Rear Hatch Release Adjustment

Rear Hatch Release Adjustment

>My rear hatch motor works, but after I pull the knob/boot to open it will
>make the sound that it has opened, but nothing happens? I have tried
>lubricating the parts in the back, but this has done nothing? Is there
>something simple that I am overlooking??
>84 S bk 5spd

Ok, I've BTDT. So, let me give you the drill.

Is the motor attached to the hatch release? You will have to take off the tool cover and feel around to confirm they are attached via a metal bar.

Is the release pushing the nylon release pivot? I used a black magic marker to blacken the white nylon piece to confirm the hatch release was striking the nylon and where.

Observe that when the hatch closes that the male hatch mechanism is centered in the female piece, If they are not in alignment the hatch the hatch release could be hitting the metal. This will cause the symptoms you wrote about. It will also possibly crack the male piece like mine -(.

Rule: The farther away the motor is from the hatch the farther out the hatch release lever will move. You will note the motor is bolted to the car via a pair of slotted holes. According to the manual the correct way to adjust the position of the motor is the loosen the two mounting 10MM bolts close the hatch. The position it is in should be the correct position.

I finally got mine to work after I replaced the motor and shimmed the lockset to get better contact with the release.


DISCLAIMER: These instructions are for your reading enjoyment only. Should you choose to follow these directions, you do so at your own risk.

I performed this fix on Jason's hatch in about 30 seconds.

When I took my hatch latch apart, I looked at all of the pieces. Trying to decide which part would be the least strong, the most likely to wear or fail. This was after playing with trying to adjust the hatch release to no avail.

First, look at the upper part the "tongue", look for any stress fractures. If you do have stress fractures, welcome to the club, so do I. I'm fixing my tongue before I put the latch back in. "Somehow that just doesn't sound right ;o) "

If you upper latch is NOT cracked or broken:

The upper latch has the catch in it. When the catch is moved sufficiently far backwards, the latch releases and the spring in the lower piece lifts the hatch above the point where the catch holds the hatch down. This is only about 1/4".

By locating the motor mounting location further down the release cam pushes the catch further in, to allow the release.

There is a ribbed rubber insert in the lower half of the latch that holds the tongue in position allowing the release. It is this rubber part that is the softest material and I believe the weak link in the electronic operation of the hatch release.

The rubber either has shrunk with age or has worn down.

1. I simply cut a 1" by 1 1/4" shim out of a MOBIL 1 15W-50 plastic oil container. It's the thickness of the shim that makes this work, and I don't even know how this this is, but it seemed thick enough. "Any brand oil container will probably work as well and Mobil 1" ;o)

This piece is inserted between the rubber insert in the lower piece and the rear of the lower housing. Long length horizontal and the short side vertical.

2. Open the hatch, remove the tool kit. Loosen the two motor mounting bolts. Move the motor up as far as possible.

NOTE: This step is to relieve stress on the tongue and hopefully prevent stress fractures. CAUTION

3. On the lower part of the latch, push the rubber cup at the rear, forward into the latch area. Slide the shim in between the rubber piece and the rear of the housing.

This slightly moves or holds the tongue forward so that the catch is moved far enough into the tongue to release. Depending on the age and wear of your particular hatch, additional shims could be placed in this area.

4. You can either tighten the motor mounting bolts at the top and test the hatch. Followed by incrementally moving the motor mounting location down until the hatch starts operating, or follow the shop manuals;

a. Close the hatch.
b. Crawl into the hatch area, with the hatch closed and move the motor down until the release cam just makes contact with the catch.
c. Tighten the mounting bolts.

5. If the hatch fails to release with the motor adjusted to the bottom. Start over again at step 1.

Ken Postma '86 928S

I did another fix:
I used a part of a poster clip (you know, the one used to hang posters on the wall) and extended the area in which the "tongue" is active. No special tools required. 10 secs job.
Take about 2 cm of such a hard-plastic poster holder.
Open it a litte to ease the insertion.
Insert it over the "lever tongue" in the bottom part of the latch.
The lever now pushes the white back latch a little further.
Just enough to make it work properly. If it wears... replace.
'88 928s4 red
Venlo, The Netherlands

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