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-   -   e61 tailgate problems (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671682)

ironman 01-22-2013 01:46 PM

e61 tailgate problems
 
I can't seem to get the automatic tailgate to close on my 530xi Wagon. The electronics seem to be operating normally but the latch does not lock when the tailgate is in the down position. It pops back up about an inch and stays there . The interior lights won't shut off for about 20 minutes until the car goes into sleep mode which eventually is going to kill the battery. I'm away from home, 200 miles from the nearest BMW dealer and to make matters even more fun, its 10 below zero and I'm try to fix this beast outside. Any ideas?The lock mechanism does not appear to be frozen. I can move the latch easily with my frozen fingers. :bawling:

greenX3 01-22-2013 05:12 PM

Stupid question, I'm sure, but have you traced a path around the entire opening of the hatch (including the top part) to ensure there aren't any obstructions (including ice)?

toga94m 01-22-2013 06:24 PM

Run thru this thread http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=613180 and see if there's any help. When mine died, it was July, but still a pain.

ironman 01-23-2013 06:34 AM

No obstructions. I put a heat gun to the latch mechanism and it is not frozen or at least not anymore. Thanks for the link toga94m. My tailgate motor is working fine though. It raises and lowers but does not lock. One of the posts about taking the mechanism apart was helpful and that will be my next step today.....

Update: I've tried everything mentioned in your post to get the rear window to open and it will not open. I was able to unplug the rear cargo area lights so at least my battery isn't going to die. Does anyone know if there is a manual release for the rear window?

Thanks for all the responses.

ironman 01-23-2013 02:17 PM

e61 rear window
 
Still trying to get the rear window open so that I can remove the panel to access the tailgate lock mechanism. Anymore ideas? Since the tailgate won't lock (only manually) the car does not recognize it as being locked and thus won't release the rear window. The electronics on this car are ridiculous. Is there a way to bypass the tailgate lock to get the window open?

toga94m 01-23-2013 04:38 PM

From the aforementioned Bimmerfest thread........

Quote:

During the twiddling, I found that if I pushed the manual "lever" (pin) in the opposite direction of unlocking, I got a few other motor noises, and found that the glass window would now open (yay!). So I decided there was a missing/broken return spring inside the mechanism on the hatch. Pushing the lever further back (like the spring should) tells the computers that the lid is securely locked shut. Without knowing this, the car won't arm the alarm, and you can't open the glass window, and you'll get complained at from the dashboard if you try driving.
So sitting in the cargo area, legs outside, hatch mostly closed on your legs, remove the 1" square plastic cover to access the lower latch. This might even be covered in the manual, on page 36 in my PDF -

Quote:

In case of an electrical defect:
1. From the cargo area, press out the cover 1 on the tailgate with a screwdriver.
2. Press the locking bar 2 in the direction of the arrow.
Pushing it in the other direction will help the car think the hatch is closed and latched, so you can request an opening of the window from the smarter-than-any-of-us computer. You can also use this trick to make the car think it's secure so you can arm the alarm, even when the hatch is held closed with a shoestring because you didn't have any rope with you at the time. Go ahead, ask me how I know. :thumbup:

ironman 01-24-2013 09:54 AM

I've read the post (many others as well) and I've tried everything suggested in multiples of 10 and still nothing. This leads me to believe that something else is going on here or your computer is just smarter than mine. To make matters worse, I'm on a ski vacation and it was -31 degrees last night and I'm twiddling with this outside.
I've disconnected the cargo area lights from behind the rear panel so at least I do not have the battery drain issue to contend with. I can turn off the rest of the interior lights manually after I open the door. At this point I think I'll wait until I get home next week or until it warms up a bit. Thanks for getting back to me.

ironman 01-29-2013 06:52 PM

e61 tailgate problem update/resolved
 
If anyone has an e61 tailgate latch issues there is hope. I've been dragged through the mud (or snow in my case) with this one. Now that it is above freezing I've had some time and cooperative weather to figure this thing out .. Toga94m was correct in his post. If you move the manual release mechanism to the right (left opens, pg 36 owners manual) it will send a message to the computer that the tailgate is closed and that in return will shut off interior lights etc...and more importantly allow you to open the rear tailgate window to access the screws to remove the latch. In my case a small piece of aluminum (which I found out later) that holds the latch mechanism spring in place broke off and got wedged between the manual release lever and the housing . At this point the tailgate would not open or close because the latch would not release or move either way. I could also see there was a spring (one of two in the mechanism) floating around in there. I sprayed WD40 in the latch and since I suspected the problem was mechanical I had nothing to loose so I wacked it with a hammer and screw driver (gently) and eventually dislodged the metal. Once the manual release lever was free to push to the right, the rear window opened and it was a fifteen minute job to replace the whole mechnaism. If you are lucky enough not to have something lodge the manual release lever this is a simple job. I paid $143 for the latch (dealer only part as I could not find it on the internet elsewhere) and a done deal. Once I got the whole thing working I drilled the two rivets on the old latch to see what was going on in there. It is a fairly simple mechanism but the aluminum part that holds the spring in place was definitely the culprit. I'll repair the old latch at some point and have a spare . Thanks to all for the help!:)

toga94m 01-30-2013 04:30 AM

:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
Grats! I was hoping it was related to mine, hated to steer you down the wrong path. On mine the spring holder broken, but I also had a loose mounting screw rattling around in there. I think when the car was repaired from a mild rear-ender (two owners ago, I only pieced clues together from Carfax reports) they didn't screw everything down tight enough.

