How the XJ6 Bonnet Latch works
by Charlie Nowlin
Some listers report, that the bonnet pops up during road travel, and is startling if not frightening . This should offer some insight, on how it does it's job, and also, some general maintainance, and adjustment methods.
The pin length is adjustable, by screwing it in or out of the captive nut in the bonnet
When latching, the pin, green , separates the latching mechanism, shown in red , which is held together with spring tension, (NOT SHOWN for clarity) sort of like the claws on a lobster. As the pin enters the latching mechanism, the latch opens wider, and wider to clear the shoulder on the head of the latch pin. At this point, the latch spring blue begins to compress against the latch support, via the washer, orange providing the locking tension, to keep the pin, and bonnet from rattling, and provide a pressure to assure pop-up, when the bonnet is opened via the under dash release cable knob.
....... Latched ..............
When the shoulder of the latching pin passes the latching mechanism, red, the latching mechanism now snaps shut, capturing the shoulder of the head of the pin.
Problems arise, when either...
A) The pin green doesn't go deep enough into the latching mechanism, red to allow the jaws to close
B) The pin green is bent, or off center ( being cocked in the latch )
C) The latch mechanism, red is dirty with caked grease, preventing it's smooth operation
D) The latch mechanism tension spring, (not shown) is too weak to provide the pressure needed,
E) The latching cable (not shown) is binding in it's sheath, or there is debris in the latch.
Maintaining the Latch
All that is needed, is to keep the latch, and pin tip,clean, and lubricated with some white lithium grease, making sure that the mechanism operates freely, and does not bind along or in the cable.
If adjustment is necessary, be sure the pin is centered in the latch opening. and that the latch pin shoulder, is deep enough into the latch mechanism, to get captured by the latch
Additional tension on the latch mechanism can be achieved by adding a second smaller spring, available at local hardware stores, inside the latching sprimg in the latch support, or by purchasing a new spring.
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