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Hood Release Cables and Latches
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Hood Release Cables and Latches

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

****

Tools:

T20 T30 Torx bit, 10mm socket, socket set, small flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Hood release cable assembly with handle

Performance Gain:

Access to the engine compartment

Complementary Modification:

Replace air filter

The hood release handle located in the interior of your BMW is used to open the engine hood. The handle is connected to the hood latches via steel cables. The steel cables are joined in the center and separate for easy servicing. Both cables are housed in plastic sheathing. These cables are still however prone to corrosion.

The hood release cables consist of three separate parts. One cable runs from the hood release handle to the cable junction under the hood. The other cables run to each hood latch. The cables that run to the hood latches tend to crack, allowing moisture to enter the cable. Once this happens, the cables lifetime is greatly shortened. If your cables are sticking, your hood release handle won'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 the latches are in good shape, replace the cables.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts 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're 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. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. 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.

Start by working in the driver's side doorway.
Figure 1

Start by working in the driver's side doorway. Using a plastic prying tool, remove the door sill cover.

Working in the driver's footwell, remove the courtesy light from the lower dashboard trim panel and disconnect the wiring harness (green arrow).
Figure 2

Working in the driver's footwell, remove the courtesy light from the lower dashboard trim panel and disconnect the wiring harness (green arrow). The courtesy light should pull out by hand. If not use a plastic prying tool to release it.

Remove the plastic fastener (yellow arrow) by turning it 90 degrees and pulling it out.
Figure 3

Remove the plastic fastener (yellow arrow) by turning it 90 degrees and pulling it out. Next, remove the screw (blue arrow) fastening the air duct to the panel with a Philips screwdriver .Now remove three mounting screws (green arrows) on the lower panel also with a Phillips screwdriver and pull the panel downward.

On the lower panel remove three wiring harnesses (green arrows).
Figure 4

On the lower panel remove three wiring harnesses (green arrows).

Using a T20 torx bit remove the handle mounting screw (green arrow) and pull the handle straight off.
Figure 5

Using a T20 torx bit remove the handle mounting screw (green arrow) and pull the handle straight off.

Next, remove the panel mounting screw (green arrow) with a T20 torx bit.
Figure 6

Next, remove the panel mounting screw (green arrow) with a T20 torx bit. Pull back the door seal (yellow arrow) as depicted.

Using a plastic prying tool release the tabs on the left side of the dead pedal insert.
Figure 7

Using a plastic prying tool release the tabs on the left side of the dead pedal insert. Start at the bottom and work upward. When the tabs are released rotate the panel to the right and remove it.

Remove the two panel mounting bolts with a 10mm socket.
Figure 8

Remove the two panel mounting bolts with a 10mm socket. Now pull the panel to the right and downward to remove it.

Now that the dead pedal panel is removed the hood release cable actuator is exposed.
Figure 9

Now that the dead pedal panel is removed the hood release cable actuator is exposed. Remove the mounting bolt (green arrow) utilizing a 10mm socket.

Figure 10

Moving under the hood locate the cable junction box on the left inner fender and pry it off using a plastic prying tool

Open the cable junction box by releasing the tabs (green arrows).
Figure 11

Open the cable junction box by releasing the tabs (green arrows). If they won't release by pressing them by hand use a thin blade flathead screwdriver to assist.

Now release the main cable from the cable junction box (green arrow).
Figure 12

Now release the main cable from the cable junction box (green arrow). At this point I like to tie a six foot brightly collored, thin but strong cord to the cable end. Back inside the car pull the cable back through the firewall and out. If you have an assistant available have them help guide the cable back to the firewall. You may need to grab the cable inside with a pair of vise grips to help pull it back. Pull it only far enough to be able to tie the chord to the new cable and pull the new cable back through the firewall. Make sure the grommet seals properly to prevent leaks. Installation from here is the reverse of removal. To replace the latches or cables to the latches, see the following steps. To replace the latches or cables to them, you do not have to remove the interior parts. You can easily separate the cables at the fender.

Start by removing the auxiliary cooling fan.
Figure 13

Start by removing the auxiliary cooling fan. See our tech article on auxiliary cooling fan replacing. Next, remove the three T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows) at each latch. The right side is shown; the left is similar.

Pull the right side latch down.
Figure 14

Pull the right side latch down. Note the rust on the cables of my subject vehicle (green arrow). A lot of time when there is rust like this, the cable mount of the latch fractures from the swollen cable.

Pull the cable out of the cable mount (green arrow).
Figure 15

Pull the cable out of the cable mount (green arrow). Then unhook it from the latch lever (red arrow).

Next, pull the left side latch down.
Figure 16

Next, pull the left side latch down. Pull the cables out of the cable mount (green and red arrows). Then unhook it from the latch lever.

Pull the cable out of the radiator support (red arrow) and detach it from the union.
Figure 17

Pull the cable out of the radiator support (red arrow) and detach it from the union. See the steps above regarding separating the cables. Then replace the cables, starting with the main pull from the cable junction to the left side latch. Then replace the connecting cable from the left to right latch. Reinstall the latches and tighten the fasteners. Once you have the fasteners tight, do a test run to be sure the hood release handle releases the latches. You don't want to shut your hood to find out the hood won't open.

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Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 02:56:39 AM