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Stuck MGF bonnet 2 months 1 week ago #197085

I’m still in the throes of trying to get the SRS warning light to extinguish on my 1998 MGF. As detailed in another post, I’ve replaced the under-seat connectors, changed the pre-tensioners on both seats and replaced the rotary coupler — the light is still on. That leaves the seatbelt CPU to change. I bought a used unit.

This afternoon, I went to disconnect the battery, before dismantling the central fascia to access the CPU. The bonnet wouldn’t open—no problems before and I lubricated the catch recently. The nipple is still connected at the handle end in the boot. Disconnecting the handle and tugging on the cable using an adjustable Mole wrench and my full 200 lbs (aided by swearing power!) did nothing. I traced the course of the cable along the sill beneath the carpet and tried pulling on the outer in the footwell...nothing.

I’ve scoured forums for advice, reading about accessing the spring and release lever of the catch from beneath the car, using a long-bladed screwdriver. I can see these two parts, but neither looks like it would respond to prodding or being poked sideways; all the same, I’ve ordered a screwdriver with an 18” blade. I’ve also bought a replacement cable.

Prying the edge of the bonnet ajar, I can see the spring and the catch, but they’ve ignored me manipulating and lubricating them.

Old posts on MGF forums, going back to 1996, mention removing the bumper or a headlight to access the catch, but I can’t see how that would help. These posts also fight shy of giving details about how to operate the bonnet catch for reasons of security. Quite frankly, that’s damned silly, as it would require a car thief to be terminally stupid—unless they were in desperate need of a used battery, car jack or jumper cables—which is about all I keep beneath my bonnet.

Any ideas anyone?

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Stuck MGF bonnet 2 months 1 week ago #197090

I don't see how you can remove the bumper and / or headlight without opening the bonnet, I have read how the trick with a screwdriver/pry bar is meant to work but to me it seems very difficult. You will need good eyesight and a good light, the idea apparently (if your lucky) is to lever the catch using the security cover as a fulcrum. The security cover is there to cover this vulnerable area so what the chances are I don't know, the alternative is to bend the cover to make this achievable.
From your post it would seem the cable is toast, secondly from what I've read applying downwards pressure on the catch makes it easier to undo the catch.
So rig up something to whereby you can put a lot of pulling power on the cable if it snaps or pulls the nipple off, so what it was toast anyway. Whilst doing this get someone to apply as much downward pressure on the bonnet (around the catch area) as possible (without damage), bouncing this pressure appears to be more successful.
I'm thinking long lever in the boot (broom handle?) against a block to spread the load you want to be able to easily apply a strong but measured force.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.

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Stuck MGF bonnet 2 months 1 week ago #197105

You can remove the bumper (you do not have to remove the headlights - in fact, this is impossible without the bonnet lid up anyway). You need a narrow set of tools to get to the bolts in the lid jam. I did this the first time when my cable snapped. As I have air-con with a second radiator in the way, I never got the broom handle to work

There are two things you can do in future to avoid this problem:

1. Buy a narrow set of tools so that you can access the bolts in the bonnet jam, ensuring the gap is big enough. There is some adjustment in the bumper to allow you to ensure there is a sufficient gap before you encounter the problem.
2. Attach a second cable that goes back into the rear boot. The end sits there and moves when you use the lever; in the event the existing cable breaks, you have a second good cable to attach to the lever.

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Last edit: Post by julianfoulger.

Stuck MGF bonnet 2 months 1 week ago #197121

As it says on my icon "apprentice MGeer" so bear with me I'm trying to learn.
The bonnet cable problem seems to arise quite a bit and I've been thinking of possible solutions
Is the bonnet cable like a bike cable, with a multi strand core wrapped in a metal spiral covered in plastic? if the answer is no please delete this thread.
Looking at the cable run it is like an extended U with the tops of the U being under the bonnet and boot, this means to me any moisture will migrate to the lowest point, the floor of the car. To me it then follows that this area is the most likely for corrosion and where it may bind or seize, so is it possible to access the cable near the A post where it presumably rises?.
I'm thinking chop the cable remove some of the plastic and unwind enough of the metal spiral to get a purchase on the inner and pull, hopefully the higher end will have less corrosion and the shorter cable will suffer less frictional losses.
Has anybody whose changed their cable pulled the inner on the old one and inspected it because their observations may well disprove my theory.

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Last edit: Post by talkingcars.

Stuck MGF bonnet 2 months 1 week ago #197122

deepfat can agree with your thoughts, have been looking at this issue to see if my cable is in good order but is very difficult. Solution could be to run a second cable as you suggest alternative would be to install a shorter cable and lever near the A post which should reduce the frictional load. Presume the original idea was to locate in the boot as a security issue as opposed to being in the cabin.
Years ago I had a cable lubricator you fastened one end of a tubular chamber around the outer sheath with a compressed rubber grommet you then filled the chamber with a thin oil then applied air pressure at the other end to force the oil through

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Stuck MGF bonnet 2 months 1 week ago #197123

I think the problem is that the cable corrodes right at the latch.

I have made up a short cable that connects to the latch and then hangs down the the left of the radiator.
95 MGF
The following user(s) said Thank You: mnripley

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Stuck MGF bonnet 2 months 1 week ago #197126

mowog is that left from the front or the back? as I could do with a new battery
Seriously that sounds like a good idea, what cable did you use and did you attach it to the same point as the regular one.
A photo they say is worth a thousand words, any chance?
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Re:Stuck MGF bonnet 2 months 1 week ago #197129

I did the same as mowog as I noticed the bonnet release cable was get quite tight, on investigation it had rusted quit badly at the latch end and was beginning to fray, I replaced the cable and made an emergency cable from a good section of the old, I attached the emergency one beneath the loop of the new one and added a cable tie to hold them both in position a sort of belt and braces approach, the loose end of the emergency cable I tied down to the chassis rail again with cable ties, all I have to do then is reach under the front bumper while laying on the ground feel for the the cable and a sharp pull and the bonnet opens, well worth the effort in case of a cable break.

Sent from my SM-G981B using Tapatalk
The following user(s) said Thank You: deepfat, mnripley

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Re:Stuck MGF bonnet 2 months 1 week ago #197136

My set-up is similar to Steve's. If you are in front of the car, it hangs down to the left and is hidden by the bumper.

I made these cable myself and are on both of our cars and on a number of friend's Fs. They do require a good pull in order to unlatch the bonnet but they do work.

I have a enough cable left that I could make a few more if anyone is interested, there would be a small cost involved, mainly to cover shipping from Canada.

95 MGF

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Last edit: Post by mowog73.
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