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Anyone fix a trunk release?
Old 07-16-2008, 05:28 PM   #1
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Anyone fix a trunk release?

The trunk release (trunk popper) stopped working in our Echo. I haven't located any info on this, and before I started breaking disassembling I thought I'd see if anyone had fixed theirs.

The cable seems to moving at the trunk end, but I can't see it until I start to disassemble.
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:25 PM   #2
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All I can say is that you wont have to deal with the really hard part where the wire rusts or breaks somewhere in the middle.

Shouldnt be too bad. Generally the cable comes up to the latch and has a little ball soldered on it to keep it in place, tugging on the wire pulls the latch.

If the trunk is opening with the key, the latch is good. If the wire is moving at the trunk end, my bet is either the ball broke off or the piece of the latch that it feeds through did.

If the ball came off, find yourself an appropriate sized lead fishing weight with a hole in it. Feed it through the cable and hold it with a pair of pliers and hit it with a soldering iron until the lead starts to melt and then blow on it.

If a piece of the latch broke off, you're on your own. I'm thinking something involving baling wire and duct tape.
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:28 PM   #3
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Oh, and some toyotas have what I think is called a "valet mode" where if you turn the key to the left instead of to the right, it disables the remote trunk opening. To reenable it, turn the key the other way.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:37 AM   #4
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The trunk release (trunk popper) stopped working in our Echo..
:confused: How did you discover this in the first place? You must really have a lot of excess time on your hands.
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:34 AM   #5
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Oh, and some toyotas have what I think is called a "valet mode" where if you turn the key to the left instead of to the right, it disables the remote trunk opening. To reenable it, turn the key the other way.

Other cars have a flip switch inside the trunk to disable the inside pull tab. Just flip this back to engage cable. This is usually bumped lifting items in or out of the trunk.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:13 AM   #6
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The latch on my Toyota stopped working when the "catch" (the metal thing that the latch engages when you close the trunk) got loose after 20+ years and wiggled out of position. I figured out where it was supposed to go and tightened the bolts--works fine now. Unlikely on your fairly new Echo, but worth a check. Just see if it is loose.
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:41 PM   #7
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I'm finally getting around to fix this problem.

The cable works, but the end is no longer attached to anything:

TrunkLatch 002.jpg

I'm guessing that there's some bolt that's missing that squeezes the cable against something. The "Attaches here?" part needs to move up toward the cable to open the trunk.

Anyone know how this normally attaches?
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:02 PM   #8
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Sorry, I don't know how it attaches. But, the cable looks about the same type and size as a bicycle brake cable. I'll bet if you brought your car to a local bike repair shop they'd have the correct parts (wire thimbles, wire clips, swages, etc) and the tools/experience to make a long-lasting repair. They'll probably charge you 5 bucks.
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:30 PM   #9
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Sorry, I don't know how it attaches. But, the cable looks about the same type and size as a bicycle brake cable. I'll bet if you brought your car to a local bike repair shop they'd have the correct parts (wire thimbles, wire clips, swages, etc) and the tools/experience to make a long-lasting repair. They'll probably charge you 5 bucks.
From the bit of quick searching I did, sounds like samclem is right, it's a bicycle brake-type attachment. The "normal" fix is apparently to replace the whole cable, but I'll bet your LBS could come up with something much cheaper, as Sam suggested.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:29 PM   #10
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Yup, I bet the little lead ball at the end of the wire has pulled off or the wire has broken.

Have you found a website showing a diagram of the way the latch is supposed to look? A lot of manufacturers are putting their database online to make it easier for the customers to find their own parts.

Do you have enough slack to get a really small U-bolt or split-nut clamp on it what's left of the wire? Heck, if it doesn't take a lot of tension then you might even be able to get away with trimming the ragged ends flush with diagonal cutters and screwing on a small wirenut.

If you're really really lucky (and have a lot of cable slack to play with) then you could make your own cable ball out of solder. But that would depend on the type of metal in the wire and how big a ball you could coax out of the soldering iron.
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:56 AM   #11
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If you're really really lucky (and have a lot of cable slack to play with) then you could make your own cable ball out of solder. But that would depend on the type of metal in the wire and how big a ball you could coax out of the soldering iron.
Visit the fishin' store, and get a crimpable lead sinker. Maybe supplement with solder...
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:05 PM   #12
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This simple fix has taken care of it. I'm not sure it will last, but if not I'll work on a solution that's more permanent.

TrunkLatchFixed 001.jpg

The wire is bound between the two nuts, with loctite to keep things from coming apart. I wasn't able to get all the strands between the nuts.
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:08 PM   #13
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Didn't you have some bailing wire?
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:43 PM   #14
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And where's the duct tape?
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:08 PM   #15
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Al, you'll put a couple of hundred thousand miles on that car and it'll practically disintegrate. The only working thing left on it will be that trunk release repair.

Which you'll never be able to remove to retrieve your perfectly good nuts and bolts.
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:03 PM   #16
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Well good thing is no one can escape from your trunk. Not that I know anything about that.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:37 AM   #17
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Well good thing is no one can escape from your trunk. Not that I know anything about that.
That was just the one time. And I apologized.
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:36 PM   #18
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Update: It lasted 2 years and 5 days. I got some more strands into the nuts, but I'm sure it will break again.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:24 PM   #19
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The bolt/nut combo used on the bike brakes has a hole drilled through the middle of the bolt. You will probably be able to get one at the local Home Depot/Lowe's etc if not the local bike shop. Should be a pretty cheap part.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:53 PM   #20
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Right. I'm torn between using what I've got or trying to improve it. The problem is that the cable is now quite frayed. I tried soldering, but it didn't go well.
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