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Hood Release Cable and Latch Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Hood Release Cable and Latch Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2.5 hours

Tab:

$140

Talent:

****

Tools:

Phillips & flathead screwdriver, trim panel tool

Applicable Models:

BMW Z3 (1996-02)

Parts Required:

Hood release handle, hood release cables, hood release latch

Hot Tip:

Note location of cable routing before removing

Performance Gain:

Proper functioning hood release

Complementary Modification:

Replace latches if worn

The hood release on your BMW Z3 uses two cables. One cable runs from the hood release handle to the left side hood latch, and another cable runs from the left to the right latch. The cables tend to crack, allowing moisture to enter the cable. Once this happens, a cable's lifetime is greatly shortened. If your cables are sticking or the hood release handle doesn't return when you open your hood, it may be time to replace the cables. First check if the latches need to be cleaned and lubed. If they are in good shape, replace the cables. The latches have to be removed when replacing the cables. If the latches are worn or you suspect them to be part of the problem with the release, replace them as well. In this tech article I will show you how to replace the hood release cables and latches.

Avoid marring the paint and trim. Work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out body or interior items.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. 

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you are working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.


Working at the driver side knee bolster, remove the plastic trim caps (yellow arrow) from the screws.
Figure 1

Working at the driver side knee bolster, remove the plastic trim caps (yellow arrow) from the screws. Use a small flat head screwdriver and lever the caps off. Then remove three Phillips head screws. (green arrows)

Next remove the remaining Phillips head screws (green arrows) from the knee bolster trim panel.
Figure 2

Next remove the remaining Phillips head screws (green arrows) from the knee bolster trim panel. Remove the plastic caps as you did previously if they are present. I find these caps missing quite often. There should also be Phillips head screws (yellow arrow) that run along the bottom edge of the knee bolster trim panel, remove these as well.

Pull knee bolster (green arrow) down and away from dashboard and remove.
Figure 3

Pull knee bolster (green arrow) down and away from dashboard and remove.

Next you will have to remove the knee support.
Figure 4

Next you will have to remove the knee support. Remove all six 10mm bolts (green arrows) from the support. When you get to the final bolt, hold the support in place or it will fall down.

Remove the knee support from the vehicle.
Figure 5

Remove the knee support from the vehicle.

Working at the pedal trim, rotate locking tab 90 degrees counterclockwise to unlock.
Figure 6

Working at the pedal trim, rotate locking tab 90 degrees counterclockwise to unlock.

Once unlocked, the locking tab has to be pulled down slightly.
Figure 7

Once unlocked, the locking tab has to be pulled down slightly. If it is stuck, gently lever it down using a trim panel tool. Then remove the trim panel from the vehicle. Pull it toward the rear of the vehicle.

Next, remove the hood release handle Phillips head screw (green arrow).
Figure 8

Next, remove the hood release handle Phillips head screw (green arrow).

Once the screw has been removed, remove the hood release handle by pulling it straight off.
Figure 9

Once the screw has been removed, remove the hood release handle by pulling it straight off.

Working at the kick panel trim, rotate locking tab 90 degrees counterclockwise to unlock.
Figure 10

Working at the kick panel trim, rotate locking tab 90 degrees counterclockwise to unlock.

Then remove the kick panel trim by pulling it straight back toward the rear of the vehicle.
Figure 11

Then remove the kick panel trim by pulling it straight back toward the rear of the vehicle.

Now it's time to move to the hood release latches.
Figure 12

Now it's time to move to the hood release latches. Start by removing all six T27 Torx fasteners from the latches (green arrows).

Then, working under the radiator support, locate the cable mounts.
Figure 13

Then, working under the radiator support, locate the cable mounts. The cable has to be pulled out of these mounts near each latch. The right side is shown in photo (green arrow). The left side is similar. Hold mount open using a flathead screwdriver while pulling cable down. Repeat this step for the left side mount.

Once the cable is out of the mount.
Figure 14

Once the cable is out of the mount. Slide the right side latch out of the radiator support. It helps if you pull the cable (green arrow) out first, then pull the latch. You will have to wiggle it get it to fit through the limited space. But it should not be an issue.

Hold the right side latch while pulling the cable out of the latch, until the housing slides out of the hole (green arrow).
Figure 15

Hold the right side latch while pulling the cable out of the latch, until the housing slides out of the hole (green arrow). Release cable and let it rest on the side of the latch for now.

Push cable into latch, let cable create a loop.
Figure 16

Push cable into latch, let cable create a loop. Then pull cable end (green arrow) out of plastic hook. Now you can separate the cable and latch.

Slide the left side latch out of the radiator support.
Figure 17

Slide the left side latch out of the radiator support. It helps if you pull the cable at the same time. You will have to wiggle it get it to fit through the limited space. But it should not be an issue.

Hold the left side latch while pulling the cable out of the latch, until the housing slides out of the hole (as you did for the right side).
Figure 18

Hold the left side latch while pulling the cable out of the latch, until the housing slides out of the hole (as you did for the right side). Release cable and let it rest on the side of the latch for now. Push cable into latch, let cable create a loop. Then pull cable end out of plastic hook. I used a flathead screwdriver to pop it out.

Next remove the cable that runs from the left side latch to the right side latch.
Figure 19

Next remove the cable that runs from the left side latch to the right side latch. Pull the cable into latch, then pull cable end out of plastic hook (green arrow).

Working at the hood release lever, Pull the cable housing out of mount.
Figure 20

Working at the hood release lever, Pull the cable housing out of mount. Then feed cable through opening in mount. Remove cable end from plastic hook.

Working under the hood, slide old cable (green arrow) out of bulkhead.
Figure 21

Working under the hood, slide old cable (green arrow) out of bulkhead. To help install new cable. Tie a piece of string or mechanics wire to the end of the old cable, on the lever (interior) side. Once you remove the cable, tie the string to the new cable, then pull it back through the bulkhead from the interior side. Once fed through bulkhead, attach new cable to hood release lever.

Install new cable to latch.
Figure 22

Install new cable to latch. Be sure both cable ends (green arrows) audibly snap into place. This will ensure they are properly connected. Install latches and cables in reverse order or removal. Be sure cables are snapped back into mounts under radiator support. Then reassemble interior. Before closing hood, have an assistant pull the hood release lever while you monitor latch. Check that latch lock is releasing when the handle is pulled. If it is, it is now safe to shut and check operation of your hood.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Paul Comments: I am stuck on the radiator end of cable. I see the passenger side but dirvers side cable seems to
Be invaded into latch.
September 23, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See photo 18 - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mollusk Comments: On my 2000 2.8 there is a black plastic air duct behind the driver's side headlight that needs to come out. Four bolts for the headlight and then some dispos-a-clips for the duct. Also, check your high beams before starting to button the interior back up. Their relay is right beside where the cable routes upwards from the release lever, and is easily knocked loose in the process.
June 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your repair process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jeff Comments: This was very helpful! On the M car, there's a large plastic shroud behind/around the pass headlight. Loosening 2x plastic rivets gives just enough slack and room to slide the passenger side latch out. Other than that, pretty much the same.
June 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
KC Comments: Need to do this on my 318ti, do you have photos of where the cable feeds into the engine bay from down near the handle/kick panel end? I pulled the broken cable out so I don't have a point of reference anymore.
December 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:06:58 AM