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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 07-02-2013, 07:13 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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Location: Berkeley California
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 553
Mein Auto: 1994 525it
How do you open hood with broken cable

I have search on line and is seems that there is no easy or standard way to
open a hood if there is a cable or a latch problem.
Has anyone had the experience and how did you fix it?
It is hard to believe that there is not an emergency technique.
Some sites say to rip out the grill!
Any ideas will be helpful.
I guess that need to get a look at a working e34 to come up with my own solution
if no one knows.
Is a stuck hood that uncommon?
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  #2  
Old 07-03-2013, 02:17 PM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 320i M52 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larrick View Post
I have search on line and is seems that there is no easy or standard way to
open a hood if there is a cable or a latch problem.
Has anyone had the experience and how did you fix it?
It is hard to believe that there is not an emergency technique.
Some sites say to rip out the grill!
Any ideas will be helpful.
I guess that need to get a look at a working e34 to come up with my own solution
if no one knows.
Is a stuck hood that uncommon?

There is a way. I have used it before successfully. It takes a little figuring out but is fairly simple.

Firstly, get a long stemmed flat screwdriver. Small sized I believe but not greater than medium.

Then, locate the bottom of the bonnet latch, through the grills. It will be to the right of the nose grills and the left of the front left high beam headlamp.

The bonnet latch has a rectangular orifice visible through the grills...specifically the second grill from the top.

Use your screwdriver and find this orifice. Hold the flat head horizontally and stick it in gently until it will go no further.

Then, push it in hard in a fast motion. Basically jab it in hard. The bonnet will pop.

It will not work if you do not jab it in, or merely use continuously increasing force.

Basically, you are pushing the latch open from inside the latch mechanism.

This written description is probably not ideal. See the attached picture as to the location of this square latch through the grills.

Its a good idea for anyone to try this now even when you are not in trouble. You won't be damaging the mechanism by doing so. You need to be careful not to dent the grills downward, though.

I bought a correctly sized screwdriver and kept it in my trunk permanently after my mechanic rescued me when something went wrong with the latch.

I also changed the latch to a new oem unit. $40 shipped and its not too difficult to change out. Its a good idea, because a damaged latch may not respond to the above emergency procedure (although it usually would), and everything in the car that has not been changed, is 20 years old.

Regardless, I still kept the screwdriver. Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 07-03-2013, 06:52 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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Location: Berkeley California
 
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Mein Auto: 1994 525it
Thank you for that well written description.
Before reading your advice and after reading the horror stories on all the different forums, I drove the car down to a local BMW shop which has helped me out before with sound advice
when the wiring harness at the rear gate (station wagon) had broken (7 out of 9 wires ) and because there was no juice to the rear window latch actuator so the window could not open.
I had to be open to access the wiring harness (catch 22). THe mechanic had once owned the exact vehicle and was able to show me a few tricks, but those tricks only minimized the damage
which needed to be done to get the rear gate open.
He looked at my current situation and then consulted with his top mechanic, who said it would be an hour ($128 per) to get the hood open (with damage to the grill around the head lights)
and perhaps another hour or two to replace the cable. So about $400 !!!
I declined and drove to another small shop nearby. This mechanic also owns an e34. Dustin came out with what l can only describe as a large dental pick with a screw driver handle.
In less than 10 seconds he had my hood open!
He went in between the hood and the grill in the horizontal location which you described. He hooked the cable and gave a pull as he pushed down on the top of the hood.
The cable was not broken, the latch mechanism was.
There is a pivot point which, when the cable is pulled, pushes (the broken piece in my case) against a metal lever which, in turn, releases the locking mechanism.
The metal lever is what you "jab" your screw driver against if the cable is broken.
I agree that every one should practice your method and the method of of hooking the cable also.
Practicing your screw driver method is crucial because it has less room for error.
The cable (if not broken) is long and there is some forgiveness for accuracy in grabbing it.
But the screw driver must be a direct hit.
I fashion a metal coat hanger with a hooked end to pull my cable.
Thank God for coat hangers and duct tape.
Happy Fourth of July and thank you again.
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  #4  
Old 07-06-2013, 02:45 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
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  #5  
Old 07-06-2013, 10:02 AM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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Location: Berkeley California
 
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Mein Auto: 1994 525it
I just read a long description with pictures on how to change the hood cable with out removing half the front of the vehicle.
There is a rubber "stop" on the cable where it goes through the wheel well sheet metal.
Cut away the rubber stop on the old broken cable so it can go through the hole and very securely tape the new cable to the old one.
You can then pull the new cable through with the old cable. It must be very well secured because if it come apart during the pull
it is a big problem. The author said that the BMW dealership wanted $800. My guy wanted $400. Maybe I was getting a deal!
Does anyone know the easy procedure for changing the hood latch.
I have read that you must remove all the front grills!
I would like not to have to do this.
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