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Old 02-09-2014, 08:26 AM   #1
gm7
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2009 VUE Red Line
Default Hood Latch Cable Stretch?...

Since I like to do my own maintenance and have been on a fluid replacement kick of late, of course I have to open the hood a fair amount. Since I can remember, it has been difficult to open the hood. This is not a good scenario and I could pay for it if I don't try and resolve it. Every time I try to open the hood it takes two attempts. I carefully pull up on the hood lever in the driver compartment, walk out and try to open the hood and it won't budge. Repeat and then with a decent amount of up force I can pry the hood up. Not per design intent of course. Early Vues had a notorious cable stretch issue which wouldn't disengage the latch. How about '08 and '09 Vues? You guys/gals have this issue? I am presuming this is build tolerance issue. The cable is just too long and in fact with my vehicle has always been this way. I get full stroke of the lever in the driver compartment and the hood doesn't pop. I have also played with preload of the hood in an effort to make it pop more readily and no go. The latch is still holding on to the upper hood U shaped rod. There isn't any adjustability of the latch per se. I believe this is by intent. Moving the latch would affect hood closure flushness and mine is good there. Closes perfectly in fact. A bit too good.

Anybody here space the head of their hood latch cable to create more cable pull and release the mechanism? Most common fix for hood latch cable stretch seems to be zip ties at the cable end though not a very elegant solution. A cable stay maybe better. I really don't want to change the cable if I don't have to. I believe the cable and latch are sold as an assembly, but not certain of this and would rather space the head of the cable a bit if possible.
If general advice is to change the cable by itself, and if available separately, I may heed this suggestion if considered the best path.
Thanks for any shared experience.

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Old 02-10-2014, 01:48 PM   #2
wetz64
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2008 VUE 3.6L
Default Re: Hood Latch Cable Stretch?...

I have the same issue. I took the latch off and there is no exra slack in the cable to do the tie strap trick, so that is not the issue. The issue seems to be on the inside release lever. The lever just dangles down, no tension at all to it. To open my hood I have to yank on the cable from underneath the dash and it releases the latch. I have dealt with this for a few years now.

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Old 02-11-2014, 06:14 AM   #3
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Default Hood preload versus cable stretch...

Thanks for your comments wetz64.

Short of a failed latch mechanism or broken cable, I believe in general, there are two failure modes for the hood latch.
1. insufficient hood preload
2. cable stretch

I have dug into my issue a bit more. I expected more of response to this thread frankly but maybe my car is a bit of an outliar dimensionally and why I have this issue and others not.

I believe your issue is different than mine wetz64 and have posted some pictures to help explain.

You mention you have a slack cable with your car. You state the pull lever just hangs. Mine doesn't. My lever retracts per design intent. Also, if I induce greater tension between my hood by spacing it up a bit, I get my hood to pop in about the middle of the lever travel which is how it should be.

So you I believe you either have a stretched cable...or perhaps the cable housing has lost its seating making the cable too long for the cable housing position.

Also it turns out there are two springs in the under hood mechanism and a spring in the lever that should keep it flush in the driver compartment. The small spring underhood is responsible for keeping the cable taut and the larger spring loads the latch detent that hooks around the top hood U (fat curved rod). So you may want to check all springs as well. Have a look at the pics I attached.

Hood preload:
As to my issue. I believe it is a preload issue the more I play with it. I am getting no 'pop' from the hood. This is because there is no vertical loading of the mechanism, no tension to create a pop when relieving cable tension by actuating the lever. My dilemma is, if I increase preload by rotating both hood height adjusters out, then I lose flushness of the hood to both fenders. This is no good of course.

So what to do? In my case, I am going to remove the three bolts that hold the mechanism to the header and slightly elongate the mechanism holes on the top and reassemble....only by a couple of mm's. What this will do is fractionally lower the mechanism relative to the top hood U that isn't adjustable, thereby creating more preload tension for a pop. That way my vertical hood to fender flushness isn't affected.

As to hood latch designs, there are several out there and many hood mechanisms have a conical spring to create this preload but not on this vehicle. Because the Vue isn't really adjustable for build tolerance to get proper hood closure, I frankly expected more latch issues to appear here.

Let me know if you have any further thoughts and I will update this thread when I get a chance to slightly modify my latch mechanism placement.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Saturn Vue Hood Latch Resize 1.jpg (54.9 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg Saturn Vue Hood Latch Resize 2.jpg (44.9 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg Saturn Vue Hood Resize 3.jpg (78.3 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg Saturn Vue Hood Latch Resize 4.jpg (71.4 KB, 31 views)

Last edited by gm7; 02-11-2014 at 06:23 AM..

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Old 02-11-2014, 10:57 AM   #4
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2007 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: Hood Latch Cable Stretch?...

My daughters 07 Vue had a lazy hood release so I used cable ties to effectively reduce cable length. (First thumbnail).

Also, generally speaking hood pre-load can be altered by turning the upper prong (encased in spring).

To best of my knowledge the prongs should have "flats" and I adjust mine with a large Crescent wrench (second thumbnail).

