DIY | CalPonyCars MK3 Focus Hood Strut Install


It’s All in the Details

When you’re a car-show goer, you’ll see row after row of black and yellow hood props holding up the hoods of show cars with shined up engine bays. After the intakes are installed, the headers ceramic coated, the engine covers painted, you need to add that final detail to finish off the display. If you’re reading this article, you’re more than likely a Focus Fanatic and own(ed) a focus or two, or three, or nine. Even if this is your first focus, whether its a standard MK3 sedan or performance minded ST, you want it to look great all the time. The one under-hood item that is often overlooked, but will surprisingly elevate the aesthetics of your engine bay is a set of hydraulic hood struts. LOOSE THE PROP ROD! Even if you’re more of a go-fast guy (or gal), a hood strut kit can help you under the hood by allowing more freedom of movement when working on your engine without the prop rod getting in your way. In addition to ease of access and an improved style, each hood strut adds a minimum 10bhp to each of your (as John Hennessey would say) ‘rear’ wheels. (Youtube it if you don’t know the reference).

Installation couldn’t be easier with minimal hand tools and less than 10 minutes of your time. Unlike other hood strut kits on the market for the focus, this kit is 100% bolt-on and does not require a rivet gun. Also unlike some other kits, the NXT Generation Hood strut kit uses dual hood struts versus a one sided kit and is specifically designed using accurate lbs for the MK3 Ford Focus Hood versus a generic strut which can lead to body damage and excess force needed to close the hood.

The Install


You will need the following list of extremely rare and difficult to use tools.

– 1/4 Socket Wrench
– 10mm Socket
– Razor Blade
– 2 Microfiber Towels
– Masking Tape

Step 1

Windshield Washer Hose Relocation


Carefully pull up on the plastic washer line to release it from the clips. To avoid kinking the hose or ripping it, take your time and undo the clips by sliding the top portions sideways to release them. Use a razor blade release the hose from the weather stripping, being careful not to cut the hose itself.


Now that the hose is released, gently lift the plastic cover that the hose was attached to by pulling up on the back, and then squeezing the clip towards the front. Gently pull up on the piece enough to slide the hose underneath it. Be sure that the hose is in a location that will not get pinched by anything once everything is back together. Close the cover by gently pressing it back into place until it clips back in.

Step 2

Fender Bracket Installation


Use your 10mm socket to remove the fender bolt just behind the top headlight mounting point. To keep the paint from chipping if you have painted bolts, use a heat gun to warm up the bolt and paint and it will help minimize any small chips that might normally occur. Either way, these slight imperfections will be covered by the new bracket.


Flip over the two fender brackets and you will find a letter onder each of them indicating which side of the car they go on.

P – Passenger Side
D – Drivers Side


Align the bracket over the bolt hole with the bracket ball pointing towards the engine as shown in the photo. Re-install the bolt and snug down. Repeat this process for the drivers side bracket.

Step 3

Hood Bracket Installation

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Take the microfiber towels and place them iin between the corner of the hood and the windshield to prevent any damage to the hood or windshield in case the hood moves when the nuts are off. Then take the painters tape and go around the hinge to use as a marker to the factory placement of the hood. Repeat this on both sides.


Just as with the fender brackets, the hood brackets are stamped with a P&D to indicate their placement on the hood. Also, take a moment to admire the Made in USA stamp and quality of the product. #Murica


Take your socket wrench and undo the two bolts on one hinge. When loosening the second bolt, support the hood with your hand to keep it from sliding or moving excessively.


Install the appropriate hood bracket with the hinge ball pointing outward towards the fender. Slowly snug down the two bolts while keeping the the hood and bracket aligned with the painters tape. Align the strut bracket as far inward towards the engine to keep enough room to install the strut onto the ball. Repeat the process on the drivers side.


Install the Hood struts with the thick part of the struts facing upwards by gently snapping the strut ends onto each pivot ball. It shouldn’t take much effort at all and should be quite easy.


Remove the factory hood prop by carefully twisting and sliding it out and then throw it away into the garbage can to never been seen again. If you choose to not throw it away, you can use it as a reaching stick when you’re on the couch and just can’t quite reach that thing on the coffee table.


Step back and enjoy your new hood struts. It will be hard not to, but you need to restrain yourself from opening and closing your hood just to watch the hood struts in action.

The hood strut kit is a simple install, and is a great addition for looks, and function. Check out to get your kit now! The best part is that Focus kits are available with colormatched hardware. Every OEM ST color is available from Oxford white to Tangerine Scream.  At a starting price for the kit shown in the write-up of $119.95 and options for upgraded hydrocarbon or stainless struts, this these products are a win-win.

James Stanley