcase the various changes that Ruzz had carried out over the winter months.
The RS had seen quite a transformation with a healthy list of new components but there was one in particular which clearly stole the show: his hood. We predicted it’d be of interest to fellow owners and sure enough it was, as questions immediately started coming in about it. The post even went on to be the single most-viewed entry of 2020, surely from all of the Mk3.5 (and RS, specifically) owners hoping to learn where Ruzz had purchased it. The – perhaps unfortunate – answer was of course that the hood was a one-off, but with a skilled body shop tech and a few components there’s no reason that something similar couldn’t be created again.
I still had some photos of the RS kicking about – showing it with the new hood – and I figured it was time we took another look at the panel for those curious.
As the starting point of the custom piece, Ruzz had picked up a brand new OEM hood not only so as to keep the original intact, but so that the car could be kept complete while the work was carried out. All 2015+ hoods are identical so as an alternative you could keep an eye out for any facelifts sitting at your local junkyard if you wanted to save some money here.
The vents then, are simply Mustang-style pieces. Anything would work here but this was the design Ruzz liked and so that’s what he went with. With the parts acquired, Ruzz then gave everything to a friend of his who proceeded to graft the vents into the hood and blend it all together.
This photo is absolutely horrendous, I know, but it does show off one detail which I’d mentioned in the original post. RSs obviously have their famous open-top airbox and this meant that the filter would be in close proximity to one of the newfound holes in the hood, along with all of the electronics located in that side of the bay. To direct any water, snow, soap, etcetera away from all of these better-when-dry components, a rain tray was also made up and bonded in beneath the driver’s side vent. The passenger side vent for those curious, runs without one. Anything that comes through this side is directed to one single safe spot in the bay to drain out.
For larger debris, each slat does also feature mesh. And in case you hadn’t yet noticed, once the hood had been fully sprayed and cleared the slats were then picked out in matte black for a subtle bit of contrast. You can also see here the faint edge of the PPF, keeping the vulnerable front end of the new hood safe.
Aftermarket or custom hoods are something we don’t really see much of on Mk3s (or Fiestas) up here, so Ruzz’s certainly does help his RS stand out from the others in the area. Obviously there were many hours spent creating the panel you see here so this post has greatly summarized the process, but perhaps it’ll spark some ideas for other owners wanting to have something similar on their own car. Alternatively there’s always the route that Mario took with Sriracha – mounting vents without blending them into the metal – which is considerably easier and less expensive, but Ruzz wanted a seamless look as if the hood had come that way. Apparently it’s certainly come across as that to many curious owners around the world, who have hoped for a link to a manufacturer somewhere. Sorry guys! Haha