dealing with a stuck C4 hood

Discussion in 'Body and Interior: Repairs and Modifications' started by grumpyvette, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    you can buy or easily custom fabricate a hood release tool from 3/16" steel rod, easily located at most hard ware stores or home depot to reach the latch from the rear thru the open door frame
    OR its usually possible to use a custom built hook on a stiff coat hanger wire to reach and pull the latch arm from the rear of the hood if you use a flash light and a set of vise grip pliers so you get a good grip on the hanger wire, the problem is more seeing what your doing than doing it, but once you do get it open, install the emergency release cables



    heres the tool to open the hood, if its so stuck that it won,t open, once its open ,then check that the latch connector cable is operating correctly and both slide latches fully retract when the release is pulled, if they do and the hood still does not pop open ,the hoods not centered correctly loosen the bolts that hold the spring catch latch mechanism on both sides of the car , (ONE AT A TIME starting with the passenger side first, shut and open the hood then tighten the latch in its new slightly different position, oil the latch mechanism with MOLY SPRAY OIL , keep adjusting until its just right then lock it firmly in place.
    spray the replacement cable also, if you install one, and as usually having a shop manual for your corvette and actually reading it is a great idea!
    then DRILL a 1/4" drain hole in the lower hood latch support brace to let water drain as that's one of the main causes of rusted and stuck latches (water sitting trapped in the latch support then do the driver side,shut and open the hood then tighten the latch in its new slightly different position, oil the latch mechanism with MOLY SPRAY OIL
    then DRILL a 1/4" drain hole in the lower hood latch support brace to let water drain , recheck the connector cable adjustment and that the latches on both sides fully retract when the latch is pulled, if you followed instructions it should now work
    why spend $20-$30 or more? ... hoodp1.asp

    your local hardware has 3 ft long
    3/16" -PREFERRED diam. -
    to-1/4" max diam

    5/16" (WILL WORK ON A FEW CARS WITH LOOSE HOOD CLEARANCE, BUT ITS A P.I.T.A. OR IMPOSSIBLE TO USE on some cars, as its too large IN DIAMETER to slide into the required area,) steel rods for probably under $4
    a few seconds with the shops oxy-acetolene torch and a vise (two mandatory tools in my opinion)
    results in a nice functional hood opening tool
    ask around if you don,t have those tools someone will,have them, and you can even do this just fine with a propane torch and an old section of pipe to bend the heated rod in,

    look at the picture of the ecklers tool, its a 1/4" " steel rod with two 90 degree bends, made in the same plane so the handle points exactly where the tip points making indexing , and knowing where the tip of the tool points much easier make one end leg bent at 90 degrees about 1.1"-1.2" long the other about 8" long ,,




    just not all that difficult to fabricate I made my first one from 1/4" it worked, ok but was a bit flimsy,
    5/16 is fine,but it was a little big for easy clearance,and it won,t work on some cars due to clearance issues [/color]if you want to get fancy slip a 1/4"-5/16" WASHER ON THE HANDLE THEN 7" of blue fuel line , THEN A SECOND a 1/4"-5/16" WASHER ON THE HANDLE AND MIG THE WASHERS SOLIDLY IN PLACE

    make one end about 1.1" long the other about 8" long ,yeah, not as nice but 100% as effective for under $7 and 10 minutes work

    IT helps a good deal to have a friend with a C-4 that has a working hood to practice on first ,tell you when your pushing the latch lever as youll be in the doors opening and can,t see it as easily, but once you get the hang of it on a working hood latch yours is a snap

    BTW make the two bends in the exact same plane,so the tool can lie flat it makes judging the tip angle far easier

    instructions for tool use

    BTW drill a 1/4 DRAIN hole in the lower hood latch support bracket and oil/grease the hood release and cable very well, it tends to prevent problems that result from water sitting in the bracket

    once you get the hood open you might want to install emergency hood release cables

    IF YOU HAVE AN EARLIER 1968-82 C3 this video will help

    any good salt water fishing supply can get you the necessary stainless cable/leaders and crimp fittings

    or ... -3852.html

    picture thanks to mikec4c5
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2019
  2. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Suggested Installation Instructions for:
    609-637, 1984-1996 C4 Hood Opening Tool
    1. With the door open, insert the small bent end of the tool between the
    hood and the door hinge pillar, with the tip pointing upward. If the car
    has a hood seal, then insert the tool between the hood and outer edge of
    the seal.
    2. When the tape marker on tool is in line with the corner of the windshield
    molding, turn the tool handle-end 180° (Clockwise for driver’s side of hood
    or counterclockwise for passenger’s side of hood) thus making the bent tip
    of the tool rotate downward between the latch carrier and the latch lever.
    3. To move the latch lever to the open position reverse the handle movement
    described above. This movement will push the lever toward the center of
    the car.
    4. If the hood latch is tight, a slight downward push on the top of the hood
    may be needed while you are turning the hood tool.
    5. If the hood is adjusted low at the rear, it may be necessary to cut 1/4” off
    the tip of the tool to allow clearance to rotate the tool tip into the latch
    OPERATIONAL TIP: Practice opening the hood of the car with no latch problems a few times. First open the hood and align the tool
    tip with the latch lever. Then take note of the alignment of the tape marker on the windshield molding. Then use the tool to push
    the latch lever to get the feel of it. Now close the hood and try opening it by using the above directions ... hoodp1.asp

    BTW I know how I go about it but I,m always willing to learn new tricks or listen to tips you might have learned about so do any of you gentlemen have any good info on how to get the two hood pins lined up with the two hood latches on the car?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2020
  3. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    "I hate to be the grumpy one here, but this should have been a new thread! Here's the way I aligned my hood latches:
    1. Thoroughly clean the old grease off both the hood pins and the latches.
    2. Remove the latch mounting plates and lubricate the latch lever pivots on the bottom of the latch plates. Replace the latch plates.
    3. Pull both of the release levers open all the way, and fasten them in place. Be sure both levers are pulled against the stops.
    4. Apply a light coat of white grease into the cones of the latches. No grease on the hood pins. (White grease is easier to see.)
    5. Lower the hood against the latches, then raise the hood.
    6. Look for areas on the hood pins for grease. If the grease is only in one spot on the hood pin, move the hood pin plate away from the direction of the grease spot.
    7. When the grease is uniform around the hood pin, that's the right location!
    8. Remove the clamps from the release levers. Set the hood down on the latches. Push down on the outside corner of the hood. The latch should snap closed without having to slam the hood down. If the latch does not snap closed easily, you need to lengthen the protrusion of the hood pin. This will require removal of the hood pin mounting plate, so mark the position of the plate carefully so you can return it to the same location. (Or you can repeat the whole process!)
    9. Add more grease to the latches. Check the adjusters on the release cables to be sure they are pulling both of the latches all the way to the stops."

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