Hood Lift REDLINE vs. RIVAL Review

Turboencabulator

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2022 Wrangler 392 1972 Super Beetle
I'm writing this in part as a PSA warning that the RIVAL 2A.ST.2702.1 Premium Hood Lift will not fit the 392. The Redline Tuning 21-20007-02 Hood QuickLIFT Plus 392 works perfectly on the 392. I saw a post that said the RIVAL would fit with no cutting required and like an idiot I believed them.

I originally ordered the RIVAL 2A.ST.2702.1 Premium Hood Lift. As soon as it arrived I could see I had made a mistake. On the box I could see "Made in Russia"... 🤨(n) then I looked at the hardware, hex bolts were not cast properly, threads were not cut cleanly, it looked like it had been made at a Soviet tank factory, on a Friday. And of course the gas struts are both too short and too weak to lift the 392 hood. Lesson learned. Time to do what I should have done in the first place, order the American made Redline Tuning 21-20007-02 Hood QuickLIFT Plus 392 kit.
View recent photos.png

IMG_2630.JPG

I ordered the black QuickLIFT Plus kit for Redline Tuning because it looked the most OEM. It arrived quickly and the build quality was like night and day compared to the RIVAL kit. All the hardware was well made, the gas struts had quick releases installed on the rod ends to allow you to disconnect the hood and lay it back against the windshield. And everything including the gas pistons are made in the USA (I confirmed that directly with Redline over the phone before placing my order).
IMG_2665.jpeg

I started the install with the hood hardware. The 392 has the HydroGuide system that kinda interferes with getting the hardware flush up against the hood. I had to lift up that stuff up to get the brackets tucked in underneath up against the hood for a secure fit.
Screen Shot 2022-04-06 at 12.57.43 AM.png

The engine side brackets were easy to install and now comes the hard part, clearing the ECU bracket with the gas strut. For those new to Jeep, the 392 uses a modified bracket to hold the Electronic Control Unit (ECU or "the brains"). Unfortunately it interferes with the area the hood strut would rest when the hood is closed. So Redline says that the ECU bracket needs to be trimmed to fix this. But when I watched TrailRecon's video he had the Redline hood struts installed but the ECU bracket is not been modified. How did he do that? :unsure:
Screen Shot 2022-04-05 at 11.35.35 PM.png

Well it will fit, but not cleanly. The ECU bracket is defiantly pushing on the hood strut and you will feel this when you try and close the hood latches and you have to push down to get it to fully close. At first I tried to reversing the hood strut direction, this seemed like a good solution because it kept the cylinder out of the way of the ECU bracket. Then Redline contacted me and warned that doing that would prevent the piston seals from getting proper lubrication. :unsure: (hadn't thought about that) So I took a little plumbers putty to see how much interference there actually was.
IMG_2732.JPG

So using the old Dremel with a regular Corse Sanding drum and worked on that area until the cylinder cleared it cleanly.
IMG_2698.jpeg

The finished ECU bracket ended up looking like this:
IMG_2734.JPG

On the driver's side I noticed that one of the AC retention bracket bolts was pushing the hood strut up on that side so I went through my bucket o' bolts and found a countersunk screw that fit and didn't stick up far enough to interfere. Redline recommends removing the metal grommet under the AC retention bracket in the directions, but the smaller screw/washer worked for me. I need to buy one with a T-40 Torx head that will match all the OEM hardware but for now this will get the job done.
Screen Shot 2022-04-06 at 1.47.49 AM.png

I did end up removing the RedLine Tuning decals because I like the OEM look without the decals. Hood struts really should be standard OEM equipment from the factory but I get it, its a Jeep, and Jeeps have prop rods. However, this is one of the best "Mods" I have done and I should have done it sooner. Hope this helps.
 
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I'm writing this in part as a PSA warning that the RIVAL 2A.ST.2702.1 Premium Hood Lift will not fit the 392. The Redline Tuning 21-20007-02 Hood QuickLIFT Plus 392 works perfectly on the 392. I saw a post that said the RIVAL would fit with no cutting required and like an idiot I believed them.

