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Circuit Sports Hood Lift Dampers

19967 Views 31 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Joe166
Hood Lift Dampers

(Please note correct mounting position for lower hinge and photos are in the third thread)

Here are pictures of Circuit Sports hood dampers that I installed on my CT.

Instruction sheet.

Left side.
(incorrect mounting picture removed)

Right side.
(incorrect mounting picture removed)

Note the bottom hinge is mounted to the first hole on the metal brace (nearest the fender).

As you can see from the instruction sheet, the tricky part is attaching the nut under the metal brace for the bottom hinges. Right side is easy but the left side requires removing plastic coolant container to reach underneath the metal brace.

Quite an easy mod to do.
Installation time is around 40 minutes.

Bill :cool:


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Outstanding! Wouldn't hurt to "notch" the top cover so it lays back flat. Great to see the side rubber gasket integrity is maintained. The other thread had lost that integrity, which doesn't bode well for water getting into the engine bay rolling off the hood with the electric motor in there. Thanks for the great pics!
Correction made - New mounting positions.

I was not looking hard enough. Turns out there's another mounting hole covered behind the plastic fender protector on the same metal brace.

Left side

Right side.

Now the top plastic facia cover is flush.

Bill :cool:


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Here are more pictures of the new hood lift dampers.
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Bumper Motor vehicle
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Headlamp Automotive lighting

Bill :cool:
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Here's Lexus instruction how to remove the fender side panel protector.
Disengage the 3 clips and 2 guides, and remove the front fender side panel protector.

But I found it easier by unhooking the front and rear guide then slide the plastic fender protector forward about 3 cm. This will disengage the fender protector from the 3 clips.

To re-install the fender protector. First pry off the 3 clips that's still attached to the fender gutter. Next slide each clip back to the slot on the fender protector. Place the entire fender protector in position making sure the clips are align to their corresponding mounting hole. Press firmly on the 3 clips to lock them in place. Easy peasy.

Bill :cool:


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Did mine today - looks good and works really well.

Well worth the investment and as pointed out using the appropriate holes allows original plastic trim to be left in place.

I used some additional double sided tape to hold the threaded plate to the underside of the fender

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Hi audi4t,

where can I get a set? And what's the price? Thanks
See this link on ebay

$85 plus $15 shipping

Circuit Sports Carbon Hood Dampers Lexus CT200 Hybrid 11-UP | eBay
I just installed mine. I got it back in April/May when this thread started but lethargy got the best of me. I saw the package on my shelf in the den and got ambitious.

It was super easy and the only caveats I would add are fairly few and minor. Took me about half an hour except that I couldn't find a 10mm socket.

First, they have already added the 3M double sided tape to the "nut" which goes under the crosspiece at the front, so it is fairly simple to insert a skinny long screwdriver through the nut, pass it through the hole from the bottom and pull it tight.

Second, make sure you have a 10mm socket to tighten the bolt on the forward most bracket. Otherwise you will end up with a box wrench making tiny little annoying movements and taking 10 minutes to really tighten the bolt as the space is quite congested. It would have taken 10 seconds with a socket.

Third, you don't really have to remove anything on the passenger side front, you just have to remove two more clips (definitely remove the large panel covering the front behind the grille). Those clips hold the air intake hose, which is rubber and then you can pull it up and bend it over giving you plenty of room to reach under to make sure your nut is placed properly.

Fourth, be careful with that little piece of wire that keeps the ball in the socket. If you aren't careful it will pop out when you are removing it and it is a bear to find on an asphalt driveway. Tiny and gray. Also, rather than try to insert it upside down, insert the one (forward or back) which is rightside up last. Do the one that will end up being upside down while the other end is loose and you can swing the damper wherever you need to in order to insert that circular pin more easily.

Fifth, when you have everything done, carefully, but with strength pull the hood down. I was afraid there was something I forgot to remove it was so hard to close the hood, but after a few seconds it popped and came down and started working perfectly.

Oh, one other thing, when you are tightening the upper bracket, that goes on one of the screws from the hood hinge, try to keep the double sided tape away from the hood so that it will only come in contact as it is almost tight, otherwise it will shift, but grudgingly if you push the tape together and then tighten the bolt. No big deal, but probably a better connection.

I really like this mod. Certainly not flashy, and most people would never notice it, but it is well built and seems to be of good quality.

Thanks for the instructions.
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Thanks for sharing. This is a super cool and much needed mod. But I do have a major concern. I was examining the hood of the CT200h and was wondering if the dampers were purposely ommitted due to crush zone requirements as dictated by the NHSTA here in the US. BTW these dampers are OEM in Japanese market Lexus. I just do not want expose myself to insurance liability in the unlikely hood of a frontal collision and then find out that I did a mod to jeopardize the structural integrity of the vehicle. CT200h was well rated for sustaining frontal impact without damages to the cabin. There must be a reason other than economical to eliminate the dampers. They did not shave in cost by putting all those ridiculous plastic cover plates in the engine compartment. I do not believe an average Lexus owner will ever open the hood, as matte rof fact this was the highly promoted when I got my rx300 some ten years ago.

