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Secret to Opening the Trunk Thru an Access Hole?  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 05-23-2008 05:10 pm
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dancarlsen
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Hi everyone - I am a new owner of a 1974 1/2 JH and a new member of this board.

Here's my question: days after i brought it home the trunk lock stopped working - the key just turns but doesn't unlatch the lock. I know from searching on the Internet that one solution is drilling a hole by the back license plate and sticking something thru it. Well the car already had this hole but so far I have had no luck. Some of the additional advice I saw was that it's helpful to be able to visualize the lock mech as you attempt this. Unfortunately i never really looked at it before this happened since i only owned it for a few days.

Anyone have experience with this situation and can give me some pointers?

Thanks, Dan Carlsen

Minneapolis, MN

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 Posted: 05-23-2008 08:34 pm
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Jensen Healey
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Stick an "L" shaped bar or bent screwdriver directly under the keyhole (until it touches) and rotate it clockwise. There is a plate in the locking mechanism you will be pushing to the right so there is a good possibility of success.

Let us know...

Oh, Welcome to the Jensen Family!

Kurt

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 Posted: 05-23-2008 09:18 pm
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John Finch
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Dan, welcome to the world of JH's. You'll find this forum a valuable resource. I have owned my 74-JH since the summer of 2005. Pix of the car are on the JHP Photo Gallery for Minnesota. I am in Brooklyn Park. Where are you located?

John Finch

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 Posted: 05-25-2008 05:49 am
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Frank Schwartz
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When the key lock mechanism quits working it can be an exercise in frustration.  If you can shimmy the lock asembly out and remove it without damaging anything, yoiu can put your finger down in the hole and on the right you will feel a tab..push it and the unit will unlatch.  The lock mechanism has a round flat spring around the shank of it and it has two sharp protrusions that lock and hold the lock assembly in place..  hard to describe, but if you can somehow get something down there to press on one of the tabs, you can remove the unit.  If you want a jpg picture of the lock itself and the retaining spring thing I described, you can email me off list and I will send it to you so you can see what I am trying to describe.   mfsjr2@comcast.net

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 Posted: 05-28-2008 02:00 am
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chrisl
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Hi Dan

I had exactly the same problem as you. On the bottom of the lock barrel (inside the trunk) there is a plastic 'paddle' that rotates and strikes a spring loaded lock that clamps the lid to a u shaped bracket fixed to the body of the car - you'll see all this when you finally get it unlocked! The lock gets loose over the years and when rotated, misses the lock release. Unfortunately there is no easy way out.

The only hole on my Mk1 is where the vertical pole that holds the spare wheel holder fits into the car body so I tried to get access by pushing it into the trunk. This creates a small hole but not big enough to get your hand in, so I tried to disengage the lock by poking around inside with a steel rod. Unfortunately this is very hit n miss as it is difficult to see what you need to do to disengage the lock, plus the muffler needs to be taken off. It didn't work either.

There is no way around the petrol tank from the front of the car.

The only suggestion locksmiths could give me was to cut a hole behind the number plate which I really didn't want to do. In frustration I also tried to just break the nut that holds the barrel onto the lock by inserting a slim screwdriver into the lock and whacking it with a hammer; still no go.

The entire locking mechanism on my car was held on by a single retaining clip. In the end after several weeks of messing around the only way I was able to get it off was to insert a flat head screwdriver between the lock and the trunk lid and carefully prise it loose by pushing the edges of the retaining clip inwards, then do as Frank suggests with your little finger.

This however damages the trunk lid and the edges of the trunk where the lock sits, and mine will now need touching up to avoid the potential for the problem to repeat itself in future. But I can't see any other way... 

I've now fitted a remote release by attaching a length of bicycle brake cable to the release and feeding it into the front of the car - let me know if you want photos and I'll post some.

Good luck

Chris L

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 Posted: 05-28-2008 02:53 am
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dwalls1
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I would be interested in the pictures. I haven't had the problem yet, but an ounce of prevention might well be worth a pound of cure. I think I may have a choke cable off a brit bike laying around, do you think that might work?

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 Posted: 05-28-2008 01:52 pm
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dancarlsen
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Thanks everyone for the replies. The car is currently in the shop (welcome to JH ownership!) so i haven't been able to try anything. Interesting that even with the hole already present by the license plate it still isn't very easy to open.

Aside to John: I live in South Minneapolis by Lake Harriet - if it EVER gets warm here in Minnesota i'm looking forward to driving around without freezing to death!

