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Hood Latch Issue (NOT the Normal Problem)


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I have a hood latch issue that is got me VERY stumped.   I have owned several XJ & now this MJ, so I know all about the normal issues that can affect this system, but this issue is really got me puzzled.  Here are the symptoms:

 

The force required to pull the handle to release the latches is HORRENDOUS.  In addition, the latches will not reliably unlatch unless a helper is "bouncing" the corner of the hood at the same time.

 

Here is what I have done so far:

 

1.   New hood release cable (Dorrman brand) has been installed.   The cable is routed per factory diagrams.

2.   The bellcrank has been removed, cleaned, repainted.  The bellcrank lever will now move under gravity alone when I turn the bellcrank body, so I KNOW the bellcrank is not sticking.

3.   The push/pull rods from the bellcrank to the latches are clean and straight.   All plastic guides are in position as from the factory.  Return spring for push/pull rod is connected properly.

4.   Each hood latch has been cleaned of all dirt and old oil/grease.  They are clean, TOTALLY rust free, and all the rivets are tight, with no wobble.  When tested out of the vehicle, they snap closed and pop open as expected with no weird behavior.

5.  The latch strikers (on the radiator core support) are properly installed and shimmed to allow the hood to sit flush to the fenders and the grille surround.  The striker springs are installed and have seemingly normal force.  The strikers are clean of any rust or dirt.

 

When I manually close the latches with the hood up, and then pull the release handle, the latches pop open as expected.   Once the hood is closed, I need an act of God to get the latches to "pop"

 

ANY SUGGESTIONS?   I am at my wits end here.

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I have a hood latch issue that is got me VERY stumped.   I have owned several XJ & now this MJ, so I know all about the normal issues that can affect this system, but this issue is really got me puzzled.  Here are the symptoms:
 
The force required to pull the handle to release the latches is HORRENDOUS.  In addition, the latches will not reliably unlatch unless a helper is "bouncing" the corner of the hood at the same time.
 
Here is what I have done so far:
 
1.   New hood release cable (Dorrman brand) has been installed.   The cable is routed per factory diagrams.
2.   The bellcrank has been removed, cleaned, repainted.  The bellcrank lever will now move under gravity alone when I turn the bellcrank body, so I KNOW the bellcrank is not sticking.
3.   The push/pull rods from the bellcrank to the latches are clean and straight.   All plastic guides are in position as from the factory.  Return spring for push/pull rod is connected properly.
4.   Each hood latch has been cleaned of all dirt and old oil/grease.  They are clean, TOTALLY rust free, and all the rivets are tight, with no wobble.  When tested out of the vehicle, they snap closed and pop open as expected with no weird behavior.
5.  The latch strikers (on the radiator core support) are properly installed and shimmed to allow the hood to sit flush to the fenders and the grille surround.  The striker springs are installed and have seemingly normal force.  The strikers are clean of any rust or dirt.
 
When I manually close the latches with the hood up, and then pull the release handle, the latches pop open as expected.   Once the hood is closed, I need an act of God to get the latches to "pop"
 
ANY SUGGESTIONS?   I am at my wits end here.
Rubber hood stops on each corner? Are they there? Adjusted too high forcing you to push down to allow the latch to release?

Sent from my LG-M210 using Tapatalk

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There are no rubber hood stops in the corners of my hood, so that wasn't a factor.  (I don't know about older MJ/XJ's, but the later ones don't have such stops.)

 

I DID SOLVE the problem, and it was simple (and yet unexpected.)   It turns out the new Dorman hood release cable had a HUGE amount of friction built into the cable out of the package.   I just assumed it was normal, but after taking each piece of the system and testing it for release force contribution, the cable was the MAJOR factor.

 

I removed the cable and lubricated it with a VERY lightweight aerosol gun oil, and it made a HUGE difference is the smoothness of the cable.  After reinstallation with all my other clean and lubricated parts, the hood latch system now functions normally.

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