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Old 09-29-2008, 10:59 PM   #1
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Hood Latch Help Please

In need of wisdom here - my hood will not open. I've done two searches but no solid matches yet - I'll continue trying here too.

I just replaced radiator & cooling hoses on '99 E430. Buttoned everything up, filled with coolant & let it run for awhile, topped off the coolant and closed the hood for a test drive. Get back to shop, go to pop the hood - and only one latch opens! Drivers side latch opens but passenger side is stuck.

I'm thinking either there's a kink in the latch cable or its damaged somehow. I've still got the belly-pans off & I've tried everything possible to move the cable coming from underneath. No luck. Pulled so hard on hood release lever it broke - lol. Gave me the idea to try and straightline the cable from inside cabin, and it did gain a bit more movement that way, but the stuck latch didn't release.

Anybody have any ideas on this? Maybe a secret hood release latch that only trained MB mechanics know about??? Ideas on how to manually unstick a stuck latch??? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:42 PM   #2
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With the splash pan removed reach up to the drivers side headlight area and pull the hood release cable as you have to release Both latches
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:58 AM   #3
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You probably left

a screw driver or some other tool along the hood rail,and jammed the hood .Try Marks idea before you break something else.
sometimes with an object stuck in there, simply having someone pull the release while you gently push down on the hood will pop it open.
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:35 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. I can reach the cable from drivers side, I've pulled and can hear it pulling against passenger side latch - but no release. Yanking on the cable impacted the drivers side latch's ability to reset. I've got to assume there's a problem with the cable - probably old age.

I can't get to the cable from passenger side - I've tried and I can fingertip it - but no way to get any kind of grip. I can't see anyway to reach the passenger latch from underneath or through grill.

I've tried gently pulling & pushing on hood while pulling hood release. Had my wife do the pull & push - that's about as gentle as I'm going to get - lol.

Will continue trying. I can't see any good in taking to dealer - not sure what they can do that I haven't tried.

Thank You.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:03 PM   #5
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Try tapping on the hood with an open hand or the bottom of your fist, the vibration form tapping might get it unstuck. good luck
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:06 PM   #6
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I forgot to add that while you are tapping on the front part of the hood pull on the hood release cable in and out at the same time.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertG View Post
Try tapping on the hood with an open hand or the bottom of your fist, the vibration form tapping might get it unstuck. good luck
That one I hadn't tried. My wife's tiny paws will be perfect for that . Will give it a try when she gets home.

Just broke down and made appt at dealership also. Its the last resort but think my options are getting slim. Having just replaced the radiator I'm really leery of driving it any distance without access to engine bay should something go wrong with my work .

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:33 AM   #8
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My hood got stuck on one side a couple of times because one of the locks had rust and it would not "pop" up or release the hood when the cable was pulled. When I pulled the hood release, I had to go to the front and pull up with decent force on the stuck side and it eventually opened. Not sure if this is your case but in my case the cable actually did pull to a point on the locks enough to release one and allow me to pull open the other side.
Now I lube these once in a while to avoid this from happening.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by koskesh View Post
My hood got stuck on one side a couple of times because one of the locks had rust and it would not "pop" up or release the hood when the cable was pulled. When I pulled the hood release, I had to go to the front and pull up with decent force on the stuck side and it eventually opened. Not sure if this is your case but in my case the cable actually did pull to a point on the locks enough to release one and allow me to pull open the other side.
Now I lube these once in a while to avoid this from happening.
Your explanation is EXACTLY what I'm dealing with - I can even hear the cable movement on stuck latch, but only drivers latch opens and passenger is stuck. I assumed cable defect thinking stuck latch happens to be on very opposite end from hood release lever - if cable is defective it makes sense it would/could only open latch closest to hood release, and have problem with latch furthest away. That's my scientific approach anyway

I can't stand idea of taking it to stealer @ $85 p/hr only to have them pop the latch with an aggressive pull on my hood when I'm not looking Thankfully I had a work excuse and dealer appt got postponed. Gives me a chance to get some buddies over and try it ourselves - I'll just show them what to do, then go inside and let them rip my hood off

We either get the hood open today or my poor ride goes to dealer tomorrow. Either way thank you all for the replies & help. I'd have a lot of trouble with Mercedes DIY if it wasn't for the help on this forum.

Thank You.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:42 PM   #10
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If you can 'fingertip it' can't you find something hook shaped to reach up with and pull down on the cable. Just a thought. Good luck.
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:17 PM   #11
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If you can 'fingertip it' can't you find something hook shaped to reach up with and pull down on the cable. Just a thought. Good luck.
Thanks. I tried - several times, several ways, several tools. I can fingertip it but there's just no room to work a tool or hook up there and still have any leverage. I didn't realize just how tight it was going up that route until I pulled my arm out after 30min or so of fun - I might be scarred for life

I got a good grip on cable coming from underneath on drivers side - yanked it good, several times. Think I did more damage then good - lol - but I could hear movement on stuck latch. It never popped though. That's got me thinking more about latch itself being the problem as mentioned above. It makes sense.

