The cloth is mostly there to reduce engine noise, it acts like a damper. Also keeps alot of heat off of the underside of the hood and saves the paint from fading so quickly. Louver your hood if you like, but leave as much cloth in tact as you can.
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Thanks CJ-5, I'll follow your advice. Yes, my 93 YJ Renegade has the underhood damper cloth. There are little plastic hooks that hold it on around the edges so you could look for those to see if your Jeep had it removed.
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my 95 doesn't have the cloth or clips under my hood....let us know how the vents go I have been thinking about something like that for a while.....how do you plan on cutting them??
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I put hood vents in my hood too. They are the from an old LeBaron Turbo. They look really cool and you can see the heat just flowing out like waves in the ocean.
Anyway, I may be worng, but I remember reading somewhere that those cloths are actaully fire blankets. In case of an engine fire they are designed to fall (the plastic mounts melt off) and smothers the fire.
As people said earlier, its also help despearse heat under the hood and prevent premature paint wear. It'll be no big deal removing it, and if you feel uncomfortable about it, just cut holes through it big enough for the vents.
I'd be real quick to ditch mine if the hood itself wouldn't need a thorough cleaning afterwards. The cloth has got lots of oil on it from previous leaks and the hood has a nice dirt+oil film all over it so I'm waiting until I've got some time to play with it.