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How does the hood release work on 85 A4Q? (and much much more!)

Fellow Audi slaves,

I am continuing work on my 85 A4Q to get it road-worthy again.  I would
like to first off thank Linda at Carlsen Audi for her help in finding
the parts I needed - even a little connector for my headlight switch that
everyone else claimed was unavailable (unless I paid $100 for the whole
wiring harness).  Linda found me the connector for under $10.

Next, can anyone help me repair my hood release?  My hood release cable
broke at the handle.  I got a complete replacement handle and cable to
install, but when I tried to open my hood (with a pliers on the wire
stub), I found that only the front right latch released.

After going at the locked latch from under the car, I finally got it to
release.  But I found that the release cable goes right past that latch
to the front right one, with no attachment!  I cannot find any way that
this cable could ordinarily release the front left latch.  Even if it
were attached, it seems to me that it would pull in the direction to
close the latch rather than open it.  All I can find is a white plastic
piece sliding loose along the cable, which could hook onto the release
latch, but being loose, that would do no good, and if it were tight, it
seems to me it would pull the latch the wrong way.

So I am very puzzled as to how I can fix this.  Can anyone take a peek
under their hood for me and give a pointer?  How should the release cable
hook onto the front left hood latch?

Finally, when going to replace my distributor cap, I found something
that amazed me.  Upon pulling the ignition wires off the distributor cap,
all that was left in each of the holes in the cap was a pile of green
metallic dust.  No sign at all of the metal connectors that should have
been in there.  Now I know why my car didn't run when it was wet, but
don't see how it could have run when dry either.  Guess the dust was able
to conduct the spark....