Once I get the muscle over and give it a good pull I'll post results. Think that's going to be my last attempt before I cave and take it to stealer

Again - thank you all for the help. Very much appreciated!!
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:51 PM   #12
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Just remember if it is in fact rusty and stuck it won't pop up on it's own no matter how hard you pull on the cable. the cable only releases something that is holding the actual latch that hooks around the U shaped thingy on the hood. Once you've got the cable pulled, that's when you start pulling up on the hood.

It's best to pull straight up close to the stuck side. Be careful not to break the grill if you're going to use that as something to hold on to. Don't pull too hard on the opposite side it might twist the hood out of shape.

I would look at a similar car to get a visual of the mechanism if you haven't already. What I said above makes alot more sense if you see it.
Good luck.

Last edited by koskesh; 10-01-2008 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:43 PM   #13
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I would look at a similar car to get a visual of the mechanism if you haven't already. What I said above makes alot more sense if you see it.
Good luck.
I got it - your explanation first time was perfect. I could see the drivers side latch when that side popped open too. We all had real good idea of what we were looking for and what to do if we found it.....

..... but no luck. I say "we" as I had the time to swing by a buddies shop and we stuck the thing on a rack. From that position it was easier to see what we were after - could actually see interior of the cable where it connected to driver side latch, and where cable continued on to passenger side. We had complete access and got a tool on it. Pulled and could hear the release working, but latch itself would not release.

Also determined we were getting exact same cable travel using hood release lever - or vice grips after I totaled the lever Its definitely the latch itself. Since we were getting same travel at the lever we lowered car and pulled on the hood like mad - nothing. Not even a budge. Tried several times & many different ways - even sweet-talked it - nothing

So car's at the stealer now - its been awhile since I had to take anything to a dealer for non-warranty work - when did MB start charging $118 p/hr labor

It'll be interesting to see what they find - or how they get it open. Thanks for all the help
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:36 PM   #14
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HOLY SH-T

Stealer just called - they can't get hood open easily. They agree its probably latch & not cable issue.

Regardless, process they're talking about is pulling entire front end apart - bumper, radiator, etc - and trying to access latch that way. Estimate is $800.

I've got a few contacts at local body shops - going to call them and see what they think. At this point it sounds like I'm screwed no matter what I do.
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Old 10-02-2008, 08:50 PM   #15
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wow now u dont have to feel bad anymore!
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:24 PM   #16
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Just a thought... if you have to pull everything apart anyway, you might want to think about any PM you might want to take advantage of... Like replacing the radiator, or hoses, etc?? Might be a chance to replace some items for the price of the parts alone.
Just trying to make lemonade......
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Old 10-03-2008, 12:28 AM   #17
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Might be a chance to replace some items for the price of the parts alone.
Just trying to make lemonade......
lol - much appreciated. Odds are good there's going to be lots of parts replaced, in addition to everything I replaced before the latch went south.....

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wow now u dont have to feel bad anymore!
Yep - thanks - I just feel broke now. At least my post count increased a bit
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:24 PM   #18
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Ouch... sorry I forgot you just did the radiator and hoses....
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:02 PM   #19
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SUCCESS... err, well, if you can call it that

Hood is open! I pulled the car out of dealership & took it to a dedicated MB shop who has great reputation - probably should've taken it there to begin with but I knew nobody there - if nothing else the silver lining of this story is making some good contacts with a great shop... and they're MBWorld fans!

These guys used an "arthroscopic" - best way I can describe it - clamp with a long gooseneck. Went through grill and worked the tool back to the latch itself and popped the latch directly. I make it sound easy & it was not - we all played with it for about an hour - and it took them another 3hrs & lots of attempts to get it & then replace the latch, plus cable and release lever I broke .

But its done - and no damage to the hood, grill, or any other item - only damage is to my wallet on this one
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:48 PM   #20
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Glad to hear you got it open without taking the front end off!
So what exactly was the cause of the latch being stuck in the first place? Was it rust?
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:02 PM   #21
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So what exactly was the cause of the latch being stuck in the first place? Was it rust?
Old age??? No real indication - no rust, nothing out of sorts - its just seized. I'm watching the drivers side latch very close now - lol.
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Old 10-09-2008, 03:28 PM   #22
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Proper lubrication of these should keep them in good shape and prevent seizing and corrosion.
Too much lubrication = junk collector
too little lube = drys out faster
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:01 PM   #23
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Maybe you should replace the other latch before it too becomes similar problem. Just trying to help.
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:01 PM
 
 
 
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cl63, e430, hood, interior, latch, mb, mechanism, mercedes, opening, photo, straight, stuck, w140, w210, w220



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