Hood Badge

Cost: $17.00

Difficulty: 1 starEasy

After installing the script Challenger logos on the front fenders, I kept with the retro theme by adding "Dodge" lettering to the front of the hood, similar to the way it was done on the classic Challengers.

I found these letters on eBay, and although they are the same style as the lettering across the reverse light on the back of the car, these are slightly larger--each letter is approximately 1.5" wide and 1" tall.

They came in a strip, pre-spaced for placement... but for use on the hood, I would need to space the letters further apart. So I cut the strip into individual letters and then used painter's tape and a level with a ruled edge to figure the correct placement.

Despite my efforts, I made two small mistakes--neither of which are really noticeable unless I point them out to people. I spent some time trying to get the spacing exactly right, but when I placed the first letter--the middle "D"--I lined up the leading edge of the letter to my center line rather than the middle of the letter. So the whole "Dodge" is just slightly off-center to the right.

The second mistake was installing the "O" upside down. After putting it on, I noticed that one side of the O was slightly flatter, while the opposite side is slightly more pointed. The flatter side is supposed to be the bottom, but it ended up on the top because I didn't notice the difference until looking closely when I was wiping fingerprints off after installing.

Like I said, neither is really noticeable... but I mention them in case you're thinking of adding letters to your hood. That way, you can avoid the mistakes altogether.

Here's a picture of the lettering as it was received. If you look closely, you might be able t see that the bottom of the O is slightly flatter than the top.



Since I needed the letters spaced further apart, I cut the strip into individual letters:



Here's the "before" picture of the blank hood. While I'm not particularly fond of the Ram emblem on the nose of the 2008-10 Challengers, I thought mine looked a little plain in comparison, especially since I don't have any type of striping on the hood:



Here I'm using the painter's tape and level to work out the exact placement of the letters before sticking them on. The center of the letters are 4" apart:



And here's the "after" photo with the letters installed:



Finally, here's a wider shot from a lower angle:



Final Thoughts: I lovethe look of the letters on the hood, and I'm really glad I added them. It would have been nice to get them a little more centered and with the O upside-right, but even with the small mistakes this is one of my favorite modifications and I get a lot of compliments on the look.