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Tips,tricks, or tools to pop the hood

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  • Tips,tricks, or tools to pop the hood

    It always to seems to be a problem to open the hood during extrication, or for car fires, you really dont want to beat on it if their are victims trapped for fear of the air bag blowing, and always on car fires the cable is melted, just trying to see if this is a problem with most or if there is any tricks or tools that people have come up with, to make this easier???

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  • #2
    This is one of the funniest fire ground events, seven guys beating on a hood that won't budge.

    Try these:

    1: If the cable and handle are melted try to grab the end with a plier and give it a pull.

    2: Didn't work? Knock out the plastic grill and look for the hood release cable. Crush it with a vise grip and give it a yank.

    3: You broke the guys grill and there was no cable to be seen. Lets do more damage. Pry up the front left corner of the hood and see if the cable is there. If it is, use the vise grip as above.

    As you work your way up you WILL do more damage but only after trying the least damaging way first.

    The above are all assuming the hood release isn't on the exterior, but I'm sure we all check for that first.

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    • #3
      WE HAVE A HOOD TOOL WE MADE BUT YOU CAN SEE ONE AT http://www.howellrescue.com WE HAVE USED OURS A LOT. IT IS A T HANDLE ROD WITH A SPLIT IN THE END TO REACH THROW THE GRILLE AND FORK THE RELEASE CABLE TWIST THE TOOL TO RELEASE THE LATCH.

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      • #4
        all the reply's were very good ideas, i only see one problem. When the car is on fire and your trying to pry the hood from the front and locate the cable you are standing right in front of two missles(the bumper shocks) save your knees and pry the hood up from the side with a haligan and get a good knock down, then after you cool down the shocks start playing around the front of the car. you didnt start the fire dont kill yourself putting it out.
        thats just the way i see it.

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        • #5
          Bumper shocks: One of our departments here in Sunflower County, MS had an "almost" nasty run-in with bumper shocks a while back. Just as the engine rolled to a stop, the driver/engineer noticed something (in his words)"fly by". Later inspection revealed the plastic bumper had long since melted, but the shock on the driver's side gave way just as the engine arrived. We documented a total travel distance of 80 feet from the vehicle. I kept the piece for training purposes, and believe me, by itself (without the bumper), it's enough to cause some major trauma to tib/fib area.

          As for accessing the engine compartment safely from the sides, we usually grab a hallagan and using the point we punch a hole in the fender or hood, widen it out to approximate the size of the knob and with a full fog you'll have the fire blacked out in no time. Short piercing nozzles are great if you have them too. If the engine compartment is heavily involved, the hood's gone anyway, so don't worry about poking an occasional hole (although I've seen insurance agents look quizzically at the hole!).

          Hope that helps for the fire aspect.

          ------------------
          James A. Whitfield, Jr., MCEM
          Sunflower County Fire Coordinator
          Indianola, Missisippi
          (662) 887-6253
          [email protected]
          Battalion 1 - The Pride of the South

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          • #6
            Vehicle fire have numerous hazards. I posted these once before, but here goes.
            1. LPG based refrigerant used to replace the now expensive R-12 in the AC systems.
            2. Fuel, heat and AC lines in the "A" posts of many SUVs and some other type passenger cars.
            3. Penumatic hood and trunk pistons.
            4. Air bag systems. We had one explode on us, (not deploy) EXPLODE. The bezel ring went through the cars roof.
            5. Polymerized rubber skins which react violently with water when burning, (Saturns)
            6. CNG, LPG, Methanol and other alternate fueled vehicles.

            So, you see, the hazards are many, but eventually someone's got to get close enough to put them out. I believe that falls on our shoulders.
            Feel free to list the hazards I missed.

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            • #7
              AFD,
              Gaining access to the hood for the reason you suggest have been an ongoing dilemma for the fire service for years. While genesis does sell the hood release tool, most departments to my knowledge still carry the halligan bar.
              1. for car fires under the hood, if you approach the hood from the drivers side corner, place the adz end of the halligan in between the hood and left front quarter panel. if the prying end of the halligan is directly over the hood, your in the right location. Now pull the prying end towards you, this allows the hood to be raised the width of the adz 2 1/2" - 3", drive a wedge into this opening and make your attack. this is more than ample space to attack almost any car fire. we have used this technique for years and it still works.
              Once knock down has been achieved and overhaul needed, you can do one of several things:
              A. reach in and locate the hood latch cable. place the forked end of the halligan bar over the cable and rotate it clockwise until the cable tightens and the primary latch releases. you can also use vise grips, pliars to grab the cable.
              B. if you can't access the cable from the first location, you can access it from the location as pointed out previously, take out the front grill, locate the latch mechanism and follow the steps as noted above.
              C. the last yet most crude procedure is when you have such a hard time locating the cable, you can drive the pointed end of the halligan into the hood and fold the corner back far enough to gain sufficient access.

              all three of these methods work well during extrication incident where battery access is a must. Not much leverage is needed to pry the hood up and slide a wedge into place to widen the opening.

              Good luck and stay safe!!!!

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              • #8
                All:
                Opening the hood at a car fire has made me look "less than brilliant" on a few occasions. Looks like a lot of good advice here. I've seen the latch/hook cut with bolt cutters, seemed to work ok but I'm not sure it is the answer in all cases. Been thinking about a piercing nozzle or a Navy nozzle with a short applicator for knockdown on engine compartment fires. Still have to get it open.
                BTW E229lt, It's only funny if you are not one of the seven guys beating on the hood.

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                • #9
                  Try a "wedge" spreader. The often forgot about hand hydraulics work very well on hoods.

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                  • #10
                    Fast, and works on "MOST" cars/trucks.Cut the hood from the hinge. 2 quick cuts through the back corners of the hood.(from the left and right rear,center of the hood cut towards the front and out in front of the hinge.) This will free the hood from the hinge. Use a pike pole to pull the hood Forward and off the latch. Similar to rolling a door off the Nader pin..

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