Locked out, dead battery?

JazzyJazzbo

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"Usually" ...being outside to norm seems to be the cause for a lot of issue lol.
While facing the front of the car, forward and back are the only directions that hook will go at all.
 

JazzyJazzbo

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Not sure if you can tell with my previous photos (can get one as clear as I can see in person), but that's not even close.
The spring is mounted on a horizontal cylinder with the (presumed) arm of the j-hook rocking vertically. Nothing will move horizontally as that image shows.
 

bbf2530

Junior Member
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"Usually" ...being outside to norm seems to be the cause for a lot of issue lol.
While facing the front of the car, forward and back are the only directions that hook will go at all.

Hi Jazzy. Yes, you are correct. If the "norm" was the "norm", your hood would be open and you wouldn't have needed to ask for advice.

I think I'm out of ideas, so unless I have a sudden brain storm (which doesn't happen often :sneaky:), I will leave it up to you and CTG to hopefully figure this out for you.

Good luck.
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CuttingToolGuy

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Ok, according to TASCAParts.com who are pretty good about having the correct parts:


This is the secondary latch.

Screenshot_20201014-181825_DuckDuckGo~2.jpg Screenshot_20201014-153907_DuckDuckGo~2.jpg

Do you think this matches Jazzy? Sorry, I couldn't make much of your pictures.

And your part with the yellow arrow printed on it is broken off? The whole thing or maybe half?
 

Brian J. Patterson

Well-known member
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Northern Illinois
Edit: Do NOT attempt to remove the auxiliary latch assembly until after you successfully open the hood! @dave42's wonderful post following this one clearly shows bolt number three, and you won't be able to remove it with the hood closed.


Hi, JazzyJazzbo.

Looking at @CuttingToolGuy's pictures as a guide; you would push the top of the j-hook towards the rear of the car, ideally where the rod used to go, but definitely above its pivot point. While pushing, remember to push down slightly on the hood itself so that you can get the j-hook to disengage.

You should be able to access this from through the grille with a long slender screwdriver. Alternately, if the two mounting bolts suggested by the pictures are both accessible, and if there are only two mounting bolts, you can remove the assembly from the hood from underneath the car.

Once you get the hood open, be sure to remove this assembly immediately if you got the hood open without removing it in the first place. Also be sure to remove the bulb for the under-hood lamp to avoid running the battery down again while charging it.

This assembly is not only the safety catch for the hood, it's also the latch bar for the main hood latch. If you will truly need to drive the car before you install the replacement safety catch assembly, you can drill out the rivet pin and remove the j-hook completely or using a cutting wheel carefully cut the lower part of the j-hook off so that it can no longer latch to the body of the car. But I would only do this in desperation, and I would not sell the car like that or even drive it myself for any length of time or distance.

Good luck, and please keep us posted.

Thanks.
 
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Brian J. Patterson

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Northern Illinois
Took these pictures of latch under hood ('03) a while back. Hope it helps.

Hi, dave42.

That post should help a lot. It should give @JazzyJazzbo a better idea of where to push or pull to get the j-hook to release. It also confirms that he should likely not try to remove the auxiliary latch assembly prior to successfully opening the hood, due to the rear-most of three bolts being basically inaccessible behind the main hood latch and blocked by the upper front body crossmember and the A/C evaporator, etc.

Thanks.
 

JazzyJazzbo

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Many thanks to all of you for all the help with this.

The photos can confirm I have been trying to push the right spot (to no avail thus far), but I'll keep trying with whatever sticks and screwdrivers will reach before doing anything drastic; I'd rather not add to the list of repairs to be made.

That said, I am prepping it for sale and have no intention of driving it unless it's to a mechanic, and have other vehicles to pickup parts if need be. Cutting it loose would not be a hazard by any means, just more annoying.
 

Brian J. Patterson

Well-known member
388
255
63
Northern Illinois
Many thanks to all of you for all the help with this.

The photos can confirm I have been trying to push the right spot (to no avail thus far), but I'll keep trying with whatever sticks and screwdrivers will reach before doing anything drastic; I'd rather not add to the list of repairs to be made.

That said, I am prepping it for sale and have no intention of driving it unless it's to a mechanic, and have other vehicles to pickup parts if need be. Cutting it loose would not be a hazard by any means, just more annoying.

Hi again, JazzyJazzbo.

You can try pulling if you can get a hook in the slot below the pivot. Otherwise, you might need to either get the battery to take a charge from under the car and drive to a competent repair shop, or have the car towed to a competent repair shop.

You've been working on the car for at least a week, and probably a little longer before that. Your time is worth something, and while having to pay the money to have the car professionally repaired immediately before selling it will not be pleasant, trying to sell the car without being able to start it or even open the hood will only attract "bottom feeders."

If by some chance you still have the car covered for towing by your car insurance or towing club, the tow is "already paid for." Otherwise, you can shop around, keeping in mind that a tow during business hours during the week is cheaper than nights and weekends, plus the repair shop you chose may also offer towing.

Having the latch assembly professionally replaced will be more expensive than doing it yourself. I'm guessing $125 or so for the latch plus one hour of labor, including getting the hood open. They should also be able to charge the battery, or let you know if the battery will no longer take a charge. When you add the benefit of not having to adjust the new auxiliary latch correctly, the price isn't as bad as it seems.

Good luck.
 

CuttingToolGuy

Active member
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Jazzy,

Maybe you can remove the grill to get more access with a set of 1/4" sockets, extensions & universal joints. If you don't already have these you can get them really cheap at a place like Harbor Freight.


Edit: You can see some of the grill bolts in the pictures dave42 supplied. I would attack them with a "flex head ratcheting wrench". Hopefully a member here will know the size.

