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Hood will not open!

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by woodybap, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. woodybap

    woodybap Silver Level Sponsor

    Newbie here. I recently acquired a 1961 Alpine Series I. A lot of fun to drive but needs work to increase its reliability. I am looking forward to my “Project” but have encountered an early glitch. I cannot get the hood to open. It worked a few times but now nothing. The rod through the firewall moves in and out but the latch does not release. Could use some help getting the hood up so that I can get started with this mission.
  2. alpine_64

    alpine_64 Donation Time

    If it pops open a little try sliding a coat hangar in the gap...

    If not .. You have to unbolt the 4 bolts on each of the bonnet honges. Can access them via the fromt grill
  3. 65sunbeam

    65sunbeam SAOCA Membership Director Diamond Level Sponsor

    Pull the hood release rod out and secure with a Vice Grips. Drive down a bumpy road and hopefully the hood will pop open. then lube all the moving parts. Check to make sure the spring and plunger on the hood is tight and has not broken loose too as they have a habit of the weld breaking on the plunger so it will wobble around.
    Alpine 1789 likes this.
  4. beamdream

    beamdream Gold Level Sponsor

    Amen to that, if the pull rod is moving freely then it's probably disconnected from the latching device, only way forward is do as Michael suggested.
  5. woodybap

    woodybap Silver Level Sponsor

    Pull rod moves freely. Bonnet is snug without any gap and I am not clear on what or where to pull with a coat hanger. I will try the vise grips because it is easy, won't take long and the car is fun to drive. Then I will come home and have a cold drink before working on the bonnet hinges. Really appreciate the help.
  6. clhiller

    clhiller Silver Level Sponsor

    Mine has a similar problem sometimes. I have to pull the release all the way out and hold it , and then give a quick push down on the bonnet (above the latch point) and let it pop up. Easier with two people, but can be done solo. Seems like taking any pressure off the latch lets it fully retract.
  7. woodybap

    woodybap Silver Level Sponsor

    Bump ride failed. Have tried the heimlich maneuver on the bonnet but no joy there either. As suggested, the rod must be disconnected from the latch. Do I need to remove the finisher and grille to get to the bonnet bolts? If so, how do you remove the 'finisher clips'? I am sure glad you guys are out there. Car needs serious brakes and carb work to be safe.
  8. Tim R

    Tim R Silver Level Sponsor

    I have suffered from this on several Alpines in the past. The hood (bonnet) latches with a dual mechanism. One part is shaped like an arrow head and goes straight down, pushes the locking lever back and this then springs back behind the arrow head to hold it closed. The second mechanism is basically a hook that locks over a lip on a plate that bolts on behind the arrow head assembly on the hood. When you pull the hood release, both should move back and undo simultaneously and the hood should spring up. If they are out of adjustment it can be tricky to release.
    On the parts picture the arrow head is 84, the hook is at the front of the locking assembly 88 and the metal lip for the hook is 83

    This problem is an absolute pain on Alpines and is unfortunately quite common. On later cars they changed the solid rod for a cable....... that frequently snapped!

    First thing I would do is get a friend (or two) and try holding the release fully open and 'bouncing' the hood up and down. Protecting the paint put some soft wood in the gap between body and hood at each side and try to gently encourage the hood to spring free. If it isn't an adjustment issue and it won't come free you will have to loosen the hood by undoing the 8 bolts at the hinges at the front - 81 in the drawing. (On my own Alpine a previous owner had stupidly welded the hood to the hinges which was a bit of a problem)!

    Sometimes you can get to the bolts securing the hood without removing the badge grill bar. You need small hands and small tools to do this but it is possible. If you can't and have to remove the badge bar then from inside the front wheel arch you can usually locate the nuts that hold the 'eyebrow' finisher. They will probably be covered with years of mud and muck and will take some finding. If you undo the nuts on the ones at the outer edges you can pull the eyebrow forward a little and then undo the screws at each end of the horizontal badge grill bar that sit behind it. Once the outer ends of the centre bar drop down you will be able to get to the 8 bolts, undo them and lift up the front of the bonnet a little and with the help of a second person you can usually jiggle the mechanism free by moving the hood around with the release held out.

    This is not a fun job. On my own car I keep a safety wire around the locking arm on the release mechanism (see photo) and leave it hanging down into the engine bay. If I get this problem again I just need to reach up from underneath and pull the wire and it releases the hook lock which is normally where the problem is.

    I hope that this helps you.

    Tim R

    Bonnet release.jpeg

    Eyebrow fixings.jpg

    The picture above shows two of the eyebrow fixings from inside the front wheel arch.

    Release wire.jpg
    The picture above show the bonnet lock mechanism and my 'safety wire'.

