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1988 Coupe trunk lid unlatched but won't open


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Late this afternoon I was able to go over to the storage building where I have the two 1988 cars stashed. If you might recall earlier last week I was able to get the hood and trunk lid open on the 1988 convertible. I have not yet been able to work on the hood of the 1988 coupe but today I worked on getting the trunk lid on that car open. I was able to get the latch released on the trunk lid but it will not actually move on the hinges. After confirming that the latch was actually released I was only able to get the trunk lid barely open by an inch or so. I can just barely shine a flashlight into the opening but I don't know how I would reach further into the trunk to try to get some lubrication sprayed onto the hinges that are located at the other end of the lid far up into the trunk opening.

It was dark in the building (no electricity) where this car is stored but I took this crappy photo with my phone and a flashlight to show how far I currently have the lib cracked open. I will try to get some better photos when I go back over tomorrow.

 

1988Coupe_trunlid_notopen.jpg

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God Bless You my friend.  I'm not as smart as Studegary, Avanti83, Silverstude and others and I no longer have my '88 coupe to use for research - but I do have my memories.  Memories aside, Avanti kept changing the 'rules' and that doesn't help.  So here's what I'm thinking..........  You've got the old Studebaker (what I call), "scissors springs", and the springs are sprung!  This is assuming you do not have the hydraulic lifters.  How to open and get in?  Remove the rear seat back and remove the gas tank and cut thru the wall OR cut thru the bottom of the spare tire space (under the car) to reach inside the trunk area and GO FROM THERE.  Good Luck and we're all rooting for you!!!!  On the other hand, if you just happen to have a minature camera (as seen on TV for sink drains)...............

Edited by wdaly
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The 1988 convertible which has an earlier VIN number than this coupe has has standard single pivot hinges and gas struts. So I am assuming this is what this car would have as well. I have a small USB inspection camera with a long cable that plugs into a phone and gets used with an app that runs on the phone. I am going to take that over there tomorrow to see if I can use that to get a view of the hinge pivots.

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Is the trunk lid hitting something solid or does it just seem tight?  I am guessing that the hinges are just rusted.  I suggest trying to spray the hinges with something like PB Blaster and letting it sit for a bit.  Then, if it is not a solid stop, see if you can force the trunk open.  If it is a solid stop, you will probably have to go at from another direction, like from inside the car.      

EDIT:  Gas struts usually fail by getting weak, not by seizing up. 

Edited by studegary
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Thanks Studegary for the suggestions but if I cannot get the trunk lid open any further than what I showed in the photo, how am I supposed to get some PB Blaster or other penetrating oil spray all the way up into the front of the trunk to the hinge pivots?

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4 minutes ago, JensenHealey said:

Thanks Studegary for the suggestions but if I cannot get the trunk lid open any further than what I showed in the photo, how am I supposed to get some PB Blaster or other penetrating oil spray all the way up into the front of the trunk to the hinge pivots?

Not easily - a long tube on the nozzle and just aim in the general direction and/or from inside the car.  

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Studegary mentioned, "Going in the trunk from the inside".  This reminded me,  I totally forgot about the giant piece (what's it called?) that fills in the space between the back of the seat and the rear of the rear window and normally has 2 speakers built-in.  There may be a way to get IN this way.  It would certainly be less destructive than my previous two thoughts.

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1 hour ago, wdaly said:

Studegary mentioned, "Going in the trunk from the inside".  This reminded me,  I totally forgot about the giant piece (what's it called?) that fills in the space between the back of the seat and the rear of the rear window and normally has 2 speakers built-in.  There may be a way to get IN this way.  It would certainly be less destructive than my previous two thoughts.

Is this a separate panel that can actually be removed without breaking or destroying anything?

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17 minutes ago, JensenHealey said:

Is this a separate panel that can actually be removed without breaking or destroying anything?

I think it's called a 'package shelf'.  I don't know about the convertible but the coupe is what I'm talking about.  This shelf would normally be detached from the inside of the trunk.  You may very well have to do some damage (can be fixed/covered-up).  The speakers are also attached from inside the trunk.  If you could manage to disassemble the speaker from inside the car you would get close to the spring mechanism.  You could cut a large hole saw towards the end of the rear window in the center if the drill would actually clear the window ( if you cut closer to the back of the back seat back you would be near the gas tank!).  There is the consideration of a metal cross section supporting the entire shelf (you'll need to see a picture of it's location before making any holes but I would guess it's safe in the same rear area the speakers are mounted).  Finally - you may see a large gap between the shelf and the window near the speakers - I think the springs are close to that area and as mentioned earlier managing to spray lubricant liberally might work.

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Is it possible to get the trunk lid up enough to sneak a wrench in to unbolt the hinges from the lid?  

Is the lid hard to move or hitting something firm?  Perhaps there is something in the trunk that has it jammed.

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The trunk lid is very hard to move. I think since the hinges are not actually rotating properly that as I am trying to lift the trunk lid the front edge of the trunk lid might be jamming on the rear edge of the body where the panel gap would normally be. I.E. the front edge of the trunk would move up as the hinges would pivot and miss this rear edge of the body line around the edge of the trunk but this is not happening with jammed hinges.

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