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I was helping some stranger and gave them a boost the other day. When I tried to close shut my hood it won't. It latches on so the is partially closed, but it won't FULLY shut, even if I slamd the dam thing down. I checked the cable and it is fine.

LASTLY, I need some sun so I can ZAINO. :coolio:
 

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Check that the latch mechanism is secure on the bulkhead. If it's loose, it won't keep the hood down.
 

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Huh?

Check that the latch mechanism is secure on the bulkhead. If it's loose, it won't keep the hood down.

Dave, can you please give me more information of where to look and what to do.

Thank you.
 

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The hood latch mechanism is bolted to a bracket. It's adjustable for height so if the bolts came loose it could move too far away from the hood hook to grab it and lock the hood.

Open the hood, reach a pair of vice grip pliers through the opening in the radiator shroud and onto the latch plate, and try to pull it up and push it down. It should stay firmly in place.

Also examine the latch from the top to make sure the latch jaws are open to accept the hook on the underside of the hood. If the jaws are closed in the hood locked position, they can't accept the hook and so the hood won't lock. After thinking about it, this is more likely than the bolts coming loose. It's possible the jaws closed after you opened the hood, rather than staying open.
 

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mitchd123's solution worked for me. Thanks for the help!

To fix this "hood won't latch" issue for good, replace the hood opener cable. You will likely find that the steel cable is binding up from corrosion within the sheath. A tell-tale sign of the cable problem is that the hood release lever inside the van doesn't return to its normal position after "popping" the hood open. A new cable is only about $10 online ('02 EXL-RES).

You could also remove the hood latch to remove the cable's end and drip some penetrating down the steel wire inside the cable to restore some useful life of the existing cable. Raise the loose cable end high to allow gravity to help get the oil down the cable.
 

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Have you found any penetrating liquid which fixes binding cables? In the past, I had tried almost everything but once a cable has corrosion within the sheath, the replacement is the only option. It would be good to know if a chemical solution works.

- Vikas
 

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Regarding Penetrating fluid question - I tried 3 in 1 machine oil with marginal improvement but not enough to call it "fixed". I didn't bother with my preferred rust penetrant, PB Blaster, it may have worked better. I'm replacing the cable. $8.16 from g1parts dot com. Free shipping if you spend $25, so I ordered some oil filters too.
 

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Good decision to replace the cable. The old one is pitted and won't work smoothly even if the rust is removed and the cable is lubed. Oil the new one if it isn't already.
 

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How easy is it to replace the hood latch cable? I just noticed our 2004 hood has been getting tough to close (and my 2002 Accord has the same problem).
 

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Let us know how it goes. I took a look in the shop manual and it looks like more work than I had hoped for. Specifically, seems like the potential to break and replace a bunch of plastic trim clips. The plastic panel over the hood latch has a bunch of trim clips. Then you have to remove the inner fender liner (more fragile clips). And then, the manual says you have to use some sort of clip tool to remove the plastic clips that hold the hood cable in place (I was hoping the cable would just pop out of the clips, but it sounds like the clips have to be removed from the body first).

With the cold weather we're having in NY I know I'd end up with a big handful of broken plastic parts.
 

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I finally installed the new cable in my 2002 EXL-RES. It works like new again. It took twice as long (~2 hrs) than I had originally planned. Here are some pointers that should help you.

1. Jack up driver side front & remove wheel.

2. Unscrew (3 phillips head screws) and remove mud guard.

3. Starting from the mud flap, remove enough of the inner fender guard/lining to expose the hood release cable (1 screw and about 8 plastic push button fender clips). I didn't need to remove all of them to gain sufficient access to the cable. The plastic push fasteners can be preserved if you tap on them about 10 times or so with the butt-end of the screw driver handle to loosen up years of dirt before trying to pry out the plastic center plunger piece. If they plunger head cracks off, stab the remaining center piece inward and then pull out the remaining plug from the hole with pliers. Clipsandfasteners.com sells boxes of 25 of these fender clips if you want to get replacement ones inexpensively. I have 3 Hondas and an Acura so I've consumed a fair amount of these plastic push fasteners on other front end jobs.