I remember similar story with Peugeot 505 sedan in the 70's where the windshield dropped after sustaining a frontal collision decapitating all four members of the family in the car. Peugeot like the dead family, never survived this incident and pulled out of the US market, and they have yet to come back.
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There are lots of reasons why Peugot (and Renault) are not in the US market, including some incredible interior convenience decisions. I once had a Renault dealership for a client and got a demo, which my wife drove. It had the "full convenience and power" package, and among many, many ideosincrasies, it included power windows for only the front doors. Yes, the ones she could reach she could lower from her seat, the ones in the back she couldn't. It also had serious reliability issues and when she got stranded in Overtown, the area where the riots occurred during the super Bowl, we gave back the demo and bought a (different) car. I enjoyed driving some of their cars, and they were really interesting but they were not built for the American drivers. You had to check the fluid levels regularly, etc. Things many of our neighbors choose not to do. I always wanted one of those slick Citroen's you see the bad guys driving in old European movies.

To address your specific comment, I can't imagine that something that thin, which compresses to half it's length would have any effect on the crushability.
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Good point Joe166, being an engineer I am very anal. I haven't physically seen the struts myself, besides it is OEM in CT200h sold in other non US markets.
its amazing what gets lost when the car is made for us. I never really understood hood struts on a car. What is wrong with the old reliable. I mean it does look cleaner if your into car shows. But other than that what does it really mater
ordering mine now ... i cant stand the oem hood prop
A hood prop is good enough for the LFA - although it is carbon fibre :).

you only see the hood prop 2x / year. that's IF you service your own car. i do and even i don't care that i have to prop the hood every 6 months.

spend your money on something you can actually see or use regularly like LED lights, HID lights, shark fin antenna, etc...

its amazing what gets lost when the car is made for us. I never really understood hood struts on a car. What is wrong with the old reliable. I mean it does look cleaner if your into car shows. But other than that what does it really mater
Be warned if u don't pop the hood after you have washed the car and cleaned all the plastic covers u will end up with a filthy engine bay. I wash my wife's car by hand weekly and wiping down the engine bay is essential. Now we have snow road spray leaves the plastic covers with a white salt covering - best remove fast or it's really difficult to get off.
BTW - $85 is only like passing on a dinner out for the pair of us so not a big expense.
let me first say that i'm not criticizing anyone for doing this mod. we all like to customize our cars or else we wouldn't be here. if you find value in hood dampers or just think it's cool more power to you.

i have certain criteria for modding my car. a mod has to be something that i use regularly or can be seen regularly (alters appearance for the better). below is list of mods i use regularly:

backup cam: used almost daily
tpms light bypass: removes annoying tpms light that i would see everyday in the winter
led interior lights: daily/nightly
underseat lights: only noticed by backseat passengers at night. but noticed EVERYTIME they enter the car.
shark fin antenna: pending - would be seen daily
hids: pending - would use nightly
sound system upgrade: pending - would use daily

i'm glad you get a lot of use out of your dampers. that certainly makes the mod worthwhile. however, most people will not get as much use out of this as you do. 90% of people will only see the engine bay 2x / year IF they do their own maintenance.

it's your car. everyone has different values. i'm not poo poo-ing anyone for doing this mod.

good tip about wiping the plastics. i handwash my car as well and never thought to clean up the plastics.
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Anyone that only looks under their hood twice a year whether they do their own maintenance or not is begging for trouble. How do you replace the windshield washer solvent without opening the hood? How do you check your oil levels without opening up the hood? How do you notice if there is anything loose under there without opening up the hood? How do you keep the engine compartment clean without opening up the hood?

I am afraid we have differences of opinions on how to take care of our cars.

But, different strokes for different folks.
i'll agree with you on the windshield fluid statement. i think most people would interpret what i said about 2x/year as routine scheduled maintenance. in my case it's every 6 months or 8000kms (5000 miles). it goes without saying that you need to go in there to replace wiper fluid because that is NOT a schedulable maintenance item. you don't know when you'll run out.

as for checking oil... i stand by my 2x / year comment. that IS a schedulable maintenance item. i don't check my oil in between oil changes because i don't need to. a properly maintained car should never consume or leak oil. if your car was aging and you know it to be a risk, then sure, check it. but on my brand new CT? give me a break.

you don't have to open your hood to check for "loose things" or "oil level" any more than your maintenance schedule. that's why the schedule exists. can you check those things more often than your schedule suggests? sure. do you have to? no. does you owner's manual recommend you check fluids more often than your scheduled service checks. yes. do you have to in order to maintain your warranty? no.

so my update: 2x/year + 6 times/yr to replace the wiper fluid if you used a ton of fluid. that's about once every 6 weeks. or every 2 months if you don't do your own maintenance. more like every 4 months considering lexus will top up the fluid for you during service checks.

just keeping it real. hood dampers that i only use every 2 months? i'm gonna pass but if i used it every week it would be different.
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