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E36 General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.

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Old 03-20-2012, 06:11 PM   #1
a4kwy

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E36 Convertible roof problems

Hi everyone,

I've a 1999 323 E36. The hood motor has burnt out and the 2 cables at the front which enable the closure and lock-down have broken. The parts alone are over 900! I can get a complete hood for 200. Is it a DIY job to swap the cables over or do I cut and run!
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:29 AM   #2
DEATH2000
 
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Your Ride: 1998 E36 328i sedan
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The hood motor? Their is no motor for the hood.

I believe you mean that the hood release cables have broken and now you cant get the hood open. This is a pretty common problem with the E36. In fact this is a problem that i currently have on my E36 and am in the process of doing a detailed write up on it this Thursday.

Where has the cable snapped? It is possible to remove the kick panel, and then grab the wire with some pliers and pull hard. Hopefully this solves it. Failing this, or if the cable broke internally their are 3 options.

1. Remove the kidney grilles. To do this, you will need to apply decent force to the black vertical grilles. I had to hit them with a closed fist, and pretty good too. Dont worry about breaking them, as replacing them is $30. Once the grilles are out you should be able to look up and see the hood release cable. Grab and pull. Get a friend to help you as it is common that pushing down on the hood and pulling the cable usully works the best. Or, if you have the stock corner lights, you can slide a tonque depressor/popsicle stick in between the headlight and corner light and release the latch that holds it in. The corner light should slide out giving you access to the cable.

2. Say #1 doesnt work and you still cant get it open. Fear not, its still possible. Start by removing the front bumper. Once the front bumper is removed, remove the grille nose peice (4 torx bolts). You should be able to access the bottom of the hood latches. If you look you will see that the latches have a grove in the bottom for a large flat head screw driver. These latches are screwed into the hood and can be screwed out. Do this, and the hood should pop open.

3. This is the ugliest option. Failing number 1 and 2 working, your last resort option to cut the hood open. You need to locate the area of the hood latches, and using a recipricating saw or similiar device you need to cut the hood around the latches. It is ugly and destroys the hood, but it works.

If you are sucsessful in opening the hood then the difficult process begins. You NEED to replace the hood release cable, and both latches. The release cable is $37 US, and the latches are about $40-60. Their is an excellent write up on how to replace the cable i can provide you with if need be. In Canada/US the dealership charges $800-900 just to replace the cable, claiming they need to remove the fender. This is not the case. It is DIY possible, just a huge pain in the butt.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:51 PM   #3
tom37

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itthinkhemeanstheconvertabletop,notthehood(bonnet-english.isthetopclosedoropen?tom37
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:02 PM   #4
tom37

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ithinkhemeansthecabriotop(hood-english)notthe(bonnet-hood-english)isthetopopenorclosed?tom37
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:10 PM   #5
DEATH2000
 
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Is your space bar broken?
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