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Volvo 850 broken hood cable solution

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

JimBee
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JimBee

Volvo 850 broken hood cable solution

Post by JimBee » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:23 pm

Two nightmare scenarios that I've thought about when traveling in the 850 are sunroof glass stuck open, you're in a remote area and there's a rain forecast.

And your hood cable breaks (hopefully not at the same time that your sunroof is stuck open). But, hey, sh*t does happen. I've seen a few 850's at the junk yard with hoods pried open with heavy wrecking tools or cut open with a Sawzall.

I have safety cables on my hood latches so am not worried about the hood cable but I'm aware that someone occasionally comes to this site with a broken one so I've been thinking about the least destructive way to get in there and release the latches.

Volvo 850 broken hood cable solution

I'm putting this out as a creative challenge seeking other contributions. I'll get us started:

First, to get access, the least destructive, quickest way in is behind the signal, marker lens. No great insight, I know. Others have thought of that, too. But how do you get in there without ruining something? The challenge is minimal destruction.

The spring that holds in the light assembly is pretty strong (it connects to a lug formed into the signal lamp housing). But you can stretch it a little by using your finger tips to lift the lens forward from where it meets the fender.
Here's a picture of the spring where it attaches to a lug formed into the signal lamp housing:
Marker_signal_spring_view.jpg
Then you need to clip the spring. Using a tool such as:

https://www.harborfreight.com/11-in-lon ... ter+pliers

Those springs are available online for $6+. You might not even need to buy a new one if you clip as close to the plastic lug as possible, leaving some straight spring lead. Then use a stout needle nose pliers to bend a new hook at the end. Using some stiff wire you can make a small ring to reconnect the spring hook to the plastic lug. Worst case scenario: The plastic lug on the lamp housing breaks and you need to replace it. They're available online; not very expensive. I've found good ones at the junk yard. So destruction and repair costs are still minimal if something breaks.

The trickiest part is first knowing where the latches' trip levers are, then having the right tool to trip and release the latch.

For the RIGHT (US passenger) side:

https://www.harborfreight.com/paneltrim ... 63639.html

I have a tool that I think I bought at HF, but don't see it currently on their site.

The tool I have:
forkend_pry_tool.jpg
The shank of the tool you use needs to be stout enough that you can pry against the side of the hole the spring goes through—and long enough that you can get some leverage.

Facing the front of the car, you angle the tool slightly upward and to the right (you're actually pushing your tool handle to the left but probing up to the right. You can feel the right side lever and get the end opening of the tool around the lever to force it slightly down and towards the oil dipstick. It will help if you press down on the hood above the latch to ease the release. One person can do all that.

LEFT (US drivers) side is a little trickier. As with the right side, you need to get in there by removing the signal lamp.

Here's a picture of the US left side latch.
Left_Side_hood_latch.jpg
The three cable ends in this picture are upper right cable that goes across to the right side latch; the downward leading cable is the main cable; the third one that crosses behind the main cable is my safety cable that threads down through a hole beside the headlight to a point just in front of the lower cross member.

Notice the notch in the lever. The trick is to catch a wire "snare" in that notch, then pull the wire sharply while pressing firmly down on the hood above the latch. I would grab the wire with a vicegrip for a good grasp and pull force.
Draft wire snare (note the snare end orients upward, 90 degrees from the background):
Best_wire_latch_tool-2.jpg
If you have installed a safety cable you'll probably never have to go through this procedure. Imagine your latch assembly without the 3rd safety cable "in the way" of a wire snare like mine is. Then, knowing where to "fish" your snare to loop the end around the trip lever (ideally catching the snare loop in the lever's notch), is really 90% of the solution. You can see the finger loop end of the spring—that's where your snare would be coming in. Then it would be angled in front of the main hood cable. Then once you've passed in front of the main hood cable, the snare loop angles upward and slightly to the right (looking from inside the cabin). From there, "feeling" around for the latch lever, you'll find it. Snare and pull.

I crafted the "left side latch snare and trip tool" from relatively thin wire to show what would be used to get at the left side. See photo. Stiffer wire and the end wound around to secure the loop would work better. Better yet solder the end.

Main challenge: You need to know where to probe. Since this is a challenge project, maybe others can take a couple of pics to help orient a novice to the right location.

