Tips on Drilling Out Trunk Lock

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flying4fish
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Tips on Drilling Out Trunk Lock

Post by flying4fish »

Has anyone every successfully drilled out their trunk lock?? I've tried all the tricks posted here previously for opening a stuck trunk, but something is really not right with mine and it won't budge. I even broke out my welder and welded a tool, described in other posts, of 3/16" diameter steel, since the paint can wire would bend. No go. Somehow the portion of the lock that pushes down on the lever to open the trunk has slipped under that lever. I can still move it with the key, but it's not in the right place. I'll try to attache a pic. When I turned the key, it was hard to turn and then I heard a popping sound; I had to use pliers to get the key back to vertical to get it out (and it got bent, but I have a spare). I see no other option right now, other than somehow getting the lock out so I can try to push down on the release through that hole. But I"m afraid I will really mess up metal and paint, so looking for advice.

I live on the Big Island, and no one will touch this car here!

aloha,
Michael
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eye
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Re: Tips on Drilling Out Trunk Lock

Post by eye »

Michael

If you could build a hook to pull the pin on the lock, that would free it from the lever. If you drill it you would need to drill all the way through till you broke off where the lever attaches to the lock where the wire clip is.

Here are some pictures.

First pic key enters from the right and you can see the end of the pin and spring. Second pic spare lock.

I've never drilled one but if I did that is what I would do.
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sfdaugherty
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Re: Tips on Drilling Out Trunk Lock

Post by sfdaugherty »

I would drop the tank and see if you can drill out the screws holding the access plate or cut a hole from underneath. You might be able to reach it then. It would be much easier to fix and nobody would notice the repair. If you drill out the lock, you will have a lot of bodywork to do.

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Re: Tips on Drilling Out Trunk Lock

Post by eye »

No bodywork in drilling out the lock. You just have to drill a hole big enough(probably about 3/16") to knock off the spring clip holding the lever on. Once the lever falls off the trunk will open. If the lever on the lock isn't attached to the lock anymore there is no connection to the car latch.
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theunz
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Re: Tips on Drilling Out Trunk Lock

Post by theunz »

Since you can weld up a stiff rod maybe you could remove the slide clip that holds the lock in place. On my car you would punch it towards the drivers side. Once that’s loose you can just wiggle the whole lock out.
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MattC
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Re: Tips on Drilling Out Trunk Lock

Post by MattC »

Looking at my video, that slide clip sits the same way in my car. I don't know how much play that will give you with the lever still attached though.

Matt

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Re: Tips on Drilling Out Trunk Lock

Post by MattC »

I just ran out to the garage and took a look around. If you wanted to try the drill out underneath the trunk, that would be fairly easy. There is enough room without needing to mess with the gas tank. I would probably make a 1/2" hole and then just fill with a rubber grommet when done. I can take more reference pics, if needed. My car actually has a hole directly under the lock mechanism that was filled with silicone by the previous owner...not sure if that is an OEM hole or a previous endeavor of what we are talking about here.

Another option that I thought of while I was looking at my trunk...if you can get the key back into the lock again. Maybe try turning it in the same fashion that got you into this predicament in the first place. If it had the ability to push the lever past the latch arm the first time, maybe you can again push the lever further with the key, which might allow the latch arm to be pressed down with the tool you made. In other words, keep pressure on the key with one hand while manipulating the tool through the license plate hole with the other.
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Re: Tips on Drilling Out Trunk Lock

Post by MattC »

I just re-looked at your original picture. I'm assuming you have a hole under the latch like me. It doesn't look like the lever is interfering with the latch at this point. When you are using the tool through the license plate hole, are you applying liberal pressure to the top of the truck lid? Applying pressure where the latch attaches to the truck lid will relieve friction from the latch arm and possibly allow you to move it with the tool. If you are already doing this, please ignore my attempts to cover all the bases. :D
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Re: Tips on Drilling Out Trunk Lock

Post by Linda »

