Fixing the bonnet opening mechanism on classic cars

Probably the most frustrating problem a car owner can come across is that their bonnet catch fails.  Whilst some bonnets are able to be opened from the outside front, many others have some sort of mechanism (often a bit Heath Robinson) which attaches the bonnet catch to a pulley or a simple wire, keeping things secure.

Older vehicles, specifically 1960’s and earlier employ a variety of ways to open the bonnet.  Many of them have a long wire which provides a loop to pull inside the car.  The wire will be held to the inside wing, with a pivot at the front of the car, attached to a further wire, which attaches to the bonnet catch itself.  These systems tend to work very well over several years with little or no maintenance, until they fail.

This happened to my Austin Healey, leaving me panicking about how to open the bonnet.  After some thought, I got under the car with a tubular handle from a jack and manage to unseat the catch (15 minutes and lots of swearing!).  On opening the bonnet, the long wire had detached from the pivot (simply the wire was bent at a right angle into a hole of the pivot), having lost its fastener which kept it in place.  Also, many of the tiny grub screws which held the long wire in place had detached, as had the spring which ensured the wire moved back to its original position.  These hadn’t been replaced by previous owners as they had probably been unable to source them.

At Leyton Fasteners we supply all the small, hard to find fasteners which can help to repair your classic vehicle.  We often need specific sizes or similar fasteners to find replacement fasteners.