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E36 M3 (1995-1999)

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Old 12-15-2006, 08:49 PM
saccpboy saccpboy is offline
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Location: Sacramento
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: E36 M3
E36 trunk is stuck please help

okay here is what happened. I have a 1995 M3 and i put a audio system in it like 2 months ago, before i installed the system the key hole for the trunk worked fine. When the key hole was left stright up and down and if you unlocked the doors then the trunk would unlock also. so if its in the same position and you locked the doors then so would the trunk. okay so after 2 weeks of having my system in the key hole for the trunk was acting up if it was left in the position up and down the doors would lock but the trunk would and the only way to lock it is if you turned the key all the way to the right, and in this position the turnk would stay lock no matter if the doors unlock or not. so i left it lock for about a month like that and i went to open my trunk with the key and it was kind of stuck so i forced the key to the open position and it open, so after i closed my trunk i locked it and locked, and now i cant even open it the key would not turn it is stuck in the lock position. i need help anybody with a system in there car have this problem?
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:34 PM
Bocaj_ferrari Bocaj_ferrari is offline
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Location: las cruces
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 2002 m3
doood! that happend to me too. and i dont think its because you put that system in your trunk it just gets worn after a while.. im still tryin to figure out how to open it. anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:31 PM
Edgy36-39's Avatar
Edgy36-39 Edgy36-39 is offline
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Location: Northern Virginia
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,566
Mein Auto: 2006 M3, 2002 M5
A couple of years ago, my truck lock just stopped working. The cylinder would go in when pushed, but trunk would not open.

Sprayed some WD-40 in there, and a couple of days later it was fine. Not very scientific, but try that before buying anything.
Interlagos Blue 06 M3, Autologic tune, K&N CAI, Agency Power midpipes and exhaust, Fortune Auto coilovers, ///M Pedal Kit, UUC SSK. MRegistry listing here.
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:34 AM
bryon bryon is offline
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Location: creston B.C. canada
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 1993 m5 3.8 ltr.
trunk lock,,,in locked pos. won,t turn

I read the comments about the e36 trunk lock, stuck ,,,,won,t unlock, and the key won,t turn in the lock, but will push in,,,,and when the door locks are unlocked it won,t unlock either,,,,and my manuals are in the trunk,,,so I can,t read them either,,,,,,the wd-40 didn,t work,,,,,anyone had sucess? it is a 97 318ic top closed,,,,,,thanks a bunch,,,,,bryon,,,bnorrisa@hotmail.com
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:10 AM
DecibelChild DecibelChild is offline
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Location: canada
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: BMW 325i
you gotta take half the liner plastic thing off and bend it forward a bit theres a leaver that you can flick to get it to unlock
its retarded as hell doing it from inside your trunk with your legs hanging out your back doors but it has to be done
just stick a hand in there and start trying to flick something to the right and eventually you will find it
the trunk will click open then you crawl your ass out and you gotta reattach a crappy little plastic pully to a metal peice maybe when its not snowing out here as much i will take a photo and post it if your still having trouble
ps use a butter knift to get that liner off because they have plugs that you dont want to snap in half
good luck my friend
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:12 AM
DecibelChild DecibelChild is offline
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Location: canada
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Mein Auto: BMW 325i
i think the part that i clicked over to the right was on the left but its harder to remeber then for me to do so i will post up more information to fix this problem soon
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:35 PM
bmw-mania bmw-mania is offline
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Location: California
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,465
Mein Auto: BMW

I assume you have a coupe..

empty car of all "stuff" in back, flip seats forward, and then empty trunk..

get a good flashlight, 2x flat small screwdrivers, pliers, patience, and a adult beverage helps.

inspect latch and striker.. should be visible..

remove all clips off from bottom of trunk panel proximal to the latch.
(top of grey panel in first pic.)

you should be able to stick your hand behind the panel.

move horizontal actuator arm (unlocking latch mechanism)

push down on vertical latch release arm.. trunk should pop.

finish adult beverage, feel satisfied.

test car battery
check grounds
double check fuses and relays
once trunk is open go ahead and take the whole panel off. (grey panel in photo)
double check wires for "creases" or bad wires especially where they bend.
see left hinge where wires attach, pop out rubber wire bungs on car body, and on trunk lid itself.
push rubber bungs up/down on wires looking for culprit.
double check actuator (behind gold torx screws in second photo)
clean all electrical contacts and coat with contact lube

Best of luck to you.. I hope this helps.

PS- please dont blow wd-40 into the lock which leaks into your trunk.. use a lock lubricant.
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Last edited by bmw-mania; 04-22-2011 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:54 AM
tsj2dn tsj2dn is offline
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Location: Chicago
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 325i, 540i, 535is
Cool Trunk lock stuck

I just fixed the E36 325i trunk lock! I had thought it was the actuator, but the key could not open it...

After crawling in through the rear seats and moving the lever with my finger, hence opening the trunk, I eventually figured out the problem. The tab the key turns could not get to the vertical position. With my old lock, when the button is pressed to unlatch, it does not quite pop back up all the way so once closed and locked, the tab is ever so slightly lower. It is just enough to block the lever that unlatches - that's why the key would not work.

The distance much less than 1 mm and lubricating the button did not help. So I filed an angle into the tab (only a few shavings) so the lever could slide up onto the tab. Greased it and it works. The stealer would have replaced the entire mech for many hundreds of dollars and two trips when all you have to do is remove 0.2 mm of brass and add some lub grease.

If I was a greenie, I could claim I saved a few pounds of CO2 emissions. More importantly, I have extra money for beer.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:01 PM
mbikerjudge mbikerjudge is offline
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Location: denver colorado
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 1999 M3
my trunk issue stemmed from my sister slamming the trunk lid so hard it cracked the metal arounf the lock mechanism and damaged the lock.
the fix required welding the crack in the metal and repairing the damage to the locking mechanism (replacement is probably typically better).
Who knew not to slam trunk lids? DUH
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