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Just bought a 1988 LSC Coupe and 1988 Convertible and cannot open hood on either car (added photos)


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I just recently bought a dark grey 1988 LSC Coupe and a 1988 Convertible and both cars were stored outside uncovered for a long time.

I am not able to open the hood on either car and on the LSC Coupe the driver's door is stuck closed.

Anyone have any suggestions about how to get the hoods open on either car or what might be wrong with the driver's door on the coupe?

Is it possible to reach the hood latches from underneath the cars if I jack them up and crawl under there?

On the driver's door problem with the LSC Coupe is it possible to remove the inner door panel trim panel if the door is stuck closed so I can try to reach the latch mechanism inside the door?

--

Steve in NE Ohio

 

Any and all suggestions would be most welcome.

Edited by JensenHealey
Corrected the capitalization of the word Coupe in the title
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  • JensenHealey changed the title to Just bought a 1989 LSC Coupe and 1988 Convertible and cannot open hood on either car

On my 1991 conv I do not think there would be any way to reach up from the bottom to open the hood. Is the lever under the dash stuck and not moveable or has the cable that un locks the latches pulled out? On the door can you get the window down? You may be able to push a rod down along side the glass to press the lock/un lock lever?  

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Welcome to the AOAI Forum and the world of Avantis.

On the earlier cars, and maybe still on yours, there are rubber plugs up in the fender wells that you remove to reach in (long screwdriver) to release the hood latches. 

I doubt that you can remove the inner door panel with the door closed without major damage to it. 

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My $0.02:  Using my former '88 coupe as reference -

Hood - Try removing Drivers side inner fender liner to see if you can get close to the release mechanism.

Door - Get inside the car and go to the rear seat / you should see a small cut-out where the latch-lock is located on the door.  Take a small screwdriver and try and push the lock lever up (or in).  I can't remember everything, but I think you need to pull the inside door release handle while doing this.  Your problem is probably with the locking.

I just thought of this.........  Regarding the Hood.  Before doing anything else, try this.  On the left and right corners nearest the windshield hit each corner hard with your closed fist - I think starting with the right corner first!

Edited by wdaly
Old age memory
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BTW, on the 1989 coupe with the stuck driver's door, the passenger's door does open so I can get into the car.

I had to get a key made at a local locksmith for both cars since they did not come with keys.

 

Thanks for the suggestions so far.

Edited by JensenHealey
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Also The cable is not pulled out. Pulling the handle under the dash does not really seem to do anything. It doesn't move when pulled.

If I had to guess I would say if there is an inner cable inside an outer cable that there might be corrosion between the two thus preventing the inner cable from doing anything under the hood. Or the latch mechanisms are just frozen with rust or corrosion.

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Today I jacked up the front driver's corner of the 1988 convertible today and detached the back edge of the inner fender liner so I could look for a the rubber plug another member here told me about. There was a rubber plug and I attempted to pull it out but instead it popped back up into the cavity. I reached into this hole with my finger and felt around but I don't feel anything that seems to be anything resembling a hood latch. So using the camera on my phone I took these photos. Can anyone see if anything in these photos would seem to be part of a hood latch? Two photos are where I aimed my camera lens up into the hole and the third photo is a photo of that area from inside the fender.

IMG_20201107_165357_sm.jpg

IMG_20201107_165432sm.jpg

IMG_20201107_165606sm.jpg

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  • JensenHealey changed the title to Just bought a 1989 LSC Coupe and 1988 Convertible and cannot open hood on either car (added photos)

That is not where the hood latches are.  Hopefully, you know that the hood opens from the rear (by windshield) and that there are two latches, each about a quarter of the way in from the outer edge.  Having someone press down on the hood in these areas while trying to release the catches sometimes helps.  

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Looking straight up behind the passengers front tire on my 83. Yours may look somewhat different as you have a later chassis but there should be an opening there. 

 

Hood Lock Location.jpg

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I was looking at some of the many photos I have and must remark that up to early 89  (0420's)  the latches were very similar to 63 and up, however on two 89's numbering in the 0458 and 0459,   there's only ONE latch and it's right next to the wiper moor

89av0458x1013e.jpg

Edited by silverstude
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I was trying to give him some idea of the way the latch worked.  He sent me pics that clearly show the pivot spring, although they looked so rusty, one would think they would have broken with any exertion..  