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JazzyJazzbo

New member
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I can see all (it think) the bolts holding the grill in place, but given how little I can open the hood, I can't reach several of them. I could still destroy the grill trying to get it out of the way.

If I must destroy anything, I'd rather it be the latch mechanism. It IS broken and will have to be replaced regardless, but I can't do so until the hood opens.
Getting any cutting tool to the latch is problem of it's own, and may still not be possible without some big expense.

On a side note, despite the passing days, I've really only spent approx and hour or two total on this (hood, not counting original locked doors). I've been taking opportunities here and there between work, wife, children, and weather allowing.
 

JazzyJazzbo

New member
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3
Opened at last!

Final solution was cutting a "notch" in a steel rod I had to grab the top pf the J-hook and almost violently pushing and pulling it while repeatedly lifting the hood with the other hand till it finally popped.

Not sure how much was the issue and how much was due to my process, but once I could see the mechanism in full, it looked like it had been warped and bent (aside from the known severed rod).

I took it into my shop and cut off the secondary latch portions and reinstalled the bracket, so the hood will latch closed, but open with nothing more than the interior release and lifting.

Many thanks to you all through the tedious task.
 

bbf2530

Junior Member
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Opened at last!

Final solution was cutting a "notch" in a steel rod I had to grab the top pf the J-hook and almost violently pushing and pulling it while repeatedly lifting the hood with the other hand till it finally popped.

Not sure how much was the issue and how much was due to my process, but once I could see the mechanism in full, it looked like it had been warped and bent (aside from the known severed rod).

I took it into my shop and cut off the secondary latch portions and reinstalled the bracket, so the hood will latch closed, but open with nothing more than the interior release and lifting.

Many thanks to you all through the tedious task.

Hi Jazzy. Congratulations on finally finding victory. :)

I think you said you were contemplating selling your car? If you do, please either replace the safety latch before hand, or tell the next buyer it is missing. It is dangerous to drive the car without it.

And if you keep the car, please replace it for your own safety.

Good luck.
______________________________
 

Brian J. Patterson

Well-known member
388
255
63
Northern Illinois
Opened at last!

Final solution was cutting a "notch" in a steel rod I had to grab the top pf the J-hook and almost violently pushing and pulling it while repeatedly lifting the hood with the other hand till it finally popped.

Not sure how much was the issue and how much was due to my process, but once I could see the mechanism in full, it looked like it had been warped and bent (aside from the known severed rod).

I took it into my shop and cut off the secondary latch portions and reinstalled the bracket, so the hood will latch closed, but open with nothing more than the interior release and lifting.

Many thanks to you all through the tedious task.

Hi, JazzyJazzbo.

Thanks for the update. As I mentioned in previous posts and @bbf2530 mentioned, be careful with the car. With the secondary latch removed, the hood can more easily fly up while driving the car, destroying itself and the windshield.

Of course you don't need to replace the auxiliary latch to sell the car. But the buyer must be told that the auxiliary latch has been disabled. They can replace the latch, or tie the hood down with a length of rope, or whatever.

Good luck.
 

Brian J. Patterson

Well-known member
388
255
63
Northern Illinois
One of many things to list when the car is put up for sale.
Is the primary latch that bad though?

Hi, JazzyJazzbo.

Is the primary latch generally bad on the Lincoln Town Car, or almost any other? No. I'm almost 56 years old, and have been driving since I was sixteen, in everything from "bought-on-a-whim-while-fixing-another-new-car" new cars to junkers that were too unsafe to junk. I have never had the primary hood latch fail.

But, I'm just one person, and many other people have had different luck. Your luck, and the luck of the next owner may differ.

When the primary hood latch fails on a car with a rear-hinged hood with nothing else holding it while you're driving, the hood will fly up unexpectedly with great force. This will destroy the hood, break the windshield, possibly put the windshield in your lap, and all of this while you're driving at speed and now no longer able to see the road in front of you.

Second, the hood release and the parking brake release are right next to each other. If a "future driver" accidentally pulls the hood release to release the parking brake, which isn't nearly as stupid as it sounds, the hood on your Town Car is now fully released. While this won't be as dramatic as having the hood released without warning while driving at highway speed, it still isn't good.

Finally, the primary hood latch is right next to the (former) auxiliary latch. The latch hoop is in fact part of the auxiliary hood latch. Whatever caused the problems you had with the auxiliary latch plus your efforts to get the hood open at best did the primary latch no favors.

The auxiliary latch is there for a reason. That reason may likely never occur, but if it does happen with no safety catch, it won't be pleasant. Since you're selling the car, you don't have to fix it yourself. However, you do need to make the buyer aware that the hood latch is messed up, and expect the final sale price to reflect this.

[edit.] One other problem with "only one latch" is this. If you have a front-end collision with only the primary latch, and that primary latch fails, you could have a serving of "extra hood" as dessert to eating an air bag. If the hood opens to a certain degree beyond where the latch(es) would prevent, the hooks at the rear of the hood that keep it from joining you in the passenger compartment won't catch. That will allow the force of the collision to potentially put the hood into the passenger compartment with you at a point in time where you won't be able to get out of its way.

Good luck.
 
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bbf2530

Junior Member
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One of many things to list when the car is put up for sale.
Is the primary latch that bad though?

Hi Jazzy. Brian J. Patterson summed it up very well.

It is not that the primary latch is bad. It is that very bad things can happen if the hood is not secured, or only partially secured, and should ever release at speed. It is essentially the same reason there are primary and secondary door latches.

For the safety of yourself and your loved ones, replace it if you are keeping the car, and replace or clearly disclose it to the next owner if you are selling.

Good luck.
 
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