Another "downward" view of the US left side latch—clearly shows the lever with notch you want to catch the snare loop in.
DSCN0597.jpg
There's probably a better tool design. Maybe cn90, scot, erik, others will crank up their imaginations!

After others chime in with creative tweaks, it would be good to put it together as a video. Maybe Robert can be recruited to do the honors.
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Last edited by JimBee on Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:03 pm, edited 13 times in total.
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Clemens
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Clemens

Re: Volvo 850 nightmare avoidance tool challenge

Post by Clemens » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:15 am

Interesting idea.

As for the sunroof: I am quite sure there is a way to override the motor with a hex key. I will try to check the manual later and update here.

Also: you mentioned you have safety cables on your hood latches. what do you mean with that? can you please post a photo? Thanks


Summer: 1996 855 R
Winter: 1994 855 T5M
Donor: 1995 854 10V

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erikv11
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Re: Volvo 850 nightmare avoidance tool challenge

Post by erikv11 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:45 am

Clemens wrote: ↑
Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:15 am
... you mentioned you have safety cables on your hood latches. what do you mean with that? can you please post a photo? Thanks
Look at the hood latches, you will see each one has a hole like the eye of a needle. Get about 24 inches of an old bicycle brake cable, loop it through the eye and swage it there, with the other end accessible from under the car. Cheap and easy.


'95 854 T5-R, Motronic 4.4, 185k
'96 855 NA, 140k
'98 S70 NA, 210k (living out west)
'98 V70, T5 tune-injectors-turbo, LPT engine, 280k
'06 S60 R, 160k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k

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abscate

Re: Volvo 850 nightmare avoidance tool challenge

Post by abscate » Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:05 am

JimBee

+10,000 points awarded for a scale in your photo


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Re: Volvo 850 nightmare avoidance tool challenge

Post by JimBee » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:36 am

abscate wrote: ↑
Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:05 am
JimBee

+10,000 points awarded for a scale in your photo
Thanks, abscate. What can I remit the points for?



JimBee
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JimBee

Re: Volvo 850 nightmare avoidance tool challenge

Post by JimBee » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:45 am

JimBee wrote: ↑
Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:36 am
abscate wrote: ↑
Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:05 am
JimBee

+10,000 points awarded for a scale in your photo
Thanks, abscate. What can I remit the points for?
Like erik says, except I used an extra cable from the junk yard that connects between the right and left latches which are pretty substantial. Cut about 60-40. Then remove the cables from their sheath, thread them through the hole in the release lever, cut back the sheaths a couple of inches at the bottom end, slip them back onto the cable and thread your new safety cables down a pathway just in front of the cross member so you can get at them with only the splash guard removed. I make a loop in the exposed bottom end so they can be grabbed more easily. No need to clamp the sheath, just hold it while pulling the wire to release the latch.

The pathway to down below requires some bends which might bind a naked bike cable, but if you use the sheath like I describe that wouldn't be a problem.

Of course, a regular maintenance item should be keeping the latches well lubed. I think Jimmy 57 pointed me to dedicated bicycle chain lube as "the only one he found that would stay on the moving parts". You can work the latches with the hood open to make sure the lube gets on all the moving parts that can bind. Just use a tool like a screwdriver pressed crossways into the latch to trip them. Then use the lever to open them again.

I think I posted some pics of this some years ago when I first did mine—after seeing a butchered hood at the junk yard.



JimBee
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JimBee

Re: Volvo 850 broken hood cable solution

Post by JimBee » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:09 pm

I've retitled this post for easier searching.
The new title doesn't begin at the beginning.
abscate: can you change it?
Thanks :)



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abscate

Re: Volvo 850 nightmare avoidance tool challenge

Post by abscate » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:55 pm

JimBee wrote: ↑
Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:36 am
abscate wrote: ↑
Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:05 am
JimBee

+10,000 points awarded for a scale in your photo
Thanks, abscate. What can I remit the points for?
At the 100,000 point loyalty level you can acquire this fine, Italian, fragile specimen
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JimBee
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JimBee

Re: Volvo 850 nightmare avoidance tool challenge

Post by JimBee » Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:16 pm

Only if approved by a consensus of females in your sea of estrogen.



JimBee
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Re: Volvo 850 nightmare avoidance tool challenge

Post by JimBee » Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:19 pm

And by the way, would you please change the lead heading of this post to:

Re: Volvo 850 broken hood cable solution



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