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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-31-2013, 06:03 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
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Re: OH F***! My hood is stuck!

Alright, so I don't know what happened but the hood cable got stuck and the hood is stuck shut now. I searched for some videos online and found this one:



However, from observations, I wonder if you can fit a flat screwdriver between the headlights and the turn signal, push the tab in, pop the turn signal out, then pull on the wire to open the hood?
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2013, 06:18 AM
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I think a screw driver is going to be too thick to get back in far enough to release the turn signal tab without damaging something. A strip of sheet metal might do the trick though. Something 0.050-0.060 would likely fit.
If you can't get the turn signal to release, I'd pull the left front wheel and drop the front part of the fender liner. I think you'll be able to see the cable there in the space between the inner fender and the fender. If you look at one of your other E36s you can see where the cable runs just above the driver side headlight and into that space.
Have you determined if its a broken cable or if the plastic release handle inside the car broke?
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  #3  
Old 10-31-2013, 07:09 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
I think a screw driver is going to be too thick to get back in far enough to release the turn signal tab without damaging something. A strip of sheet metal might do the trick though. Something 0.050-0.060 would likely fit.
If you can't get the turn signal to release, I'd pull the left front wheel and drop the front part of the fender liner. I think you'll be able to see the cable there in the space between the inner fender and the fender. If you look at one of your other E36s you can see where the cable runs just above the driver side headlight and into that space.
Have you determined if its a broken cable or if the plastic release handle inside the car broke?
The plastic release handle was fine... until I broke that too. I laid it down on the floor as I was trying to determine if the break was at the footwell or inside the engine bay. As I got up and was walking towards the front of the car, I stepped on the handle and broke it. I have another handle, so no worries, but it just added to the frustration.

But as far as the fender liner being removed to access the cable... I'm going to need something really long and firm to be able to grab the cable, not move, and firmly pull on it to release it.

Goodness... I swear this M-Tech is starting to favor going to Craigslist.org soon.
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2013, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hnaz View Post
The plastic release handle was fine... until I broke that too. I laid it down on the floor as I was trying to determine if the break was at the footwell or inside the engine bay. As I got up and was walking towards the front of the car, I stepped on the handle and broke it. I have another handle, so no worries, but it just added to the frustration.

But as far as the fender liner being removed to access the cable... I'm going to need something really long and firm to be able to grab the cable, not move, and firmly pull on it to release it.

Goodness... I swear this M-Tech is starting to favor going to Craigslist.org soon.
I'd think you could fashion something out of a clothes hanger that would do the trick. You might be able to do the same to reach up through the grille to grab the passenger side release cable without having to sacrifice a kidney grille........
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2013, 11:21 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
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Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
I'd think you could fashion something out of a clothes hanger that would do the trick. You might be able to do the same to reach up through the grille to grab the passenger side release cable without having to sacrifice a kidney grille........
The only way that would happen is to remove the fan out of the way, since the video has it correct. It does sit above the aux fan. Instead of removing the kidney bin grills, I can just remove the nose panel. Much safer that way.
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2013, 11:59 AM
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Have you confirmed that the cable has actually snapped? I.e. have you pulled the cable until you see the broken end come out? If not, that would be the first thing I would do. You have nothing to lose and you might find out that the cable did not snap. Instead the rubber around the cable disintegrated and created excess play in the cable. Also, if you pull out the cable you might be able to get a better idea of exactly where the break is. Next you should either take out the kidney grille or turn signal and try to grab the cable with a pair of pliers and pull it. Depending on where the snap is pulling from the turn signal might not work. If you could find a way to take out the headlight that would be the best. You would have plenty of access to the cable and it would be easy to pull(if you are thinking about upgrading your headlights to depos now might be a great time to do).
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2013, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southpark11235 View Post
Have you confirmed that the cable has actually snapped? I.e. have you pulled the cable until you see the broken end come out? If not, that would be the first thing I would do. You have nothing to lose and you might find out that the cable did not snap. Instead the rubber around the cable disintegrated and created excess play in the cable. Also, if you pull out the cable you might be able to get a better idea of exactly where the break is. Next you should either take out the kidney grille or turn signal and try to grab the cable with a pair of pliers and pull it. Depending on where the snap is pulling from the turn signal might not work. If you could find a way to take out the headlight that would be the best. You would have plenty of access to the cable and it would be easy to pull(if you are thinking about upgrading your headlights to depos now might be a great time to do).
The headlight assembly won't come out intact without being able to open the hood unfortunately so you'd definitely be doing the Depo upgrade! I think I'd butcher the turn signal assembly if needed before I'd risk the headlight. Just my $.02.
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  #8  
Old 11-01-2013, 07:29 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
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Well folks, got it open. The cable was not the problem. The hood locks locks were not adjusted properly after I told the new guy at the body shop how to do it. Nothing to get fired over, but I wish he'd listen to me.

