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MG MGF Technical - Bonnet release has failed..... help please??

I went to pop the bonnet to top up my water..... (screen dirty and no water left).... i pulled the handle and nothing seems to happen. It pulls back and that's about it. It doesn't seems as if it is catching on anything!!!!....... has anyone had such problems or does anyone know how the cable is fed through to the front so I can check it's route????..... Meanwhile as a temporary measure to get some water into the bottle... is there any other way to pop the bonnet???

Your help will be gratefully appreciated.

Neil
N844 XBU
Neil

Uh oh.

I am not familiar with a solution to this problem :o(

The cable run can be accessed inside the car, but it is tricky. Might be best to ask a specialist or MGR garage to look at it for you.

No consolation, but the last appearances of the original red version of the MGF supersport were slightly marred by an excessively high ride height. The increased height was required to get the car onto the transporter, and was usually lowered when it got to the display location for that sexy 'wheel filling wheel arch' look. So why the excessively high ride height? The bonnet release cable had snapped. So if these Rover guys didn't know how to open the bonnet without the cable or damaging the car, then I do not know what the solution is. :o(
Rob Bell

Looks like I'm in a right pickle!!!!........ I don't really fancy taking it to my local MGR dealer as they will probably want strip the whole car down and put it back together, then charge me 2000 and the problem still won't be fixed!!!!!!!!!!!! (haven't had a very good experience with them!!!!)............. I can't be the only one out there that has had this problem??? or am I ?????..........

Rob - would the cables run under the cubby box???... i just want to determine what end it is not working??....

Cheers
Neil
Neil

I am not 100% confident as to where the cable runs through the car Neil; one of those things, I've never had care to look.

However, someone here with access to a workshop manual should be able to help.

Rob Bell

The bonnet release cable runs:-

From boot through engine firewall into cabin down to floor level and along by the drivers door through front bulkhead and up on to the off side wing along to the front of the car to the catch.

Two possibilities:-

Cable has broken - unlikely

Cable has pulled out of the clasp at one or tother end.

If it is the boot end then you should be able to grasp the cable with a pair of grips and pull to open bonnet.

If it is the bonnet end than I should leave it to an expert.

Ted
Ted Newman

Neil,

The workshop manual shows the cable running down the drivers side of the car under the carpet following the line of the door i.e. from the boot pull handle through the boot bulkhead, down the rear line of the door to the floor, along the bottom line of the door and then up the front line of the door towards the scuttle, passing through into the bonnet area and running down the driver's side wing before turning left somewhere under the headlight assembly (which the manual says you have to remove to replace the cable) and then arriving at the bonnet catch.

Since you can see the boot handle end and determine if the cable is OK there, then the only alternative is the bonnet end coming adrift -- but you can't access that! So, there must be some trick to getting bonnet access.

Access to the bonnet locking platform (for replacement) requires the front bumper to be removed. Whilst the manual shows the removal of nuts and bolts which are only accessible from inside the bonnet to complete this task, it might be that you can reach the bonnet latch with just the bumper removed. Worth a try.
HTH

Dave
Dave

Cheers for the info guys......

How can i access the cable that runs by the drivers door???... is it under the seals???
is there no way of releasing the catch from under the car??

Cheers
Neil
Neil

Dave - Cheers for the info....... If there are nuts and bolts on the inside of the bonnet to remove the bumper............ how do i remove the bumper???
Neil

Neil

I've had this problem - I think the cable may have stretched in my case. I released the bonnet by undoing the handle in the boot and just pulling the cable. Having opened the bonnet I then spent half an hour adjusting the bonnet catch. If memory serves me right there are also two or three positions for the cable in the boot handle.

Ralph
Ralph

Ralph - does the handle in the boot just screw off?? and did you just pull it with a pair of pliers??

Cheers
Neil
N844 XBU
Neil

Neil,

Sorry - poor english. The non-accessible bolts I referred to are for the bonnet locking platform. The bumber is easily removed. Two main bolts visible after popping out the indicator lenses and then several screws around wheel arch and under wheel arch liner. There are full instructions on Rob Bell's website http://www.mgf.4mg.com/ under MGF DIY.

