Trackspec Motorsports Hood Louvers Install – 1967-1969 Camaro

I’ve had my eye on Trackspec Motorsports hood louvers (aka vents) for a while now.  They caught my attention when I noticed them popping up on various cars that get tracked in SoCal a few years ago.  The design was both aesthetically and functionally superior to a lot of the add on vents I had seen.  However, at the time I first became aware of them they didn’t yet offer a model specific to the first generation Camaro.  While Trackspec Motorsports offers various universal designs I patiently waited for them to release their 1967-1969 Camaro specific louvers.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of the first production sets* of Tracksport hood louvers for firstgen Camaros a few months back and install them on my 1968 Camaro.  What follows is the install process and product review of these vents.

What comes with the Trackspec Camaro Hood Louvers

  • Two satin black hood louvers
  • Two paperboard templates
  • A mix of short and long rivets (choice of silver or black)

The Install

Step 1: Locating the hood louvers

trackspec motorsports hood louver patern first gen camaroThe firs step is figuring out where you want to place the hood louvers.  The supplied templates are the same outer diameter as the vent and has “cut line” cutouts where you need to cut the hood.  I decided on hood vent placement based on three variables.

  1. I wanted the hood louvers placed towards the center of the hood enough to avoid cutting the strength rib running down the sides of the hood.
  2. Placing the louvers closer to the front of the hood but behind the radiator fan shroud opening and
  3. far enough forward so that the inside front rivet would not have to pass through the small bump in the below circled area and instead be flat.

I installed my Trackspec louvers 3.5″ from the edge of the hood and 13.25″ from the front of the hood to the outside corner (top left or top right in above picture).

first gen camaro hood strength rib
Installing the louvers 3.5″ in from the edge of the hood will avoid cutting into the strength rib in the understructure.

Step 2: Cutting the hood

Cutting top of 1968 Camaro hood ventsTrackspec recommended using a grinder with a “thin cut” cutoff wheel rather than a reciprocating saw or other cutting methods.  Given that my hood was already painted I wanted to ensure that any paint damage caused by the cuts would be covered by the hood louver.

The angle grinder worked well.  The paint about 1/8″ from the cut line was burned in spots but is easily covered by the hood vent.  I did some basic edge prep and taped off the cut openings about 1/8″ back on top and bottom and hit it with color matched touch up spray paint to keep it from rusting.  Also, because my hood understructure was body color this helped paint some of the now exposed understrcuture so it would be the right color when looking though the vent from the top of the hood.  While there was no damage to my paint, I would advise others to cover all painted surfaces during the cutting operation to avoid spark damage.

cutting bottom of 1968 camaro hood vents

edge of cut on hood
Color matching touch up spray paint was used to seal these edges which are covered by the louver.

Step 3: Riveting the hood louvers in place

rivet install trackspec hood vent camaro
Drill slowly with light pressure!

Following the template means you have about a 1/4″ larger hole than the louver part of the vent.  This gives you a bit of flexibility in positioning and means your cut doesn’t have to be 100% perfect.  Next, we then taped the louver down and proceeded to drill and rivet each hole one at a time.  My louvers matched the slope of the hood perfectly side to side.  However, front to back the vent was slightly bowed more than my hood.  Therefore, when drilling and riveting I started at one end and installed one at a time so that as the vent laid down and conformed to the hood.  This way I didn’t have to worry about the last set of holes getting out of alignment which might have happened if you drilled all the holes and then installed the rivets.  Drill slow and apply light pressure!  This will help minimize any jagged metal on the hole exit or pinching shavings between the louver and hood.

The finished product

top and bottom of trackspec Camaro hood louvers 1968 camaro

Thoughts on the Trackspec Motorsports Hood Louvers

They work!  I had two goals with this install.  First, to lower under hood temps during autocross, especially while in the hot pits.  Second, to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the car at high speed.  Surprisingly it was autocross and especially the hot pits that cause large under hood temperature spikes more than road course driving.  Twice at all day autocross events I’ve had alternator failures caused by heat.  Since installing these vents I’ve seen a significant reduction in under hood temps after an autocross run.  For my second objective, I haven’t done follow up testing with my magnehelic gauge.  Subjectively there appears to be less lift on the hood but I will do more testing in a future post.

The quality of the Trackspec Motorsports Camaro hood louvers themselves are top notch and the install is surprisingly easy.  Well, once you get over the fear of that first cut!

More before and after testing coming soon…

first gen camaro aero testing

* Full disclosure: I did not pay retail for the Trackspec Motorsports Hood Louvers.  

 

 

 

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