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How do you open the hood when the Hood Latch Cable Broke.? 1994 Cherokee

08-16-2009, 04:45 PM
I have a 1994 Cherokee. How do you open the hood when the cable broke? At least I think it broke. The hood will not unlock and there is no load on the hood cable. So it makes sense that the cable broke. Here's the funny thing. I can't figure out how to open the hood. I took off the grill thinking I could reach in and pull the hood open. But the radiator, AC condensor etc is there. I can't reach the hood latch. I crawled underneath thinking maybe I can reach up. But can't see. Anyone know?
Please help. I want to do some work under the hood and even change the oil. Help.

08-16-2009, 07:03 PM
If anyone can take a picture of the inside hood latch so I can figure out how to trip it so it opens, I'd appreciate it. I think if I knew where the cable is so I can pull it, I could make something to slide in and open it. But who pays attention to what the hood latch and cable looks like? So help anyone.

08-16-2009, 08:38 PM
I would put the vehicle on jack stands use a flashlight and a long screw driver. Normally you can move the lever and open the hood. At this point buy a new cable or a scrap yard unit.

08-17-2009, 10:01 AM
I've crawled under the car and looked up. Can't see the latch. Poked with a screwdriver but can't see what I'm hitting. Fan etc in the way and I sure don't want to damage the New radiator just installed. I'm thinking I may have to remove the headlights etc and maybe can reach around and trip it. Is the trip on the drivers side or passenger side. If someone could look at their Jeep and let me know if I can reach the latch from the headlight area - I sure would appreciate it. A picture would be great. Can send it to my email which I will give out to anyone who can send a picture or post it here. I was hoping someone could post a picture of the hood latch itself so I have a visual of what I need to do. Hard to believe can't open the hood. Guess it's reason to always check even the little things like the hood latch cable. Man, a nightmare.
I'll probably call or visit a Jeep dealer and ask.

08-18-2009, 10:47 AM
ANYONE PLEASE take a picture of the latch area so I can see what I will have to go around. I just got this car and am not too familiar with it yet. I need to get that hood open.

08-19-2009, 12:03 AM
If you can wait until Wed. morning, I'll get a pic(s) off to you. Send me your e-dress to I'm not 100% sure ours are alike, mines a 97, but I would think they are identical.

08-19-2009, 12:54 AM
While I was outdoors looking for a resolution to another members problem, I took a close look at my hood release mechanism. I see one method of getting in there, only one.
Here's what I think MIGHT work for you........................
You're gonna need a good flashlight for this, otherwise you won't be able to see squat!

drain your radiator and remove the lower hose. This will give you very limited access up to the hard wire linkage that pulls both latches simultaneously. It's attached by small plastic clips, to the lower front edge of the hood. It's how the pull cable works normally. If your arm is fairly young and flexible you may be able to get up there with Vise Grips, and grab onto the hard wire (if your engine bay is clean, it will be shiny and easier to see). Pre-adjust your grips for a pinch of less than 1/8th inch, and do your best to get a good grip. When you have a grip, pull the grips straight toward the drivers side fender. You need only move the linkage about 3/8th inch, and if you get it right, the hood should pop.
Another possibility might be to search for a hanging down broken cable end, up around the side of the engine somewhere, and hope it's the end from the latch mechanism, so you can pull it with those same Vise Grips. I don't know if you can get an arm up inside to get hold of a cable end, so I would try the hose removal first.
Best I can come up with, sorry it's not easy, but I think it can be done that way. Good luck.

08-19-2009, 10:31 AM
Thanks for the input. I can't believe how difficult it is.
My email for the picture or post it here

08-19-2009, 10:53 AM
You can also try removing the headlights and buckets to gain access to the latch mounting bolts. Once you remove the bolts, the latches will lift up with the hood.

08-20-2009, 03:44 PM
Thanks for all the input.
And especially thanks for the pictures jusolbob you sent me. It helped alot. Coincidently, I went to get gas and at the pump, another Jeep pulled up behind me. I asked the lady if I could look at her hood of her Jeep. I explained to her my own latch problem - then she was ok letting me look. LOL Funny to ask if I could look under your hood.
Anyway, with the pictures and a first hand look at the latch, I think I can make a hook or something where I can reach from underneath and grab that rod that goes across and move it towards the drivers side to unlatch it. Without the pictures, I was thinking that it was a typical latching as on most cars. Now I can see that connecting rod and know how it works. Will try it this weekend at home so when I get it opened, I can fix or replace whatever broke that caused my problem. If my tool doesn't work, I will either disassemble as was suggested or go from under the drivers side fender and try to move that connecting rod. Wow, what a complicated latch mechanism.

