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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
searched and read dozens of posts about cable breaking
maybe I got lucky that the handle broke before the cable did?
so, now there is just a nub -
which, after reading some posts here, I think I can replace on my own
however- until then, I can muscle the little piece until I hear (feel) a slight thump
then I go around the front and pull the latch from the grill - just a little
then I go back in and pull the broken latch again (till I hear (feel) a slight thump
and then back again to pull the latch sticking though the grill
and it opens ok

I told the LONG story above for 2 reasons:
#1. might help someone else having a problem with their car
(btw - 98 740il)
#2. so someone here can tell me (hopefully) - why it was so stiff in the 1st place that my ham-fisted brother had to break the handle!
and what should I do to remedy it
 

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Gay.. these fail to often, just like the window regulators. I pull my release and nothing happens, I have to pull up on the hood to have the latch come out. Ahh, not to mension I have two regulators to swap! Countless hoses and few gaskets.
 
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