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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-24-2012, 07:22 AM
Ahimsa42 Ahimsa42 is offline
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Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 1997 540i
Hood won't release

I've seen a few threads about replacing the hood release cable, but what about getting the hood open first?

So far, two mechanics (one at the BMW dealership) and a BMW body shop are telling me there is no way to open a closed hood with damaged cables preventing its release.

The body shop is trying to convince me that I will need to cut a hole in the hood to release the latches and then buy/paint a new hood to match.

Can anyone provide me with an alternative approach to getting my hood open, please
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:54 AM
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Andreas540i Andreas540i is offline
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Location: Lincoln, NE
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 257
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 540i
How is the cable worn? Could you pull the trim off the drivers foot well and manually stretch the cable more? I would also yank out the front grills and see what you can get at before drilling holes. I will look at mine later and figure out how I would go about it. Any idea about what is wrong with the cable? Could something also be hooking on the lid holding it down? Did this happen suddenly, or did you buy the car with this problem?
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1997 BMW 540i
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  #3  
Old 09-24-2012, 09:46 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,502
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
I typed /hood F3 and it came up with, I think, your answer, among others:

- How to maintain (1) and repair your hood release bowden cable (1) (2) (3) & how to replace the hood cable the easy way (1) & how to open the hood when the hood cable snaps (1) (2) & how to open the hood manually when you have a dead 12v car battery (1) [or trunk (1) (2)].
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #4  
Old 09-25-2012, 09:12 AM
Ahimsa42 Ahimsa42 is offline
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Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 1997 540i
I can see the cable attached to the hood release, so it's possible that the cable is merely stretched. The hood is new from a front end collision a year ago, so it's also possible it was attached with too much slack in it or kinked at some point. I've only had the hood opened three times since the accident.

It also sounded as though one Bowden cable would release, leaving the driver side unlatched.

Other than that, I have to assume the cable snapped at some point. There is no easy way, that's for sure. It's hard to believe that gaining entry to what's under the hood is 100% dependent on one small cable that dog legs to serve two latches.


Thank you for the links to other posts. They are helpful.
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  #5  
Old 09-25-2012, 09:21 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Location: Omaha NE
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Search forum, this has been discussed 100x here before.
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  #6  
Old 09-25-2012, 09:33 AM
Ahimsa42 Ahimsa42 is offline
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Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 540i
discovered after post

Thanks, cn90 They have been helpful.

My apologies for the redundancy.
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  #7  
Old 09-26-2012, 07:29 PM
Ahimsa42 Ahimsa42 is offline
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Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Mein Auto: 1997 540i
Thanks

The hood popped with time and patience, but mostly with the guidance of this forum. Thanks to all those willing to help others
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