Believe me, I'm totally anti-rice, so here's the deal: I lost control on some ice at an intersection last winter. I got sideways and totalled the driver's side of a Ford Windstar. The driver was okay. The only damage to my car was a small crease in the hood and the plastic strip got torn off of the front bumper. My hood still opened after that, though.
Later, the hood cable broke. I don't know if it was going to break anyway, or if the latch was binding due to the wreck and finally broke the cable. I pulled off the driver's side kidney grill and took out the little rubber plug behind the top right (facing the car) corner. You can see the hood latch from there, but I couldn't get it to move.
I was told by a few people, including Autohaus Collision Center (exclusively BMW) that the only way to get the hood open is to cut two big holes in it over the latches. I don't mind doing this, because the crease on the hood split the paint and it's starting to rust.
In my search for a replacement hood, I found that $450 for a carbon fiber hood ended up being cheaper than most any metal hood I could find, after shipping and the painting that would be required on a metal hood. And it weighs 17 lbs., compared to 70 lb. stock metal hood.
My 1992 325is is dark metallic blue (don't know the real name, can't look on shock tower). I'm hoping the dark color will make the carbon fiber be a little less obvious, like CJ's bimmer. And if it does look too rice, carbon fiber can be painted, anyway.
1988 325iX Alpine White
1992 325is Dark Metallic Blue (?)
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