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The hood latch spring is probably broken. I'm having the same problem with my 99 F 150. The lower spring is the one that broke on me. Good luck. Well, maybe not. I just had the same thing with my '03 F150. Popped the hood open (hard to pull the release), and then the hood wouldn't latch closed. It just banged off the latch mechanism. I thought the cable had broken, since I pulled the release lever and there was no tension in it, no friction. Good news, though. I hadn't had to raise the hood in a few months, and it turns out the latch mechanism had just rusted in place; the spring wasn't resetting it. Lube it generously and work that lever till it loosens up. Better than buying a new cable from the dealership (nobody else carries them) for $38.00. I semi lucked out. I tried the lube approach first but that did not work. The bottom spring pulls a latch the hooks into the latch that closes over the hood bracket. On mine these bracket was frozen. I had to remove the shroud (only 1/3 of the releases worked properly after 10 years) and then get penetrant oil to the bracket from underneath. Manually tested it a few times and then replaced the bracket. It needed a minor adjustment but now it is off to the auto parts store to get some replacement shroud holders. Here's another reply, not for the F-150, but for a 1997 Escort: My hood got stuck open in cold weather; I'm guessing the cold contributed to the problem. The cause turned out to be binding of the cable in its sleeve, apparently at the end entering the latch mechanism. The latching part of the mechanism also was stiff in its motion. To fix it, I used long-nose pliers to remove the inside end of the top spring from the top cam of the latch, giving me access to the lower part of the latch. I could then use a large screwdriver to work the lever and spring that control the lower, latching cam; this is where the cable is attached. Some WD-40 on the cam and lots of back-and-forth motion on the lever where the (lower) spring attaches to it eventually got it moving freely. But this wasn't enough---the hood would latch once, but when opened, it would stick open again. The further step was to spray some WD-40 on the bare cable, just inside the bottom of the latch mechanism, right where the cable leaves its collar. I then worked the latch release (inside the car) a lot, and sprayed a bit more WD-40 on the bare cable in both open and closed positions so it would get worked into the sleeve end. Finally, I put some 3-in-1 oil on the bare cable (transfering it there by putting it on the end of the screwdriver), worked the latch release a few times to get the oil in the cable sleeve, and also put some 3-in-1 on the latching cam. (WD-40 is more of a solvent than a lubricant, hence the 3-in-1 oil.) It is now working fine. It was not fun doing this in single-digit (Fahrenheit) temperatures, but it beat paying for such a straightforward fix!

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โˆ™ 2009-02-05 18:26:02
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Q: When a 1997 Ford F-150 hood won't latch closed is it the latch mechanism or the hood release cable?
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