Broken Hood Cable

Broken Hood Cable

Postby html034 [OP] » September 18th 2010, 9:24pm

Hey guys, I just bought a 2002 Chevy Astro, and it's all great save for one problem. I can't get the hood open. The release doesn't do anything, so I assume the cable is broken. I've tried messing around with it, trying to jimmy it open, but have been thus far unsuccessful. What would you recommend for this problem? Thanks in advance.
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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby Phantom » September 18th 2010, 10:03pm

Thankfully have not had to deal with that , but you might try taking off the grill and see if you can gain access to hood latch
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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby Big_kid » September 18th 2010, 10:14pm

Welcome aboard!
Try having someone push down on the hood in the center above the latch, while you pull the release. If it's out of adjustment this can help get it open. The bumpers may be set too high, putting the latch in a bind. They're the rubber pieces on either side of the radiator support that screw in & out. If it's a broken cable, you'll have to fish in the grille with a coat hanger or remove the grill.

Once it's open clean & lubricate the latch and hinges. DON'T spray anything but dry silicone on the cable. Anything with an oil or grease base will collect dust and dirt, and make it worse. I use store brand silicone from Napa Auto parts, it's the ONLY thing I used when I used to service treadmills.

Good luck!
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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby TheRealDaddy » September 18th 2010, 10:53pm

In my experience when the cable breaks it pulls out in your hand when you tug on it. If the cable returns on it's own or stops dead in it's tracks it's most likely not broken. Try getting a friend to push down on the hood while you try to release it, lift up on it, smack it around like a read headed step child. You know just experiment. I have one of these that sticks because the spring is a little weak and so if the latch isn't freshly lubricated it won't pop. The way I get it to pop is to pull and release the handle inside then I go out and smack the hood right in the center down by the grill with the side of my fist. Not real hard mind you just enough to knock it loose. This has been a trick I've used on many a GM over the years. (Think Fonzie from Happy Days if you will)

Good luck.
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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby RECox286 » September 19th 2010, 2:41am

When hood release mechanisms were still young and carefree, there was not the paranoia attached that "heaven forbid someone should get into my engine compartment" and to that end it was easy enough to reach up and pop the latch by hand. This is one of the things that was evolved/engineered to be safely out of reach. So what do we do when the inevitable happens?

I used a very thin offset long handled open ended wrench to agonizingly remove the two hold down bolts, and finally, after several hours, and several bad words, I did "git 'er done."

Good luck

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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby html034 [OP] » September 19th 2010, 5:21am

Well, I ended up having to unbolt the latch mechanism, and it turns out that the cable is just fine. Luckily. Thanks for your advice guys. :D
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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby Big_kid » September 19th 2010, 5:39am

Glad you got it!
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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby JuneauCabbie » September 19th 2010, 7:09am

html034 wrote:Well, I ended up having to unbolt the latch mechanism, and it turns out that the cable is just fine. Luckily. Thanks for your advice guys. :D


I had to have my wrench guy adjust it twice after I installed a Lund bug deflector on the hood. The second time he got it right, but I sometimes have to wiggle the hood a little bit to get it to pop up far enough to reach the latch.
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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby RECox286 » September 19th 2010, 6:53pm

Glad you got it. Whew!

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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby astroturf » September 20th 2010, 12:49am

After you got it open...

What further adjustment did you make to keep it from happening again?

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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby tinworm » December 7th 2010, 11:36pm

Im having this problem as well on an 89 astro, the hood is crinkled/dented right in the middle, and no amount of pushing on it and pulling the cable will get it to pop. What do I have to remove to get to the latch mechanism? Will the grill come off with the hood closed?
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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby chevymaherchevymaher is online! » December 7th 2010, 11:57pm

I just went down and put myself in your shoes. My 94 nope not getting grill out at all without breaking it.Only solution I see without tearing everything up is unbolt hood hinges. then really enjoy stretching to take latch assembly loose. Mine would not open .I would still shoot lube up there like it on fire first ,Then try to open it after it soaked in
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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby Leeann_93 » December 8th 2010, 12:23am

What worked on my old '86 Trooper was to drive it down the bumpiest road I could find, pulling the cable on the worst bumps. It eventually popped open and we 'adjusted' it to get it to open normally.
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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby RECox286 » December 8th 2010, 12:37am

Leeann, yer a hoot ! I love it...

Howeverso, a funny thing happened on my way to this forum. Bump...

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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby Leeann_93 » December 8th 2010, 12:42am

All right, all right....Is this better? When I bought my Bravada, there was this stick with a notch cut in it at a 45° angle in the passenger door bin. Couldn't figure out for the life of me what it was for over a year....until I looked at the hood latch and cable closely. The nubby thing on the end had been replaced....the stick with the notch was to open the hood through the grill.
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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby RECox286 » December 8th 2010, 1:33am

I'm sure that you have heard the story about Glamorous Glennis ? and the fastest man alive ? Having suffered a broken rib the night prior to the flight, our hero could not manipulate the latch on the X1, so his buddy
cut a length of broomstick for him to use...

Some things just never change.

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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby TheRealDaddy » December 8th 2010, 2:32am

I honestly can't recall ever (in all my numerous vehicles) having an auto that I couldn't get the hood open on. I do however have memories of many a friend who had the hood cable sticking out of the drivers side headlight bezel so they could pop their hoods.

On my 89 and 91 Safari's I can't see a way to release the hood latch (if the cable were actually broken) without some damage to the grill. Remember though, if the cable is actually broken it usually slides out of the sheath when you pull it.
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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby tinworm » December 8th 2010, 3:42am

TheRealDaddy wrote:On my 89 and 91 Safari's I can't see a way to release the hood latch (if the cable were actually broken) without some damage to the grill. Remember though, if the cable is actually broken it usually slides out of the sheath when you pull it.


I think this is having some effect on my problem-

hooddent.jpg
hooddent.jpg (54.9 KiB) Viewed 3702 times


Is this approximately where the latch mechanism is? Im not sure how this happened, no word from the PO. The cable is not broken, but it seems to be hopelessly jammed. I can pull it out like to open the hood normally as compared to my 94 version, but it has no effect on the hood. If I do have to go through the grill, will that definitely work? will I be able to access the bolts?

the other idea I was toying with (which may be totally unfeasible) is to try and go through the interior hatch?

This brings me to another question though, I really need to be able to check the oil on this van, it smells like oil, and im concerned im going to toast the motor before I have the hood problem resolved. Is there a way to check/fill the oil from the interior hatch?
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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby chevymaherchevymaher is online! » December 8th 2010, 3:46am

Sure funnel it in through PVC hole in the valve cover checking the oil that be the trick. Dipstick under hood.Your hood dont look that bad. mine would not open forever. latch has one part that works by gravity no spring. when they gummed up with oil and dirt they just wont open.hose that baby down with WD 40 or silicoln spray I bet if you get it soaked it would open after a while.Then clean it real good and lube it with silicoln
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Re: Broken Hood Cable

Postby jeff's93astro » December 8th 2010, 3:58am

I went and looked at mine since the dog house is off. You might be able to get someone to pull hood release while you pry latch open?
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