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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW Technical Article

BMW E36 3 Series Hood Alignment
Jared Fenton
Wayne R. Dempsey

Difficulty Level: 2
Difficulty scale: Adding air to your tires is level one
Rebuilding a BMW Motor is level ten

     Have you noticed that your hood seems to be sitting a bit higher on one side than the other? Do you want to bring back into trueness? Using this tech article we will show you the easy steps to straighten that hood and get it back in alignment. This is a simple adjustment that should not take more than 15 minutes.

     If the hood is out of alignment, you can move either side of the hood up or down to re-align the hood in relation to the fender. This is how you do it.

     First, open the hood and look at the latches underneath. These latches are used to hold the hood down. This picture shows the receivers on the front fascia. You will notice that there is a 17mm nut on the inside of the spring. What you will want to do is push back the spring with a screwdriver, then use a 17mm wrench to loosen the nut.

     Once the nut is loose, look at the tip of the latch, you will notice a slot cut for a standard screwdriver. Use this slot to move the latch either in or out.

     If you move the latch in, (clockwise) the hood will sit lower, if you move the latch out, (counter-clockwise) the hood will sit higher. Once you have the latch adjusted, simply tighten the 17mm nut back down. This nut keeps the latch from turning and going out of adjustment.

     This is pretty much a trial-and error procedure, as you will probably need to adjust the latches then close the hood a couple of times to get the alignment perfect.

     Well, there you have it - it's really not too difficult at all.  If you would like to see more technical articles like this one, please continue to support Pelican Parts with all your parts needs.  If you like what you see here, then please visit our online BMW catalog and help support the collection and creating of new and informative technical articles like this one.  Your continued support directly affects the expansion and existence of this site and technical articles like this one.  As always, if you have any questions or comments about this helpful article, please drop us a line.

Comments and Suggestions:
dumbas Comments: Similar problem to Frank above. I adjusted hood 1/4 inch forward at hinges as it was interfering with wiper. Now the passenger side latch is binding/stuck closed. Its not the release mechanism, the barbed tip of latch is stuck in latch. Im probably going to have to cut the hood off. Foolish for being a perfectionist. Should have left it alone.
December 19, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Were the body panel gaps correct before you moved it? Something else may be an issue if moving it cause a jam.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Frank Comments: I was adjusting my latches to get the hood to sit evenly and now the hood is stuck shut. I feel the release cable getting tension when i pull on it for both latches but it seems they are just stuck shut. I've tried pushing and pulling it while someone else pulls on the release cable. Any advice?
March 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may have lowered the hood too much, creating a tension on the latches. If pushing down while pulling the release lever does not help, you may have to go from beneath the vehicle and manually release the latches. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
David Comments: Other side
January 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Got it. Thanks for sharing the photo. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
David Comments: Dear Sir/Madame
I am about to buy a BMW 316 here in Europe. The car has 11.000 km on the odometer and I was told it ismaccident free.
I am curios about your opinion, as the hood sits about a half centimeter away compared to the other side.
Could you imagine a brand new car without a bad history could have been come out of the factory with such an imperfection?
Thank you a lot for taking the time to read this.
January 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be slightly off from the factory. I would ask then to align it.

Check the mounting points. Look for signs of fastener movement. Does the washer on the fasteners look like it has been moved from an earlier location? - Nick at Pelican Parts

Got more questions?  Join us in our BMW Technical Forum Message Board, and ask a question to one of our many automotive experts.
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