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Phantom

S30 Hood Release Maintenance

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I know several folks on this site (myself included) have experienced sinking feeling of pulling their stock hood release and having it just pull out and the hood do nothing because the cable broke. 

A hood that is stuck down is a major pain since the release is up at the firewall and a bit challenging to reach.

FWIW for you 280Z drivers I got mine released this way:

I removed the front turn signal lights and then went in through them and unbolted the two bolts on each side that hold the hood to the hinges.

Once that was done, I got my son who has long arms and gave him a long handled ratcheting box end wrench the right size to remove the two bolts that connect the hood release to the underside of the hood. I then lifted the front of the hood until I thought something was either going to bend or break and that gave him just barely enough room to reach in and remove the bolts.  Once that was done we lifted the hood off the car and set it aside so I could reach the underside of the release mechanism and release the hood latch from it. Once that was done I removed and disassembled the entire mechanism, cleaned it up and then reassembled it and reinstalled it. IMPORTANT: Once the assembly is ready to go back in thoroughly lubricate it with a good grease.  Don't be shy about how much you use. Once everything is back together work the hood release cable/mechanism a few times before closing the hood to ensue that: 1) It actually works, and 2) that the grease fully covers the sliding plates in the latch mechanism.

After that I went under the dash and unbolted the hood release cable mechanism, removed the rubber grommet from the firewall and pulled the broken cable assembly out. To reinstall a new release cable assembly it will be necessary to split the rubber firewall grommet to get the latch end of the cable through it as it has a mounting bracket on it. Don't worry, once you push the grommet back in place in the firewall it seals back up properly and holds fine. Attaching the cable to the hood latch assembly is a little tricky but straight forward.  Just take your time.  You'll see what you need to do when you get there.

Once you are done with the entire reassembly - like I said above - actuate it a few times before closing the hood to ensure it is working smoothly and with little effort. When reinstalling the hood try to adjust the pin part of the latch on the hood such that it compresses the spring as little as possible. Look at the way it's assembled and you'll see how to do that. It should be just short enough to have the hood just barely even with the cowl and the corner support posts should also be adjusted so that they press minimally against the bottom of the hood corners.

IMPORTANT: Any time the hood release mechanism seems to be getting a bit hard to pull, open your hood and regrease the mechanism - NOT the Cable - the latching plates where the hood pit catches. Keeping it greased significantly eases the work that cable has to do and will extend its life.

I hope this helps.

 

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While you're at it use a mirror to look at where the cable attaches to the release mechanism and make sure the wires aren't fraying and breaking.

You'll be surprised at how much easier the release works with some grease on it.

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After that happened to me I not only replaced the hood cable but attached a permanent wire to the release mechanism that hung down the fire wall and next to the transmission so if it ever broke again I could lay down and reach under to grab the wire. I'm sure it will never get used but...

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I have installed two new OEM hood release cables in two 240Zs and noticed that movement of the cable is  "notchy" i.e., pulls smooth, then hangs,  then smooth,  then hangs etc.  Noticed this before cable was installed in the car. The problem seems to be a mechanical defect in the metal tube next to the handle.  

 

I have been meaning to add a back-up cable for about 16 years. My hood just got stuck closed so I will be installing a backup release cable and an after market hood release cable.

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