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Hi all, I'm writing a DIY about how to replace the hood release cable on E65/E66. I did it on an E65 745i 2003. Please note that :

  • No special tools.
  • This is clearly a DIY job. Takes less than 1 hour.
  • This does not explain how to open the hood if the cable is snapped in the middle
  • On my car, only the end of the cable was snapped, I was still able to pull it with pliers
  • I'm not responsible for anything, do it at your own risk. Make sure the hood stays open during all the repair.
  • There are 3 cables that open the hood. The next picture presents the one I changed, the one that goes to the interior handle :



  1. Tools needed :
    • Screwdriver (flat and small)
    • Screwdriver (cross)
    • Pliers (can help)
    • Some grease or WD40
  2. Parts needed :

    I recommend that you go with OEM parts. It's not even expensive (around 20$).
  3. Removing the old cable. Start inside the car, under the driver's dash :

    Remove the cross screws. Unplug the foot light connector, then remove the panel :



    Remove the dead pedal cover (just pull it gently), remove the screw holding the handle on the sidewall, and finally remove the sidewall plastic cover :



    Locate the cable and use pliers to pull it in order to open the hood. Remove also the rotating part where the cable should be connected. Simply pull it.

    Caution : When pulling the cable, be careful to not brake it, make sure you grab the entire cable and not only some wires. Mine was looking like this :


  4. From outside the car, with the hood opened :

    Remove the engine driver's side plastic cover, and also the air filter :



    For the air filter, use a flat screwdriver to release the clip :



    Locate the cable :



    At the end of the cable, there is a connector attached to the sidewall by 2 rivets. Pull it :



    Carefully, open the connector by unclipping it, use a small screwdriver. Remove the cable. You should see this :



    Remove the complete rear cable (to be replaced) from the car, pull it gently.
  5. Installing the new cable :

    Insert this first section of the cable :



    Install the end of the cable into the connector, as presented below. I suggest to add a few amount of grease here :



    Close it. Make sure it is well clipped, otherwise the cable could be disconnected. Put it back on the sidewall :



    Install the other section of the cable. Make sure it passes through the hole that goes into the cabin :



    From inside of the car, grab the cable. It may be difficult to see it. I needed to pull a bit the sidewall cover/sound barrier, here it is :



    Insert the end of the cable into the rotating part. Install the rotating part.
    Important : Make sure the cable is fitted into the guide as the picture. Otherwise, the handle will be too loose and the hood won't open.



    Install the sidewall cover, and the handle :



    Re-install everything you removed :
    • From inside, the dead pedal cover
    • From inside, the plastic panel (don't forget to connect the light!)
    • From outside, the engine plastic cover
    • From outside, the air filter
  6. Add some grease on the hood opening parts :


  7. Make sure there is no tool left around engine bay, and make sure everything you removed is back in place.

    Close the hood, then use the handle to open it.
    If it's too loose or too tight, there is a small adjusting wheel on the connector (see picture juste before step 5.). Use it to set the cable tension.

    You're done ! Hope it helps.

Note : This is my first DIY, so I'll welcome any feedback.

Ahmed_a__a2_
 

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Great work. You need to post it in the DYI section too. Thanks for taking the time to do it.

Now, on a side note.. if you have to tug hard on the lever to open the hood, do this repair before you can't. Hoods on Facelift Model 7's are especially hard open if the cable breaks. I suggest replacement of all three cables while your at it. If one cable has failed/failing the others are soon to also.
 

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The post is just excellent, thanks a lot. Given the fact, that at a BMW garrage you pay almost the same amount, as for the spare parts, it is worth for DIY, but it helps if you have some tips.
So I did it also myslef, and I want to add some tips that are not described below, and could be helpful.

It is perfectly right to consider replacement of ll the three ones. I had to replace the two lateches , because they were the main problem demagaing the cables.

I was struggling a lot with how to inster the new cable. Its shape clearly suggests to do it from the cabine. But I had issue with accessing the whole in the fire wall. This is because the cable - looking from the handler end - goes immediately behind the foam cover, sticked to the metal chassis. You can hardly instert a hand there, and forget about any manipulation. And you have to, because the rubber element has to be well placed in the chassis whole. So I tided the new cable end to the old one, and pulled the old cable towards the engine compartment. Befiore this step, I lubricated the rubber element, which has to move gently through the metal whole and stop exactly into the required position. The cable was instered well, and after, I had to use the screw driver on the engine compartment side to adjust the position of the rubber element.
 

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Latch and Cable Replacement

Just replaced all 3 cables and both hood latches on my 2003 e65. Latches were about $100 CAD each at local dealer and 3 cable set was about $60 CAD through autopartsway.

Had to remove front left tire, splash guard and washer tank to access stuck drivers side hood latch. Had to remove bumper cover and pax side headlight assembly to get at the pax side hood latch. All 3 cables have been installed as well as the hood latches. Problem is, the pax side latch won't latch - same problem as before if I recall. I think the cable is too tight. Anyone know how to lengthen the cable at the junction point? I know you have to turn the nut but which way? Or maybe there is another way to do it?
 

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Latch and Cable Replacement

Just replaced all 3 cables and both hood latches on my 2003 e65. Latches were about $100 CAD each at local dealer and 3 cable set was about $60 CAD through autopartsway.

Had to remove front left tire, splash guard and washer tank to access stuck drivers side hood latch. Had to remove bumper cover and pax side headlight assembly to get at the pax side hood latch. All 3 cables have been installed as well as the hood latches. Problem is, the pax side latch won't latch - same problem as before if I recall. I think the cable is too tight. Anyone know how to lengthen the cable at the junction point? I know you have to turn the nut but which way? Or maybe there is another way to do it?
Did you ever get your left latch to catch? I'm having the same problem. There is plenty of play in the cable, but the latch isn't releasing far enough to actually bind the latch downwards. If it does latch, it often will fail and release when I pull up on the hood. I suspect I'm going to have to buy another latch and redo the install.
 
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