bonnet (hood) cable stuck
Hello I'm new here and I know this thread is old but I thought this might help someone else
The bonnet release cable on the e36 coupe is a 2 part affair and the offside cable usually fails first. To release the bonnet is not as difficult as it first appears. If you jack the front of the car up you can remove the forward most scuttle panel by removing the four 8mm nut headed screws that retain it. This gives you clear access up to the bonnet cable which runs across the underside of the panel where the bonnet catches are. Remove it from the two retaining clips and give it a tug. The nearside catch will release. If the offside catch is stuck you can get to the other cable. Its a bit tight but you can do it if you have long arms. From under the car you can get your hand up behind the offside of the radiator (You may have to remove the lower radiator hose to ease access). The cable is not easy to spot from underneath in the dark but if you can find it give it a tug and the offside catch should pop open.
I Have just done this on my 328i and I am in the process of replacing the cables. It's a pig of a job and I'm struggling to route the new cable. I will let you know how I get on. I got the new cables from a bmw dealer for £25
When you get the bonnet open remove the catches (3 retaining torque screws) and pour oil through them. Let them sit for a minute until the excess oil drains out. Working them back and forth will make them run smooth again. Do this before replacing the cables otherwise they will stick again. You may find that the old cable ends have corroded. I tapped them with a punch and amazingly they broke away without trashing the plastic surrounding them. Plan to replace the catches if the cable ends are corroded in though because the chances of getting away with it are slim.
Now the catches should work fine but good luck routing that new cable