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41 minutes ago, silverstude said:

I was trying to give him some idea of the way the latch worked.  He sent me pics that clearly show the pivot spring, although they looked so rusty, one would think they would have broken with any exertion..  

Good info, any indication there is an access hole under the latch or through the firewall? That would be a more difficult reach as the access would potentially be under/behind the dash.

Edited by Avanti83
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Nice investigative detective work Avanti83!

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The latest/newest Avanti that I owned (or worked on) was a 1987.  I didn't realize that they went from two latches to one latch after that.  It seems to me to make the problem worse, unless there is some release point that I can not visualize.  It seems like if the cable is seized in the housing, you could just pull the entire cable housing to make the latch release and then repair/replace the cable.   

EDIT:  I do not see any emergency release cable going to the latch pictured above.  It wouldn't hurt to look for one on your cars. 

Edited by studegary
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If there is an emergency release cable it is probably similar to the cable used (at least on '87-88) rear trunk release - a wire that is no larger than a picture frame hanging wire.  Looking at the picture I would guess this cable can be reached from behind the dash (w/o removing the dash).

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3 hours ago, wdaly said:

If there is an emergency release cable it is probably similar to the cable used (at least on '87-88) rear trunk release - a wire that is no larger than a picture frame hanging wire.  Looking at the picture I would guess this cable can be reached from behind the dash (w/o removing the dash).

Sounds good, but I do not see any wire attached to the latch in the picture above.  

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This is bugging me (besides, I'm retired and bored).  I just messaged Plwindish as he has (had?) an 'actual' '89 so maybe he can help!

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JensonHealey, I just read the message that wdaly had sent me and I checked my '89 convertible in the garage.  The '89's use a single hood latch on the rear of the hood where earlier Avantis has one latch on each side at the rear of the engine bay.  I did get a couple of pics of the latch and there is a rubber plug in the body under the  latch assembly.  I'm too tired to get under the dash, but the rubber plug should be visible at the top of the bulkhead above where the steering column goes through the firewall.  As in the older Avantis, a long shaft screwdriver could be worked up to the top of the latch and used to pry the hood pin loose from the latch.  I hope this helps to get your hoods up. 

A799D90E-C988-473B-8CA7-20F74360838F_1_105_c.jpeg

955F7A01-ABA1-42A8-A907-EE3D238991A1_1_105_c.jpeg

56C9D0C4-27DA-442D-B1F1-08695A39ABF5_1_105_c.jpeg

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A broken hood release cable on an '89-'91 Avanti can be a nightmare.....A friend of mine who owns a gorgeous '89 coupe added a second hood release cable attached to the central latch anticipating a possible future problem....He secured the short secondary release cable out of the way under the dashboard.

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Wow! Lots of replies. Thanks for the interest and information from everyone here.

I tried on the 1988 convertible today to reach up into the holes under the fenderwells to release the latches with a phillips screwdriver as suggested by silverstude but I did not have any luck with this. I have a friend coming over tomorrow afternoon and we are going to try some different things. I appreciate all of the excellent information. I bet the 1989 Coupe has the single latch assembly. I will have to crawl under the dash to see if I can find the hole for that. Unfortunately on that 1989 Coupe the driver's door also does not open so crawling under the driver's side of the dash will be even more difficult.

 

 

Edited by JensenHealey
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I'm not certain about the '89, but the '88 has a small opening (cut-out) on the interior door panel at the back end of the door (check your '88 to see what I mean).  If your '89 is the same refer to my earlier post and you just might get the door to open - I did.  As I recall it has something to do with a worn/bad spring on the latch (?).

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16 hours ago, JensenHealey said:

Wow! Lots of replies. Thanks for the interest and information from everyone here.

I tried on the 1988 convertible today to reach up into the holes under the fenderwells to release the latches with a phillips screwdriver as suggested by silverstude but I did not have any luck with this. I have a friend coming over tomorrow afternoon and we are going to try some different things. I appreciate all of the excellent information. I bet the 1989 Coupe has the single latch assembly. I will have to crawl under the dash to see if I can find the hole for that. Unfortunately on that 1989 Coupe the driver's door also does not open so crawling under the driver's side of the dash will be even more difficult.

Could you see the two latches?  If not, since your 1988 was one of the last handful of 1988 models, perhaps it has the single latch 1989 system.

 

 

 

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  • JensenHealey changed the title to Just bought a 1988 LSC Coupe and 1988 Convertible and cannot open hood on either car (added photos)

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