Have you ever wanted to add a bit more aggression and improved engine cooling to your Kawasaki Mule UTV? Installing a hood scoop can transform the look while providing functional benefits. In this detailed guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about adding a hood scoop to your Kawasaki Mule.
Table of Contents
What is a Hood Scoop?
A hood scoop is an aftermarket accessory that mounts to the hood of an off-road vehicle like the Kawasaki Mule. The scoop improves airflow by funneling cool air directly into the engine bay. This provides better cooling for the engine and other components while also preventing debris from entering.
Hood scoops bolt directly onto the hood using existing mounting points. Installation is straightforward with basic mechanical skills and tools. Most scoops are made from durable ABS plastic or fiberglass. Adding a scoop customizes the look of your Mule and adds an aggressive, performance-inspired style.
Why Add a Hood Scoop to a Kawasaki Mule?
There are several key reasons installing a hood scoop can benefit your Kawasaki Mule:
Improved Engine Cooling
The additional airflow from a scoop keeps engine temperatures lower. This is especially helpful when towing heavy loads or driving in hot conditions. Lower temperatures reduce stress on the engine.
Protect Internal Components
By directing air into the engine compartment, less dust and debris can enter from the front. This protects sensitive components like the alternator, belts, and radiator.
Aggressive Custom Styling
A hood scoop gives your Mule an instant visual upgrade. The bulging scoop adds a rugged, off-road look reminiscent of trophy trucks and desert racers. It’s an easy way to customize the Mule to your style.
Some enthusiasts add a scoop with the goal of increasing engine power. Although the gains are minimal, improved airflow can help optimize combustion.
Top Hood Scoop Options for Kawasaki Mule
When selecting a hood scoop for your Kawasaki Mule, you’ll first need to decide between OEM and aftermarket options. Let’s compare the benefits of each:
Kawasaki OEM Hood Scoop
Purchasing the factory scoop directly from Kawasaki or a dealer ensures perfect fitment and factory-tested durability. However, the OEM scoop comes at a premium price.
- Designed by Kawasaki engineers specifically for the Mule
- Rigorous durability and testing
- Direct bolt-on fit, no modifications needed
- Matches Kawasaki styling and finish
- Most expensive option
- Only one style available
- Can be hard to find in stock
Overall, the OEM route guarantees compatibility and quality right from Kawasaki. This is the best option if budget allows. Check with your local Kawasaki dealer for pricing and availability.
Aftermarket Universal Hood Scoops
For a more budget-friendly choice, consider a universal-fit aftermarket scoop. These bolt onto most UTVs with some adjustment.
Popular aftermarket scoop brands like ACV, Extreme Metal Products, and Speed Unlimited offer options starting around $100.
Benefits of aftermarket scoops:
- Significantly lower cost
- Wider range of styles and sizes
- Available in different materials like fiberglass or ABS plastic
- Can bend pliable ABS to fit if needed
- May require modification for proper fit
- Durability and quality varies
- Limited warranty coverage
For Kawasaki Mule owners on a budget, choosing a reputable brand of universal scoop and taking time to fit it correctly can yield great results. Adding sealant around the edges helps prevent air leaks.
How to Install a Hood Scoop on a Kawasaki Mule?
Installing a hood scoop on your Mule is a straightforward project for moderately handy DIYers. We’ll outline the basic installation steps below:
Gather Tools and Supplies
You’ll need the following:
- Hood scoop
- Basic metric socket set
- Hex key or Allen wrench set
- Locking pliers
- Sealant like silicone (optional)
- Utility knife or Dremel to trim material
- Electric drill and drill bits
- Metal snips for trimming sheet metal
Prep the Hood Surface
Thoroughly clean the hood where the scoop will attach. Remove any dust or debris that could interfere with adhesion.
Lightly scuff the area with 220 grit sandpaper to improve bonding, especially if using sealant.
Bolt On Scoop
Test fit the scoop and mark mounting holes if needed. Use the hardware included with the scoop or the original hood hardware.
Carefully tighten all fasteners evenly until the scoop is securely mounted. Don’t overtighten.
Seal Edges (Optional)
Run a bead of silicone or weatherstripping adhesive along the edges of the scoop. This helps create an airtight seal for maximum airflow.
Let the sealant fully cure before driving the Mule.
Install Protective Screen
Some scoops come with a metal screen or mesh covering the opening. Attach this to protect against objects hitting the fan or radiator.
With the basics covered, you should now have the confidence to install a hood scoop on your Kawasaki Mule UTV. Taking time for proper fitment will ensure it both looks good and provides functional benefits.
Some additional tips for a smooth installation:
- Check scoop alignment from all angles before final tightening
- Adjust the mounting points slightly if the fit is just a bit off
- Make small relief cuts in the scoop opening for hoses or hardware
- Allow sealant to fully cure for 24-48 hours before driving
Patience and careful adjustment is key for a secure and centered fit.
Where to Buy a Kawasaki Mule Hood Scoop?
Now that you know the benefits and installation process, here’s where to get your hands on a hood scoop for your Kawasaki Mule:
Shop Kawasaki Dealers and Parts Departments
Your local Kawasaki dealer should be able to order the OEM hood scoop for you. This ensures you get the perfect fitting factory part. Availability may be limited, so call around.
Buying directly from the Kawasaki parts counter saves you money versus the full dealership labor rates. Or shop online Kawasaki dealers like RideNow for competitive pricing.
Quality Aftermarket Brands
For universal fit aftermarket scoops, look to leading UTV accessory brands:
- Extreme Metal Products
- DragonFire Racing
- ACV Automotive
- Speed Unlimited
Shop multiple sites for sales and promotions. Pay close attention to product dimensions, material, and finish to find your perfect scoop.
Consider buying from a specialty Kawasaki dealer like Happy Trails Kawasaki for parts guaranteed to fit your Mule.
Buy Used to Save
Search eBay, Craigslist, Facebook groups, and forums like KawasakiMuleForum to find a quality used OEM or aftermarket scoop at a steep discount. This can be a cost-effective option if you’re patient sorting through listings.
Make sure to inspect the mounting points and material condition closely before purchasing used. Minor repairs may be required.
Customize Your Kawasaki Mule
Adding a hood scoop is one of the easiest and most dramatic ways to customize your Kawasaki Mule UTV. The exaggerated bulge and air intake give an instant aggressive, off-road look.
Beyond just appearance, a properly fitted scoop also provides the performance benefits of cooler engine temperatures and protection from dust ingress. This keeps your high-performance Mule engine running in prime condition.
Now that you know what to look for, where to buy, and how to install a hood scoop on a Kawasaki Mule, you can drive with added style and function. Your customized Kawsaki will stand out whether blasting through the dunes or cruising the trails.