Not all diecast cars are perfect. Some have small, insignificant imperfections here and there, whilst others have glaring problems that ruin the whole look of the model. The 1/24th scale SRT Vipers from Maisto isn’t the latter. They’re proportionally accurate, have good detail for the price, and look stunning in any colors Maisto throws on them (I am partial to the later red and Assembly Line Blue though). The biggest problem with these models comes down to two things: The Headlights, and the Hood not staying open. Today, I’m here to show you how you can fix one of these problems, and it’s not the lack of detail in the headlights…
What You’re Going to Need…
You’ll need three things. You’ll need to have this model (doesn’t matter what color or if you got it per-assembled or not), a big screwdriver for the screws on the bottom, and a smaller one for later. Specifically, a PH (Philips Head) 2×4” for the big one and a PH0 for the smaller one.
Now that you have gotten the correct tools for the job (hopefully), let’s move onto the disassembly.
Taking the Bottom off…
The first thing you should do is locate the two screws that you’ll be undoing to get to the hood pin (not the same as muscle car hood pins). As you can see in the image above, I have marked the two screws you’ll be undoing with two little red arrows. The other two holes closer to the center of the car is where Maisto mounts the car for packaging, so don’t worry about those.
As always, left-loosey righty-tighty, so undo both screws and pull down (or up if you have the car upside-down like in the picture) by lifting via the wheels. Once you’ve done that, the car should look like this:
The plastic chassis should simply pull away from the metal body if you’ve done it correctly. If the chassis won’t budge then look for a screw that you might’ve neglected to take out.
If you’ve gotten this far, then look at the image again and you’ll notice another little red arrow pointing to something. What it’s pointing to is what sometimes causes the hood to simply slam down into the body after you let go. That “hood pin” presses down on a little axle that allows the hood to rotate on its hinges.
Those hinges (not unlike the ones on the 2013-2016 Dodge Dart trunk if you need a bigger example). As I said, those hinges rotate on a small axle that the hood pin presses down on. Some Maisto SRT Vipers don’t have that tightened enough and thus the hood won’t stay up on its own. Thankfully, there’s a way to fix that.
There’s a little screw that attaches the pin to the body. Undo it all the way and the pin will simply come off. It’s literally a small, separate piece in the model whose sole purpose is to make the hood stay up (or at least not open entirely freely). This is where you’re going to need the PH0 screwdriver.
Disclaimer: You don’t need to turn the screwdriver that much to fix the problem. Not only that, but you’re going to want to be extra careful not to strip the screw. I did this recently and it wasn’t that hard to tighten the screw a bit, try to overdo it, and strip small pieces of the screw. The paint might be what was really stripping but you don’t want to risk it.
For the most part, your model’s hood should be relatively tight as it is, so you’re only going to need to tighten it slightly. Depending on the looseness of your hood, a quarter-of-an-inch turn should do the trick. If it’s tighter than that, an even smaller turn (an ever so marginal twist) should work. If it’s looser, then closer to half-an-inch is what you’ll want to shoot for. In any case, it doesn’t take much to tighten the hood to the proper amount so don’t use your entire forearm and Popeye-The-Sailor-it into submission.
Once you’ve completed that you can check to see if the massive (even for the scale) clamshell hood will stay up without falling back down under its own weight. If it stays up, put the model back together and enjoy the fact that you can now take pictures with the hood up without needing something to keep it there.
The 1/18th scale SRT Viper has the same pin, but it’s a little harder to get to thanks to the steering, so a separate how-to guide will be in the works so those of you who have that model can fix it as well.