What about alot of PB Blaster/ WD 40 to see if that helps force the latch or whatever is resisting the opening?
Maybe spray from below also.
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Re: Tips on Drilling Out Trunk Lock

Post by flying4fish »

I want to thank everyone for their suggestions. A few comments and questions. First, I don't think the lever is in the way of the latch arm right now, so the tool I made should work. But it doesn't budge the latch. In fact, I've broken my weld 3 times trying to open it, adding small pieces of hardware to the other items in my trunk! I probably should try 1/8" stock, since 3/16" barely fits in the hole, particularly with the angled part of the tool, so there's very little room for the welding material...I end up grinding much of the weld off to get it to fit. I've got that camera in there so I know it's in the right place...I put as much pressure as I can and only dust/rust falls down without any movement. Yes, I'm having my wife push down on the trunk lid. The trunk has always been a bit hard to open...knowing what I know now, I should have looked at it closely to figure out why! But that doesn't help me now. But I'm wondering what could have gotten bound up so much that it won't open. I put a new rubber seal around the lip of the trunk, and that's what I thought was making it tight.

I like the idea of knocking that clip out, but realistically I don't think I could do it. You can't see the lock from underneath, and there's no way to direct the camera there because it's on a wire cable that just bends whichever way it wants. MattC suggested drilling a 1/2" hole in the floor of the trunk...but I don't understand how that would help. What would I do with that hole?? I've got a small hole already right beneath the lock...some of my wiring comes through that hole and I shoved the camera into the trunk using that hole.

Drilling out the lock seems like a good plan, but I suspect the lock will begin to spin and tear up the sheet metal while not allowing me to finish the job. I was hoping someone had done it successfully and had some tips. My wife said to forget about it...since the only thing in the trunk that I'm missing day-to-day is a pair of (replaceable) sandals. But it just bugs the crap out of me to have this problem. I've spent nearly 5 years making this car a fun-to-drive, reliable machine. I had just finished replacing the intake manifold and that was the last thing I needed to do before I felt I was "finished." Now I feel like I'm not finished! And what if I want to lock some things in the trunk when I'm using the car...since I never use the top?
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Re: Tips on Drilling Out Trunk Lock

Post by MattC »

With the hole underneath, I think I would try to get a hook of some kind to pull down on the latch arm. You'd just have to be able to get around the bottom plate of the latch mechanism on the passenger side. You'd be able to get more force on the arm that way maybe.
Matt

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Re: Tips on Drilling Out Trunk Lock

Post by flying4fish »

MattC, I just now looked at your video. Somehow I missed that when I read your post. But it gives me some hope...I don't think I've been reaching high enough with my tool...I may have been just pushing down on the plate that is obstructing my view. When I have time later today I'll weld another tool and try again!

Aloha,
Michael
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Re: Tips on Drilling Out Trunk Lock

Post by eye »

Duct tape the lock to the car so it doesn't spin. It is keyed anyway. Start with an 1/8" drill and work tour way up.
Get me a plane ticket and I will come to do it for you LOL.
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Re: Tips on Drilling Out Trunk Lock

Post by sfdaugherty »

I think cutting sheet metal is cheaper than replacing a lock. A round hole in the floor big enough to fit your hand in might give you the leverage you need. Easy to weld back in.
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flying4fish
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Re: Tips on Drilling Out Trunk Lock

Post by flying4fish »

I spent quite a bit of time trying to get it open this afternoon. Check the video and pic of the tool I welded together. You can see in the video that I'm hitting the right spot, but just nothing gives. Unless someone sees something obviously wrong with my technique, it looks like more drastic measures are in order. The latch is very firmly wedged/stuck somehow. (Tried to attach the video and this forum would not let me...not sure how to do it).

If I drill out the lock, that probably won't open the trunk...right? That will only drop the lock lever into the trunk and maybe allow me to wiggle the lock cylinder out? But then I should be able to reach inside and put some much heavier downward pressure on the latch??

Thoughts?
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