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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello RL owners, My name is Mike Figaro, I own FIGS Engineering here in Golden Colorado and I am developing a gas strut hood prop kit for the RL much like the kit I developed for the Lexus IS300. Demand has been driven by a few members on this forum, one a previous owner of an IS (Racer-X) and the other a test subject that has graciously offered his RL for test fitting (milehigh.) I just wanted to start a thread to gauge interest, show R & D pics and just get a general sense of the RL owners out there. Comments and critiques are always welcome, I am here to make what you want.
With that said, here is what has been done thus far.

As with an product I will first define what the goals are in developing this:
-Functional. It has to obviously hold the hood up and do so in a smooth OEM style manner. One hand operation is the guideline I use.
-No Drilling: I hate to drill holes that weren't there when I bought it, you shouldn't have to either. This kit will be 100% bolt on and install in around 20 minutes
-Provide OEM quality: From the powdercoated cold-rolled steel brackets to the hardware and the struts themselves, everthing should look like it belongs. I will offer a limited warrantee and stand behind everything I make.

That said, onto the pics:
Here are pics from the first round of prototyping with mock brackets and a strut model:




Here is round two with proto brackets:



The next step is to fit a higher force strut into this setup and then also order the first round of prototypes of the production brackets. I will keep this thread as a journal and a feedback conversation, speak up at any time. Even if its to say "I am strong enough to lift my own hood, your product is stupid" I don't expect this to be for everyone naturally, but if you are interested please speak your mind so that I know how many people really want this.


Thanks Fig
 

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This has been mentioned before about your set up but I wanted to get it in your R&D thread - find a way to illuminate the engine compartment along with this installation. Maybe make it an option add on to the kit. Also, I think the kit is a great idea and hope it catches on so you can make it affordible for us future purchasers.
 

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I want one and while yourre at it take a look at the trunk. Most of us with some sort of mat now have to hold up the trunk.Put a strut kit in there and Im in as well. Thanks
 

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With such a short travel distance for the strut I wonder if the force would make the back of the hood possibly become out of alignment over time or cause hinge problems ??:confused:
 

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schmido said:
With such a short travel distance for the strut I wonder if the force would make the back of the hood possibly become out of alignment over time or cause hinge problems ??:confused:
yeah... what schmido said... and you DO plan on utilizing TWO of the struts (one on each side) to raise the hood equally, don't you? I think that only one would definately push the hood out of alignment.

I also second the ideas from BillB and bonerfortuna! A light would be great! And something to hold-up my trunk lid with the mats weight would really be a welcome addition!
 

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Honda should pay attention to this dialogue. It's one of the cost-cutting measures that has always bugged me about the Ridgeline. The hood is HEAVY- a $30K vehicle should have gas strut hood lifters. The less-expensive Accord has them.
 

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The first people to try it should get it for cost or a little over and help spread the word. I would be in, but the bracket isn't convincing me. Looks a little flimsy. Maybe an all black bracket with thicker metal? I'm in if that's the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK all good questions, I will answer them one at a time:
-Lighting is definitely a possiblity. I am an ECE by degree and design high speed digital circuits for a real living, this is my labor of love ;). Here is an example of an LED tailight that I am also working on. The image is blurry intentionally to protect a little IP.


-The hood prop force will be symmetric and on both sides using two struts for balance. I have no concern about the hinges because the force they will see is per their design..meaning it will be radial and not side to side.


- The chosen material for proto brackets was a thinner material that I could prototype with the sheetmetal shear and brake that I own. The final parts will be laser cut and formed with larger production machines and look similar to the other kit I have for the IS300. This material is around 18ga whereas the production will be 14-16 which I have done FEA on to make sure it will hold up. This is the is300 kit:


Other than that I look forward to any other questions that might pop up.

Fig
 

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Mike,

Just another question... and I suppose you have this worked into the design of your product...
Would the struts take-over and assist in the lifting of the hood AFTER manually lifting it about a foot or so, thus allowing us to "drop" the hood to close it, as is recommended? It's been mentioned in other threads that the RL's hood can be prone to denting if it is pushed-on to close it.

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5763

I'm not familiar with the IS300, so I don't know if it's hood has to be closed similarly.

I think you've got a winner here! Keep us informed of it's progress!

Frank

p.s. I know this thread is about the hood strut... but can you tell us if you've given any thought to a product for the trunk lid.... ? ;) I love "package deals".
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Pug said:
Mike,

Just another question... and I suppose you have this worked into the design of your product...
Would the struts take-over and assist in the lifting of the hood AFTER manually lifting it about a foot or so, thus allowing us to "drop" the hood to close it, as is recommended? It's been mentioned in other threads that the RL's hood can be prone to denting if it is pushed-on to close it.

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5763

I'm not familiar with the IS300, so I don't know if it's hood has to be closed similarly.

I think you've got a winner here! Keep us informed of it's progress!

Frank

p.s. I know this thread is about the hood strut... but can you tell us if you've given any thought to a product for the trunk lid.... ? ;) I love "package deals".
One thing at a time regarding the rear trunk. I am sure I can figure it out, I just have to enlist my local owner again as see if he can bear a few more sessions.

The design goal will have it such that the leverage will allow for 20-100% lift assist with the last 20% being full droop and closure on its own force. Modern hoods can be very soft because sheetmetal thickness have gone down and I can see how that would be a concern. That is the way this kit is intended to operate.

Regarding the colors. Typically I offer semi-gloss black as the standard color and I have done color matching in the past as a custom upcharge. Its really a lot of setup and expense to do this, so I have prefered just selling the unpainted kits and having customers paint their own when they go in for body repair work. I will leave it up for demand if people would prefer it that way. The silver in the pictures is the Egal stock that I have for prototype.

Fig
 

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I am sure I can figure it out, I just have to enlist my local owner again as see if he can bear a few more sessions.
Fig - just let me know and I'm sure I can be available when needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Here is what I have come up with on the CAD for the two brackets. Obviously these are one side of two.
lower



upper with two mounting locations for different opening heights.



Fig
 

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I'm interested...as a short lady, it is a reach for me to open the hood all the way and prop. 10% of ROC Ridge owners are women and others may share my "vertical" challenge!

Laura
 

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I would definetly be interested in your product. I am always opening and closing my hood to add or tune something and this would be a nice touch. Let us know when you think it will be available and what sort of price tag we are looking at (I am assuming its gonna be in the $50-$100 range). Nice work!!
 

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You are doing an awesome job Mike! We utilize finite element analysis (FEA) as well during new product development of our powered surgical instruments. I machine useless dress-up products such as the billet door sills and other related goodies as a hobby. Your new product looks really well thought out and you seem to have a good handle on customer service as well. Cheers to you and continued success in your new venture.:p

Ron
 

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Hi guys;

Just spoke to mike, it seems there is some interest for the hood lights as well. Since this is also one of his specialities, he will work on producing an under hood light that is approx as bright as a 30w light bulb. This would mount with out drilling as well, into existing mounting sites under the hood, im thinkin multiple mounting sites for my ridge as well.

Lincoln
 
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