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LS 430 Hood Release Cable Replacement DIY

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Old 01-12-14, 02:11 PM   #1
BT3100
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Exclamation LS 430 Hood Release Cable Replacement DIY

Just replaced the hood release cable in my 02' LS 430.
I should have taken some pics but did not.

A few weeks back my hood started giving me trouble latching down.
I took apart the hatch and all looked good inside. Sprayed some Boesheild on her and it worked for a about week.
The cabled needed to be replaced. The lever under the dash was not springing back.. For the last week when I needed to get under the hood I used a thin rod to jiggle the latch until I heard the "click" that it was ready to lock the hood.

Picked up an OEM cable on Ebay for $35.

First step is to remove the latch. There are 4 10MM nuts holding the latch. Two of these nuts hold the center support bar (Dead center of the radiator). Remove all 4. One of these nuts is capped with a plastic black cover.

Next step is to remove the right side horn. One 12mm nut and it will come off.

Once it's off you now have access to the final 10MM nut needed to free up the latch to get to the cable end. Once this nut (also capped off with a plastic cover) is removed you can begin to remove the latch. You will see the back side of a plastic clip below the left most nut on the latch. Push this forward and the latch will pull out and down.

You will now have access to the latch. Push the latch towards the right side of the car and you will now have enough slack to remove the ball end on the cable.

On the LS the cable runs under the rail supports just behind the head light, down the drivers side of the engine compartment and into the fire wall. Pull the cable out of the three clips holding to the frame of the car.

Here is a trick....... Stand at the center of the drivers side front wheel and with heavy wire cutters, cut the cable in half. This will help with fishing the cable back out to the latch.

At this point head under your dash and below your steering wheel remove the black cover ( it holds your OBD port). Only three screws and few electrical connections need to be removed here.

Once this cover is out you can pull out the half cable through the firewall. Don't try to use it to fish the new one in. Tried that.. did not work.

I tried a few different ways to fish the cable into the cabin. Here is the only method that worked.

Take a wire clothes hanger and cut the top section off so you are left with one long straight piece.
Push 3/4 of the length of the hanger through the firewall (hole in the black boot). You will now see it under the dash. Back to under the hood. With pliers create a SMALL loop in the hanger (think small enough to make it through the hole in the boot. Before you close the loop, pass the cabin lever end of the cable into the loop, camp down on the loop to lock in the cable. This will allow you to pull the cabin end through the boot. Before you try to pull the ball through the boot spray a good lube on the boot and let it sit for 5 minutes. Back under the dash pull the hanger and cable through the dash and reconnect to the lever.

Now tape the other side (latch side) of the cable to the section that you cut, leading to the latch. Fish the cable through the rails back to the latch.

Reconnect the cable to the latch and reinstall the latch.

Total time was 1:20. This included about 20 minutes of failed efforts to fish the cable through the firewall.

There is a good DIY for this project on a GS on this board... I used this... but on the LS you do not need to remove the front tire as the cable runs up top.

Good Luck. And enjoy your properly working hood release!
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Old 01-12-14, 03:47 PM   #2
HiloDB1
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Thanks for the write up. I have to do this soon as my latch sticks on occasion.
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Old 01-12-14, 06:53 PM   #3
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Thanks for the write-up. Fortunately I don't need this thread yet however if I ever do I will be grateful for this.
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Old 03-27-14, 02:45 PM   #4
Tom57
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BT, Thank you for this clear DIY instructions ... more helpful than the "hood lock control" cable removal in the LS manual. Also, nice to have easy access to the engine bay again! As these LS's get older, that cable will corrode and bind. Thanks again.
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Old 04-05-14, 05:01 PM   #5
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Need to unbolt the fuse box in upper right hand corner to get to the black boot. Use that hanger to push thru the firewall. Attach the cable and feed inside.

Last edited by kokkinias; 04-05-14 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 12-06-15, 07:51 AM   #6
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I am getting ready to do this, my latch failed to return after opening the hood. A couple of questions: Is the replacement cable already lubricated? Also, what type of lube to use in the boot. I want to make sure that the new cable is lubricated properly, and that I don't use an "incompatible" grease that will make things worse later.

Also, just scoped the job. The "boot" looks like it is really tough to get at. I think the fuse block that kokkinias removed is attached to the ABS unit by 4 phillips screws. The top ones look easy, but the bottom two look really tough to get at. Is there a special screwdriver that will make getting at these easy? Also, I don't really want to drop the screws while taking them out or putting them back in....

Last edited by peafarmer; 12-06-15 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 12-06-15, 08:09 AM   #7
Tom57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peafarmer View Post
I am getting ready to do this, my latch failed to return after opening the hood. A couple of questions: Is the replacement cable already lubricated? Also, what type of lube to use in the boot. I want to make sure that the new cable is lubricated properly, and that I don't use an "incompatible" grease that will make things worse later.
The cable is aircraft cable (wire cable) inside a sheath. It is not factory lubed. The cable tends to rust outside where it connects at the hood latch. Any type of lube on the exposed cable at the sheath will help to resist rust.
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Old 12-06-15, 09:44 AM   #8
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I don't think the fuse box needs to be (or should be) removed. I was able to get my left hand to the boot by threading it above the power brake vacuum assist unit....have not completed the job yet, but this seems much easier than messing with that fuse box.
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Old 03-30-16, 08:27 PM   #9
StanVanDam
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Thanks BT3100 for the clear instructions - this is an easy maintenance item. I did this in July 2015 when my LS was 13.26 years old. Did not cut the old cable in half, just pulled out from the engine bay. Fed a straightened clothes hanger in from the engine bay, with the small loop on the interior latch end of the cable, then from the inside, pulled the clothes hanger and the new cable the rest of the way in.

Did not remove any fuse boxes and did not lube the firewall grommet or the cable. Just used a long enough, stiff enough clothes hanger bent the right way to reach the firewall grommet. Did spray white lithium grease on the moving pieces inside the hood latch and on the tip of the cable on that side.
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