Photo's aren't too well defined - could be because its a balmy -20 on the thermometer this morning in Iowa and I think I'm surprised my little Samsung phone would even operate at those temps.

Edit - I took better look at your pix and see your Vue is a different breed of cat when it comes to hood latch and release - therefore I doubt if anything I mentioned is valid for 08 and UP Vue's. I'll put another log on the fire now to thaw the brain.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Release with cable tie.jpg (111.0 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg Latch Plunger.jpg (82.7 KB, 37 views)

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Last edited by far2grumpy; 02-11-2014 at 11:03 AM..

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Old 02-11-2014, 01:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hood Latch Cable Stretch?...

Quite right, '08-'09 Vue is completely different and really your suggestions aren't applicable. Appreciate your effort though. Nice thing about your design is...it has a preload vertical spring on the hood. This takes some of the sensitivity out of the vertical adjustment/preload of the latch. I believe that the '08-'09 has a cammed latch and in theory the large lateral spring you see in the pic I posted should help pop the hood. I believe the latter design is more sensitive to preload unfortunately. I notice with my hood all the way down there is in fact 0 preload...actual clearance. With hood all the way down there is no tension on the upper U rod and so the latch doesn't pop. I would say there is about 1/8" of play in the hood when pulling up on it with my finger tips. So I need to lower the latch mechanism a bit to create a bit of tension in the latch such that when I free the cable the hood will want to spring a bit.

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Old 02-13-2014, 05:23 PM   #6
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Default And the answer is....

Finally got some time to remove the latch.
PB Blaster to penetrate Midwestern bolts
Clean
Lithium liquid lube to grease the mechanism
Remove 3 X's 10mm bolts
What did I find? Nothing wrong the the parts or the design. Just out of adjustment. Yes, there is adjustment to this latch. Holes are vertically elongated and latch was positioned too high to create any tension when the cable was pulled. What did it take? Relocation of the latch mechanism to lowest point of travel on the three elongated bolt holes.. Re-tighten 3 bolts, test and pop. Re-test and pop. Perfect. In fact, couldn't draw it up better. Lever released in middle of travel, mechanism was fine all around, just way out of adjustment...about 1/8" of vertical lash I could feel by prying up on the hood with my finger tips. No preload.

OK...now a word from a guy that designs this stuff, or similar. This type of mechanism is a huge dilemma for engineers. Problem, is, if the design is made line-to-line with no hole elongation for vertical adjustment of the latch, then about 1/2 of the hoods that come down the assembly line won't latch...a few will be perfect and the rest will be like my car with actual lash in the position of the mechanism, i.e. no preload. A statistical lottery. OK...the flip side. Just like its designed which is nice and simple and when adjusted right, works perfect, but how do you adjust it in production? Not easy. Preload is one of the hardest things to adjust by design in production. Problem here is you can't adjust the preload without a little trial and error. So that is the dilemma and why it ended up this way. A couple of years ago I took the car in for some causal warranty work and the hood latch was on the list. Their feedback was the design was set and nothing they could do. I didn't have time to address it at that time and so struggled with getting the hood open every time I needed to. They either didn't take the time or didn't know how to adjust it. Btw, guys who work in the dealer are smart, just exceptionally busy. Not hard at all if you take it on yourself and just wanted to let others know if their Vue has a balky hood release. Likely its the height of the latch which can be adjusted.

Last edited by gm7; 02-13-2014 at 05:31 PM..

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Old 10-04-2016, 06:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hood Latch Cable Stretch?...

My problem was the cable was sticking. Took about 15 min to finally get hood to open after trying to see if the was some way to release it through the grill opening. I could not figure out a way to do it thankfully it finally opened with the pull lever inside. After playing with it I figured out the cable was dragging. I rigged it up with an extension cord and started apply drops of oil over time to soak in cable. In order to work the cable faster without opening and closing the hood I rigged it up with zip ties so I could repeatedly work it without shutting the hood. I had to swap out the small spring with the big one temporarily as the small one was not pulling it back. The big spring seemed to be strong enough that I could start working the cable repeatedly. It finally freed up and I put it all back to original.

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Old 10-06-2016, 08:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Hood Latch Cable Stretch?...

Here is some pics. One thing I forgot to mention is in order to fully work the entire stroke of the cable you need the latch to be held in the closed position and not to far closed or open or it won't completely close and make the switch at the end of its stroke. Hope this helps.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20161003_170712-768x1365.jpg (126.9 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg 20161003_152403-1280x720.jpg (204.0 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg 20161003_170634-1280x720.jpg (109.7 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg 20161003_170639-1280x720.jpg (125.0 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg 20161003_170652-1280x720.jpg (161.5 KB, 14 views)

Last edited by Saturn072014; 10-06-2016 at 08:44 PM..

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Old 01-23-2018, 09:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: Hood Latch Cable Stretch?...

Thought I would post an update. My cable started sticking again. It opens OK it just won't latch when I go to close the hood. I found if I take a long screw driver and flip the end of the cable on the latch end a few times it apparently allows the cable to move enough that the hood will then latch.

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