2004 X5 hood cable removal & installation
It was quite hard to pull the lever to open the hood, so I inspected the cable, and towards the front, it was in a very poor shape:
Decision was made to replace the cable, in order to avoid one of those surprises. Out of 3 cables, I decided I need only the 2 cables that activate the 2 latches and the intermediate cable. These:
To reach the cables, unfortunately, you will need to remove the front bumper, then the driver side headlight. For the front bumper I used this DIY. For the headlight, DIY's not necessary - it's a straight forward process: Unplug the light harness, remove the top 2 screws, remove the bottom 2 screws and slide out. Done.
The reason you want the headlight out, is to allow for the cable to slide out under the front cross member. The reason you want the bumper out, is to be able to reach the latches - you will need to remove the air duct left & right (p/n 51717124217 & 51717123350) and the air duct ornamental grille left & right (p/n 51717123351 & 51717123352).
Next, you need a torx bit T30 to remove the 3 screws that hold the 2 latches:
To reach the latches, you need to pull out the middle pin of the plastic rivet that holds each air duct (left & right) mentioned above:
Then, pull on the 3 tabs that hold the ornament grille to the above airduct:
Now, the airducts can be folded away, and you can access the latches. This is why you need to remove the bumper. The front cable ties the 2 latches, and is also held in place by clip under the cross member. Slide it out. Here is the passenger side latch:
Pull the cable sheath out the guide of the latch, then the cable is exposed, and you can slide the cable out of the latch:
The driver side latch is also tied to the intermediate cable. This one has the connecting element as well. To get the latch out, you will first need to open the connecting element, by pressing and pushing with a screwdriver on the 2 tabs:
Then just pull the whole unit with cables still attached, from the body. It's held in place by 2 plastic tabs. They won't break, and even if they would, if you change the intermediate cable, you will have a new unit anyways.
Once the connecting element is out, you need to find a small screwdriver, or a fine pick and pull the round lead of the cable that goes towards the firewall. In this picture, it's the one to the right:
Once the lead cable is off (the one that goes towards the firewall), you can slide the cable with the connecting element through the cross member and out. This is why you need the headlight out.
The 2 latches are identical. Because the driver side latch had the guide damaged, I switched the 2 latches, to avoid buying a new unit. The guide is housing the sheath of the cable.
Both latches side-by-side:
Damaged guide on the driver side latch:
Installation is the reverse. It's quite easy in my opinion. The hardest part was to find the 2 tabs on each side of the bumper. Opening the hood is very easy now, a minimal effort is needed to pull the lever now. Yes, I had the mandatory beer afterwards.
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