08-23-2009, 02:31 PM
Had a chance to try again to open the hood. 50% success. I tried the hook tool I made. It grabbed the rod and I was able to pull on it but it was HARD. Couldn't pull it hard enough towards the drivers side.

I decided to reach inside with just my hand again seeing if I could grab that rod. Got the Passenger side open. I was able to reach around , in between the fan, shroud, radiator and grab that rod that open the latch. Took several tries. And I pulled really hard- I mean Hard. Had my son push lightly on the hood corners to take the load off the latches.
Was able to lift the second latch in the center but I cannot get the drivers side off. I am guessing the latch is sitting offcenter and it won't loosen.
Tried removing headlights. Can't reach it. I tried earlier to loosen the fender ucovering on the passenger side. No help there. Can I reach the drivers side latch thru the fender? Can I make a bent up metal bar and trip the drivers latch. I can't get the latch to loosen up on the drivers side with pulling the rod.
Any other suggestions short of drilling a hole and replacing the hood?

08-24-2009, 01:58 AM
Got it!
What a royal pain in the backside too.
I was able to pop the passenger side by reaching up and pulling that rod towards the drivers side. But the drivers side would not release. Tried removing everything in front and under the fenderwells etc. Could not reach it. Even pryed the hood up and reached under the open part and pushed that rod. Heard it clicking like it was opening but still would not budge
I was about to drill a large hole in the drivers side hood and release it that way. Needed a new hood anyway. LOL
Had some family matters to attend to so I had to stop. In that time, I thought about the latch. Later that evening I gave it the final attempt. I had my son helping me. We had that hood lifted at the passenger side and tweaked the hood at such an awful angle so we could reach under the hood. It was horrible looking- about a 30 degree slant. We still could not get it to open. My son tried reaching under after me. He has skinnier and longer arms and said he could reach further. He was able to reach inside and with a bent tool that is usually used for pulling off radiator hoses, he was able to reach the latch and pop it.
Sure enough, we found what I started thinking had happened. The cable was fine.
It was the mounting to the raised hood to that cable attachment for moving the rod to unlock the corner hood latches. The two screws had broken off and the mechanism at the end of the cable for the rod was basically just floating under the hood. There was no way the rod was anchored to be able to get the latches unlocked.
Since I am planning to replace the hood, I drilled two 1/4" holes thru the hood and reattached the bracket.
So check that bracket and tighten the screws. What a nightmare.

06-02-2010, 03:25 AM
I have the very exact same problem on our jeep! I've even crawled up under it & managed to squeeze my hand up enuf to pull the cable & pop the passenger side...but the other side is a giant pain! We automatically thought of doing everyythhing you said you THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting this so we know NOT to waste our time on some of our ideas! We orginally pulled off the grill & almost did the headlight too. My husband even used a prybar to hold the hood open enuf to get my hand in to try & turn the mechinism but it seemed to spin & had no tension. The hardest part is that I have no idea at all how any of this stuff looks likE! I'm just using your descriptions on here, what my husband remembers, & my own sense of touch, to help me:( I'm gonna have him pry open the side that I popped up & try to do what you did. Can I ask how damaged your hood ended up? My hubby's more concerned than me about it...I just want my jeep back! I can't drive it now b/c the battery needs a jump!

03-16-2011, 03:39 AM
I have an xj and found two ways to open the hood with a broken cable. Take out the passenger head light bezel and light and there will be a bolt right behind were the light sits and one above. remove both bolts and it whil release the hood retaining loop. Do the same on the other side. The other way is to look up from under the radiator on the passenger side radiator cooling fan and locate the hood release rod. It is about the size of a coat hanger and grey. Take a coat hanger bent in the shape of a small U and pull down on it. Once it has released, pry the hood open with slight pressure to see where the hood cable actualy conects to swivel point, about two feet from the left fender. take a long screw driver, or anything that will fit thru the hood and grill, and hit it towards the cab. If that doesnt work on the driver side. crawl under and push up on the rod. Just remeber, pull down on the passenger side and push up on the driver side.

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