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Guide To Fixing Common Focus Bonnet Lock Problem.

179 posts in this topic

Just to add my experience.

Son in law has bonnet problem, tried screwdriver but no good. I also have a mk2 Focus so decided to take mine apart to see how it works and hope it helps solve problem on other car. On reassembly I wisely tested my catch before closing the bonnet and horror of horrors, it was not connecting. Studied parts and could not get the male cross to engage in the female collet connecting to the key. Read thro this thread and followed advice to cut off sprung lugs on white male cross, did not cut off completely, just the removed "catch" feature and also chamfered front edge. Parts now engaged with no problem and working perfectly, still have to tackle son in laws car but now happier knowing how parts are assembled.

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Hi all,

Reading this thread with interest. Just picked up a mk2 a couple of weeks ago and feeling damn unlucky to encounter this problem right away.

A couple of days ago the bonnet opened OK by pressing down above the catch mechanism. I ordered a new lock to try and pre-empt the inevitable, plus an "upgraded" white cross part that's longer and doesn't have the catches. It arrived today.

Spent the morning assembling the new lock barrel.

I go to install it, what do you know. Bonnet doesn't open. Tried it a hundred times. How unlucky is that?

Going to try the long screwdriver trick tomorrow but I don't have much hope because from studying the mechanism it was flex in the system (maybe cable starting to go) that wasn't moving the latch across far enough. So I'm not sure if applying pressure will help... it might though.

By the way, I found with my skinny arms I could actually get my arm through the larger holes below the number plate and reach up to grab the rubber collet around the white part. I could also unclip the lock barrel from the grill this way.

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Update from today.

Jesus holy christ. I'm in.

Screwdriver trick didn't work.

Jack up the car, remove the panels, reach up and unscrew the 10mm bolts on the lock. The right one is ok with a spanner, the left one was very hard to reach but you can get two hands up to guide a small ratchet onto it, then it's plain sailing. Then I removed the grill by prising the bonnet slightly ajar with a bit of thick cardboard, reaching in an leveraging the two plastic rivets at each corner, by the headlights. Then poking a screwdriver through the grill and getting the 4 rivets at the front by popping up the inner screw, followed by the sheath. This was not an easy task and made some dents in the grill plastic. But the grill came off eventually. Unclip the 2 clips on either side of the white shaft... but I'll be buggered if I could get it through. Not a chance. Also couldn't remove the lock mechanism from the white shaft. People describe simply "withdrawing" the lock cable through the hole by lifting the bonnet... this sounds like fantasy to me. Maybe some managed it. Maybe if I really pulled on the bonnet but I didn't want to force anything.

So I tried a different approach. At this point I had full access to the lock barrel. The idea being if I can remove the lock barrel then I can get to the end of the cable and manually turn it more than the 90 degrees required to unlock the catch. I removed the bigger pin by pushing it through, but the two smaller pins were more challenging. Ended up drilling them out, and again this was not easy. Finally got the lock barrel out and used a pair of forceps to manipulate the metal cross end of the cable. Heard that magical click and lifted the bonnet to the upper catch. Got that open too and finally lifted the bonnet.

Real blood spilt, real tears almost shed. What the flipping hell ford... I'm going back to Japan for my next car that's for sure!!



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Now it's all back together I could see that the reason I couldn't push the white collar through to the engine bay was the large white triangle on the engine side of the white collar was impinging on the coolant hoses. This is impossible to see when you're under the car but once you know...

Also it's worth mentioning that the alarm cable is underneath the lock mechanism on the right hand side and you has a clip have to depress on the left, as you look at from in front of the bonnet. Disengage by pushing the clip and pulling downwards. Should come quite easily. This information is very useful when you're under a car trying to see by feel.

I've now set mine up to make this easy to do in the future. My grill is now only held in by the 2 plastic rivets at the side which can be removed relatively easily by prying up from the shut line at the corner of the headlights. After removal, the grill can be wiggled free. Then, with the new lock barrel, I only inserted the larger of the pins and left the two smaller ones out. This way the lock barrel can be removed very easily by pushing out the big pin, and from there the bonnet can be opened by manually turning the metal cross that the lock barrel couple with. That is, if your problem is wear in the cable not turning the mechanism enough.

The upgraded white cross part I got on ebay was actually too long, so I cut it down to about 1mm longer than the stock part. But it is more robust and doesn't have the catches on it at all.

For people in the future I would recommend taking the following steps.

Identify the problem. Turn the key to the right with your ear on the bonnet. If you can hear a small click, this is the upper catch moving across and this means your white cross is engaged properly so the screwdriver trick probably won't work. If you don't hear anything, either the white cross has disengaged (screwdriver trick may work) or the mechanism is totally seized.

If you do hear the click, it's likely that wear in the cable is simply not moving the lower catch far enough over to release the bonnet. In this case, I think by far the easiest way to fix this is to remove the lock barrel as I described above and manipulate the cable end by hand. No need for jacking or getting your hands cut up in the engine bay. Hopefully that will work for you.

If you don't hear the click and the screwdriver trick doesn't work then you could either move to jacking and undoing the 10mm bolts on the lock mechanism and trying that as described elsewhere.

Alternatively, if you have the grill off, it might be worth cutting the cable and manipulating the inner cable by hand. The weak spot may be at the lock barrel end, and so by cutting it off you'd be bypassing it.

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