For today's project, we're going to be replacing the hood latch cable on a 1998 ford crown victoria police interceptor because the old one is damaged and allows water to leak into the interior passenger compartment of the car.

The new hood latch cable

The 6W1Z-16916-A hood latch cable is used in production 2006+ crownvics, but it listed as being backwards compatible all the way to the 1998 model years cars too.

The new cable removed from the shipping bag

The hood latch cable passes through the firewall down low in an inaccessible location, so the front driver's side is raised using a jack, and the fender apron pulled back some towards the rear

To allow for extra movement of the fender apron, the cruise servo bracket is unbolted and a couple of electrical ground lugs seperated from the fender

Here are the hood latch cable fasteners and a couple nuts which hold the cruise servo bracket the the fender apron

The hood latch

The hood latch after the two mounting bolts have been removed from the core support. The galvanized coating on the hood latch mounting bolts had worn away in places allowing the underlying metal to corrode. So penatrant oil was applied to the bolt threads, the bolts partially removed, more penatrant oil applied, the bolts screwed back in a little, the backed out again. In the end, both hood latch bolts came out clean without snapping off in the radiator core support.

The whitish coloration to the latch is because the latch has been lubricated with white lithium grease a few times to quiet squeaking noises

The hood latch cable after removing the latch from the end

The hood latch

The back of the hood latch

The hood latch mounting bolts

The fasteners that were removed from the car. Included are the hood latch cable clips, the two bolts which hold the fender apron to the fender, a couple cruise servo bracket nuts, the fender apron bracket on the frame, it's mounting bolt, and the two retainers which hold the core support plastic cover to the core support below.

The old hood latch cable

The hood latch cable in it's normal position.

The hood latch cable in the release position

The old hood latch cable was functional in the sense that the hood popped up when you pulled on the handle inside the car

But the rubber grommet in the firewall was damaged and allowed rain water to leak into the interior passenger compartment of the car

Some closeup pictures of the damaged grommet under different lighting

It appears that the old grommet failed due to age related rubber dry rot. This car has been a northern vehicle it's whole life too. People living in a dry arid enviroment like the west texas desert will likely have failures of this part well before the vehicle gets to be 12 years old.

Here's the side of the grommet that you can see from the inside of the car

After a big rainstorm, big droplets of water were visible flowing out of this area.

I could not get this area to leak with water spray from a garden hose. This made water leak troubleshooting difficult because this grommet would be dry inside after spraying the engine bay with water. So I had to wait for a strong thunderstorm to roll around before I knew that I still had waterleaks into the passenger compartment of the car.

Here are pictures of the new hood latch cable

The plastic in this area is a little thicker than the original cable that came on my 1998 crownvic. This resulted in needing a longer bolt to hold the front of the plastic bracket to the body of the car. The old bolt was too short, but the back stud/nut worked good with this bracket.

The 9W13-16C656-AA engineering part number stamped into this cable indicates this part is used in production 2009+ cars

Here's what a good firewall grommet should look like

The end of the cable that goes into the hood latch has a plastic clip on it instead of a metal one. Not a big deal, both setups were compatible with the original hood latch in my 1998 crownvic.

After reinstalling the hood latch, the hood alignment needed some adjustment. The hood was held down much lower than it should have been. Making these adjustments is not too difficult, just loosen the two hood latch bolts a little bit and the hood latch can move around vertically and horizontally. The hood latch has large oversized holes in it to allow for adjustment.