Bonnet opening issue

On my 1970 Series 2 FHC the bonnet is very difficult to open. The locks on each side release the bonnet fine but the bonnet doesn’t move up at all so there is not a gap between the bonnet and the front scuttle ( if that is the correct term for the part of the body in front of the windscreen) you can get your hands under in order to lift it enough to release the centre safety catch. Lifting the bonnet on its centreline by grabbing hold of the vent is beyond my reach and strength. There is no spring which lifts the bonnet a little when you release the locks. The only way I can get the bonnet open in order to operate the safety catch is to use a screw driver to lever the bonnet up but that risks damaging the bonnet and/or the front scuttle. Any suggestions would be appreciated .


As yours is a 1970 I think it should have a (easy to replace) gas strut on the LH side in the front. Missing? Tired?

Replace that and it may solve this.

My Ser 3 (1972 V12) recently had a similar issue after a professional repair of a small dent in the bonnet, turned out to be the safety catch entering the bracket (on the firewall) too far!

Removed and bent them a bit back to original shape and adjusted so the catch just and just engages when pushed close. Now it works perfectly again.


Lift the bonnet at the wheel well after unlocking the two door latches… It will catch at the safety latch after coming up an inch. I do this all the time, especially after weeks of being closed.
But heavens, no screwdriver! My 1970 does have a strut under the nose helping to lift the bonnet fully, but is no help in “popping” it up.


That’s a good one. Only think you may sometimes get your hand a bit dirty. :slight_smile:

I’ll see how mine settles and make a video if I think it would help.


Clean hands are for Lexus people. :blush:


The question is what is stopping it from popping up? Normally, the seal helps, the springs/gas strut help. Even the rubber buffers on the two locating pins should help some. I’ve never seen one that would just sit flat, all the way down, without some weight on it. Something must be rubbing/binding somewhere to keep it down there.

Perhaps there is some adjustment needed - but mine performs similarly.

My '69 has springs and pops up a bit when released but the '71 with a strut just lies there and is actually a bit heavy to lift at first… then the strut takes over and it lifts on its own and is held up much more firmly than the one with the springs.

Thanks for all the input. I agree that when the car was new the bonnet must have popped up a little due to a combination of (a) the rubber rear seal expanding (b) the rubber locating pins relaxing and (c) the gas strut . Personally I doubt that a new gas strut will help as with the bonnet down the strut has no leverage to push the bonnet up. The rubber locating pins are pretty incompressible. I fitted a new rear seal and it certainly doesn’t have enough “spring back” to lift the heavy bonnet. Lifting by hand at the wheel wells ensure that the bonnet will not be damaged but, my God, the bonnet is heavy and the distance from the wheel wells to the front bonnet hinge is too short to give a good mechanical advantage. But I will try this method and if I don’t have the strength I will lift from the bottom edge of the bonnet near where the locating pins are which will give good mechanical advantage.

One other thought Stuart, does your bonnet have the chrome bumpers attached? They would add a lot of weight to the front end and assist in the raising of your bonnet. I am really surprised it is so heavy that it rests on the rear rubber seal and does not raise enough to get a good grip on it. Definately replace the gas strut, I think yours is worn out.

Could it be that you have a lot of friction in your hinge pivot points? After you can release the latch, does it pivot easily upwards?

I have a Series 1, so things might be different, but the rubber bumpers don’t materially add to the releasing action. I didn’t know the car was supposed to come with them, so I never had any until a couple months ago. :slight_smile: I never had an issue with it not popping up enough to get to the latch.

I would think there should be some natural tendency for the bonnet to pivot upwards once the main latches are released - if not, it might be worth investigating the root cause.


Len - If I drive my '71 on Monday I can demonstrate exactly what the gas strut can and cannot do.

The strut on mine is plenty strong - almost too strong (Woodhead brand, possibly original) but with the bonnet closed is has no immediate effect. In that regard it is very different from the springs which are trying to lift the bonnet right away.

When everything is hooked up, the bonnet in my ‘68 pops up as it should. I currently have the bonnet springs disconnected so I can open up the bonnet further. I have closed the bonnet with the springs disconnected and it does not pop up, so I can only assume the springs help with that. I can’t really comment on the gas strut style.

Well I tried the suggestion of lifting at the wheel well and it works!. So this method will do for now. At some point in the future I will get a new gas strut to see if that helps but as I said before with the bonnet closed the distance from where the strut is connected to the bonnet and where the bonnet pivots doesn’t offer a lot of leverage.

As Rob says above. I’ve never had the bonnet springs hooked up in 35 years. They don’t allow the hood to open far enough to do anything except check the oil. The hood has been dead weight for 35 years. Just grap the wheelwell in your left hand and unhook the catch with your right. I had a stick in my garage which I placed crosswise and it held it up higher so I could really look at my beauty. Enjoy your car.