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Defender bonnet release cable renewal


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This is the same for 90/10 petrol or diesel. Failure of the bonnet release either cable or mechanism is quite common - especially for those who regularly plunge through the mud. The cable gradually becomes stiffer, which makes it stretch when you have to pull harder to release the bonnet. Eventually the bonnet won't open, and you then need to remove the grille in order to get it open. It's important to make sure the cable is routed correctly in order for the cable to last and work properly. Tight turns or kinks will seriously affect this. Other than taking reasonable care, replacing the cable is fairly easy, and no special tools are required.

The cable is laid as follows:- Grille is removed)

The cable inner end is visible through a hole in the slam panel.


6mm pinch bolt from underneath.


The cable outer sleeve is retained by a special clip - also on the slam panel.


The cable then goes through the side of the inner wing through a grommet.


Then behind the PAS reservoir and under the bracket for the header tank (there should be a plastic clip for holding the cable)


Then through a grommet in the back of the foot well.


Then to a small bracket that's spot welded in place.


Using a 6mm socket - undo the pinch bolt and pull the inner cable out of the pin. The pin will drop out when the cable is removed.

Using a screwdriver - push the outer sleeve clip off the edge of the hole in the slam panel and then remove it from the cable.


The pin (on the right), and the clip.


From inside the vehicle, cut the cable, then slot a 19 (or maybe 18)mm socket over the nut that retains the knob.


Then clamp the socket with mole grips to undo the nut.


Remove the remains of the old cable, then put the new knob in place (do not thread the cable through the footwell yet).

Hand tighten the nut and then thread the socket on the outer cable all the way to the retaining nut, and then tighten it with mole grips in a similar fashion to removing the old one.

Thread the new cable taking the same route as the old one.

Make sure the knob is pushed in and then attach the outer sleeve clip - press it back in the same place as before on the slam panel. Make sure the bonnet catch itself is working OK, and the slide is in the closed position. Thread the inner cable through the pin - which should be captured in the release mechanism bar, and tighten the 6mm pinch bolt. It's not necessary to tighten the bolt as much as you dare - the bolt deforms the inner cable, and this is what stops it from being pulled out.

To test the mechanism is working before slamming the bonnet - pull the bonnet release knob out and place a pair of mole grips (carefully) like this to prevent it from popping back in.


The slide (or bar) should be out of sight, and if you can see a clean hole where the bonnet pin locates, then it's safe to close the bonnet and replace the front grille.


If you only use your Land Rover on the road, then the bonnet mechanism can be lubricated with grease, or a thick oil, such as EP90.

Vehicles used off road should use a thin oil as grease/thick oil will trap grit and soon cause problems.

Les. :)

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