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Discussion Starter #1
I am replacing my hood latch and looking for some tips on aligning it. With the new latch in place, even pushed up as high as it goes I cannot get it to engage with the hood plate. Eveything appears to be lining up correctly. Any tips?
 

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Just for what it is worth. If you are fooling around with the Spider hood latch, do yourself a favor and add a temporary emergency release cord to the factory release. Run it out to the hood opening and let it hang out over the drivers fender. It can be good quality 1/8 nylon twine. It is not too uncommon to get the release mechanism and the latch pin mal adjusted so that you can latch the hood but then the release inside the ****pit will not release the hood. Then you are really stuck because any adustment of the release cable is inside the engine compartment (which you now cannot get into because the release will not work).
Having a standby release cable hanging over the drivers fender will save you this quandry. After you get the hood back open via the nylon cord, you can get the release corrected and then remove the emergency cable release.

I have been intending to add a permanent emergency release cable (wire type) which would have a release handle under the drivers front fender. This will probably end up being a would have - should have done project.

Robert
 

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I am replacing my hood latch and looking for some tips on aligning it. With the new latch in place, even pushed up as high as it goes I cannot get it to engage with the hood plate.
Why are you replacing the hood latch? Did it work OK at some point in the recent past?

Are you replacing the upper piece that mounts on the hood, the lower part that mounts on the firewall, or ...?

Does your upper piece have both pieces of spring wire intact?

Is the coil spring working on the lower piece? That is, does the peg snap back to the latched position when you release the lever under the dash?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Replacing the latch because the lower spring on the old latch seems to have sprung. As a result the bayonet won't stay straight. Prior to this the latch worked fine when I got the car (about 8 months ago) and seem to slowly have degraded (harder to latch) until the it finally would no longer latch. Picture is of the new latch installed. (and I don't know why the picture loaded upside down).

Looked into just replacing the lower spring on the old latch, but found a replacement latch pretty easily.

The plate on the hood looks fine - both wires are in place. Some surface rust. It looks like it is lining up with the bayonet.

With the latch in place the cable seems to turn the bayonet properly.

Looking into the idea of rigging a back-up system. Not sure where to tie the back-up cord to the latch - what have others done?
 

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Replacing the latch because the lower spring on the old latch seems to have sprung. As a result the bayonet won't stay straight.
OK, thanks for answering my questions. Here are a few more:

- How do the old and new latches compare dimensionally? Does the pin on the new latch extend up as far as the one on the old? Is the bracket shaped the same?

- What happens when you substitute the old coil spring (the one that surrounds the pin that twists on these latches) for the one that came with your new latch? Is it possible the new spring is too long and/or binds as it gets compressed?

- Those two, black plastic hood stops that contact the underside of the hood on its back edge: are they screwed out too far, preventing the hood from dropping down enough to latch?

- As a brute force fix, what if you put washers between the latch plate and the hood to drop the plate down further? Would that make it latch? In other words, is the pin on the latch just not extending deeply enough into the plate to catch the two wires?

The plate on the hood looks fine - both wires are in place.
OK, I understand that it looks fine. Go a step further and probe the wires with a screwdriver. Are you sure that one isn't broken and just sitting in there?

the latch worked fine when I got the car (about 8 months ago) and seem to slowly have degraded (harder to latch) until the it finally would no longer latch
I'll bet there is a clue about your current problem buried in the issue described above.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Alfajay - good suggestions.

The plate looks good - checked the wires as suggested, no issues noted.

I'm reluctant to mess with the hood alignment. Prior to this the hood fitted nicely to the panels and changing this will inevitably cause some gap issues.

In looking at this morning I see some tweaks I need to make in the rigging. The spring is then my next area of focus. It looks like the new spring is about an inch longer than the old. It compresses fine but the extra length makes it a bit stiffer. I'm a little reluctant to install the old spring - it is not in the greatest of shape but will explore that option.

Rob
 

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It looks like the new spring is about an inch longer than the old. It compresses fine but the extra length makes it a bit stiffer. I'm a little reluctant to install the old spring - it is not in the greatest of shape but will explore that option.
Some of the things I suggest may help to diagnose the problem, but not be permanent fixes. For example:

To investigate whether the coil spring is the impediment, you could just remove it, and see if the hood latches. If it does, it will take two people to unlatch the hood - one to pull up on it with a hook while the other releases the latch. But if that works, you will have learned something.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Looks like a spring swap fixed the problem. Thanks again Alfajay.

I took both the latch off and the plate off the hood. It took quite a bit of force but I could push the plate onto the latch with the new spring. Swapped to the old spring and not so much force. Put plate and latch back on. Closed the hood. And now it latches. I will watch it and see if it creeps out again.
 

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Hey, if you throw out enough ideas, something has to be right!

I appreciate your responding with what worked and what didn't. You'd be surprised how many people start threads, let 17 BB members work on solving their problem, and then contribute nothing further. Did our fix work? Did they sell the car out of frustration? Did the hood drop on their head? Who knows?

Back to your spring: I don't understand what's wrong with your old spring, nor did I follow what "see if it creeps out again" meant. No need to reply further, but you might be able to cut a coil off the newer spring, and re-shape the cut end back to flat. Or find a shorter spring at your local hardware store. FWIW, my hood latch has what looks like an inner valve spring on it - works fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well by creeping out - the latch has some adjustment you can make by moving it up and down. I have mine positioned all the way up. I have the bolts torqued down. To shut the hood I rest it on the latch and give it a firm push just over the latch. Since I always have opportunities to open the hood I suspect enough use could move things around.

The old spring seems to be working but since the lower spring gave up the ghost I suspect the upper one could call it quits.

I had the same thought on the new spring so I may do some doctoring on it.
 
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