4. Open the hood and remove the plastic push fasteners (10+) and remove the black plastic bumper cover to expose the hood latch.

5. Unscrew (3x 10mm bolts) the hood latch bracket. Before you remove the hood latch assy, use some needle nose or similar pliers to squeeze and push the plastic tabs on 3 cable/harness push clips that protrude inward along the driver's side upper radiator rail (2 black ones are for the wire harness, the white one is for the hood release cable. Be careful with the white one since that needs to be reused on your new hood release cable. Disconnect the grey connector from the hood latch switch.

6. Lift the hood latch to expose the hood release cable's connection to the latch. Wiggle the cable sheath free from the groove where its retained in the latch assy and then disconnect the cable's steel ball end from the latch mechanism.

7. From inside the driver's side area carefully remove the left lower kick panel as follows: Move the floor mat out of the way. Vacuum the floor if it is as dirty as my wife's van! Gently pry up the plastic floor garnish near the kick panel. Gently pry/pull off the door trim/seal from the edge of the kick panel. Unscrew/remove the black plastic button screw from where the kick panel is attached to the floor. Gentle pull the kick panel loose. Lift the hood release lever and work the kick panel free from the lever.

8. The hood release lever bracket is screwed in place with two 10mm bolts. The lower bolt is easily removed. In my 2002, the upper bolt is annoyingly obstructed by a mass of connectors. This connector block is attached to the side wall by a white plastic push clip. Using my needle nose pliers and a screw driver, I squeezed the wing tabs on top and bottom of the white connector block's fastener and wiggled it free from where it was pressed into the side wall. Push the connectors out of the way and remove the upper bolt.

9. Wiggle the cable sheath end from the groove in the lever bracket and pull up the plastic lever to allow the steel cable and its knob-end to be slid out from the groove in the lever.

10. Tie a string at least 3 feet in length securely to the old wire cable end that was removed from the lever. You'll need this later to help pull the new cable back into position when you are installing the new cable. If you've done any electrical wiring in an existing home you'll know what I mean.

Working from the wheel fender, grab the cable and wiggle the two black cable clips free from the inner fender wall. These clips are thrown away with the old cable. The new cable includes these clips. You should now be able to easily pull the old cable from the latch through the hole in the fender.

11. The hardest part of the job was extracting the cable from the lever side, because it kept getting hung up on sharp edges and objects in narrow passage ways. While outside the car, pull the rubber cable grommet free from the fender and try to pull out the cable and the attached string. On my '02, the lower left fuse panel above the kick panel had to be partially moved away from the side wall to provide sufficient space for the cable to be pulled free. To loosen the fuse panel, remove the single 10mm nut. There are two plastic clips on top and bottom of the grey fuse panel box that frees the panel from the side wall. The lower clip may be the only one that needs to be unlatched to allow the lower side of the panel to be pulled away by about a 1/2 inch from the wall. From the outside fender, the cable should now be free to be pulled from the vehicle. It may help to have a second person gently pull while you try to coax the cable from the inside. Anyway I didn't have help and this is what took the most time.

12. After the old cable has been extracted, remove the sting from the old cable and tie it securely to the new cable. I recommend wrapping tape around the string and the knob-end in a conical way to provide a smoother transition that would reduce the chance of it getting hung up as you pull it back through the fender and firewall into the car. I also wrapped tape around the end of the sheath to also help prevent that from getting hung up on some unseen sharp edge. Use tape with a gentle adhesive (painters' tape?), you don't want to gum up the steel cable. From inside the car pull the string and cable far enough into position so that it can be attached to the lever. Once pulled in place, remove the tape and string.

13. Feed the other end of the cable new into the hood area. Replace the white plastic clip from the old cable onto the new cable. Put everything back together in reverse order.

14. When putting it all back together, remember to replace the white plastic clip from the old cable onto the new cable; Reconnect the electrical connector on the latch; Carefully align the 3 hood latch bolts/washers to the old "rust" marks so the hood shuts the way it did before you removed the latch; make sure both of the new cable's sheath ends are completely inserted into their respective grooves in the latch and lever brackets; use a torque wrench on the wheel nuts and check them again in about a week.

Good luck!
 
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