Bonnet won't open on Z3

NeRo

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As per title - Bonnet won't open on Z

Cable is loose from inside the car and not pulling the catches
In desperation i have removed the bonnet grilles and although I can pull the cable between the catches, I still can't get the bonnet to release

Is there a secret or tip to get it open - I have new parts ready to replace

TIA
 

BladeRunner919

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Have you taken off the kick panel to see if the cable is there, but has come detached from the handle? I'd start with that. Otherwise if you can get your hand in, you can get your fingers into the back of the catches and release them (at least,I know you definitely can on the left hand one). It may be tricky to know what to do if you don't have another catch on hand to reference. You need to feel to the back of the catch, where the cable locates to, and push it to the side (towards the right hand side of the car, as looked at from the driver's seat). If you google z3 bonnet catch and look at the pics, that might make more sense!

Edit - I just realised that you have new ones to hand, which will help visualise what you need to do!
 

Sean d

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It may have snapped due to the catches being very tight, get someone to push down on the bonnet as you try to release it through the grill.
 

Low Rider

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I recently had the same problem after changing my bonnet thankfully I hadn't fitted the front grilles also the cable was intact.
I got my brother to pull and release the bonnet release lever on off on off while I fiddled with the drivers side not easy to find the small leavers followed by the near side but thankfully we managed it.
I know what a pain in the rear this job can be.
 

GazHyde

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Think @mwpe recently posted that he cut the latches off the inside of the bonnet and replaced them with new ones pretty cheaply (unless I've got that all wrong!)
 

raymond

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Looking at my own car...... I would smash the right hand headlight and rip it out to get to the mechanism. Bit drastic but it seem viable. Finger shows the mechanism. Looks like enough space with bonnet shut. You would also get to the cable
20170620_181739.jpg
 
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mrscalex

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The main bonnet cable sometimes gets blamed when I think a lot of the time it's the 2 latches getting seized up. They are about a tenner each.

On that basis I personally wouldn't have a problem destroying them if it helped get the bonnet open.

The initial obstacle is the grills which is normally a must have to remove unless pulling the main cable with pliers while someone leans on the bonnet yields a result.

Loop a trouser belt across the back of all slats and tug having taken up the slack. Don't yank violently from a slack position.

I've found pulling the central cable between the 2 latches normally does the job. But you may need to pull closer to each latch in turn.
 

mwpe

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Think @mwpe recently posted that he cut the latches off the inside of the bonnet and replaced them with new ones pretty cheaply (unless I've got that all wrong!)
That was on my E46 and the cable had seperated at the junction in the engine compartment. The grills came out without damage and I cut through the bonnet pins with a pneumatic hacksaw.
 

BladeRunner919

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Seems like a lot of destructive methods being advocated when you can get to the back of the latches without causing any damage. As I said, I can guarantee 100%, from experience in the last couple of weeks, that you can reach the back of the latches and release them. The easiest way is to remove the undertray and reach in from below.
No smashing, no cutting.
 

mrscalex

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Seems like a lot of destructive methods being advocated when you can get to the back of the latches without causing any damage. As I said, I can guarantee 100%, from experience in the last couple of weeks, that you can reach the back of the latches and release them. The easiest way is to remove the undertray and reach in from below.
No smashing, no cutting.
I agree. But if 1 of the latches is totally seized/broken there may not be much choice. I think that would be unusual though.
 

BladeRunner919

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From what the OP says the cable to the handle has snapped or come unseated, so I don't think it's a siezed latch - that would make the handle immobile.

By the way, OP, pulling the cable between the latches can release the left hand latch, but will actually be pulling the right hand one tight.
 

mrscalex

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From what the OP says the cable to the handle has snapped or come unseated, so I don't think it's a siezed latch - that would make the handle immobile.

By the way, OP, pulling the cable between the latches can release the left hand latch, but will actually be pulling the right hand one tight.
If you're standing at the front of the car it would be the right one it would logically release. But for some reason I've found pulling the central cable also releases the left latch - I don't know why as that's totally illogical.
 

NeRo

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Thanks for the feedback/help - still struggling to get it open :(

I think the cable from inside the car has come off the latch
I've removed both grilles and got access to the inter-joining cable - I agree with @BladeRunner919 's comment
By the way, OP, pulling the cable between the latches can release the left hand latch, but will actually be pulling the right hand one tight.
Before I fit the new parts, I've taken a photo for future reference

 

mrscalex

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I've released both latches from the central cable as a fall back around 20 times when trying to get the mechanism working properly.

I've also done it on a different car where the mechanism was stuck horribly.

I suspect pulling the central cable for the right hand latch pushes the cable in on the left hand latch and has the same effect as pulling from the main cable.

Perhaps my left hand latches were on a hair trigger though. Don't know.
 

mrscalex

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For clarity, when I use 'left' and 'right' I do so from the point of view of someone sat in the car facing forward.
Quite right too actually as that's how BMW define everything. Just a bit confusing when you're stood the other side of the latches ;)
 
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