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Old July 31st, 2011, 01:11
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jesterbomb jesterbomb is offline
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Broken Hood Release Writeup, With Pics.

rite-up I've done here. Figure itís about time, seeing as how I have gained so much information from the site and you guys over the years. Hoping to kinda pass it on. Thanks in advance for future help. It's long and there are pictures. Hope you don't have ADD.

There are a few issues covered in this tale of woe. So, be patient. I am going to cover not only the opening of the hood with a broken cable latch, but also how to replace the cable.

Okay, so this particular write-up comes about as a direct result of my own experience today. Of course I ran to my computer to figure out what to do. I found the help I needed, but no pics. So here they are.

This week started with me soldering in a new fuse panel into my 2000 XJ Sport. Iíll try to do a write-up for that later on. (NP 231 and the NV 3500(?) transmission, not that it matters for this write-up) Once that was done and apparently working beautifully, I prepared to sit back and have my obligatory "Hells YEAH I did!" moment. So, I go to close the hood and...
It doesn't latch.

Okay, I can understand the latches being sticky. It has sat for two years after all. (Hence the new fuse panel... Dielectric grease is your friend. Just saying) So, I lift up the hood, spray some Blaster on everything that is supposed to move and try again.

Nope. The hood springs back up, catching nothing but the goofy safety latch in the center. Okay... maybe I need some force.




No dice. Okay, so what in the hell is going on here? I lift the hood and inspect everything. I check the latches on both sides of the hood by putting a screwdriver inside them in place of the strike rod to open and close them, like this:



I also move the mounting ears in which the hood opening rods by hand, to make sure that this part also moves. It's fine.

This slotted tab by the screwdriver:

So, I find out by doing this that the latches on either side of the hood are working just fine. The next suspect is the mechanism nearer the middle, so I take a look at it, seeing if the moving bits actually move.

Turns out, the mechanism (Which is apparently called a "Bellcrank" for some obscure reason) connecting the cables to the latch release rod is actually rusted open. Thanks Chrysler, for deciding to use whatever metal this is. None of the other unpainted bits of metal did this. Bastards.

Hereís a pic so you know what I mean, just in the off chance that a Google search will take a non reader with no experience here. I found this online:

Either way, I need this little bastard of a bellcrank to freaking MOVE. So I PB Blast it, clean it, scrape the rust off with a pick and some emery cloth, eventually resorting to a punch and a hammer to budge it. Of course, no dice. As if the previous project wasn't fun enough, now I have to take this part off.

Okay, out comes the drill. For whatever reason, Chrysler decided to use rivets on this piece. I'm sure there is a good reason for this, but I don't really care. It's annoying. Luckily, there are only two, so my mostly dead drill managed to finish the job.

Pic of the "Bellcrank" off:

Once you get the rivets out, (If this is something you need to do... You poor soul) you need to disconnect both the cable, and the connecting rod. The cable slips out pretty easy once you get it lined up with the slot on the back of the "Bellcrank".

Pic of the "Bellcrank" from the back, the side AGAINST the hood, actually this is the closed position:

And if you think it actually matters, this is a pic of what the damn "Bellcrank" is SUPPOSED to do when you pull the hood release:

In the above two photos, you can see the slot in which the cable needs to be twisted backwards to line up with the slot, so that it can come out.

Here is a picture of the hood end of the cable, the part that sits behind the bellcrank:

The other thing that needs to be done is to swivel the "Bellcrank" around so that you can disengage it from the connecting rod. This can be done once the cable is off.

Pic of the connecting rod uh... Connector thingy. It's just a bend in the rod. Ignore the "Bellcrank"; focus on the bend in the rod:

Regardless, I get the "Bellcrank" off, clean it up and dagnabbit, it works just fine now. Feel free to rivet it back on. And my Girlfriend said buying that riveter was a silly idea... HA! Come to think of it, I'm fairly sure that you could use something else in place of rivets, although if you use lag screws (Self-tappers) the space this doohickey has behind it to mount to, is very small before you drill through the hood. And the metal is thin thin THIN. So, I guess that's why Chrysler used rivets. Damn. It makes sense.

So, with a fully functioning hood, I check everything (Almost...) and close it up. Because I am paranoid, I check the hood release from inside using the handle.

It comes off in my hand:

Is anyone really surprised? So, I run here to research. Apparently, the latch mechanism can be reached from underneath the vehicle, by sticking a skinny arm between the radiator and the fan(s). The latch can then be moved towards the Drivers side (?) and the hood will then open.