At the time, the TIS part of spaghetticoder was available, so I could zoom in on the service manual pictures and find the right replacement part number 51247114612, then google and order online from a parts source. Mine was just over $100 plus shipping from getbmwparts dot com. Still a lot to pay for a little piece of plastic that let a spring get loose.

Jon325iT 11-18-2013 10:09 AM

tips?
 
I'm getting ready to replace the trunk latch on the E61. Are there any tips/tricks I should be aware of? I've searched and can't find much. There is obviously more info on the touring on European boards but I can't find any DIY type threads for this.

The trim removal seems pretty straight forward. I've read that the glass needs to open as part of the process in order to remove the trim. I assume I need to pop that plastic cover off.

Any idea what the torque specs are for the torx screws that hold the trunk latch in place. The story above of one coming loose has me worried!

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Touring forever!

toga94m 11-18-2013 05:57 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon325iT (Post 7963667)
I'm getting ready to replace the trunk latch on the E61. Are there any tips/tricks I should be aware of? I've searched and can't find much. There is obviously more info on the touring on European boards but I can't find any DIY type threads for this.

The trim removal seems pretty straight forward. I've read that the glass needs to open as part of the process in order to remove the trim. I assume I need to pop that plastic cover off.

Any idea what the torque specs are for the torx screws that hold the trunk latch in place. The story above of one coming loose has me worried!

Yup - glass open, uncover the wiper motor area, then you can remove the whole hatch inside cover. I broke a few of the mounting tabs for the window surround, but the remaining tabs seem to be holding the trim in place.

The four big screws that hold the latch to the bracket (not bracket to car) are triangular threadcutting style - so the replacement part I bought didn't have any threads in the holes yet. I reattached the two parts in the basement where I could hold things secure, with good lighting and access.. Because of the odd mounting angles, I used some clamps to hold things together while I installed these screws. I didn't have any fear of stripping my new threads - the material felt extremely solid when it stopped turning.

For the three bolts into the actual hatch, I think I torqued them as much as I could with a screwdriver-style tool and my hands, didn't go for a real torque wrench. To keep things in better alignment for reassembly, during removal I scribed the black baseplate near the bolt heads that hold the plate to the car/hatch. That was I was able to get the baseplate (slotted holes) near the same place on the car. The car closed and latched (and re-opened) on the first try, no fine adjustment needed afterward.

Jon325iT 11-18-2013 11:03 PM

Thank you for the tips. I did get all the trim off eventually. I had to build up some nerve to pull as hard as I needed to on the trim surrounding the window.

I tried to mark where the bracket was but the marker smeared somehow when I was taking it off. Guess I'll be doing some adjusting.

Interesting about the thread cutting screws. I looked and I don't think the ones I have are thread cutting. The lid lock arrives tomorrow so we'll see.

Thanks again for all help!

toga94m 11-19-2013 04:48 AM

3 Attachment(s)
From the side the screws didn't seem different, but end-on you can see they're not cylindrical - they have three high areas and three low areas.The small photo shows the center screw (taped onto the driver with ratchet handle for torque) but the camera focussed on the head instead of the tip. The other two show the original bracket (with threads) and the new-from-BMW replacement part, unthreaded holes. That was about the time I learned about threadforming screws. :)

More info here - http://www.mcmaster.com/#tri-lobular-screws/=pg2myg

Jon325iT 11-19-2013 04:19 PM

I'll have to look again. Thanks for the picture. I learn something new every time I dig into these cars.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...18&hg=41&fg=60

I'm assuming they are #2 in the diagram. It's strange that they list the number of screws as 3 instead of 4.

toga94m 11-19-2013 05:47 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon325iT (Post 7966904)
I'll have to look again. Thanks for the picture. I learn something new every time I dig into these cars.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...18&hg=41&fg=60

I'm assuming they are #2 in the diagram. It's strange that they list the number of screws as 3 instead of 4.

Yeah, something's not right there... here's a photo of my car reassembled, though it's been a year so I can't guarantee the screw lengths. But I've got 7 large Torx screws back there. The one that was loose (and broke my latch/spring mechanism by rattling around) was the one hiding in the back center of the orange-marked screws. Datecode on the electrical part was 2007, later than the factory part from a 10/05 build date NN73, so it must have been poorly repaired before I got the car.

Jon325iT 11-20-2013 07:03 AM

Amazing photos...really helpful.

My part came and it's I see what you mean. That's a good idea to use some clamps or something because you probably only have one shot to get it right. I assume they do that for a firmer grip.

I was thinking of using some loctite on the three screws that secure the bracket but that's probably a bad idea if that bracket needs fine adjusting for alignment.

Thanks again for all your help!

Jon325iT 11-20-2013 10:43 AM

The operation was a success. Thanks for all the help toga94m. Dinner and drinks on me if you're ever in Seattle!


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