Dave
Dave

The instructions, written by Scarlet Fever are found as Dave suggests, under the DIY section, discussing the replacement of the grilles.

UNFORTUNATELY there are three screws to be removed to release the bumper- and the heads of these are on the bonnet shut panel :o(

It sounds as though Ralph's suggestion is the best bet in the first instance. If you end up withdrawing the cable without resistance, then you'll be forced to try and release the bonnet catch- possibly by manovering the bumper having released the screws in the wheel arch and the main retaining bolts behind the front repeater lamps.

Good luck Neil!
Rob Bell

Seems like i'm in a bit of trouble if Ralph's suggestion doesn't work!!!!.....

Rob - How much movement do you think you would get from the bumper with all the screws removed apart from the ones under the bonnet???

Neil
Neil

Oops. forgot the three nuts under the bonnet - thanks for correction Rob - sorry Neil - out of ideas.

Dave
Dave

Not enough I am affraid Neil. Thinking about it I am not sure that removing the bumper would help that much- doesn't the bonnet locking platform go into an enclosed boxed section Dave?

IF the cable has snapped (let us hope that it hasn't, and Ralph's suggestion works), the best hope to open the bonnet is to access the cable after the break- assuming that it hasn't become detached from the bonnet locking latch. I presume that the cable is accessible from the driver's side wheel arch?

I am not sure how to 'attack' the bonnet latch itself. For obvious security issues, the latch will have been made resistant to outside tampering. The wokshop manual may give some other clues as to ways that it could be accessed?
Rob Bell

Seems like this is gonna be trouble........ maybe a crowbar and new bonnet.... ;0)
Lets presume that it has come loose from the latch>...... how in fact does it works itself loose???........ if it has snapped and i can 'attack' it before the break, where abouts under the wheel arch would it be???.... or is it easier to get at it as it runs past th drivers door???

Cheers
Neil
Neil

Ask the AA, they usually know any tricky solutions to problems like this

brianh

Someone may be able to fax you the relevant page Neil...
Rob Bell

Neil

Just about every car made has a Bowden type cable to operate the bonnet latch AND as Bowden cables are prone to break, pull off their nipples or come undone then every car made will have a 'mechanics way in' I know for a fact that my last Jaguar had this as I had to use it.

Now I am sure that the MGF will be no different but for SECURITY reasons it is not something that should be declared on an open forum!

However I will check the workshop manual tonight, and even the car and let you know tomorrow if I discover anything - then you can let me have your e-mail address and I will tell you what I have diecovered.

Ted
Ted Newman

Rob - Unfortunately I finish work today and I don't have a fax at home.

Ted - Thanks for the offer, my home e-mail address is nricks@virgin.net
I'm with the RAC so i'll give them a call tonight to see if there is a way.

Cheers
Neil
Neil

UPDATE!!!. spoke to MGR and they said it was really difficult and wanted to charge me an hours labour.........!!!!! phoned MG Owners club technical line......... and they gave me a way using a long screwdriver (about 15") and a whole lot of patience!!!!!..........

I'll let you know how i get on and how much of my patience i lose!!!!!

Neil
N844 XBU
Neil

>>phoned MG Owners club technical line<<

I wonder if our own Roger Parker is 'on-call' today?
Rob Bell

Neil

When this happened to me, the cable had come off at the front end.

I opened the bonnet in the end as follows;
1) raised front of car of ground to allow easy access underneath.

2) Using a long screwdriver, reach up in front of the radiator and pull the bonnet catch sideways, (can't remember which way, but it's obvious if you use a light). You have to pull really hard and you'll probably find the screwdriver slips off frequently. It took me about two hours and that was in the summer months. I also took off the lower radiator grille, but I couldn't apply enough force that way.

The problem in my case was that the cable was a little too long, so I got into the habit of pushing in the handle in the boot and eventually the nipple came out of its socket.

Good luck.