I originally ordered the RIVAL 2A.ST.2702.1 Premium Hood Lift. As soon as it arrived I could see I had made a mistake. On the box I could see "Made in Russia"... 🤨(n) then I looked at the hardware, hex bolts were not cast properly, threads were not cut cleanly, it looked like it had been made at a Soviet tank factory, on a Friday. And of course the gas struts are both too short and too weak to lift the 392 hood. Lesson learned. Time to do what I should have done in the first place, order the American made Redline Tuning 21-20007-02 Hood QuickLIFT Plus 392 kit.View attachment 4304
View attachment 4305
I ordered the black QuickLIFT Plus kit for Redline Tuning because it looked the most OEM. It arrived quickly and the build quality was like night and day compared to the RIVAL kit. All the hardware was well made, the gas struts had quick releases installed on the rod ends to allow you to disconnect the hood and lay it back against the windshield. And everything including the gas pistons are made in the USA (I confirmed that directly with Redline over the phone before placing my order).
View attachment 4306
I started the install with the hood hardware. The 392 has the HydroGuide system that kinda interferes with getting the hardware flush up against the hood. I had to lift up that stuff up to get the brackets tucked in underneath up against the hood for a secure fit.
View attachment 4307
The engine side brackets were easy to install and now comes the hard part, clearing the ECU bracket with the gas strut. For those new to Jeep, the 392 uses a modified bracket to hold the Electronic Control Unit (ECU or "the brains"). Unfortunately it interferes with the area the hood strut would rest when the hood is closed. So Redline says that the ECU bracket needs to be trimmed to fix this. But when I watched TrailRecon's video he had the Redline hood struts installed but the ECU bracket is not been modified. How? :unsure:
View attachment 4301
Well it will fit, but not cleanly. The ECU bracket is defiantly pushing on the hood strut and you will feel this when you try and close the hood latches and you have to push down to get it to fully close. So I played around with it and here's my setup.
View attachment 4308
First I reversed the hood strut direction, connecting the cylinder end down to the frame and the rod end up to the hood. The rod has a much smaller diameter than the cylinder so it will be easier to clear the ECU bracket. In a happy accident (Bob Ross™) the cylinder is just slightly shorter than the distance to the ECU bracket and the rod end compresses slightly longer than the ECU bracket. So then I took a little plumbers putty to see how much interference there actually was.
View attachment 4309
So using the old Dremel with a regular Corse Sanding drum and worked on that area until I got no interference.
View attachment 4310
The finished ECU bracket looked like this. I am sure you could probably skip this "grinding" step but I wanted it to close cleanly.
View attachment 4313
On the driver's side I noticed that one of the AC bracket bolts was pushing the hood strut up on that side so I went through my bucket o' bolts and found a countersunk screw that fit and didn't stick up far enough to interfere. I need to buy one with a T-40 Torx head that will match all the OEM hardware but for now this will get the job done.
View attachment 4314
I did end up removing the RedLine Tuning decals because the logo was now upside down and I kinda like the OEM look without the decal. Hood struts really should be standard equipment from the factory but I get it, its a Jeep, and Jeeps have prop rods. However, this is one of the best "Mods" I have done and I should have done it sooner. Hope this helps.
I looked at the rival at first, but after reading several posts on struts, and people recommending the redline, I went to their website and found that they made one specifically for the 392, and they were made in the USA. Add to cart.

Thanks once again for another great write up. Now I know what to expect when I install mine next week.
 
I'm writing this in part as a PSA warning that the RIVAL 2A.ST.2702.1 Premium Hood Lift will not fit the 392. The Redline Tuning 21-20007-02 Hood QuickLIFT Plus 392 works perfectly on the 392. I saw a post that said the RIVAL would fit with no cutting required and like an idiot I believed them.

