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Locked out of my engine compartment!!

Don't you hate it when the simplest little fix turns into a freakin' nightmare?

So my engine lid wouldn't stay closed - I found that the top engine cover latch was broken. So, I bought a new one. I heard that the turbo engine latch is actually stronger, so I got that one.

I installed it tonite - super simple - just two bolts. I started with it in the middle of the range of adjustment. I tried to latch it, and it wouldn't stay shut, so I moved it like 1mm. Then I tried again, and it still wouldn't latch, so I moved it 1mm. I tried again, and now IT WON'T OPEN!

I've pulled and pulled on the engine cover release and yanked and yanked on the cover (both at the same time with help from wifee..) and I'm totally locked out now. I can't see how I could undo the latch from underneath, so I am at a total loss how I am going to get this engine cover open.

HELP! THoughts? Ideas? Flames? Compassion?

Thanks,

Dean
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Old 03-31-2004, 08:04 PM
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Try pushing the lid closed while pulling the release handle.

Hope this helps,

Tom
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Old 03-31-2004, 08:43 PM
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Thanks for the tip, but alas, it didn't work...

I've got a sledge hammer nearby that's starting to look tempting, though!

Dean
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Old 03-31-2004, 08:52 PM
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Dean,

You might want to back off that last adjustment a tiny bit!

After you get it open with Tom's suggestion, of course! My arms aren't quite long enough to do that tip, alone, though!

Might help if you greased the new latch mechanism, too!
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Last edited by Early_S_Man; 03-31-2004 at 08:57 PM..
Old 03-31-2004, 08:54 PM
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Dean-

I had the same problem. I unscrewed the T handle from the end of the cable just to make sure that the catch was fully retracted, then just pulled, tugged, pushed, etc. It finally came loose. After that i put strips of masking tape over the bottom part of the latch (hole) then I would lower the lid just enough to make an impression in the tape to check alignment.
I really thought I'd have to kill myself when that thing got stuck. Hang in there.
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Old 04-01-2004, 04:06 AM
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Some things that worked for me(early car) was:
-leaving the lower assembly loose and bumping the pin on it to fine tune it.
-tying a piece of wire on the realease just in case the cable wouldn't release it, or leaving the grill off.
-leaving the pin a little longer at first and tightening it up progressively.
-and adding an extra cable block(any auto store) as a backup after the factory one just in case it slips and lets the cable get too slack to release it later.

I had the same problem(the pin was bent and had to face the right direction) and spent an hour or so with an angled 10mm wrench undoing the pin plate from underneath, but I think the later cars are better sealed and not accessible.
Old 04-01-2004, 04:18 AM
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The same thing happened to me when I installed a new decklid. What often happens, if the pull is still working and that isn't the problem, is that the male part of the latch on the top, gets out of line and is too far over on one side. It doesn't catch on the actual mechanism that latches the deck, but either the front or side of the bottom mechanism. No matter how much you pull the T-handle, it isn't going to come up if that is the problem. You may get a little play in the latch. When you pull the handle, does it come up around 1/4 to 1/2 an inch? If that is the case, probably the same has happened, it is catching on a side.

Try this, if you can get it up a little bit, get a coathanger and straighten it out. Fish it around the male portion of the latch and try to pull from different angles. Of course, pull your t-handle out first and lock it with a pair of vice grips in the full open position. Pulling from different angles may be enough to get it over so it pops free.

Next time when you fit it, take the decklid grill off so you gan get to it if you have to the next time. I learned that the hard way.
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Old 04-01-2004, 04:25 AM
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Thanks guys! You've given me hope to go back at this again tonite. I'll let you know what works. The alignment tricks (tape and marker) sound like the way to go after I get it free.

Thanks!

Dean
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Old 04-01-2004, 05:05 AM
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Here are a few threads that may offer other ideas....

Stuck Engine Lid

My engine compartment lid is Jammed!

