Trunk Release Cable

Created: unknown (several)

Last updated: 10/3/99

Author/source: Ryerson, others  DML (Courtesy Luke Sandel)

The best way, and I can assure you of this, to get into the trunk when the cable is broken is:
* Put the car on a lift.
* Remove the left front wheel. This is to permit the best angle for what follows.
* Push out the rubber plug that is above the brake master cylinder and hope that there is nothing in the trunk that will interfere.
* Using a powerful flashlight attempt to view the trunk latch mechanism. It can be done if there is nothing in the trunk blocking the view.
* Locate the arm that the release cable attaches to.
* Using a suitable tool, grab onto the bottom of the release arm and pull it toward the left side of the car. Have someone else gently push downward on the trunk lid while you are doing this in order to release as much tension from the lack mechanism as possible. A suitable tool may be something like a VERY stiff wire bent into a hook on the end, or possibly a wooden broom handle with a bold screwed into the end.
This happened to me a few weeks ago while I was working with a fellow named Chester and we learned this solution from this message group.

I might suggest that while repairing the cable / latch mechanism that you drill an additional hole in the latch arm ( mentioned above ) and install a suitable ( strong ) cable into it. Make the cable long enough to be run under the carpet and right next to the master cylinder access plug. Install something on the end of the cable to use as a handle ( a 3/8 " bolt with nuts and washers to clamp the free end of the cable would work well ) and secure it inside the trunk for easy access through the master cylinder plug hole in case this situation ever arises again.


George Ryerson


And Here's another version:

From: Mike Substelny
Date: Wed, 09 Oct 1996 10:45:57 -0400
Subject: Re: maintenance / 5 spd / trunk latch / DMC drawings


Roy Knyrim said:
>About two days ago I pulled the release lever for the front
>storage area and snapped the cable.

At the Expo Rob Grady described an emergency procedure for releasing the trunk lid with a rod. As I recall, you pull up on the lid on the passenger side and slide a thin, rigid rod into the compartment. Somehow you can reach the clasp and release it. He made it sound reasonably easy.


From: CarlIanNew(AT)
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 23:47:00 -0400
Subject: re: hood latch

> regarding the broken hood latch cable problem.

If you are unable to flex the hood to reach the release, There is one other more dramatic solution. I am not recommending this, but it is possible.

The release cable is extremely similar to a bicycle brake cable. In fact, I replaced my inner cable with a mountain bike cable, which is stonger. You could conceivably crawl under the dash, carefully cut the outer housing of the cable to expose the inner line. Yank the inner cable and open the trunk. You would then have to replace the entire cable (inner and outer), however, I believe that a bicycle cable would work well here also. I do not believe that the cable is like the engine compartment release which is apparently more difficult to replace just the inner cable.

Good luck
Carl Newman
DMC #1704
DOA #5138

Dear Mr.Mickel,

For your trunk cable use - Bicycle Rear Brake Inner Wire 1.2mm w/teflon coating from your local bicycle shop. DeLorean World Winter 1998 page 11 shows the backup rig for the trunk and engine compartment. Don't forget to grease the latch.

Dave Sontos VIN 02573


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