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Hood latch bent in hood part

Debra57

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1997 Explorer XL
Okay so hubby went to shut the hood on my 97 and it didn't shut all the way. He pushed down on it. Today I go to open it and pull the release inside. It opens part way. Hood is still down on one side and the other side is up. Can't get it to go back down totally. Hood won't open. In the grill the one release has a hole in it, not sure if there was a spring in it. It won't move much. Like it's jammed. I tried the little C and moved it to the right as videos say to do, nothing but I could feel the pull of the spring.

My male neighbours have all tried wiggling the hood, used screwdrivers to try and break it free. They seem to think it's in the top part of the latch and it's bent up inside the hood itself. The 'teeth' or actual part that catches (for lack of a better word) won't move much and it's possibly on the wrong side of the prong from the hood. Okay hope I'm making sense. Cable is good, and the release still pulls back down when released.

It's the very top part. The top part of the latch has some movement but nothing breaks free. I've tried WD 40 until the cows come home. I can get my hands in the front of the grill easily.

Don't want to drive it with one side up as the wind would bend the hood.

Help, hubby is out of town until the weekend. He works out of town.
 






XLTrunner

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It's difficult to follow exactly what you're describing, but it does sound like the primary latch ass'y (not the safety latch) is the problem. Perhaps a broken spring. If it's not fully releasing from the spring-tensioned catch bar on the bottom of the hood, then what I would suggest is to reach in between the top of the grill and lip of the hood with a 10mm wrench and unbolt that catch (bolt is a few inches to the right and points downward as you're looking at the latch ass'y). That should provide enough movement to allow the latch hook to clear. You did say you could get your hands in there? Hopefully, that's the side of the hood that raised up a bit when you pulled the cable release.
 






Debra57

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Thanks I will try that. Otherwise I will take it to an auto body shop.
 






Debra57

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fixed it for free at auto body shop

Nothing worked, so I took it to an auto body shop. Turns out that the hood was already down when hubby pushed on it, that in turn caused the latch to go down further past the usual locking point and the hooks that catch and usually move moved even further and out of place. They took it off via the grill, and got the hood up then worked on it. The secondary hook was holding the hood down and couldn't move due to the other part of the latch being out of place. There is no way to fix it except to take it right off. With the grill having space he could get at the bolts through it. They lubed it, put it back on and it took all of a 1/2 hour. Working great now. Opened the hood and shut it a few times. No issues. The guy even showed me on the latch how it happened. Said to drop the hood from about a foot up and let it catch. There was no charge for it. I expected a bill of 100 bucks or more for a new latch and for shop time. Taking them some donuts as a thank you. :D:burnout:
 






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