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280sl '76
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Discussion Starter #1
After a search of the forum, reading, and even watching vids - i still cant solve my problem - perhaps someone can help

In the process of replacing my trunk emblem/star i removed the lock, replaced it, and thought i was done - days later, when trying to open the trunk (boot here in oz) i couldn't.

Appears i put it back wrong - perhaps slightly out of alignment. The key doesn't work (even continuously turns in the lock) and the button does nothing. :crybaby2:

Any advice on how to open it without a crowbar would be great
 

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Previous: 1989 190E 2.6, 1997 E420, 1985 380SL, 1975 450SLC
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747 Posts
Did you already try the central locking system (assuming your '76 280SL is anything like my '75 450SLC). If you have more than one key did you try them all?

I had my car's trunk lock mechanism apart not long ago to solve a similar problem but I never had the key spinning in the cylinder without stopping.. that doesn't bode well. If your car does have central locking and it somehow won't actuate via the regular system, there might be a way to fish something up from below to try hooking the arm that attaches the vacuum pod to the cylinder. I can send a pic or two so you're not working blind.. just let me know.
 

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It Is What It Is, Dude
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Did you already try the central locking system (assuming your '76 280SL is anything like my '75 450SLC). If you have more than one key did you try them all?

I had my car's trunk lock mechanism apart not long ago to solve a similar problem but I never had the key spinning in the cylinder without stopping.. that doesn't bode well. If your car does have central locking and it somehow won't actuate via the regular system, there might be a way to fish something up from below to try hooking the arm that attaches the vacuum pod to the cylinder. I can send a pic or two so you're not working blind.. just let me know.


Post what ya got. It'll be here and we can put them in the CLAP thread.
 

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280sl '76
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Discussion Starter #4
Post what ya got. It'll be here and we can put them in the CLAP thread.
Anything will help - the locking doesnt work as far as i understand - well not in the doors anyway, so i assumed trunk too. I have tried with the car running, off, all keys... nothing - you guys are my last resort
 

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Always Remembered RIP
1979 280sl 4 sp w/ac 1957 MGA 1998 volvo xc/70 2004 F150
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Worse case senario is you pull some of the weather stripping to the right of the lock and drill a hole under where ther weather strip was about 1 inch to the right of the lock. Then you can insert a slightly bent screwdriver and release the lever. Sounds worse than it is and after you glue the weather strip back and nothing shows. It does help to have an extra set of hands to pry the trunk up a bit. If I can I'll try to post a pic but if someone around you will let you remove the cover plate inside the trunk of their car all will be clear.
 

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'89 300TE, '79 450SL, '01 ML320
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Appears i put it back wrong - perhaps slightly out of alignment.
I've done this myself on one of my w123's, if you tightened down the striker in a too forward position, it will bind.
Most likely, the first time you pushed the button, it released. Now you're fighting the friction of the striker in the latch.
In my case I did need a crow bar to pop it free, I used a flat bar and it popped open.
Try having someone hold in the button and give it a good yank with both hands.

When you go to adjust the striker next time, again have someone hold in the button and slowly close the lid,
you should feel no friction of the striker going into the latch. It may take several attempts to find the sweet spot, but it's there.




Fish
 

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Previous: 1989 190E 2.6, 1997 E420, 1985 380SL, 1975 450SLC
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The best option as I see it is to drill a 1/4" hole upwards into the overhang above the rear license plate. I've indicated the spot where I'd drill with a black dot in the image below, though after marking the dot I realized it should have been a few mm closer to the front of the car so adjust accordingly. Through this hole you can actuate the latch lever with a thin metal rod or drill bit. The dot appears offset to the right because it is. The latch's pivoting arm is not in line with the trunk's key cylinder as one might assume.

The option I put forth earlier about somehow actuating the lock's vacuum actuator may not be possible though it's worth trying as it involves no drilling. I'll attached a few pics in the next post.
 

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Previous: 1989 190E 2.6, 1997 E420, 1985 380SL, 1975 450SLC
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Option two is to try to manipulate the car's vacuum actuator arm that controls the rear lock. My car's actuator arm was disconnected from the lock cylinder mechanism by the PO so it's not connected at the lock in these images. There's a removable rubber plug behind the license plate that should allow a thin tool into the vacuum pod's compartment. The trick would be to snag that flat arm and move it left and right while trying to press the trunk button. You'll be fighting both the pod diaphragms and those two metal springs that return the actuator arm to neutral position.

With a little luck you'll be able to mimic the action of the vacuum pod and get the lock's black tab to swing into the 'open' position so the push-button could actuate the latch. That is, if your car even has central locking.

Note: It appears that my Open and Locked labels are reversed in the images that show the black lock cylinder attachment.
 

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280sl '76
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Discussion Starter #9
The best option as I see it is to drill a 1/4" hole upwards into the overhang above the rear license plate. I've indicated the spot where I'd drill with a black dot in the image below, though after marking the dot I realized it should have been a few mm closer to the front of the car so adjust accordingly. Through this hole you can actuate the latch lever with a thin metal rod or drill bit. The dot appears offset to the right because it is. The latch's pivoting arm is not in line with the trunk's key cylinder as one might assume.

The option I put forth earlier about somehow actuating the lock's vacuum actuator may not be possible though it's worth trying as it involves no drilling. I'll attached a few pics in the next post.

Thanks so much for this - ill give it a crack

I'm a little confused about where to drill though - you say drill upwards - perhaps im confused by the image? Isn't the hole straight towards front of car?
 

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Previous: 1989 190E 2.6, 1997 E420, 1985 380SL, 1975 450SLC
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Thanks so much for this - ill give it a crack

I'm a little confused about where to drill though - you say drill upwards - perhaps im confused by the image? Isn't the hole straight towards front of car?
The image was taken at an odd angle, with the camera looking almost straight up to where your fingers would grasp the trunk handle to lift it open.
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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nathanso. Very good job. I checked yesterday and found the same as your pictures. I wanted to measure the approx. distance to the right of the center line of the lock before posting.

I will attempt an explanation of where to drill. The license mount area is the vertical plane. At the top is a curve to approx. 90 degrees horizontal. Drill up into the horizontal surface just after the transition. Does that make sense?
 

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Previous: 1989 190E 2.6, 1997 E420, 1985 380SL, 1975 450SLC
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Now that I better understand the black tab's role in this I'll post one more image tonight, complete with a dot on the inside and a mm offset from center. Takes but a minute to remove those 3 screws and pop off the latch assy.
 

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1983 380SL, ivory/dk brown, 46k miles, dual roller timing chain. 1986 560SL, red/white, 190K mile.
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Did anyone calculate the exact location of the drill hole?
Last week my trunk would not open but I was lucky to get it open
and replaced the lock. Like to know just in case this happens again.

Carl
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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Find the center line. I measured between the license mounting holes top and bottom then used the tape. 17MM to right of center is approx. but close.
 

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1983 380SL, ivory/dk brown, 46k miles, dual roller timing chain. 1986 560SL, red/white, 190K mile.
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Thanks Rowdie. I might drill that hole for -- just in case:)

Carl
 

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1978 450SL--117K
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If the car has central locking and is the first style, you might get it to work if you attach mityvac to the line and pump it up. The line is located under the rocker trim on the passenger side. If it is the newer, electric vacuum pump type, they you are stuck drilling as the trunk release line is all in the trunk, IIRC.
 
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