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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Tue, Oct-15-2019, 05:21:35 PM   #1
cblock
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Default Help with Hood Alignment

Hey Guys,

I feel a little stupid for making this thread, but I have wasted enough time it is probably time to ask for help.

I had to take my hood off (obviously) and I am having a hell of a time getting it aligned to where the hood "pops" with the release. I have gotten it to the point where it looks aligned but it basically stays shut when the release is pulled, although I can still open it, would probably be a matter of time until the cable snaps.

I'm not sure if I have slack in the cable now or if it's just a matter of getting the alignment perfect. I'm about to the point of replacing the whole assembly but wanted to see if anyone has any tips. Appreciate it!
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Old Tue, Oct-15-2019, 05:53:23 PM   #2
Texaz3
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Default Re: Help with Hood Alignment

Isn't it the function of the springs on the latches?
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Old Tue, Oct-15-2019, 06:33:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Help with Hood Alignment

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Originally Posted by Texaz3 View Post
Isn't it the function of the springs on the latches?
I've spent several hours adjusting the length of the latch bolts to no avail (other than getting my hood height to sit where I want it.)

I probably just need to bite the bullet and order the whole assembly; it's a bit pricey.
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Old Tue, Oct-15-2019, 08:50:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Help with Hood Alignment

I've had this issue on multiple e36 sedans. I wonder if it's a sedan thing? Usually when swapping hoods (or just removing it and putting it back on) I think the latch pins can get misaligned and will stick when it gets shut. I'll see if I can take pictures to explain. It seems like it's extremely easy to mis-align the hood when putting it back on because it wants to sink towards the windshield, which I have also noticed causes rubbing in the windshield wiper arm.
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Old Tue, Oct-15-2019, 09:25:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help with Hood Alignment

Okay, if you look closely you will see the latching pin and in my case the pin is pushed too far forward. I think my hood is clocked slightly if you were to look at it top-down. But, what you will see is a shiny spot where the cone tip of the pin will rub and actually stick on the wrong part of the release / catch.
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Old Tue, Oct-15-2019, 09:56:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help with Hood Alignment

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Originally Posted by Aeko View Post
I've had this issue on multiple e36 sedans. I wonder if it's a sedan thing? Usually when swapping hoods (or just removing it and putting it back on) I think the latch pins can get misaligned and will stick when it gets shut. I'll see if I can take pictures to explain. It seems like it's extremely easy to mis-align the hood when putting it back on because it wants to sink towards the windshield, which I have also noticed causes rubbing in the windshield wiper arm.


Yes! This is EXACTLY the problem I’m having.


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Old Sat, Oct-19-2019, 11:15:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: Help with Hood Alignment

i just put mine on and the hood hinges have to be fully seated to start, the one hole is notched so you can put it on, then slide it all the way to the front of the car before tightening.

Then to get the pins on the front sorted, I loosened the brackets on the hood slightly so they could move slightly if needed when hitting the strikers. After opening and closing the hood a couple of times, they were aligned nicely and i tightened the brackets.

Then I adjusted the pins for the right hood height and friction on the lever for a "pop up" on release.

Overall happy with it but i need to adjust my fenders ever so slightly.
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Old Sat, Oct-19-2019, 01:51:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help with Hood Alignment

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Originally Posted by englishtom1596q View Post
i just put mine on and the hood hinges have to be fully seated to start, the one hole is notched so you can put it on, then slide it all the way to the front of the car before tightening.

Then to get the pins on the front sorted, I loosened the brackets on the hood slightly so they could move slightly if needed when hitting the strikers. After opening and closing the hood a couple of times, they were aligned nicely and i tightened the brackets.

Then I adjusted the pins for the right hood height and friction on the lever for a "pop up" on release.

Overall happy with it but i need to adjust my fenders ever so slightly.
Good tips. These cars are a true ***** (tedious) to align properly.

Tier 1 Body shop/surfacing tip:
I also recommend using a handheld trouble light (florescent tube) to cast a linear light across the panels. This allows you to read the tangency of the body surfaces from 1 panel to the next by how the light reflects back across the surfaces. This is why good body shops have florescent lights all over the walls and ceilings. They show all dents and panel alignments.

You are looking to have a linear light reflection that is smooth flowing and continuously curved across the panels. There should be no steps or angular breaks in the light reflection on your panels. Steps indicate the panels are not on the same plane and need shimmed or adjusted. Well designed cars are "C2" or continuous curved surfaced in almost all areas (unless we are talking about the new Supra which is a mess, but I digress)

This is showing a similar technique in CAD (zebra stripes), but is the exact same with respect to the real world and any light cast across a panel(s). Just image each stripe is your light reflection
https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/20...a-stripes.html
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Discussing Help with Hood Alignment in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)