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Fixing Focus Bonnet Lock Problem 2


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  • I wanted to post this under 


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      Guide To Fixing Common Focus Bonnet Lock Problem.

      However I could not see anywhere how I could post to that particular thread, nor could find any help files to tell me how to post (not very helpful!). And so with the only avenue open to me being 'start a new topic', I've done so.
      Two weeks ago I discovered that my 2007 Focus 2L wagon had been afflicted by the dreaded Focus Bonnet Lock Bug that shuts Focus owners out of the engine compartment of their own vehicle.

      I emailed the dealer I bought it off and he advised me to take it to a Ford Dealer.

      I searched Google, found the link to ‘The Guide’ above that alerted me to the fact this was not an unusual problem, but one that had numerous Focus owners around the world gnashing their teeth in frustration. 

      I went to the local Ford Dealer, told them what disease my car had, and was told "Good Luck!"

      I rang the local NZ Ford Help Desk - turned out to be in Australia, and the polite guy on the other end was not aware of the issue, but basically said it really constituted a general maintenance issue so its repair would be on me. He wasn't very impressed that I had been told by a Ford Dealer "Good Luck", but didn't really offer me all that much more. 

      So I studied the above helpful guide through all seven pages, tried out the 'long screwdriver through the grill' trick, but all to no avail. I guess I spent the best part of an hour, but nope, no joy.

      It was mentioned that sometimes the screw driver trick doesn’t work, and there are plenty of people who have posted who can confirm this. Another solution was to unscrew the bonnet lock from underneath the vehicle by going up between the fan and the engine, undoing a couple of bolts, pulling/pushing the lock into the engine compartment and behold the bonnet could be lifted. It was mentioned in passing that there is actually not much room between the fan and the engine, and this I was to find out.

      Sooo…I set today aside to solve this issue. Jacked the car up, put it on stands, removed the stone guard under the engine and began what turned out to be about a 5+ hour job of getting the bonnet open this way. I could just get one arm up to the bonnet lock and by using a socket on very small rachet handle was able to get the two bolts out and the lock loose. Should have been all home and dusted at this point but it wasn’t. The lock would not come free from the white housing, nor could be pushed through from the front. Over a period of time (an hour or more), I managed to lift the bonnet at the front about 30mm using a wooden wedge to force it without any damage. Then from underneath using my long screw driver and various other bits of metal managed to get some movement between the lock and the white housing…though not enough to get the lock free and the bonnet open.

      Peering through the 30mm gap at the front of the bonnet, I saw that by fastening a 13mm spanner to a long bit of square rod, I could get to the two bolts holding the catch onto the bonnet. I thought that if I could disconnect the catch, opening the bonnet would be a piece of cake. So I undid the bolts, only to find that catch was not only held secure by two bolts but was also under a bonnet member and the removal of the bolts did not really change very much at all if anything. The catch was still connected to the bonnet!! I thought that at least I should be able to move the catch a bit so applied more upward force than I had been using and surprise, surprise, the bonnet opened.

      Now I was able to extract the lock and the white housing and cable and keyed lock in the grill and begin to assess how to go about fixing the problem. I discovered how the anti-tampering device worked, filed off the two little lugs as recommended by several on 'The Guide’ so as to allow the little x connection to mate up easily, rather than be shut out by the lugs. Then decided that I should stop the anti-tampering mechanism from working altogether so screwed the outside and inside parts of the white housing together in the working position. Then I started playing around with the lock and opening system to check to see that in fact it did work satisfactorily with my modifications before putting it back in.
      Well yes the key turned the cable and the cross turned in the white housing as a result, so that was a start. However when I connected it to the bonnet lock, the latches hardly moved, even though the key turned a good distance.

      Hmmmm…what is going on? Should work! As I was not prepared to put it all back together and close the bonnet unless I was satisfied I could get it open again, I didn’t. Instead, I removed the grill so that I could have easy access to the bonnet lock mechanism, put the bonnet lock back in place without the white housing and cable etc, so that I could get to the white connector in the bonnet lock with a pair of pliers and open the bonnet that way.

      Then I began looking at why the key would turn the connector easily if there was no load on it, but not if the other end was held firmly with a screw driver or once it was joined to the bonnet lock. It really meant there must be some disconnect somewhere between the key and the bonnet lock.

      So I now looked at the keyed lock. I knocked the pins out which allowed me to remove the lock barrel and this allowed me to see the connector between the barrel and the cable. Fiddled around with this for a few minutes with pliers and the connector came off the cable!!!!!

      So at the end of the day (quite literally) I discovered the problem was not the ant-tampering devise at all! Rather the connector lug at the key end of the cable had not been crimped onto the cable inner tightly enough and was basically turning on the cable when the key was turned. As this lug was crimped to the cable inner before the barrel housing was crimped to the cable outer, there is no way it can be fixed… thus a new cable and all its parts are required.

      It also means the reason why I had difficulty getting the bonnet lock separated from the white housing as I tried to remove the bonnet lock from under the car, was because the anti-tampering devise had not been activated and the cable and the bonnet lock were still fixed quite strongly together.

      So there you have it. If your bonnet does not open when the key is turned, it is not necessarily the anti-tampering devise causing the problem as virtually everyone on ‘The Guide’ above assumes. There are different things that can go wrong with this bonnet release mechanism.

      It seems to me that Ford would have saved people a whole lot of grief if they had just installed a plain old cable latch system activated by pulling a bonnet release handle inside the car as on most other vehicles.

      My wife asked me what I was writing, so I told her, “The saga of my bonnet lock.” She said, “That’s not very interesting.” Then added. “Perhaps if they are facing what you’ve faced they would find it interesting!”

      UPDATE: As the fit of the lug on the inner cable was pretty tight (even though it slipped under load), I thought I would try gluing it back onto the cable using Locktite 601 Super Retaining Compound. It says its '...high sheer strength makes it ideally suited for retaining cylindrical parts subjected to high axial and rotational loads. Especially suitable for permanent assemblies.' Sounds like what is needed, so I have glued it on and hammered it as far onto the cable as it will go. It seems to have worked but will check out the cost of a new assembly before fitting.

      UPDATE 2: Gluing didn't work...hmmmm

      UPDATE 3: I tried cutting the keyed lock housing so I could open up the crimp to the cable outer and slide the housing  back to be able to get to and re crimp the lug on the cable inner. Couldn't get the re crimping to hold...and partially split the housing when wedging it apart. Have bought a new complete cable, lock, etc for $NZ130 and will fit. However I think I will disable the anti-tamper mechanism on the new part so that at least never shuts me out of the engine compartment. The kit comes with a new keyed lock disassembled, to set up for the existing key. However I will use the old lock instead as it is already assembled.

Edited by Rinso
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