I originally ordered the RIVAL 2A.ST.2702.1 Premium Hood Lift. As soon as it arrived I could see I had made a mistake. On the box I could see "Made in Russia"... 🤨(n) then I looked at the hardware, hex bolts were not cast properly, threads were not cut cleanly, it looked like it had been made at a Soviet tank factory, on a Friday. And of course the gas struts are both too short and too weak to lift the 392 hood. Lesson learned. Time to do what I should have done in the first place, order the American made Redline Tuning 21-20007-02 Hood QuickLIFT Plus 392 kit.View attachment 4304
View attachment 4305
I ordered the black QuickLIFT Plus kit for Redline Tuning because it looked the most OEM. It arrived quickly and the build quality was like night and day compared to the RIVAL kit. All the hardware was well made, the gas struts had quick releases installed on the rod ends to allow you to disconnect the hood and lay it back against the windshield. And everything including the gas pistons are made in the USA (I confirmed that directly with Redline over the phone before placing my order).
View attachment 4306
I started the install with the hood hardware. The 392 has the HydroGuide system that kinda interferes with getting the hardware flush up against the hood. I had to lift up that stuff up to get the brackets tucked in underneath up against the hood for a secure fit.
View attachment 4307
The engine side brackets were easy to install and now comes the hard part, clearing the ECU bracket with the gas strut. For those new to Jeep, the 392 uses a modified bracket to hold the Electronic Control Unit (ECU or "the brains"). Unfortunately it interferes with the area the hood strut would rest when the hood is closed. So Redline says that the ECU bracket needs to be trimmed to fix this. But when I watched TrailRecon's video he had the Redline hood struts installed but the ECU bracket is not been modified. How? :unsure:
View attachment 4301
Well it will fit, but not cleanly. The ECU bracket is defiantly pushing on the hood strut and you will feel this when you try and close the hood latches and you have to push down to get it to fully close. So I played around with it and here's my setup.
View attachment 4308
First I reversed the hood strut direction, connecting the cylinder end down to the frame and the rod end up to the hood. The rod has a much smaller diameter than the cylinder so it will be easier to clear the ECU bracket. In a happy accident (Bob Ross™) the cylinder is just slightly shorter than the distance to the ECU bracket and the rod end compresses slightly longer than the ECU bracket. So then I took a little plumbers putty to see how much interference there actually was.
View attachment 4309
So using the old Dremel with a regular Corse Sanding drum and worked on that area until I got no interference.
View attachment 4310
The finished ECU bracket looked like this. I am sure you could probably skip this "grinding" step but I wanted it to close cleanly.
View attachment 4313
On the driver's side I noticed that one of the AC bracket bolts was pushing the hood strut up on that side so I went through my bucket o' bolts and found a countersunk screw that fit and didn't stick up far enough to interfere. I need to buy one with a T-40 Torx head that will match all the OEM hardware but for now this will get the job done.
View attachment 4314
I did end up removing the RedLine Tuning decals because the logo was now upside down and I kinda like the OEM look without the decal. Hood struts really should be standard equipment from the factory but I get it, its a Jeep, and Jeeps have prop rods. However, this is one of the best "Mods" I have done and I should have done it sooner. Hope this helps.
Damn fine info!
Thank you
 
Thanks for the thorough tutorial. I learned a new use for plumber’s putty! On the driver’s side I found there was enough clearance to use a round-headed hex and a fender washer after removing the aluminum sleeve (per Redline’s Instructions).
tempImagedMLJ1o.png
 
Great post, @Turboencabulator !
Appreciate the comparison and REALLY appreciate the detail on the install!
You just made my life a little easier (IF my dang Jeep ever arrives!)
 
Well it looks like I need to further modify the ECU bracket because I got this response from Redline. I was trying to avoid removing any more of the ECL bracket than absolutely necessary but they are concerned that the piston seals won’t get lubricated. :unsure: (hadn't thought about that)
Back to the grind stone....
EDIT: I updated my original post above to show the updated install.

Hello @Turboencabulator ,
Thank you for your very detailed post and review of the quality of our product! I however can not recommend your installation method of reversing the gas spring and here is why:

Our gas spring contains an oil that both lubricates the piston seal and provides end of stroke dampening. When you flip the gas spring upside-down with the rod facing up, the oil is always at the bottom of the gas spring and never lubricates the piston seal. This will void our warranty and lead to premature failure of the gas spring. In addition you will not benefit from our end of stroke dampening. What this means is that the hood will open quickly and then slow down for the last inch of extension (this is due to the oil going through the orifice in the gas spring piston). Without the oil present, the gas spring will open up with no dampening.

