Talladega & Spoiler II Hood Latch Repair
This is a project that will be of interest to you if you own a Talladega or Spoiler II. The regular production Torino/Fairlane and Montego/Cyclones in 1969 did not have remote hood release latches. However, because of the special extended noses on the Talladega and Spoiler II the factory had to install a hood cable and release pull from the front of the car to the interior to open the hood.
Since so few of these cars were ever built finding parts to repair such an item can be a real challenge. The interior handle is from some prior vintage of Lincoln and I have no idea what the cable is from. (Member Rick Toombs says that a 61 or 62 T-Bird cable will work just fine!)
One of our project Talladegas arrived without a hood release cable. Every time I wanted to open the hood it required laying down on my back in front of the car, reaching up behind the bumper, feeling for the hood release latch and opening the hood. This is not something you want to do at the gas station to check your oil!
I put off fixing this until I couldn’t put it off any more. I didn’t know were to start for parts. I had the interior pull handle but nothing from there to the hood latch. Luckily, we do have an original Spoiler II and a restored Talladega which helped significantly in this project. They provided excellent “go-bys” for this project.
The first and most important item I acquired was the cable. I measured the length needed and it is every bit of 7 feet. I hoped to find a cable of the right size without a handle but had no luck with that assignment. I might have been able to find one if I had looked more places but settled on Part Number 731-1116 from the local NAPA store. It is the right length and has a pull handle pre-installed at the interior end. I even considered leaving the NAPA pull in place but decided to stay with the original Ford handle since the swap was so easy.
The first task is to remove the existing pull handle from the dash board and disassemble what ever pieces you have. I am not positive that all of the Talladegas and Spoiler IIs have identical mounting hardware and arrangements since I have seen variations and not sure if they were all originals or if some were replaced with modifications over the years.
The second task is to run the cable from the interior into the engine compartment then into the hood and up to the hood latch. There should be a small hole in the firewall where the cable can be run through. Then it should be routed into the hood at the back of the hood between the outer skin and the inner support structure. This was actually much easier than I thought it would be. You basically just have to fish it up though the diagonal support structure on the under side of the hood and out one of the holes near the latch.
If you have an original hood pull handle for your car you will want to loosen the set screw and remove any remnants of the old cable. You should also take the new cable and cut the pull handle off immediately behind the handle as close to the handle as you can get. On the NAPA part, the remaining shaft is the perfect size to fit into the original pull handle. Insert it and lightly tighten the set screw.
Now mount the pull handle mounting bracket back to the underside of the dash in its original location.
Back to the engine compartment; take your cable mounting clips (get them at any hardware store if yours are gone, they won’t be original but they will do until you find the correct ones, if you ever do and mount the cable to the underside of the hood. One clip should be near the back edge of the hood and the other up towards the hood latch at the front of the hood.
With the pull mounted to the dash and the cable secured to the hood; run the wire of the cable though the hood latch handle and place a retaining cylinder and set screw tight against the latch. Test your pull handle and make sure it moves the latch before shutting the hood.
The last step is to go back into the interior and align the hood pull. Loosen the set screw in the handle of the pull. It should be vertical with the word “Hood” at the top.
Total cost of this repair, if you have an original pull handle, is approximately $20. If your handle needs to be re-chromed as ours does, your cost will be higher. If you don’t have a pull handle and want to use the one that is very similar on the NAPA part it is included in the cost.
If you still have the external cable in place but the wire inside the cable which actually “pulls” the latch you can purchase just the wire and fish it through the existing cable. This will be even less expensive and easier to do. You will still need to attach it to the hood release pull in the interior.