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Discussion Starter #1
Have an 03 MDX and last weekend the hood release cable broke at the hood latch and hood ended up closing. Now I'm at the point where I can not get it open. Please help
 

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The latch is held on with three 10mm bolts - if you can reach them from underneath, you could potentially lift the latch with the hood. I suspect the way to do this would be with a inspection camera (one of those on the long, flexible stalk) and some very clever tools (I have a 3/8" drive ratchet that's got a long, articulated handle that would work for this).

Normally if there's still a cable attached, there are some other options, but now you're stuck with having to either trip the mechanism without the cable (again, the inspection camera might help) or some other violent method to get that hood liberated from the latch.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I got all the bolts off but still can't get it off due to the frame of the car being in the way almost exactly right above the latch
 

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I was just out fiddling with my latch to see if there's anything I could add... all I can say is that it looks like you should be able to trip the latch with a long rod stuck up through the frame, past the front motor mount, up between the fans. Get it in between the black metal "housing" that's over the rear of the latch and the front (grille side) of the latch, and wiggle the rod to push the end of the rod toward the driver's side. There's not much else right there in the middle of the latch, so hitting the right bit should be possible (if fiddly).

Good luck!
 

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I was just out fiddling with my latch to see if there's anything I could add... all I can say is that it looks like you should be able to trip the latch with a long rod stuck up through the frame, past the front motor mount, up between the fans. Get it in between the black metal "housing" that's over the rear of the latch and the front (grille side) of the latch, and wiggle the rod to push the end of the rod toward the driver's side. There's not much else right there in the middle of the latch, so hitting the right bit should be possible (if fiddly).

Good luck!
Thanx man that actually sounds doable. I'll see what I can find for a rod and give it a try. Will report my findings after work ?
 

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Been trying some things for the past few days I've tried a long rod and short rod but no luck. I just went and bought a bicycle cable from WalMart and have been trying to fish that in to where the hood release cable should go and had no luck there either. But that seems to be the best chance I have. Definitely open to any other suggestions
 

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I've been checking back in to this thread periodically. Although I have no solution to this dilemma, I'd be interested to know if there's a manual technique should something like this happen in the future.
 

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Looking at my MDX, it certainly appears there is a clear path from under the car, up between the radiator fans to the lock mechanism, and that a rod of some sort could push the latch mechanism to the side. The rod should enter the mechanism in just inside the black metal "housing", to the passenger side of the latch, and the rod should be used to press the inside of the mechanism to the driver's side. I haven't had time to actually try this, but it's the only way I can imagine that you could get the latch to trip. It doesn't seem like there would be a lot of resistance, but I'm wondering if a gummed up or rusted latch wasn't Og92's original problem... the latch should trip VERY easily when you pull the release - if it was hard to pull, that could indicate a problem with the latch itself, beyond the broken cable. Maybe some well-aimed lube would help, or possibly having someone push down on the nose of the hood at the latch while you're trying to trip the latch with a rod might help.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Looking at my MDX, it certainly appears there is a clear path from under the car, up between the radiator fans to the lock mechanism, and that a rod of some sort could push the latch mechanism to the side. The rod should enter the mechanism in just inside the black metal "housing", to the passenger side of the latch, and the rod should be used to press the inside of the mechanism to the driver's side. I haven't had time to actually try this, but it's the only way I can imagine that you could get the latch to trip. It doesn't seem like there would be a lot of resistance, but I'm wondering if a gummed up or rusted latch wasn't Og92's original problem... the latch should trip VERY easily when you pull the release - if it was hard to pull, that could indicate a problem with the latch itself, beyond the broken cable. Maybe some well-aimed lube would help, or possibly having someone push down on the nose of the hood at the latch while you're trying to trip the latch with a rod might help.
So after gathering some key points you hit, I think what I need to do is first apply a nice coat of wd40 to the side of the latch that's facing the grill (which is doable since I removed all the bolts that were holding it down), then I may need to put at least one of the bolts back in to hold the latch steady as I try to trip the latch mechanism with the rod. Wish I could remove the fans to have more room to move around down there. Unfortunately I'm in Florida right now and have been dealing with a tropical storm so I'll have to wait til the weather clears up. Will report my findings thanks for all your help so far
 

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One suggestion is to use something else after you hit the latch with WD-40. WD-40 has almost no lubricating qualities - just a touch of very light oil (spray a bunch into a cap sometime, and see what's left when the carrier evaporates). I use a white lithium grease spray, though really any spray lubricant should help, if the problem is that the mechanism is gummed up.
 

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Congrats if you were able to unbolt any of the M6 bolts (10mm socket). :cool: If you could reach those you might be able to manually pop it. Straight up the backside yoke in the middle, feel in the middle of the mechanism. Slightly to the left (drivers) side is the lever. Push it left toward the drivers side.


If it broke near the dash, you might be able to cut off the sheath and pull the inner cable.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
One suggestion is to use something else after you hit the latch with WD-40. WD-40 has almost no lubricating qualities - just a touch of very light oil (spray a bunch into a cap sometime, and see what's left when the carrier evaporates). I use a white lithium grease spray, though really any spray lubricant should help, if the problem is that the mechanism is gummed up.
After many long rainy days of waiting. I am more than proud to say I finally got the dam thing open :grin: . The overall steps were: unscrew all bolts with smallest rachet I could find. Create as much space between the inside housing of hood latch and car frame/radiator. Then spray inside housing with wd40 (preferably with the straw but of course I lost that). I thought about letting it soak in for like a day, but I ran out of patience a few weeks ago so I went ahead and gave it a try seconds after applying said wd40. I reach in there to feel for hood latch mechanism lever and.... Clunk clink... BEEP BEEP goes the sound of the beautiful alarm as I look up to see an ejected hood. Now the next challenge is getting the cable reattached.
 

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Glad to hear you were able to open it! :29:
 

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Congratulations! Get that latch good and clean so that you won't need much tension on the new (?) cable when you do get it all back together. Happily, it sounds like you got the hood open before anything under it broke... Murphy must have been asleep! ;-)
 

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My wife told me she couldn't get the oil changed because the hood wouldn't open. I could hear the cable moving in the left upper rail. I watched the few videos I could find and also came across this blog. Bottom-Line, after removing the under shield, laying on my back and trying to use every long tool I had to manually operate the hood lock, I sprayed lube through the top of the grille/sight shield soaking the latch and called it a night. The next morning I went for round two, laid once again on the garage floor, no jack/stands or lift, reached my arm up between the cooling fans following the lock support to the latch, did the old reliable closing my eyes to visualize the lock and cable location driver side of center, pushed the one useable finger (do to the awkward contortions of my arm and hand to get into that area) pushed aginst the latch arm where the cable end should be and POP.....the hood opened. I found the plasctic end of the cable that snaps into the lock leaver had oxidized/weather and broke. $20 cable, $30 in splash shield clips, 4hrs, and some good quality time with my 11 year old son and the hood that wouldn't open was fixed. I don't subscribe to many things but in this case I did to let you all know the outcome and say THANK YOU!
 

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A great example of the value of some of these older threads! Glad you were able to get the info you needed. The MDXers forum is a gold mine of useful info to keep our beloved 1G MDXs on the road.
 
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