Date registered: Dec 2009
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Okay, I just went through this, using this forum and a handful of mercedes mechanics I called up, including a roadside who passed by and had no solutions. My options were to break the grill, or bring to mercedes so they could charge me between $145-350" to open the hood. I chose breaking the grill (replacement between $50-$150, depending used or new). Here is the process, as it is a little tricky:
1. brake the grill
a. zawsaw or saw would have been easier, but we used a crowbar. Be careful not to damage the fasteners so they'll be in good condition to fasten the new grill back on, but it's relatively easy to tear it off, and if you are a first timer to try and find the release, it offers you enough room to see what you are doing.
2. The black cover case.
Once the grill is off, you will see a little black cover case just to the right , below the center of the hood. you can crow bar that off too if you must.
2. Electric confusion
Once you get in the box, you will be confused because you will see electrical wires.Yep. as a 40 year mercedes expert said- You are going to have to replace it anyway. So, gently remove the wires, and brake that little metal thing off. (this is the electric portion that works in conjunction with the release for the original hood pop)
3. The release lever is located back up inside the remaining hole. It releases by sliding to the right. While doing that, you need someone else to release the latch on the hood (where the grille use to be) for the final release.
Now I must replace the serpentine belt, and idler pulley, which is the reason I needed to enter the hood apparently. Thankfully I was in line at a fast food restaurant (not for the people behind me, but for safety reasons). Turns out the idler pulley was shredded in half. no clue as if all is connected, as no prior hood cable issues, and the cable that is attached to the release runs up the drivers left side of the car, and into the middle of the front of the hood....so maybe the belt whipped it outta whack or who knows, but there was nothing to be done by pulling on the cable with pliers on the inside, even though it appeared to be still attached (at least the one cable I saw pretruding at the top did), there was nothing happening, but it seems to me that it should be a safety hazard no to be able to open the hood without busting into a grille. I have yet to figure out what the issue was with the cable in the first place, but when I know I will post.