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It's Always Something! - Hood stuck shut - 1989 Sedan de Ville


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I just went out to open the hood to begin today's work when what do I discover, it doesn't pop when you pull the latch handle!!

I can't tell whether the cable has broken, but that's a possibility.

Before I start poring through the Service Information Manual and/or tearing things apart to get the hood open I though I'd ask here whether there's some "secret easy way" to get myself out of this situation.

Brian

Brian

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Bri the Tech Guy   http://britechguy.com
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What I would try first would be to pull the hood release (with an assistant, keeping it pulled) and try pushing down on the hood (at the same time).

Chuck

'17 XT5, '04 Bravada........but still lusting for that '69 Z-28

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Chuck,

Tried that immediately after the initial pull (which felt like there was far less tension than usual) failed. It didn't work.

I think that either the cable has broken somewhere or its connection to the primary latch mechanism has come loose. I've taken the grille off, which is easy, but that still doesn't give me any obvious access method to the primary latch. I can drive the car up on ramps if its somehow possible to reach up from beneath to get at this, but am waiting to see what the cohort has to say.

This is the first time in all my years of driving and all of the cars I've owned with cable-pull primary latches that this has occurred.

Brian

Brian

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Bri the Tech Guy   http://britechguy.com
britechguy@gmail.com   (540) 324-5032
"If it's got you screaming, I'll help you stop!!"
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Hopefully someone (with more knowledge) of you model will be along soon; sorry I wasn't of any help.

Chuck

'17 XT5, '04 Bravada........but still lusting for that '69 Z-28

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Not familiar with your exact model, but on all hood latches I have ever looked at, the release cable hooks to the bottom of the latch and pulls the bottom towards the drivers side fender.

You should be able to get a really long screwdriver or some kind of pry bar against the bottom of the latch... where the cable attaches and pry it over a little, which will let the hood pop open.

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I also have a 1996 Buick Roadmaster and I did the examination on it of how the mechanism works. It was interesting to note the number of other parts on the car that were precisely the same as on the Cadillac which was produced 7 years earlier.

Unfortunately, there is no real "direct access" to the primary latch mechanism from the front. Tomorrow I'm going to start calling around some of the mechanics I know locally to see if anyone has any suggestions to get the hood open. I am completely dead in the water if I can't get the hood open!!

I just hope this doesn't turn into some ungodly expensive mess due to the labor required to get this all apart.

Brian

Brian

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Bri the Tech Guy   http://britechguy.com
britechguy@gmail.com   (540) 324-5032
"If it's got you screaming, I'll help you stop!!"
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This has to be a common problem, and any experienced body shop or mechanic's shop should be able to deal with it. The first thing I would do if I had a shop and such a car came in (or was towed in) would be to put the car on a lift and look up there from under the radiator with a trouble light. Rain shields and air deflectors would come off as necessary. Locating the hood latch and the cable, I would reach up there with whatever was appropriate and push open the latch.

This is about the same level of difficulty is a door that won't open or a stuck fuel door. It happens all the time and it fazes few. If the car runs and can be driven onto a lift, the problem is minor; just find someone who will agree to repair your hood latch cable and drive over, and wait for the car.

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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The car is with my local body shop. I determined that it was very unlikely I'd solve my problem without doing some damage.

Does anyone happen to know if the hood release cable was the same from 1989 through 1993? Given that the basic design of the Devilles remained the same I'd think it would be. I went to my local salvage yard today to snag a release cable from a 1991. I don't know for certain whether it will be needed but it would be nice to know if it's "plug and play" if it should be necessary to install it.

Brian

Brian

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Bri the Tech Guy   http://britechguy.com
britechguy@gmail.com   (540) 324-5032
"If it's got you screaming, I'll help you stop!!"
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There are a few likely wear points on low-use cables like hood latch cables. If it's got a kink somewhere, the core could be broken inside the sheath near the break. If there is a bend near either end, the core can break there. Then, there is the cable tip, which is often a plug crimped onto the core. The core can break at the plug, or the plug can loosen and come off.

Any one of these is best solved, for the long term, with a new cable. A good used one that has no kinks or bends anywhere, particularly near the ends, and the tip is in good shape, should do just fine.

Newer cables are Teflon lined and do not use lubricant, other than possibly a little graphite at one end. If someone ever greased it, the core may have scored the liner and worn out against the metal in the sheath. Watch out for lube in a used cable.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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The body shop did, of course, get the hood open. I forgot to mention to them that I had a replacement cable in the trunk so I may try to put that in this weekend.

The one thing I simply could not do when extracting the salvaged one was to get the end that's in the release pull to come out without actually ruining the release pull. It seemed like you should be able to push the smaller end over to the left just enough to push the larger end up and out of the retaining hole, but I couldn't do it.

If I'm going to do this job I have to know how to get the original cable end out of the release pull without destroying it. Does anyone know "the trick"? If not I'll take it back next week and let them do the job.

Brian

Brian

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Bri the Tech Guy   http://britechguy.com
britechguy@gmail.com   (540) 324-5032
"If it's got you screaming, I'll help you stop!!"
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I had the lever end pin come loose on my release handle. Simply crimped a new tension pin to the end of the wire, bent to a 90° and flowed some plumbing solder through the wires in the core of the pin. Nice 30 cent fix that surpassed OEM.

An excellent tip! Thank you.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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In my case neither the lever ferrule nor the latch ferrule had broken. It seems that the cable got bound somehow within the sheath and that was that.

One thing I learned in this little adventure is that it's much, much easier to remove the entire release handle assembly along with the cable than it is to try to get the lever ferrule in to or out of the release handle. I'm still trying to figure out what the manufacturing steps were on these things as it seems as though the lever ferrule, with its thin end versus fat end, was designed to be able to pop in and out of the lever assembly when necessary, but it doesn't do that.

I'm glad I had the shop put this back in once I'd managed to get the cable and lever assembly reunited. It was the best $40 in frustration prevention I ever spent.

Brian

Brian

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Bri the Tech Guy   http://britechguy.com
britechguy@gmail.com   (540) 324-5032
"If it's got you screaming, I'll help you stop!!"
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