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TR6 bonnet catch


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Our final car failure on this years RBRR was the bonnet release cable. Yes we should have fitted a backup cable but it was on a part of the RBRR to do list which we didn't get to.

I'd read and was advised by many helpers that the way to do this was from underneath with a long rod or possibly reaching through from the front with a broom handle or similar. Sound good in principal but very difficult in practice.

When the AA man came, he could only jack the car up and we couldn't get to the catch.

He suggested prising the edge of the bonnet up with plastic wedges. I can hear you shout "NO" as loudly as I did but he assured me that he wouldn't damage or bend the bonnet in any way as he had done this dozens of times on other cars.

The guy first of all pushed the wedge in and raised the edge a few mm, then he put another in and raised the first a few more mm, then he put a 3rd in further along. Eventually, he had created a gap about 4mm wide which allowed a thick hooked wire to slide in. Pulling the catch popped the bonnet open without any damage.

The guy also made up a new cable and fitted that so top marks to the AA.

Prevention is better than cure but this cure worked well. If you need to do this, the way to do it is to spread the load over as many wedges as you can.

One other thing. It's easier to do this in the dark as you eyes are already adjusted to the dark and it is difficult to get light in through such a small crack.

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I wish I would have taken photos at the time but I was convinced it wasn't going to work as the bonnet is such a tight fit.

The secret is the wide plastic wedges which the AA man carried for exactly this kind of problem.

I'm not sure what the wedges were made from, maybe polypropylene but the were strong enough not to distort but soft enough not to damage.

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