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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A perfect top-down day in NJ today,
but I can't participate in the fun. :(

The passenger-side flap will not release
when I try to open the trunk of the car.
The trunk pops, the driver's side flap( "buttress" ) pops up,
but the passenger-side flap stays in place.
It feels very 'locked in'. :willy:

what is the trick to get it released ?
Do i have to take apart the panels behind the passenger seat ?
( As I just observed this trouble at lunch time, I have
not had time to research past threads on the matter... )

I was in the trunk last night investigating the
light bulb. Is there any relationship between the
light bulb wires and the flap release ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

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EDIT: Just realized you're talking about the buttresses, sorry. This information probably won't be too helpful.

Well when you say the flaps, I think of the panel behind either passenger seat that flips up when you raise the top. In my experience, these flaps do not "lock in" and can be moved by pressing or pulling on them at any time.

The trunk itself is one solid piece. It does have a latch on either side, but this is not part of the "flaps" I just described.

The most likely thing that is happening is that your passenger side latch is either sticking (not much trouble) or is not releasing at all (more trouble).

The first thing I would do is lift up the flap on the passenger side so you can get a grip on the trunk lid, and then press the trunk release while gently but firmly lifting up on trunk lid. If it is merely stuck, this should get it open. If this doesn't work, then the latch may not be releasing at all, and I'm not sure how you would get it open that point. If it were me, I'd go ahead and take it to the dealer.
 

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I had the same problem. I took it to my mechanic and he used a long thin, screwdriver like tool with a hook on the end to get it to release. Once he got it open he pulled the carpet off the truck lid and there was a grommet broken so he replaced it and it has done fine since then. It looked like a simple process and he only charged me 10 dollars to fix it so I assume it should be a simple fix.
 

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found this post from 'rob the elder'
http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/989058-post61.html

but how do you put a thin tool into the hole while the flap is locked in place ??
I used a phillips screw driver with about a 4 inch tip. You hold it horizontally (parallel with the trunk lid top) and insert it between the buttress trim ring and the buttress seal - the broad rubber foot on the buttress flap that sits against the buttress trim ring in the trunk. Work the tip of the screwdriver into the seal area. The buttress is flexible and will deform to allow the screwdriver to enter that area. As you press the screwdriver tip into the gap, rotate the tip down (handle up) until it is nearly vertical and down in the hole in the trunk lid. Then you manipulate the screwdriver until you feel it come in contact with the locking wire. Its basically a spring that enters the slot around the buttress locking probe inside the trunk lid. You push the locking spring out of the groove in the buttress (inward toward the center of the car) When it releases it will allow the buttress to flip up and out of the trunk lid.
 

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I tell you I have made a bunch of tools for stuff like this out of coat hangers. they are flexible yet strong and come in very handy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had the same problem. I took it to my mechanic and he used a long thin, screwdriver like tool with a hook on the end to get it to release. Once he got it open he pulled the carpet off the truck lid and there was a grommet broken so he replaced it and it has done fine since then.....
wow - this is exactly what my problem is/was -- to the letter.

Fixed it by using a small bolt in place of the grommet. Had to use the hacksaw to slice the bolt to allow the cable to go through.

I will post pictures of my findings...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is another picture of the small piece that broke...

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
This is the way a good piece is supposed to hold things together...



Notice the red plastic piece...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is the broken side.
Notice the silver ball is outside the black clip.



The circle made by the black clip is larger than the head of the silver ball.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here is a picture of my solution...

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here is another picture of the solution...

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here is another picture giving you a perspective on the area being worked on...

 

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Cheap plastic crap anyway . . .
While I understand and am totally sympathetic with your comment (and assessment), in my experience all big engineering enterprises like GM have design standards procedures. They describe "recommended" design rules for different types of parts. I suspect that the approved design standard calls for a particular type of material for this kind of mechanical interface.

And in partial defense of their standards, the vast majority of cars have experienced no issues with these plastic clips. In retrospect, is it the best application? Maybe not. But it does act as a cushion at the interface and precludes another source of vibration and electrical noise due to metal to contact under tension.

I made sure that none of ours would fail by buying a dozen spares. :thumbs:

Oddly enough, the single failure I have seen in this area was the cable failed due to oxidation at the low point in the housing. The plastic clip was fine, the cable had failed.
 

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< tongue in cheek, dudes. Did you forget I work in plastics and have designed and molded stuff like this for about 30 years now?

I remember my Dad when I told him that I was making plastic parts that go into auto transmissions. He said "I know, and that's why I can't tow a trailer with my car, I had to buy a truck!" (Of course his experience with plastics was from the early days when they weren't engineered and were being used everywhere, including where they shouldn't have been.)

A year later he told me about tearing apart an electric sidewalk edger and being amazed that the steel bars that move back and forth were worn about an 1/8 of an inch and the plastic "bearings" they slid on still looked like new.

"Yeah, plastic works great in many places, but that doesn't mean it should be used in any place."

I always tell customers my honest opinion when they want to design something in plastics. I'd love to take their money, but I just can't do it if it's not right.
 

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I was hoping someone would post a photo of where the latch was located. Thanks. I think I'll pull the lining back on mine and see what condition the thing is in. I have a few old bicycles in the back yard and the brake levers have a piece like that on them that I bet I can use.

And hey, plastic and some strong strong stuff and you'd be amazed at the amount of parts and stuff that are made out of plastic. Hell, I think the old Chevy timing chains had plastic gears.
 
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