The process was simple. I followed the video's suggestion above and found out the center cable releases BOTH locks. The lock on the passenger side, you pull the cable towards the driver's side and it unlocks. The lock on the driver's side you pull towards the passenger side. Voila. Open hood. Will be inspecting the cable when I get a chance. I was busy helping my mechanic buddy install some new mounts for a A/O separator on a Audi A6 Avante (B5 body style).
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  #9  
Old 04-08-2014, 12:48 PM
Skogz16 Skogz16 is offline
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Hey everyone

My friend bought his daughter a 1999 323i convertible... must have gotten from an auction. I dont want to call it a lemon but it needs some work and he asked me to look it over and fix what I can. Anyways, i figured ill look the car over... went to go pop the hood and nothing much happened.... left side of the hood (drivers side) popped up, right side was stuck. I have been reading a lot today as to how to access the latch. I am at work so I cant just go and do it until I get home so I am just spinning my wheels. So i saw two ways to do it... take off the front bumper which everyone says takes like 2 minutes. That works for me. I have also read to pop out the kidneys and drop the fan to pull the cable or at least pry the jaw open to release the hood. My question here is how do you pop the grill out without taking the shroud out from inside the engine bay.

I read that people steel them by punching them or using a block of wood to knock them out... i couldnt find a video or any greater instruction than that (figured some idiot would post a video of them stealing it but no such luck, smarter than i thought they were).
Any suggestions? And will they break when i do this? If they are going to break ill just take the bumper off.

Thanks for the help
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  #10  
Old 04-08-2014, 12:58 PM
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The grilles have plastic tabs that hold them in place. If they have any age to them (and they probably do) when you pull up on the tabs they will break off and you'll need to get new grilles if you want them to stay put in the future.
Removing the bumper would be my recommendation. Before you do that, you might try some spray lube squirted up through the grilles onto the latches to see if that frees up the passenger side latch. There's a primary cable that runs from the release handle inside to the drivers side hood latch, then there's a secondary cable that runs from the left side latch to the right side latch (item 20). You can't see it looking from the front of the car but it runs just behind the sheet metal and there was a post where someone was able to use some clothes hanger wire to hook it and pull it enough to release the right side latch. It might have been Alex (southpark11235) that got this to work?
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Last edited by dc_wright; 04-08-2014 at 01:01 PM.
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  #11  
Old 04-09-2014, 04:06 AM
Skogz16 Skogz16 is offline
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dc_wright, thanks for the tips. i actually got home and had some time before dinner and took the bumper off in all of 2 minutes (helps when a lot of the bolts are missing along the bottom). and then pulled the secondary cable and got the hood open. Would you suggest just getting a new hood release cable completely? replacing the latches? or just lubing it up and going for it...

So as i said some of the bolts were missing along the bottom. Is there a splash guard across the bottom of the car, because this one didnt have one.... and i also read to disconnect the brake duct temperature sensors... i think these were missing because there were just two wires hanging down with nothing attached to them not sure if you have any idea what they look like.

I am pretty much doing a complete resto on this car at this point, even some paint and body work. There are a lot of parts missing/damanged that i need to replace. Any good suggestions for parts, something at good price for decent quality, doesnt need to be NOS stuff but something that isnt cheap and kinda sorta fits.

Last edited by Skogz16; 04-09-2014 at 04:09 AM.
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  #12  
Old 04-09-2014, 04:31 AM
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Engel12626 Engel12626 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skogz16 View Post
...

So as i said some of the bolts were missing along the bottom. Is there a splash guard across the bottom of the car, because this one didnt have one.... and i also read to disconnect the brake duct temperature sensors... i think these were missing because there were just two wires hanging down with nothing attached to them not sure if you have any idea what they look like.

...
Yup there should be an undertray there, mine was missing on my car too and I bought an aluminum replacement. I'm sure an OEM plastic one would be cheaper for you though.

Those wires are probably for the outside temp sensor. It fits into a hole in drivers side brake duct, but it's very common for the ducts to fall out/break apart on these cars and that often takes the sensor with it.
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  #13  
Old 04-09-2014, 04:43 AM
Skogz16 Skogz16 is offline
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Originally Posted by Engel12626 View Post
Yup there should be an undertray there, mine was missing on my car too and I bought an aluminum replacement. I'm sure an OEM plastic one would be cheaper for you though.

Those wires are probably for the outside temp sensor. It fits into a hole in drivers side brake duct, but it's very common for the ducts to fall out/break apart on these cars and that often takes the sensor with it.
I tried going on here
http://bmwfans.info/parts-catalog/E3...5is-M50/browse

to find the parts and part numbers but i havent found them, or even a picture of them yet. Do you have any links or pictures of the splash guard and/or temp sensors?
(There was a splash guard that went around the fan, but i feel like there is on to the left and right of that, i could be wrong though)

Thanks
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