Engine compatment wont open....?

for adjustment:
Engine Lid
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Old 04-01-2004, 05:14 AM
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why did i read this???!!!
you just took the wind out of my sails. i was going to ditch my tail, and put the factory lid back on....arrrgggh.

so what adjustment gets most people? the length of the phallic shaped shaft? or the side to side positioning of it?
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Old 04-01-2004, 11:50 AM
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Good news! This story has a happy, albeit surprising, ending...

I tried all the things (short of cutting the cable) suggested here. I pulled, yanked pushed, shimmied, shaked, twisted and leaned on the trunk lid with the handle pulled. It wouldn't budge. I even got so frustrated that I started using my knee to push down on the trunk lid, and I was rewarded for my stupidity with two big dents in the trunk lid. It still wouldn't budge.

So, against better judgement, I took the car to the track for the weekend, anyway. I was topped off with oil, so I was hoping that barring and engine problems, I wouldn't need to open the trunk lid anyway. Early Saturday morning, and older 911 caught fire. That got me thinking - if my car caught fire, it would burn to the ground because we wouldn't be able to open the engine lid to put it out... but I kept driving anyway. No one at the track was able to get it open, either.

Well, after 3 days of driving on the track with two drivers, my wife went out for her 2 timed laps for the time-trial portion of the event on Sunday afternoon. When she came off the track and parked the car, the engine cover was magically open!!!!

I removed the latch and will take some time to adjust it properly given all the other advice that I've gotten here.

Thanks, guys!

PS - I'm going to watch the in-car video of my wife's runs tonite. I wonder what went on out there on the track to open up that lid??
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Old 04-05-2004, 06:12 AM
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lucky!
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I had a similar problem. At first I had to really slam and/or push really hard to get the rear lid to latch shut. So one day I decided to replace the latch assembly. I was careful not to adjust the latch too far because I had a real bit*h of a time on my Pathfinder when it went out of adjustment and could not open the hood.

It took me several minute adjustments to get the lid to stay shut on its own. It would work until I either hit a corner hard or went over a speedbump and then it would pop up. Never realized the body flexed that much, and mine is a coupe which is claimed by some to have a more rigid body than the cabriolet or targa.
Old 04-05-2004, 09:12 AM
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so, crash! you are saying his wife drove the car harder?
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Old 04-05-2004, 09:26 AM
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You obviously have met my wife!! If not, come witness the spectacle at the GGR autocross at Alameda on Saturday. I see you guys are local...


Dean
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Old 04-05-2004, 09:35 AM
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dtfastbear's wife = dtfastermommabear

glad you got the lid up. you still made me postpone my lid switch.

you are local? where is greenbrea?
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Old 04-05-2004, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by unfixed
so what adjustment gets most people? the length of the phallic shaped shaft? or the side to side positioning of it?
Quote:
Originally posted by dtfastbear
...my wife went out for her 2 timed laps for the time-trial portion of the event on Sunday afternoon. When she came off the track and parked the car, the engine cover was magically open!!!!
Just goes to show that women are better when it comes to dealing with "phallic shaped shafts"!
Old 04-05-2004, 09:41 AM
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Greenbrae is in Marin, between Corte Madera and San Rafael. We'll be at the autocross on Saturday then the Coastal Driving event at Thunderhill on Sunday!

Yes, the shaft on that latch must have gotten excited when my wife ran a 2:13.2 CCW at Thunderhill in our almost stock '86 Carrera and extended to the point that it opened.
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Old 04-05-2004, 09:45 AM
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DISASTER.. I finished installing a fan in the tail of my carrera to
cool the condenser and while reinstalling the tail and adjusting the hinges..it slipped...slammed shut and now i am locked out of the engine compartment..and I hear hissing as a tool I left on the engine has apparenatly punctured my rear condenser. (insert long expletive here) no idea how to get it open ...sigh.
.... a couple days later after reading lost of threads here.. and a small sacrifice to the porsche gods..
I tied two wire hangers together, my son and I threaded them inside and around the post.. with a pair of vice grips holding the cable pull tight we pulled and pushed rearward and POP ! open ! ...whew...
Old 07-24-2005, 02:03 PM
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Almost everything about a 911 you need to know can be found here...and some things you didn't need to know.
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Old 07-24-2005, 03:57 PM
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