This is just a small how-to on replacing the cable on a locking hood release unit.
- 10 mm wrench to remove the hood latch mechanism
- 8 mm socket to remove the release handle assembly
- Channel Lock and/or Slip-Joint Pliers.
-Grinder or cut off wheel. Electric or Air powered.
- Safety glasses
Remove latch cable security plate. Bolt size is an 8MM.
Remove latch mechanism from the radiator support.
Remove cable grommet from latch mechanism. This is best done by physically holding the latch mechanism in the position shown, while at the same time gripping the black cable grommet with a pair of pliers.When your grip is firm, pull upward on the cable grommet to release it from the latch mechanism. Once the grommet is free, pop the black plastic cover off the cable loop post if equipped. Slip the cable end loop off it's post, and remove the cable from it's holding clips along the top of the radiator support and the fender.
Remove two bolts holding locking latch mechanism from the bottom of the dash. Once the hood release handle assembly is free, slowly feed the cable through the firewall and into the cab.
Replacement non-locking hood release cable. The cable from the non-locking unit will be used to replace the broken cable in the locking release assembly.
While you have the cable out, it is a good idea to check the seal condition on your old release cable. As you can see below, my original cable grommet was deformed, which was an entry point for water.
As you can see, after 25 years of service, the plastic is quite brittle and discolored. This will come to your advantage
Use whatever means you see fit to remove as much of the plastic on the handle as you can. I simply used a hammer and pliers to break away large sections at a time. Once you have enough room to cut the small ferrule from the handle assembly, then you can proceed to cutting the ferrule.
Cut the handle section from the small ferrule. If you're wondering what a ferrule is, it is the section of the handle that the metal cable inserts into. It is the smaller section of the handle, and is in the shape of a hexagon. You will need to retain this ferrule, so try to cut on the square part of the handle, rather than the ferrule . Be careful not to over cut the ferrule or else the ferrule will fit loosely into the locking handle.
Once you have the ferrule section separated from the handle, firmly grasp the cable inlet side of ferrule with a pair of pliers, and then grind the end of the ferrule down to size until it fits snugly into the locking handle hole. In the picture below you can see the ferrule cut to the proper size. Disregard the threaded plastic piece at the end of the cable housing, that is something I will explain further down.
You will have to drill out the rivets that hold the two lock handle housing halves together. There are 4 rivets total. Below in the pic there should be a grommet in the small end of the housing. I was not able to retain this grommet, which is where the aforementioned threaded piece comes into play. It serves essentially the same function, which is to hold the cable housing into place in the lock assembly housing. The grommet that sits inside the lock housing should be able to be removed simply by twisting it off of the old cable, as the non-locking hood cable will not have the proper grommet you need. Once you have this grommet off, install it onto the new cable.
All together. It is your choice as to what you use to re-attach the two housing halves. Ford used rivets, but you can also use small bolt/nut combos, or maybe even just coarse thread bolts.
Now you will need to re-run the new cable through the firewall and into the engine compartment. Attach the looped end of the cable onto the lock mechanism's post, and then re-attach the housing grommet. Bolt the lock mechanism back to the radiator support, and manually lock the mechanism with your finger. Bolt the release handle assembly back to the dash, and then unlock and pull on the release handle. If you hear the lock mechanism unlock, then align the lock mechanism with the hood, close the hood, and test again. If everything is still okay, job well done.
Finished and installed in the truck.
There are two other ways I know of to fix a locking hood release, which will be detailed briefly below.
- Replace the locking hood release with a non-locking hood release.
- Build an all new cable using parts from the local bicycle shop. If you decide to go this route, make sure you keep both grommets off of the old locking cable because you will still need to put these on the new cable.
Here is a link that better demonstrates what is needed to rebuild a locking hood release cable with brand new cable and cable housing.