The view from the ground, You can *just* see the mechanism waaaay up there: (Yes, my jeep is dirty, it's been sitting under a tree for two years, like I said)

Well, my engine is hot. And I have an electric fan from the factory, so space is more limited than it would be on my 91. Also my arms are fat. That is simply not gonna happen.


Okay, so, the good folks here have NUMEROUS times pointed out that you can peel back on the cable housing and grab the cable with vice grips, give it a yank and voila. Open hood. Well, to be honest, I didn't read that part. Not gonna lie. I skimmed those posts and skipped straight to the hard solution.

That's right, removing the headlight buckets. Why? Because Iím a moron and I made a HUGE muck-up later on, which I will explain.

Let's pause a moment and look at a picture. Now, this illustrates an unbroken release cable (From my 91'. My poor, poor, 91'. May she rest in peace.) next to the broken one.


Here, you can see the mounting holes for the screws in the side of the body. These are (obviously) hiding underneath the kick panel on the driver side. Well, the third one is. The first two are directly behind the handle, which is probably in some bushes near you, where you throw it when it broke off in your hand. Oddly enough, in my 91', the three screws were Phillips heads but on the 2000, they were annoying torx screws.

Side note: Torx screws are the work of the devil.

Where my pinky is pointing is the location from where you can start peeling back the plastic to get at some steel cable. if you were wondering where to start, this is it. You might as well just do that, rather than removing headlights. The cable is pooched anyway. Honestly, it's not repairable.

Whatever. With the hood open, if you pull those three screws and remove the cable from the "Bellcrank", you can then unclip the cable from inside the hood and pull it through.

These are the clips on the inside of the hood, so you can see how they work, from the comfort of your desk. (Or phone, you tech savvy person, you!):

Seriously, once the clips are off, all you need to do is pull. The metal sleeve that clips into one of the uh... well, clips under the hood will grab the firewall grommet and pull it out. Don't bother trying to save it. It's pretty impossible to get off the cable. Presuming the cable end doesn't get snagged on anything on the engine; it'll come out no problem.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 01:12
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jesterbomb jesterbomb is offline
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Re: Broken Hood Release Writeup, With Pics.

Here's a pic of two cables next to each other, with the grommets snugged up against the metal cable sleeve:

Interesting side note, the ONLY difference between the two cables is that the one from my 2000 has some insulation wrapped around the cable. Interesting. My 91' has an entire insulating blanket attached to the underside of the hood from the factory. No, it does NOT cover the hood cable. Hmm. Same length and everything. So, grab whichever one at the junkyard is easiest to get to, regardless of what year YOURS is.

Just for fun, here's a pic of the firewall hole in the 2000:

Luckily for me, the clutch master cylinder has been moved towards the passenger side by a few inches, so it's easier to get my fat arm in there when reinstalling a hood cable.

To make your life easier when reinstalling the cable, put a few zip ties around the cable BEFORE the grommet, a few inches back from the metal collar. Then wrap this in a disgusting amount of tape. Then perhaps, lubricate the grommet on the engine backside a bit. Then, grab some rope, ore wire, or whatever you have around and stick it through the hole in the firewall. Tie this to the cable end opposite of the handle.

This way, you can stand outside your jeep and pull the wire. The cable will feed through the hole and the ball of tape will prevent the grommet from sliding down the cable and against the handle. Then if you need to, you can grab the grommet from the engine bay and tweak it if it needs to be. Then, obviously go back inside your jeep and pull off the zip ties and tape before they bind against your clutch or something. Besides, it's ugly.

Once thatís done, reinstall the three screws holding the handle inside the jeep and reconnect the cable to the clips, the ones I showed you earlier. As well, MAKE SURE YOU PUT THE LAST CABLE CLIP INTO THE "BELLCRANK"!!! If you don't, and you close the hood, you will be well and truly pooched.

Close the hood with the clips like this and you are screwed:

Unless your clip is installed into the "Bellcrank" like this, you will truly hate yourself:

Yeah, sorry all of these are fuzzy:

So. If you screwed up, like I did, you will be feeling pretty low. And pretty depressed. And Really, really stupid. Now the only way to get inside is to take off some headlights. And Yes, I mean both. Unless you have skinny arms and can reach the latch from underneath. Remember, the connecting rods are still hooked to the latches, so that will work.

Of course, if your arms are skinny enough to do that, you should probably go to a group for some kind of eating disorders. Bulemics anonymous, Anorexics against food, whatever.

I'm not going to illustrate how to take off the headlights and the trim. You already know how. I know, because our headlights suck, so you have no doubt changed them numerous times in order to seek a solution.

