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Thread: how-to: jammed trunk release mechanism (remote) fix

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    formerly las vegas, now dallas TX
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    Default how-to: jammed trunk release mechanism (remote) fix

    A lot of us seem to have non-functional trunk opening mechanisms by remote. mine hasnt worked for years. so i finally decided to battle it. this writeup is for all contours with remote controls. so if urs doesnt work, try this:

    TOOLS
    -flathead & phillips screwdriver
    -a set of torx wrenches( i dont believe they sell in pieces)
    -a sharpie
    -some lube

    PROCEDURE
    1) open trunk & remove the plastic cover that shields the trunk opening mechanism. there are 4 plastic screws on the bottom and 2 flat clips that hold it in place. it should pop right off. u should see this @ this point. refer to pic below.



    2) using ur sharpie, draw an outline around the mechanism so u'll know the position to bolt it up back. like so...



    and dont worry about the sharpie marks. it'll never be seen as it'll be covered up by the piece u just took off... obviously.

    3) using whichever of the torx screws that fit, remove the four screws u see in the pic. two black ones on the right, and the two bolting the mechanism down. the same torx wrench undoes them.



    4) u should be able to see the back of the mechanism now.





    5) when u remove the two black screws on the right in first picture above, the white actuator should drop. ref to pic below.



    disconnect the wiring harness off of it.

    6) pop off the red & white cables. the red one is routed all the way into the cabin floor to the latch by ur foot. the white one goes to the key solenoid. the remote control link is the 6" black metal rod as seen in the pic below. pop off the red & white cables b4 removing the rod! as thats the only way the mechanism can move around to easily remove the rod. pop both cables off by pulling towards you. leave them alone. they'll stay in place.



    when both cables and rod are off, pull out the white actuator. there's ur culprit. it will still be connected to the rod.



    Continues on the next thread. part 2. friggn 10 photo rule.
    Julian
    98.5 csvt #6226 of 6535
    Rally Inspired 3L turbo'd monsTOUR
    Modifications??? well...lets just say this ain'tcha grandma's contour

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default trunk opening mechanism fix (part 2)

    now if u have another functional actuator, replace. and then reverse steps and u should be good.

    IF U DONT HAVE ANOTHER, CONTINUE FURTHER

    The problem is that the actuator gets jammed. so to make urs functional again, a couple of internal parts need to be greased up.

    8) open the actuator. be careful when doing this as the plastic is very hard and can break while trying to open. i know cos i broke two of my clips. also, while opening, the spring could shoot out. dont lose it.

    9) these are the parts u wanna grease up. i used all purpose valvoline grease from autozone.







    after greasing them up, it's ready to be put back together. this is the order in which it goes. see pic below.



    10) compress the spring with ur fingers so it fits inside the actuator.

    b4 closing it back up, it should look like this



    close the box. but b4 u install, pull and push on the bar a few times to get the grease all up in there. in other words, pump it.



    u can now reverse the steps and it should be working. if not, well, i dunno what to tell ya. might be the remote itself or faulty wiring.
    Julian
    98.5 csvt #6226 of 6535
    Rally Inspired 3L turbo'd monsTOUR
    Modifications??? well...lets just say this ain'tcha grandma's contour

  3. #3
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    Default

    one more thing to add. as i went to a junkyard to pick up a new actuator, i found out that few non-svt v6 tours actually have the remote control trunk popper. but they all have the wiring harness & connection. so if u dont have one, u can pick up an actuator and rod, connect it, and it should be functional. of course, i'd imagine u're gonna have to get it to a ford dealership to program it into the pcm for it to work. if am wrong on this, someone pls say.
    Julian
    98.5 csvt #6226 of 6535
    Rally Inspired 3L turbo'd monsTOUR
    Modifications??? well...lets just say this ain'tcha grandma's contour

  4. #4

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    I did this a while ago, but not because it was jammed. One of the smaller gears had stripped a few teeth and it was missing every time I hit the button. Fortunately the mechanism only needs a fraction of the teeth so I was able to pull the gear, rotate it 180 degrees, and reinstall it.

    Good write-up, though!!!

    ~Mike~

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Bothell, WA
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    Default

    Another thing to add: If you have one of these on your car, do some preventive maintenance on it by taking it apart, cleaning it, and regreasing it.

    I had one that failed because it wasn't greased properly and one of the gears broke.

    Another one failed because the copper strip had worn down. I fixed that one by adding solder to that copper strip, to build it back up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    203

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BAD SVT View Post
    one more thing to add. as i went to a junkyard to pick up a new actuator, i found out that few non-svt v6 tours actually have the remote control trunk popper. but they all have the wiring harness. so if u dont have one, u can pick up an actuator and rod, connect it, and it should be functional. of course, i'd imagine u're gonna have to get it to a ford dealership to program it into the pcm for it to work. if am wrong on this, someone pls say.
    good write up... i had the same problem!

    i went to the junkyard and got another one... then opened my old one up for fun and found a little plastic piece floating around.. i believe it was causing it not to work
    1998 Contour SVT #772-

  7. #7

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    I just thought I would let everybody know, that taking apart the actuator isn't always necessary. I got to the part where I took the actuator out, and the mechanism was jammed in the out position. I pushed it in and it broke free (it didn't break, but it loosened and started to move freely so I worked it in and out a bit, and old grease was kinda leaking out a bit). I hooked it up to the cables and hit the trunk release on my remote and it worked fine, so I put everything back together. It's been a few weeks and it's still working fine. Time will tell whether it was a good idea to not take it apart and clean/regrease everything, but I figured I have less of a chance of breaking it by keeping it together.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Florida Hoe Hot!
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    8,648

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    Any trunk popper works on any car.
    -99 T-RED 3L SVT TURBO
    -99 T-GREEN RHD MPV ST220 MAZDA 6 TURE DUAL 3L SVT
    -00 BLK/TAN SVT
    NEW OEM CONTOUR PARTS DEALER*
    SVTWAREHOUSE.COM COMING SOON!!

  9. #9

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    i am having trouble locating part one of this thread
    if someone could could post a link that would be appreciated
    thanks
    jared

  10. #10
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    Default

    Merged part 1 and part 2 into one thread.
    Matthew
    1999 Contour SVT #410 - 109k
    2008 Subaru Legacy GT Limited 5MT - 125k
    Sold: 98.5 Contour SE V6 ATX

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