Lexus IS Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2003. Car has lived in snow and rain area all its life, but is still in good shape, 235K. Recently the hood would not latch down easily when I would drop it lhe last 6" or so when closing. I would work the latch puller and lube the latch assembly and eventually it would latch. Finally yesterday, no latch. So I took the latch out which is a fiddly small pita. Three 10mm bolts, the lower one is hidden by a cover, I guess to protect it from spray. That one is tricky. Pry the cover off with a pick. Then you need a 1/4" ratchet with a short socket. I unclipped the center emblem in the grill to see better. Remove latch, one electrical connector to unclip also. Release cable has a ball end and you have to rotate then fiddle the cable out of the mechanism. I then cleaned and lubed the mechanism as well as I could. All pivots seemed reasonably free and smooth.

In my case, I determined that the cable itself was not moving freely, so after you pull the lever in the car, it will not fully extend back to the "relaxed" position allowing the latch to latch. It extends about 1.5" or so from the end of the sheath to the ball end. When you pull the latch release from inside, that amount of cable is retracted into the sheath to operate the unlatch mechanism. So I repeatedly sprayed Kroil and some spray lube, alternating, and working the release lever in the car. Pull ball end out by hand and spray, pull interior latch to retract ball end. Lather, rinse, repeat. It's very hard to get any lube into the sheath, but It did improve some in how freely it moved. Now reattach cable and test. Still not working well. Needs more tension on the spring which pulls the cable back out. So I shortened that spring by clipping a few loops off and bending a new hook on the end of the spring. Voila, a little more tension. Reassembled, and yes - it works. Now reinstall mechanism back into the car and things are working well now. Finished up by blasting the whole assembly with Fluid Film.

Lots of words for a small repair, but as you can imagine, if your hood won't latch, you don't want to drive! I know that they make cable lube gizmos for bike brake cables and motorcycle throttle cables, but I don't have one.... The job would be much easier if the grill was removed, but I didn't want to deal with that. In hindsight it might have been easier to just remove the whole front fascia assembly at the beginning!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hindsight is 20-20. Not easy to buy a cable on Saturday afternoon when the nearest dealer is an hour away and you need to drive the car on Sunday and you don't know what the problem is until you take everything apart anyway.... And routing a new cable looks like no picnic. And I'd have to take everything apart to attach and run a new cable anyway. Next time!
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
4,280 Posts
You could have used a universal choke cable temperately. Just routed it to the bottom of the car and mount it.
 

·
Mr. Roo
Joined
·
10,132 Posts
I would order a new cable (and spring) now so it is ready when needed. That fix probably won't last very long. I went through the same exact process, but to no avail, and with the same problems, the only solution that worked was a new cable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Mine was doing the same thing and after countless times of lubing it and slamming I just replaced the cable also, found it on ebay for like $40 or so. It literally is effortless now I can drop it from a couple inches and it clicks right in place. Took an hour or so to remove the fender and old cable, clean, and run the new one.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top