Hood latch replacement using Matrix hood latch

Technical info on the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix including do-it-yourself info
HIVibe
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:09 pm

Hood latch replacement using Matrix hood latch

Postby HIVibe » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:35 am

Hi all, new guy here.

So my 2003 Vibe's hood latch corroded due to Honolulu's salt air and the secondary latch refused to engage. Since the last thing I needed was to have my hood fly up while driving on the freeway and shatter my windshield, I decided to search this forum for some advice. I was encouraged when I read that the Matrix hood latch would be compatible with the Vibe, and picked up a brand new OEM Toyota Matrix unit for $95 off FleaBay.

When I placed the two units side-by side, I could tell there was a problem: :shock:

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Yep, the release levers were angled differently, apparently due to the fact that the Matrix's grille (unlike the Vibe's) is attached to the leading edge of the hood, requiring the lower positioning of the lever for that application. The two latch assemblies are otherwise IDENTICAL, mounting exactly the same way using the same 3 10mm bolts and the release cable attaches exactly the same way as well. Instead of bending and possibly damaging the release lever, I Dremeled out a couple of grille elements so I could access the lever in its current lower position with my finger. :oops:

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Works like a charm! Nothing quite so satisfying as the smooth, positive operation of a brand-new hood latch. And the hole is barely noticeable! :lol:

Learn from my pain. :oops: Buy the OEM Pontiac unit unless you enjoy cutting holes in your Vibe's grille. Fortunately, my Vibe is an island beater and while mechanically sound, it won't exactly win any car shows.

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SeattleJeremy
Posts: 933
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:02 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Hood latch replacement using Matrix hood latch

Postby SeattleJeremy » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:55 am

Great ingenuity and execution! It took me a moment to see the difference.
06 Vibe Base - Mono Platinum - Manual

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tpollauf
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Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:37 am
Location: Toledo/Oregon, Port Clinton Ohio
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Re: Hood latch replacement using Matrix hood latch

Postby tpollauf » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:42 pm

Nice work ;) Glad you found us and signed up! Just how bad overall is the corrosion due to the salt water environment? The salt/brine layed down on the road I feel is worse BUT maybe they're similar. At least with the winter abuse it only last 1/2 year or less whereas the ocean breezes are with you year round :o
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"everything is modifiable"

HIVibe
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:09 pm

Re: Hood latch replacement using Matrix hood latch

Postby HIVibe » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:36 pm

tpollauf wrote:Nice work ;) Glad you found us and signed up! Just how bad overall is the corrosion due to the salt water environment? The salt/brine layed down on the road I feel is worse BUT maybe they're similar. At least with the winter abuse it only last 1/2 year or less whereas the ocean breezes are with you year round :o


Hi, tpollauf!

I guess you might have it worse due to the salted roads and the salt spray getting kicked up all over your cars there (especially the undercarriage)? I can tell you that here in Hawaii, pretty much all unprotected ferrous metals rust fairly quickly in the outdoors, aluminum and copper oxidize easily too. The constant UV bombardment doesn't help either, so paint crazes and burns quickly if not protected.

Cheers!

HIVibe
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:09 pm

Re: Hood latch replacement using Matrix hood latch

Postby HIVibe » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:37 pm

SeattleJeremy wrote:Great ingenuity and execution! It took me a moment to see the difference.


Thanks! I'm just glad I have a working hood latch again!

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runningslow
Posts: 293
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:16 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Hood latch replacement using Matrix hood latch

Postby runningslow » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:44 am

I have a bit of experience in both cases having lived in Florida along the coast for a few years and in Michigan where salted roads are common.

The road salt up north causes a car to rust from the bottom up, that stuff gets everywhere under a car, especially where the tires kick it up. That of course leads the to the body rusting away and it causes all sorts of problems with important functions (or at least maintenance of) for operating a vehicle: exhaust, suspension, steering, brakes, etc.

The salt air on the other hand does a number on the exterior surface of a vehicle and anywhere there is an opening for the salty air to blow inside. I've seen plenty of cars with surface rust on all their exposed surfaces, flaking clearcoat and fading paint. Generally speaking, these cars are mechanically sound with sheet metal issues. Thankfully at the time, I lived inland enough where it wasn't a concern and I only paid the beach a visit on a regular basis. That might be different actually living on an island surrounded by salt water though.
Josh
2005 Vibe GT ~ Platinum
2006 Vibe ~ Lava, Base, Auto
2005 Corolla S ~ Silver Streak Mica, Manual (Wife's)
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.


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