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 Posted: 05-28-2008 01:54 pm
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dancarlsen
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Frank - forgot to mention that i would also be interested in seeing the pictures you mentioned. Thanks, dan

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 Posted: 06-01-2008 06:44 am
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chrisl
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Can't post the photo as the pics are bigger than 100k but if you're interested email me at crlhc@bigpond.com and I'll email. I'd recommedn installing a cable release - it's a really simple job, even for the mechanically challenged like me. I just used a length of bicycle brake cable, and attached it to the actuator that releases the lock by drilling a small hole in it. The cable fits nicely inside the bracing for the trunk lid, and it's easy to feed the cable into the front. You trip the lock open by just pulling on the steel bit of the cable (or fit a small lever if you like).

I only used the cable release now.

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 Posted: 06-22-2008 03:34 am
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dwalls1
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OK Chris the jig's up, I have tried to drill that sucker with every drill known to man and have only managed a feeble little dimple. Is there a trick known only to the natives? Please let me in on it, if only to preserve my sanity.

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 Posted: 06-23-2008 01:10 am
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chrisl
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I had no problem getting through with just a normal metal/wood drill bit.

Having said that, Pete Bahr has made up two assemblies and told me he had to anneal one of them as the metal was so hard.

My car is a Mk 1 and I wonder if the makers of the lock switched to a harder steel at some point.

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 Posted: 06-23-2008 02:09 am
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dwalls1
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Hi Guys'

    It eases my mind somewhat to know I'm not the only one that's had a problem. That there might be a plausible explanation helps too. I am going to shop around for a super hard carbide drill and give it a try. I had said that I had tried a special drill, but I don't think as special as might be available. I will pursue it and let you know how it goes. I am reluctant to anneal the tab as I'm sure you would be, but I'm not sure it needs to be as hard as it is to do what it needs to do. I am visualizing several locations for my remote trunk release, even up on the side of the console by my right knee. Once the cable is routed out of the boot, there is no limitation other than cable length. Y'all take care. Dale

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 Posted: 06-27-2008 01:52 pm
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dancarlsen
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Hi Everyone - here's an update on what happened with my trunk lock.

My brother in law and I were taking another crack at it thru the access hole but weren't making any progress when i noticed that as i turned the key in the lock the cam started to work it's way out. I kept turning and it finally came all the way out (like backing out a screw.) Now we were able to pretty easily pop it open. Once the trunk was open we saw why the access hole wasn't doing us any good - it entered into the U shaped latch so we couldn't really get to the plastic paddle.

We took the lock mech apart, greased it up and so far so good. It's nice to have access to the trunk once again. Now on to the next problem! ;-)

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 Posted: 07-05-2008 03:51 am
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pbahr
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Dale,

I've been experimenting with a remote release mechanism on the two spare Boot release assemblies that I have in my spares box.

On the first one, I didn't have any problems drilling a 0.550 inch hole in the parts.  On the second assembly, I ruined three drill bits, the same as you did.  I then used a propane torch to heat the steel to almost cherry red and let it cool.  This removed the temper/hardness, and I could drill the holes with no problem.  Don't get new drill bits, anneal the steel and use standard bits.

I'm convinced the Jensen factory had no process sheets or controls.  I've come across parts as the Boot lock assembly that are sometimes soft steel and sometimes hardned.  Also, subassembly parts seem to be painted with whatever paint they could find cheap or on hand.

In building my Pete's Kits Engine Damper, I have to re-work the brackets.  Part of my process is removing the existing paint in prparation to welding and then repainting.  In about half of the brackets, stripping the paint is easy with chemical strippers.  In the other half, the paint just will not come off.

We all know that the JH Buttercup yellow comes in at least six different colors.

 

Pete Bahr

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 Posted: 07-08-2008 02:23 am
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dwalls1
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Hey Pete!

    Really appreciate the help on this. I sweated blood every time I closed the trunk on all our stuff, all during our just completed 4 day swing through Colorado. I could see me trying to explain to Renee that she wouldn't have clean clothes to wear for a few days due to the natural quirkiness of British cars. Or worse, not being able to access the spare as we needed to on the Fourth. The more I think of it the less concerned I am about annealing that paddle. I just can't imagine it needing to be so hard, what with the way it is shaped and all. Having you tell me it's OK is the clincher for me. I suspect when I get the remote in, that I like others, will seldom use the key. When we got home an hour or so ago, the touch up paint I ordered had arrived. I hope that Artic White does not come in six shades as does the Buttercup Yellow. While I'm thinking about it I will say again, what  a great install and piece is your clutch lever boot. Now I must start saving my pennies for the engine shock absorber gadget. My firewall is just starting to crack under the mount, though I hadn't noticed any undue vibration until I started the car this morning in Leadville (9,000 plus altitude) and it was idling very slow and rough 'til it warmed up a bit. Thanks again for jumping in on this thread. Dale

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 Posted: 07-08-2008 03:42 am
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pbahr
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Dale,

Glad to help.  That's what this Forum is for.

There's no problem in annealing the part - there's very little force on it.

Pete

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