[xk] 140 FHC can't open bonnet, release not working

I searched forums, but didn’t find what to do when you can’t open
the bonnet when the release doesn’t work. Worked on release &
thought everything was working as I thought it should, but when I
closed the bonnet, the release didn’t release completely. Probably
and adjustment problem, but you can’t adjust it with the bonnet
closed. The cable retracts, and the mechanism looks like it should
release, but it doesnt. Tried pushing or moving Bonnet sideways,
but it is frimly locked in. I cannot find a way to open the
bonnet. Any suggestions?–
Larry Philyaw
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In reply to a message from apache2003p sent Wed 22 Jul 2015:

If it is like the XK120, you can reach underneath and move
the mechanism with your thumb to open it.–
XK120 FHC, Mark V saloon, XJ12L Series II, S-Type 3.0
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In reply to a message from Rob Reilly sent Wed 22 Jul 2015:

Thanks, but apparently different. No way to do anything from the
bottom, top or side, that I can see.–
Larry Philyaw
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There hasn’t been a bonnet release cable on my XK120 in the 42 years that
I’ve owned it, and I have no idea how long it had been removed before I
bought the car.

Mike Eck
New Jersey, USA

'51 XK120 OTS, '62 3.8 MK2 MOD, '72 SIII E-Type 2+2>

If it is like the XK120, you can reach underneath and move
the mechanism with your thumb to open it.

XK120 FHC, Mark V saloon, XJ12L Series II, S-Type 3.0

In reply to a message from apache2003p sent Wed 22 Jul 2015:

On my 140 roadster you can reach under front valance to
the release mechanism and push the lever , which is
connected to bonnet pull, to the left. This should release
the bonnet–
Robbiedog
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How about two people on the job. One to pull the knob while the other
wiggles and shakes. The bonnet, that is.

Gene McGough----- Original Message -----
From: “Mike Eck” mikeeck@optonline.net
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 9:20 PM

There hasn’t been a bonnet release cable on my XK120 in the 42 years that
I’ve owned it, and I have no idea how long it had been removed before I
bought the car.

Mike Eck
New Jersey, USA
www.jaguarclock.com
'51 XK120 OTS, '62 3.8 MK2 MOD, '72 SIII E-Type 2+2

If it is like the XK120, you can reach underneath and move
the mechanism with your thumb to open it.

XK120 FHC, Mark V saloon, XJ12L Series II, S-Type 3.0

In reply to a message from apache2003p sent Wed 22 Jul 2015:

Hi Larry,

Is your release cable working - that is can you tell if it
moves the catch back? If not you might be able to move the
catch manually from under the car. On my 140 FHC there is a
1’’ gap between the forward-most part of the frame and the
sheet metal below the grille. I can put a screwdriver up
through that gap and move the lever on the catch assembly to
release the striker.

If the cable is working and the hood is stuck, then I
suspect the striker is hung up on the edge of the catch
assembly. Like you said, an adjustment problem.

Here are a couple of suggestions:

Looking up at an angle through that 1’’ gap between the frame
and the sheet metal you should be able to see the tip of the
striker in the catch assembly. Have someone hold the
release all the way back, and then use a screwdriver or a
dowel to try to move the striker to free it from the edge of
the catch assembly.

Loosen the 4 bolts that hold the catch assembly to the
frame. Not an easy job with the bonnet closed, but it looks
like all the bolts accessible through that 1’’ gap. With
those bolts loose, you might be able to move the catch
assembly and free the striker.

Good luck,
SBell–
SBell
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Hello all,

I am “reviving” this old conversation in the hope that someone wiser than I can help me understand how to properly align the bonnet catch assembly on my XK140 OTS. Basically everything was working fine. Whenever I pulled the cable release, the bonnet popped up and was held by the “catch”. Releasing the catch and the bonnet was easily opened. When closed the bonnet remained tight and has never been found released when returning from a drive. Life was good.

But about three weeks ago, after returning from a short drive, I pulled the cable release and nothing happened. I checked and the cable was still attached and working. I reached under the front bumper and manually pulled the release and still nothing. The bonnet remained nice and tight and nothing I tried would get it to loosen up or release. Fortunately my striker pin has a slot cut in the top that enabled me to reach in between the grill with a large screwdriver and screw it down and out of the mount. That was the only way to get it open.

So I’ve spent the past three weeks trying to get it to work without success. No matter where I place the two movable parts of the catch assembly (the guide plate and the release mechanism) nothing works. Only benefit of this frustrating exercise has been that I’m getting really, really good at releasing it with that large screwdriver.

Looking as much as I can through the small space provided, I can see that the edge of the striker pin is aligned more toward the back of the release mechanism and seems to be caught by part of the release catch but no matter how I move it and the guide plate I can’t seem to find that sweet spot where it will release. The holes for the three screws that hold the assembly together are slotted but only horizontally so I can’t move it towards the back.

And of course…it was working fine for two years…and now suddenly it’s not.

I’d greatly appreciate any and all suggestions, ideas, and guidance on how to solve this issue!

Thanks!
Chet

Do you see one of these under there? Push there.

IMG_20211105_163114804

Like Mike, I went without a cable for many years, and now that I have one on the car I don’t use it half the time.

One trick I used on my 150 was to triple fold a pad of aluminum foil and fold it around the receiver. Slowly lower the bonnet until the pin hits the foil. That’s how you center it. Lubricate the mechanism and work by hand to ensure it moves freely.

1 Like

I had a similar problem that turned out to be a stretched cable. I shor5tened it by a quarter inch and it worked well.

Good suggestion about the tin foil. I’ll give that a try. Thanks everyone!

Yes and don’t forget to check the cable as one other suggested. Should be simple with one person pulling the release and another making sure the lock fully opens.

Just to add to my confusion, I ordered a new striker pin and spring from SNG Barratt to try. It’s way longer than the one in my car. So now I’m wondering whether the one I have is the correct one for my 1956 XK140 OTS or is the one from Barratt correct?

Here’s a picture…old one on the left and new one on the right…

Chet

To locate the pin position I put masking tape over the receiver hole and a bit of slow drying red (or any color) paint on the tip of the pin and lower the bonnet until the pin just touches the tape.
Alan

The catch is not releasing fully both manually and with the cable. I removed the entire assembly today.(PITA!) and it looks like a PO had welded a rod to the catch to be able to reach underneath and operate it manually. It’s attached to that small hole that Rob drew a red arrow to in the picture he posted. However that rod looks like it is bent slightly and it hits the body work when the catch is operated. I think that is what is preventing the catch from opening fully.

Hopefully that’s my issue. To be continued…

Chet

Turns out that welded rod was the culprit. It prevented the catch from opening fully.
Not idea why it was working for a long time…and then suddenly wasn’t.

I installed a replacement catch assembly today (with no rod) and now everything works fine.

Here’s a picture of the offending item :grinning:

Chet

Is it just me, or is that rod slightly bent out by the end?

Maybe the PO had issues opening the bonnet and “fixed it” by adding that piece. Then the piece eventually bent.

So it looks like that rod was the DPOs method of opening the bonnet without the use of the cable and inside handle.

Basically that rod was slightly bent but it was also too thick so that the entire rod was hitting the inside of the striker mounting assembly when the catch was only about 90 percent open. I’m guessing that it still opened if the pin was aligned just right…and a slight misalignment (which I’m guessing happened to me) resulted in it being stuck because of that remaining 10 percent. To finish the job I’m planning on attaching a cable to that hole that I can reach (and hide) as a backup in case the main cable were to break.

Just another adventure in ownership of a classic Jaguar!