XJS Hood Release

Just purchased a '94 XJS 6 cylinder from a friend that had the vehicle since '97. She rarely drove it and it has 74,000 miles. She put just 200 miles on it in the last 2 years. When attempting to open the Bonnet (hood) we realized that it won’t open. The handle on the lower left side moved and the cable also pulled but didnt open the hood. She suggested i get some pliers and attempt to pull the cable that way to open the hood. The cable came out, hood didnt open. Now i cant change the oil or do anything. How do i get the hood open?

Years since I owned my XJ-S but I am going to take a shot at this.
( if the hood mechanism is the same as the early V-12 models)
Remove grill.
Remove bolts that attach hood to hood hinges.
Slide hood forward to release hood latch pins.
Remove / open hood ( you will need a second person for this part)
Good luck

Thanks Bernard. I have an appointment with an Import mechanic on Tuesday and will pass this to him. Does anyone else have an input? I am open to any or all comments!!

Welcome to JL, first off.
Second, if you’d like to keep this car, you’ll need to learn how to search the archives.

Opening the hood on the facelift cars (93-96) has been covered many times in the past and is an “invasive” process. Here:

Good luck.


For clarification: On the “earlier” cars, pre-facelift and possibly even some post-facelift, the hood latches are little hooked things that grab little bars attached to the underside of the hood. If the release cable breaks, you can sometimes disconnect the hood at the hinge end and slide it forward to disengage those little bars from the hooks. On this type of hood, you cannot slam it to close it; you gently close it and then manipulate the lever inside the driver’s side door to pull the hood completely shut.

But for the last year or two of production, Jaguar completely changed that hood latch scheme. They went to a pin in a receptacle type more typical of Fords or other cars, the type of latch that you slam shut to close. If that’s what the car in question has, I don’t believe disconnected it at the hinge end will help. That’s where you get into the “invasive” technique described above.

all I would add is regardless of which type latch, don’t slam.
On older latching system gently close bonnet. Then lock as Kirby describes…
On newer latch system gently close bonnet and then push down on the bonnet by placing hand above the latching area and press downward. You can hear and feel it latch. repeat the “push down” on opposite side… on my car I have to do driver side first and the right side.

That’s why we have the DO NOT SLAM warning decals at the base of the windshield wiper plenum area. :no_entry_sign: :roll_eyes:

Kilbert, mine is a '94 so with your input above, the only way to get the hood/bonnet off is to disconnect the hinges and hopefully slide the hood off of the locks. Correct? I will have to tell my mechanic that on Tuesday.

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I dunno which type latch the '94 has. Perhaps someone else can help here.

Post #4 shows it on a 1996. The facelifts are the same and DIFFERENT from the early XJS.
The photo album with the captions shows exactly what needs to be done.

Great, but that series of pictures depicts the pre-facelift latch!

my coupe is a 93, MY 94 (what is sometime called 93.5), and it still has the old loks

only cars I’ve seen with the newer design were 95 ou 96, I think the change occurred with MY 95, so a 94 car could have both

My 6.0ltr 2+2 convertible was 1st registered in August 1993, MY 94 (what is sometime called 93.5), and it too still has the old locks. I have a pair of the new style locks which I never got round to fitting to my car because I never found the appropriate bonnet/hood release catch to to in the footwell - it’s quite different from the catch that locks the bonnet/hood down with the old style locks.

What I have on my 1992 is the pull to latch mechanism. It’s elegant, and way better than any slam or push to shut system. Why would they change to something so shonky in the later years?

I’ve suffered the slam system on XJs S1 - S3. My dad’s S1 had to have a new bonnet fitted after a shunt, it was never the same. No amount of fiddling with hinges or latches would get it to sit right. Too much strain on the latches eventually ripped them out of the bonnet - an interesting experience at +90mph on the M1. We tried a couple of welded repairs but they didn’t hold. Eventually we went for race style chrome bonnet fasteners with external clip pins. Not very Jaguar, but looked bitchin’ to a drag race loving teenager in the 1970s.

The car in the pictures is a facelift. Did you see the hood?

Perhaps I don’t understand “old” vs “new”

This is the “old” (prior to 1993)

This is the “new” (1994-1996)


Yes, the factory latches/locks on my car are the ‘old’ type. I bought a pair of the ‘new’ type intending to fit them to my car but I never got round to obtaining the ‘new’ type of release handle (as opposed to ‘old’ type of locking handle).


Neither of those is the type latch I recall seeing on a '95 or '96. It was decades ago, though, so perhaps my memory is failing me.

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Maybe b/c us naive Americans were slamming them down anyway? I think Palmdude kinda hinted at that reason in his post … :thinking:

Well Kirbert, i guess I will find out which type latch the '94 has…if (and thats a big IF) my mechanic can get the bonnet off of the car without screwing it up.