The buckets are pretty self-explanatory as well. There are the two adjustment screws and an itty-bitty spring under a lot of tension located behind the buckets, in the bottom corner nearest the grille. It's not held on by anything really. Don't lose it. Your day is already bad enough.

So. You have all that stuff off. Letís see where the bolts are. There are TWO of them on each side that need to be taken off. Both are 13mm. On my 2000, the fibreglass bucket surround is pretty big, so I needed a 6 inch extension and a U-Joint bit behind the 13mm socket to access them. Other than that, no problems.

First bolt location:

The first one is easy to see, although its location doesn't really make much sense if you don't know it holds the spring latches on. This bolt threads in horizontally, which is why you wouldn't normally think of it.

Second bolt location:

If you look along the screwdriver, you will see the hole where the second bolt goes. This bolt threads in vertically. Once you see it, the bolt looks very weird, so you can't possibly confuse the two.

Here is what the bolts look like:

Here is a picture of the latch out, from the side, with the bolts threaded back in partially, so you can see their orientation and shape. See what I mean about the weird bolt?:

From the front:

So, once you get all four bolts out, your hood will be free. You need to be aware that there will be no springs pushing up on the hood, so you will have to CAREFULLY get your fingers in there and pull it up enough to disengage the safety catch in the middle.

This is what you will see, The latch striker, dangling from the latch:

This is kinda important. These are the shims. They level your hood, and may fall off once you open the hood:

This is what they kinda look like in terms of where they go on the latch. They go between that weird bolt and the latch striker:

Well... I think thatís about it. Once you get everything out, fix it. Then put it back together. same thing, but backwards.

Hey, do yourself a favour and replace the headlight adjustments screws while you have everything out. I managed to strip two of mine.

Yeah, my luck is pretty great.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 01:13
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jesterbomb jesterbomb is offline
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Re: Broken Hood Release Writeup, With Pics.

On second glance, the pics are kinda big, and the formatting sucks. Sorry. I'll try and work on that.

Anyway, hope this helps someone in the future.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 06:29
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CharlesS CharlesS is offline
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Re: Broken Hood Release Writeup, With Pics.

Thanks for the informative write up...
I also enjoyed the comical relief...
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Old July 31st, 2011, 07:11
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Saudade Saudade is offline
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Re: Broken Hood Release Writeup, With Pics.

Thanks for the writeup. Resizing, even retaking some of the pics would help a lot.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 09:41
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85xjproject 85xjproject is offline
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Re: Broken Hood Release Writeup, With Pics.

awesome write up bro!
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Old July 31st, 2011, 10:37
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GrimmJeeper GrimmJeeper is offline
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Re: Broken Hood Release Writeup, With Pics.

nice writeup, very detailed. I'm going to reccomend it for the faq section.

Thanks for contributing
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 11:12
ldr268 ldr268 is offline
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Re: Broken Hood Release Writeup, With Pics.

Beautiful! I had this problem and scratched my head for about two weeks before coming across your thread. Followed it step by step (minus the broken cable) and fixed it in less than two hours. Thanks so much for the help!
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Old January 24th, 2012, 19:03
Armycain Armycain is offline
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Re: Broken Hood Release Writeup, With Pics.

Good write up alot better than me would have been ie. get drill and hood pins. I'm just too lazy to replace that cable
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Old January 25th, 2012, 08:27
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kastein kastein is offline
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Re: Broken Hood Release Writeup, With Pics.

Been there and done that... with the same mistakes, except I didn't close it without the cable hooked up

I do have a very nice bump, cracked paint, and rust forming on the hood exactly over one of those damned rivets though. IF YOU DRILL THEM OUT, USE ONE OF THOSE SETSCREW COLLARS ON THE DRILL SO YOU DON'T HAVE NICE DENTS IN YOUR HOOD TOO!
My yard looks like Sanford & Sons.
Please do not PM me about the AW4 info thread unless you have a truly unique question that is not covered by it or info to add. I do not respond to questions answered by the thread.
Definitely do not hunt down my phone number at 3AM, text me about it, and then threaten violence when I am not helpful. It will not get you what you want.
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Old October 11th, 2017, 19:37
jalkatib jalkatib is offline
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Smile Re: Broken Hood Release Writeup, With Pics.

Since Photobucket went full retard, is there anyway to gain access to this thread with pictures? or is there another write-up that is similar? i need help with the hood locked shut and cable that needs replacing. SOS please

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Old October 11th, 2017, 20:35
lawsoncl lawsoncl is offline
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Re: Broken Hood Release Writeup, With Pics.

The full album is here. You might have to hover over the pictures to see the photo numbers to sort out which picture goes where in the writeup.
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