I understand the hesitancy to modify your 392 ECU bracket as we always strive to design our Hood QuickLIFT systems to be 100% Bolt-In with no modifications, however for the proper functionality and longevity of our system, PLEASE install the gas springs with the proper orientation as shown in the instructions.
 
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Well, another plus for Redline vs Rival. Love that they took the time to contact you and make recommendations. I doubt Rival reads anything here at all.
 
What is the difference between the plus and elite options?

Just asking here in case someone knows. I'll look more in depth later and post my findings.
 
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What is the difference between the plus and elite options?

Just asking here in case someone knows. I'll look more in depth later and post my findings.
So it's mostly aesthetics. The QuickLIFT Elite is 316 stainless steel. Then there is a carbon fiber sleeve option for the QuickLIFT Plus, then the OEM looking regular old black QuickLIFT Plus. I think the elite comes with a 1 year longer warranty. I went with the regular old black QuickLIFT Plus because I like how it looks like it came from the factory that way, but the elite is probably a bit "better" as far as materials used (316 stainless steel) and longevity is concerned.

From the Redline Website:
"This system is our QuickLIFT PLUS system which includes all-black mounting hardware and black e-coated gas springs with progressive slow-release over final inches of extension. The ELITE series is exactly the same with the exception of the gas struts, swapped out for 316L Stainless steel."
 
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So its mostly aesthetics, the elite is stainless, then there is a carbon fiber sleeve option then the OEM looking black plus. I think the elite comes with a 1 year longer warranty. I went with the Plus because I like how it looks like it came from the factory that way, but the elite is probably a bit "better" as far as materials used (316 stainless steel) and longevity is concerned.
Well sonofabitch. I didn’t see the sleeves. And nowhere on the product page does it tell you the size of the strut, nor which sleeve is compatible. Guess I’ll give them a call
 
Talked to redline. No carbon sleeves for the 392 stainless version because the cylinders are a bigger diameter.
 
Talked to redline. No carbon sleeves for the 392 stainless version because the cylinders are a bigger diameter.
You're right the Carbon Fiber Sleeves are only available on the QuickLIFT PLUS not the stainless steel version.
 
Thank you @Turboencabulator . I bought the Elite and added the carbon ones (for free shipping. Ha) I will install one of the sets ( the one I like more) and keep the others as back up. I'll post pics of both when I install them
 
Wait is this you? If so, I've watched more hours of your videos than I care to admit. I'll turn on in the morning and just them play in the background while I work all day. If this is you, I really appreciate your content.
No sorry not me. (but I had that same look on my face when I first opened the hood on my 392) 😁
 
What is the difference between the plus and elite options?

Just asking here in case someone knows. I'll look more in depth later and post my findings.
The Elite are Stainless Steel. That sold me.
 
I'm writing this in part as a PSA warning that the RIVAL 2A.ST.2702.1 Premium Hood Lift will not fit the 392. The Redline Tuning 21-20007-02 Hood QuickLIFT Plus 392 works perfectly on the 392. I saw a post that said the RIVAL would fit with no cutting required and like an idiot I believed them.

