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Closed hood.
When the front hood of your is closed and fits perfectly, it's a beautiful thing
- that is ....unless you can't get the darned thing open!

Front Hood release cable failure.

by: By Keith V of CA

What to do when you pull the front hood release handle and the cable breaks.

Hood release handle.
The hood release handle is located under the left-hand end of the dashboard
on the sidewall of the drivers footwell and pulling it should unlatch the front hood.

We take it for granted that pulling the front hood release handle will disengage the hood latch and thereby give access to the front luggage compartment. Unfortunately, as our cars get to be 13 or more years old, the likelihood increases that one day when you pull the handle the release cable might jam or break entirely. This could land you in a lot of trouble if you urgently need something from the front hood and can't get to it, like ........... the spare wheel for example!

As usual, the engineers at Porsche have already anticipated that this might one day happen, and have provided a counter measure for use by those “in-the-know”. Yup! You guessed it - there is a hidden emergency hood release cable.

There are 6 simple steps to regaining access to the front luggage compartment if the regular cable fails to function, and to perform these steps, the following tools are required:

 Jack (for removal of front wheel)
 19 mm lug wrench (to remove wheel nuts)
 Jack stand (to support car while it is on the jack)
 Medium phillips screwdriver
 Torque wrench to re-tighten the lug nuts  

The 6 step process.

Jack up the drivers side of the car.
Raise the body of the car slightly but ensure the front wheel is still firmly on the ground.

Step 1: Place the jack under the rear jacking point in front of the drivers side rear wheel and raise the jack slowly until you have raised the body a couple of inches ensuring you do not jack the car up enough to raise the front tire off the ground. With the front tire still firmly on the ground, loosen the lug nuts no more than half a turn using the 19mm lug wrench.

Jack the drivers side up so the front wheel is completely off the ground.
Place the jack stand under the front LH jacking point.
Jack up the car so the front wheel is completely off the ground - place a jack stand under the front jacking point.

Step 2: Once the lug nuts have been cracked half a turn, carefully jack up the car so the front wheel is off the ground by around two or three inches and place a jack stand under the front jacking point just behind the front wheel. This is a safety precaution just in case the jack were to slip or otherwise fail.

TIP: I know this is common sense and everyone already knows this, but ......... NEVER work under any car without jack stands. You may be able to work without them hundreds of times without a problem, but the one time there is a problem the trouble you will be in outweighs the minor hassle of finding and using jack stands by an order of magnitude.

Remove LH front wheel.
Remove Left Hand front wheel.

Step 3: Undo the lug nuts and remove the front wheel being careful to ensure that the wheel does not fall over once it has been removed as it will land on its face and permanently damage the finish of your wheel.

TIP: NEVER leave your wheels standing up on their tires - otherwise they WILL fall over. This is not Murphy's Law, bad luck or whatever else you choose to call it, it is for a good reason. Specifically, Porsche had to redesign the 911 wheels for the and the 965 (964 Turbo) in order to accommodate significantly larger brakes. The larger brakes meant that it was necessary to move the spokes outboard towards the face of the wheel. Thus the wheel has all 5 spokes outboard of the rims, ensuring that they always fall on their face. ALWAYS lay your wheels down - face up. You have been warned!

Undo the screws holding the inner wheel well liner.
Remove the inner wheel well liner (front portion only).

Step 4: Looking forward in the wheel well you sill see the black plastic inner wheel well liner that is held in place by 11 phillips screws. Undo all 11 Phillips head screws - do not forget the two at the 12 o'clock position that attach the front half of the inner wheel well liner to the back half of the liner (which you do not need to remove).

TIP: Put the inner wheel well cover screws in a container so you don't lose them and you know exactly
where they all are. If you just lay them on the floor nearby - even if they are in plain sight, it is only a matter of time
before you kneel on one - (please don't ask me how I know this).


Remove the front inner wheel well liner.
Remove the front inner wheel well liner (front portion only).

Step 5: With the front inner wheel well liner removed, you can now look in front of the wheel well and see the A/C condenser with it's fan (assuming you have the A/C option). Above the fan and it's housing, you will see the front fender brace - which is a piece of tubing that is roughly half an inch in diameter. Locate the emergency hood release cable by looking above the front fender brace and a little further forward. You will see a bare wire cable with a loop on its end that is roughly three inches in diameter. This is the emergency front hood release cable.

Pull the cable.
Pull the cable gently but firmly - NO SHOCK LOADING!!

Step 6: Pull the cable. Actually, it's not quite as simple as it sounds! This emergency cable is intended for use only as a last resort. As a result, it was not designed with its own guiding sleeve, and is therefore not lubricated or protected from dirt and moisture - which means it is unlikely to move freely at your first attempt. It may be necessary to place a tool (such as a screwdriver) through the loop in order to get enough purchase to get the cable to move.

TIP: Pull firmly but smoothly on the cable. Do not apply a shock load as this may very well cause it to break
- which trust me .... you DO NOT want to happen!


To assist the cable in its task of overcoming all the friction it encounters, you can significantly reduce the load on it if you happen to have a friend (preferably one with very clean hands) push down gently on the front hood just enough to overcome the seal compression which pre-loads the hood in the open direction.

Once you have the hood open, you can go about replacing the broken main hood release cable. Also, it is a good idea to make sure you pull the emergency release cable back from inside the front trunk (pulling it towards the latch) because the same friction you had to overcome to get the cable to move in order to open the hood, will now stop the cable from “springing back” to it's original position, which means the hood latch will stay unlatched.

Replacement of the inner wheel well cover, it's screws, the wheel and the lug nuts is very straight forward and simply the reverse of steps 1 through 4 above. DO NOT forget to torque your lug nuts to 90 ft/lbs per your owners manual.


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