XJ8 hood (bonnet) release

Hodd (bonnet) release cable broke. Does anyone know how I can get the hood open so I can replace the cable?

Hi Harry, I’m not sure but you may need to identify what series XJ you have, others will be more knowledgeable than I am.

On the Series IIIs, at least, there’s a little hole in the fender well, beneath the hood latch area, to access the latch.

I think you can reach up and trigger the latch with needles nose pliers or something?

Foggy memory disclosure aplies



Access is a small port just over the front wheel

Locate the holes in the wheel wells as described by others, Harry - they are usually covered by rubber bungs…

Remove the bungs and prod upwards with a long screwdriver - the point is to push the locking plate away from the indent in the striker pin. You likely need to do it on both sides, popping one, then the other. It is so much easier if you are familiar with the set-up - otherwise it is a bit of fumbling around…:slight_smile:

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

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All series XJs have the holes. No matter what year.
Access is from the wheel well, push the latch open with screwdriver after removing grommet. You will need to push it towards the rear just like the cable would pull and it should unlatch.

To be more specific, we have a 2004 XJ8 X350 series Jag. The hood is hinged at the rear, opening from the front. would this info help?

This helps us, but it doesn’t help you. You don’t have a series (1-3) XJ, and yours is much different. I‘ll move this thread to the right forum (you don’t have to do anything) and good luck.

My X308 had this trouble in May. I was en route to the Foundation and after 5-600 miles arrived to find they had a TSB on where to make 1” holes.X300 latches are similar but not identical. Rear hinge X350 may be too recent for them but you could try Googling www.coventryfoundation.org

Thanks for your reply, Frank. I’ll take a look at this area.

Thanks, David, I appreciate it.

Thanks for the reply, Peter. Where did you drill the holes?

Thanks for the reply, Doug. I’ll check it out.

What can I say Harry without me showing you my car with the wheelarch liner removed?

“About there…”

I did write about it in the forthcoming Nov/Dec issue of Jaguar Journal and you can buy individual copies even if your not a JCNA member. In fact anyone will soon be able to get it anywhere, in electronic form from an E Publisher called Zinio.

It’s at the printers for the moment but should be available first week November. Try jcna.com and click on merchandise/jcnapublications and scroll down to current issue. About $5-6 IIRC. Make sure you ask for the Nov/Dec issue.

Assuming that will be a bit late if you need to get under the hood, call the Foundation as suggested and someone may dig out the TSB for you.


Thanks for the info, Pete. I’ll follow up on your suggestions.

I had a customer that missed the latch by a LONG WAY!!!(RH bonnet cable dislodged from latch)

He drilled a hole from the wheel arch and ran a 12" drill bit through the ECM in the ‘coolbox’ enclosure. The engine ran but had so many faults that he called me to open the bonnet and find the problem.

I drilled the hole in the correct position and released the RH latch.

Luckily I had a spare ECM for his car and performed the IMMO-SETUP.

Be sure to drill in the right place.

Yes Bob, , even with the TSB you come out very close to a harness. We were thinking of undoing the hinges from behind the front grille and lifting the front enough to reach the latches. Ever tried that Bob?, I bet the cable didin’t snap. In my case the passenger side nipple came out of the lever slot when a small plastic sleeve split. Then because it was slack, the drive side came out too. I squeezed the slots closed to prevent it ever jumping out again.

As with the OPd

I never unbolted anything, I just went over to another car to see from the engine compartment where to drill the hole for best advantage.

Two of my three XJ8s have had to have the hole drilled on the RH side for access to the latch from the wheel arch.

Not hard to ‘eyeball’ the place to drill when you have another car to examine.

Wheel arch liner covers the drilled hole anyway when the bonnet is finally opened.

I too ‘squeeze’ the slotted tab to prevent future occurrence.

We only had an X300 for reference and the latches were different, so I was glad the Foundation had the TSB.

I took it to a Jag specialist today. I’ll let you all know what he had to do to get the damn thing fixed. Thanks for all your replies, much appreciated.