I originally ordered the RIVAL 2A.ST.2702.1 Premium Hood Lift. As soon as it arrived I could see I had made a mistake. On the box I could see "Made in Russia"... 🤨(n) then I looked at the hardware, hex bolts were not cast properly, threads were not cut cleanly, it looked like it had been made at a Soviet tank factory, on a Friday. And of course the gas struts are both too short and too weak to lift the 392 hood. Lesson learned. Time to do what I should have done in the first place, order the American made Redline Tuning 21-20007-02 Hood QuickLIFT Plus 392 kit.View attachment 4304
View attachment 4305
I ordered the black QuickLIFT Plus kit for Redline Tuning because it looked the most OEM. It arrived quickly and the build quality was like night and day compared to the RIVAL kit. All the hardware was well made, the gas struts had quick releases installed on the rod ends to allow you to disconnect the hood and lay it back against the windshield. And everything including the gas pistons are made in the USA (I confirmed that directly with Redline over the phone before placing my order).
View attachment 4306
I started the install with the hood hardware. The 392 has the HydroGuide system that kinda interferes with getting the hardware flush up against the hood. I had to lift up that stuff up to get the brackets tucked in underneath up against the hood for a secure fit.
View attachment 4307
The engine side brackets were easy to install and now comes the hard part, clearing the ECU bracket with the gas strut. For those new to Jeep, the 392 uses a modified bracket to hold the Electronic Control Unit (ECU or "the brains"). Unfortunately it interferes with the area the hood strut would rest when the hood is closed. So Redline says that the ECU bracket needs to be trimmed to fix this. But when I watched TrailRecon's video he had the Redline hood struts installed but the ECU bracket is not been modified. How did he do that? :unsure:
View attachment 4301
Well it will fit, but not cleanly. The ECU bracket is defiantly pushing on the hood strut and you will feel this when you try and close the hood latches and you have to push down to get it to fully close. At first I tried to reversing the hood strut direction, this seemed like a good solution because it kept the cylinder out of the way of the ECU bracket. Then Redline contacted me and warned that doing that would prevent the piston seals from getting proper lubrication. :unsure: (hadn't thought about that) So I took a little plumbers putty to see how much interference there actually was.
View attachment 4319
So using the old Dremel with a regular Corse Sanding drum and worked on that area until the cylinder cleared it cleanly.
View attachment 4320
The finished ECU bracket ended up looking like this:
View attachment 4321
On the driver's side I noticed that one of the AC retention bracket bolts was pushing the hood strut up on that side so I went through my bucket o' bolts and found a countersunk screw that fit and didn't stick up far enough to interfere. Redline recommends removing the metal grommet under the AC retention bracket in the directions, but the smaller screw/washer worked for me. I need to buy one with a T-40 Torx head that will match all the OEM hardware but for now this will get the job done.
View attachment 4314
I did end up removing the RedLine Tuning decals because I like the OEM look without the decals. Hood struts really should be standard OEM equipment from the factory but I get it, its a Jeep, and Jeeps have prop rods. However, this is one of the best "Mods" I have done and I should have done it sooner. Hope this helps.

Making me spend money
 
PSA on these. As well as everyone from above, I decided to buy redline. I got 2 sets. One for the 392 that are considered specific and one set for my 2.0 Rubicon.

While installing on the 2.0 Rubicon, The threaded plate that goes on the hood mount was stripped out completely on both holes. I was trying to install the driver side and the bolt fell completely out and I almost lost the nut plate in the hood.

I was lucky able to get it fished out but the threads were completely missing. They were actually on the bolt so the tapping of the threads was very thin. I had to drill and got to the next size up. Luckily I have a lot of metric drills, taps, and bolts.

I got them mounted but not without disappointment in this quality. The other strut plate was ok. I was scared to really tighten them down to prevent pulling the threads.

Just FYI.
 
PSA on these. As well as everyone from above, I decided to buy redline. I got 2 sets. One for the 392 that are considered specific and one set for my 2.0 Rubicon.

While installing on the 2.0 Rubicon, The threaded plate that goes on the hood mount was stripped out completely on both holes. I was trying to install the driver side and the bolt fell completely out and I almost lost the nut plate in the hood.

I was lucky able to get it fished out but the threads were completely missing. They were actually on the bolt so the tapping of the threads was very thin. I had to drill and got to the next size up. Luckily I have a lot of metric drills, taps, and bolts.

I got them mounted but not without disappointment in this quality. The other strut plate was ok. I was scared to really tighten them down to prevent pulling the threads.

Just FYI.
Sorry you had some issues.

I received mine and installed them today. No problems on my end. As stated by others, modifying the bracket takes most of the installation time.

20220414_121311.jpg
 
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