Chris
Chris

Cheers Chris, It's good to know that
a) this is possible
b) It would be very difficult for a theif who didn't have access to my keys!
Will

Neil

Sorry for the delay in the response - had to do some work!

I removed the two bolts that hold the handle's mounting plate onto the bulkhead and then just yanked the handle unit backwards.

I've also remembered now that it isn't the handle that has several positions for the cable. Instead the outer casing of the cable has several ridges that slot into the handle's mounting plate. By moving the cable casing backwards (or forwards, depending on your point of view) you can take up some of the slack.

Ralph
Ralph

>When this happened to me, the cable had come off at the front end.

The same happened to my F with a couple of months of picking it up. Naturally in my case this was sorted under warranty and if memory serves me correctly the technician (as suggested here) used a long screw driver to release the bonnet catch from below.
Paul Lathwell

I'm not sure I see such a big problem here. Do you have the early rad or the later more forward rad?.. if it's the later one then meybe there's a problem. If your car's pre 77 then crawl under and reach your hand up to the bonnet release deally and push it over. You might have a harder time doing this on the later cars, because the rad is in the way. In that case though, you might be able to get in there with a long flat-head screwdriver and poke the thing to the side and that'll pop the bonnet open. Good luck!
David Ryzuk

Oops... thought I clicked on the B board...cheers
David Ryzuk

Chris - I tried today but the only latch there is, is the one you use to release the bonnet after it has been popped.... there seems to be some sort of cover over the mechanism.... how did you get about this???

Cheers
Neil
Neil

Has anyone thought of installing a backup release? The Fiat X1/9 has one which was accessed from the engine cover to open the rear boot. The main release for it was in the passenger side door pillar below the door catch.

Perhaps fitted so as to be accessible from under the car at the front??

I know this would slightly compromise the security but in any case the alarm would be activated when the bonnet is opened.

ER
Ewan Ramage

>>>Owners club technical line......... and they gave me a way using a long screwdriver (about 15") and a whole lot of patience!!!!!..........<<<

Yes I did!!!

If you look up through the gap in front of the rad, from under the car, the plate you see covering the workings does't quite cover all. Between the plate and the rad you can just see the anchor point for the outer cable and the peg and cable ring where the inner cable attaches. There is but a mm or so to work with and this is where the 'patience' comes in, along with the stout screwdriver of similar lever. There is just enough room to contact and move the inner cable end, the one which is the one nearer the left side of the car, towards the right side of the car.

Remember the point I made about a helper gently pressing on the bonnet and releasing. You need the bonnet lock spring compressed when your trying to move the lever, so as to reduce the resiatance to moving it, and then the spring pressure to pop the bonnet up when you have the lever moved.

When I have done it I have had the benefit of a warm workshop and ramp!!

Rog
Roger Parker

Dear Neil

I also had this problem ! What I done was to get someone too hold open the bonnet release lever and then I just stuck my finger gently under the bonnet lid near the headlamp (slight upward preasure)and the bonnet just opened like "normal".
This I know does not fix the problem but I have greased the release spring on the bonnet lid catch and am waiting to see if this works, so far so good.
This may need adjusting in the future?

Jonathan
J Lee

It may help if you look at another MGF with the bonnet open to see the position of the various catches and releases. When the release cable broke on my Montego some years back I was unable to release the bonnet. I looked at my other Montego to see what was involved and using a long metal strip, was able to slide the mechanism and release the main spring safety catch. Yes it does help to have someone press and lift the bonnet whilst you try to release the catch.

Where you know the release cable is intact, then as J Lee suggests someone holding the release lever fully back whilst you lift and push the bonnet sometimes will do the trick too!
John McFeely

Pulling on the lever, or the cable direct from the rear will see some movement of the release arm, but only if it is the outer cable anchor that has been lost. If, as is more common, the inner cable ring has disconnected from the release lever then this unfortunately has absolutely no effect.

Rog
Roger Parker

Having trouble with bonnet cable, that has come off under bonnet and broken. Thanks for all reports i have read, now to go and try the tricky part. will let you know how i get on thank you.
s tempest

This thread was discussed between 18/12/2001 and 08/02/2013

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