    Attached Files:

  9. woodybap

    woodybap Silver Level Sponsor

    Thanks Tim: I will be diving into this alone tomorrow. Would not want anyone else to suffer the 'fun'.
  10. Gordon Holsinger

    Gordon Holsinger Diamond Level Sponsor

    I feel for you. There are eight fasteners that hold on the upper grille moulding. On a series 1 or 2 there are 3 studs on the grille that can be undone under the bottom of the grille. The fasteners on the moulding are 7/16 after you scrape the mud and undercoating spray the moulding studs with a solvent that will not damage the paint prep aol or acra sol if that doesn’t soften the undercoat the last resort is a one inch paint brush and gasoline. I have suffered through this on my own cars and a friend’s car. It is a colossal pain in the u know where. On one car what happened is one of the braces from the firewall to the fender was missing and the other was loose. Alpines and Tigers suffer from cowl shake without them. Cowl shake caused the whole latch to shift and misaligned the striker.
  11. Tim R

    Tim R Silver Level Sponsor

    Woody, even if you are alone try to shake things free first and give it plenty of time until you are absolutely 100% sure that you can't get it to bounce open. If you can hold the hood release with a pair of mole grips and bounce it free it is a whole lot easier than when you have to dismantle things.

    Tim R
  12. woodybap

    woodybap Silver Level Sponsor

    Grille is off. Hinges are unbolted. Eyebrow had to make the supreme sacrifice. Been jiggling the hood for about 20 minutes with the rod fully retracted but no release as of yet. Is there a specific technique I should be trying?
  13. Jimjordan2

    Jimjordan2 Bronze Level Sponsor

    Tim, you're wire setup would appear not to do the job you intend it to do if the "main" latch is not released. The wire would be fine for a bonnet that was partially open.
    Recently a mechanic posted a problem the same as this where the rod had been disconnected and they closed the bonnet.\ He was able to thread a small stiff wire with a hook on the end through the rod hole from under the dash. Yeah, that sounds and looks kind of hard, but he said he was able to do it. Now if I was to put a safety wire on, I'd go the opposite way and have it come out under the dash hooked up to the main latch release.
    And again, most of the time it's a cable release that breaks, and not the Rod.
  14. Fergusonic

    Fergusonic Donation Time

    With the bonnet being hinged at the front of the vehicle; kinda makes me wonder why there even is a Safety Latch....... the bonnet won't fly open at even at road speed. Or do I need to be enlightened?
  15. alpine_64

    alpine_64 Donation Time

    Prepare to be enlightened. .... There is a low pressure zone at the base of the screen, thats why tigers LAT bonnet had vents at the back of the bonnet the pressure sucks the air out from the engine bay.

    If the bonnet is not latched at say 50mph the trailing edge will lift at speed.... At high speed the bonnet will literally lift a few feet...

    There is a few shots of the fraser monster tiger at goodwood in 2012 revival meeting.. The bonnet catch snapped and the bonnet is almost vertical on the straights and lowers at corners...
  16. woodybap

    woodybap Silver Level Sponsor

    I see my thread is taking a different direction. Before you guys go, do you have any suggestions about how I can manipulate the bonnet to unlatch it now that I have removed the hinge bolts?
  17. alpine_64

    alpine_64 Donation Time

    Use some strong thick tape around the edge of the bonnet and bonnet opening to protect it, then slowly try and lift the bonnets leading edge and slide it towards the rear of the car to free it from the latch.

    2 people would be ideal
  18. loose_electron

    loose_electron Gold Level Sponsor

    Disconnecting the hinge bolts may give you a little more twist and rotate freedom, but it will not open the latch up.

    Have you determined that the pull rod is disconnected from the latch?

    If so, you can lightly pry up the (US) passenger side rear corner of the hood, and sneak a hooked piece of rod (coathanger) in the gap and guide it over to the latch lever and pull back with the coathanger, near the windshield if you can get it hooked over the latch lever.

    To do the above, you might have to snake an inspection endoscope in there to see what's going on. Good news is you can buy one of those for about $30 or so. (google inspection endoscope or borescope)

    If the pull rod is still attached and it is just the latch is jammed (endoscope can tell that story too) then sneaking a tube in there to feed some oil into the latch may help free it up enough to pop open. A good WD40 or liquid wrench soaking through a properly placed tube might get it done.

    Also, did you ask the prior owner how they got the hood open? There might be something there that they did not tell you.

    Best I got short of cutting open the hood over the latch. Good luck with it.
  19. Tim R

    Tim R Silver Level Sponsor

    Jim, your post has got me thinking. I am going to look at putting an additional wire parallel with the release rod so that I could pull the mechanism from under the dashboard if it fails in the future. My plan is to use a nylon coated wire Pike fishing trace. These are very strong yet very thin.

    Woody, can you wiggle the release rod out from under the dashboard? There are 2 small bolts that hold the release assembly just below the dashboard. If these are undone and the rod is broken you should be able to just pull it out. If it has disconnected (which is more likely) it will still have the screw adjuster section at the end so in that case it will not come out. Then it becomes a case of following Jerry's advice.
  20. beamdream

    beamdream Gold Level Sponsor

    OK its definitely a 2 or even 3 person job, lifting the hood from the front you need to angle it in the horizontal plane, at the same time a steel rule or something flat and sturdy (not too thick) eased under the bonnet in the region of the latch needs to be worked into the area where the pull rod / lever mechanism (have a look at the above photos) are, then try and move that arm back. You`ll probably loose a bit of paint, but tape around the steel rule might minimise this, continually rocking the bonnet side to side may help get the ruler into the area.

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