How to get the hood open when the cable breaks

phillyturbosix

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Aug 24, 2003
The hood latch cable broke inside the car and at the latch under the hood I think. One of those freak things I guess. I think it came off at the latch and got hung up on something else. I had the front off the car over last winter but I've used the hood a few dozen times since with no issues. Last car show I had the handle in my hand when I went to open the hood and even after pulling the cable using vice grips on it, It won't unlatch so I think it's at the latch my issue. I took the grill out and was poking around but I can't see a way to pop the hood. I tried to even reach up there from under the car but my arm isn't long enough to reach the latch area. Any ideas how to pop the hood? Thanks in advance!
 
Good question! Maybe someone needs to come up with a regular hood release with a good old fashioned lever. When did they start using the cable release on our cars? Hope someone has the answer for you.
 
Yea tell me about it! From a quick look I don't think it's going to be fun getting this thing open!
 
Good question! Maybe someone needs to come up with a regular hood release with a good old fashioned lever. When did they start using the cable release on our cars? Hope someone has the answer for you.

they started using the locking hood latch with the release inside the cabin in the mid size cars in the 73 model year..

about the only way the hood is going to open is if you can manage to get to the latch with a 13mm wrench or socket to unbolt the whole thing from the radiator support.
 
look at your other car, there is a hole on passenger side of the latch that you could get a wire through to trip the latch.
you might get it with a coat hanger but something like a paint bucket handle or even a 5gal spackel bucket handle would be better
 
You can go in through the grill area. There is an opening in the core support and you can see the two 13mm bolts that hold the latch to the core support. You'll need a thin wall socket on an extension. Just unbolt those two bolts and the hood should pop up enough to allow you to disconnect the cable. Here are a couple pics I just snapped of the area I am describing.
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Thanks for the reply's and pics guys! I was eyeballin those 2 13mm bolts to thinking hmmmmm. Well if those 2 don't work I'll have to get the chain saw out! :) Off to work I go!
 
This is how you get it open bring car to Stefans house tomorrow he crawls under car and opens your hood. I was looking at it last week there is room to play in there. Do you have a replacement cable yet?
 
pacecarta said:
look at your other car, there is a hole on passenger side of the latch that you could get a wire through to trip the latch.
you might get it with a coat hanger but something like a paint bucket handle or even a 5gal spackel bucket handle would be better

This is what I saw Paul when I was looking at it on my car. I have a really thick coat hanger that I can bend and get in that hole just might have to take the grill off so I can get some leverage.
 
This is how you get it open bring car to Stefans house tomorrow he crawls under car and opens your hood. I was looking at it last week there is room to play in there. Do you have a replacement cable yet?

I'm not coming over there you broke it in the first place!!! lol I'm gonna play tomorrow afternoon in the carpeted floored garage! :)
 
*** UPDATE ***

Hood is open again! :) Thanks John Larkin your way worked like a champ! The secret is a short 13mm on a swivel adapter along with an extension! The only thing I would have done different is I went for the easy bolt on the left first and when I went to do the other one, when it was just about all the way out it twisted around and I had to get some needle nose to get the last few threads out. So that turned into a pita. Would have been easy to handle if I took the right bolt out first then the left as you have more room to play on the left. The main problem I have is it's a show car and everything is powder coated or recently painted so minimal damage was key! I made a few marks on the underneath of the header panel but it can't be seen. Thanks again John for taking the time to post and post pictures no less!

Pauly I did try your way first, but it was like fishing in the dark. Was hard to tell what I was grabbing/hitting. Again being a show car, I didn't want to tear up the powder coating and everything else poking around. I used a paint can metal handle. Would have worked in time if it was a daily driver and I just went in there like a madman :) But thanks for the idea at least I gave it a shot. \

I took a few shots and here they are....

You don't realize how many bugs are in your condenser until you get up close to it that's for sure!

Another issue was the trans cooler. Using the paint can handle that was even more of a challenge to work around that. I was also trying to take apart as little as possible since I just put all this back together a few months ago! :) And yes I cleaned all the bugs off!

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And here is what happened... The little tab for the cable must have broke off! So the cable might have been fine. I just need a new latch now or that little clip. I would think more people are going to run into this over the years as that tiny clip can be bent so many times. No less if the car is a driver I would think that part will get rusty and break in time! Funny part is I was going to replace or chrome this latch when I had the front of the car apart because it was so nasty looking. But this is the back side you don't even see. So I figured I'd change the latch out over the winter... guess that bite me in the ass!

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and here is the end result...


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That's what you get for throwing that dirty piece on the car without having it powder coated. So what your saying is that I installed it perfectly it just your POS latch broke on the tab cause of all the times you opened your hood up so you can dry hump your car and show off all your shiny parts under there. Hehehe..
 
That's what you get for throwing that dirty piece on the car without having it powder coated. So what your saying is that I installed it perfectly it just your POS latch broke on the tab cause of all the times you opened your hood up so you can dry hump your car and show off all your shiny parts under there. Hehehe..

I'm still blaming you for tweaking that tab! :p
 
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