Rear Hatch not Opening - Fix

Rear Hatch not Opening - Fix

Picture available upon request.
Hatch operation fix.
DISCLAIMER: Grab a beer, these instructions are for your reading enjoyment
only. Should you choose to follow these directions, you do so at your own

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

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

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