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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-21-2012, 03:44 PM
markoside markoside is offline
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328i Conv - Trunk will not open

Need some help. 97 328i Convertible trunk will not open. I have turned the key all the way to the right and all the way to the left. Can hear the system actuate. Have also manually depressed the switch the is under the toneau cover, but the trunk will not open. The glove box is not locked. Have tried the above with the top up and down.

Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2012, 05:28 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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This should help. Download the files and read up.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=639047
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2012, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markoside View Post
Need some help. 97 328i Convertible trunk will not open. I have turned the key all the way to the right and all the way to the left. Can hear the system actuate. Have also manually depressed the switch the is under the toneau cover, but the trunk will not open. The glove box is not locked. Have tried the above with the top up and down.

Any ideas?
Do you have a remote locking system too? If so try cycling it a couple of times and then see if the trunk will unlock. Also try the same with the central locking button.
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2012, 06:52 PM
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TheFinanceGuy TheFinanceGuy is offline
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Iirc my trunk used to lock while the boot was open to store the top.

You could try making sure that is closed all that way.

Is it possible a sensor is stuck? Or am I making all of this up?
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  #5  
Old 08-21-2012, 07:13 PM
markoside markoside is offline
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Update:
Have reviewed the convertible docs, but nothing on the lock.
I can feel the trunk lock actuator lock and unlock with the key and the remote.
When I manually depress the switch for the tonuea cover, I can feel the trunk lock actuator activate, but in all of these situations, the trunk will not lift up.

I have a car cover in the trunk, could it have tangled with the lock mechanism? If so, what can I do?

Also, I do not have the ski pass. The seat removes, but there is a plastic barrier between the rear seat and the trunk.
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  #6  
Old 08-21-2012, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFinanceGuy View Post
Iirc my trunk used to lock while the boot was open to store the top.

You could try making sure that is closed all that way.

Is it possible a sensor is stuck? Or am I making all of this up?
There's a micro switch on the passenger side of the tonneau cover, but his first post indicates he's tried that manually.
OP, When you actuate the microswitch can you hear it click and can you hear a relay click?

Also, are you certain you're using the master key and not the valet key?
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  #7  
Old 08-21-2012, 07:20 PM
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Do you have a remote locking system installed?

The reason I'm asking is BMWs have a double locking system. One lock mechanism is actuated by the key and the other is actuated by the central locking system controller signaled by the remote key fob.
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  #8  
Old 08-21-2012, 07:29 PM
markoside markoside is offline
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I am using the master key, and have unlocked using the FOB (actually locked and unlocked a number of times).
When I push the button on the trunk, it goes in, but the trunk doesn't open.
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  #9  
Old 08-21-2012, 07:44 PM
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When you unlock can you hear the solenoid by the trunk lid latch actuate? You might have to put your ear against the trunk to ensure you can isolate to the trunk lid......
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  #10  
Old 08-21-2012, 09:53 PM
markoside markoside is offline
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yes, I can hear the solenoid acuate.
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  #11  
Old 08-22-2012, 03:04 AM
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The only things left I can think of is the solenoid isn't pulling back all the way and releasing lock, or the actuator rod from the solenoid to the latch is disconnected. The solenoids for the door locks tend to get sticky with age and not unlock the door, but I haven't seen this is as an issue for the trunk lock solenoid.

This is one way to get it open, but it's pretty radical.

http://www.unitedbimmer.com/forums/e...open-318i.html
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  #12  
Old 08-22-2012, 03:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
There's a micro switch on the passenger side of the tonneau cover, but his first post indicates he's tried that manually.
OP, When you actuate the microswitch can you hear it click and can you hear a relay click?

Also, are you certain you're using the master key and not the valet key?
Shoot... I missed that. This is why I shouldn't write back before bed...
OP good luck.
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  #13  
Old 08-22-2012, 09:47 AM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
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the switch is not a toggle.

have someone sit on the tonneau cover where the switch is then try the trunk
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  #14  
Old 08-22-2012, 10:27 AM
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petriej petriej is offline
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Yea it sounds like this is a pretty serious issue. You may have to remove some stuff. If you don't want to forcibly break into the trunk I suggest you try going in from the seats. As in, remove the seats, etc.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Jared, why don't you just put "It's Giubo" in your sig? Save a lot of typing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by e36 miguel View Post
this jared guy sounds intimidating lol.
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  #15  
Old 08-22-2012, 07:00 PM
markoside markoside is offline
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Anyone have instructions on how to remove the seats?
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  #16  
Old 08-22-2012, 08:02 PM
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Lift up the front edge of the seat cushion and pull up and forward and the seat portion will come out. Pull out the rear headrests, then pull outward hard on the lower edge of the backrest. You'll have the backrest loose and then slide it out from behind the seat belts.
Be aware the rear head rests make take some serious force to pull out. Some lube may be required, and the best way is to lube them, push them all the way DOWN, then get a running start upward to get past the spring catches at the bottoms of the head rest posts. You may need to put the top down so that you can stand up in the back area to get more leverage on the headrests.
Mine came out pretty easy when I pulled them out but others have had to use all their strength to get them pulled out.
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  #17  
Old 08-23-2012, 09:06 AM
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Just to confirm, you've had someone activate the tonneau cover microswitch while you attempt to use the key & press the trunk release button? Like Eight Thirty said, the switch is not a toggle. I'd hate for you to tear open your car due to a misunderstanding. The only other thing I can think of is some disconnect between the latch and the mechanism. In which case, you'll have to break in somehow. The least destructive way is through the rear seats. Keep us updated!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Jared, why don't you just put "It's Giubo" in your sig? Save a lot of typing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by e36 miguel View Post
this jared guy sounds intimidating lol.
2005 X5 4.8is Le Mans/Black/6spd Steptragic
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-------------------------------------------------------------------
1997 328iC Schwarz II/K/K 5MT SOLD 5/2012
2004 645Ci Mineral Silver Metallic/Black 6MT RIP 04/2011
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  #18  
Old 08-23-2012, 09:51 AM
feen328i feen328i is offline
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must have to do with your button that you push in; either that or something is caught in the mechanism. You'll probably have to go in the trunk through the back seat. You'll have to tear up the trunk liner a little by pushing it in really hard until it comes undone.
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  #19  
Old 08-23-2012, 06:31 PM
markoside markoside is offline
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Yep, had son and wife sitting on middle and right side of tonneau cover. No bueno. Will have to start taking out seats on Saturday.
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  #20  
Old 08-24-2012, 03:12 AM
custm42435 custm42435 is offline
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Iirc, i think i was able to get into my trunk one time even with the cover open and not making that switch... i think when you press the unlock button on remote the trunk did a unlock/quick lock again and it was a matter of catching it at the right time between the cycling. Another possibility might be to pull the fuses going to locking system, and then trying to use key so that it doesnt have the power to lock itself back.. Then yet another might be if you remove the strip on the trunk lid that houses the license plate lights, you may be able to go up from there and work something out. I do know for a fact that ive had mine open while cover was open, as i had to bend the corner of the trunk lid back after they met eachother. and yet another idea if all these fail would be to pull your top release handle under the back seat, open the top cover compartment yourself, move top out of the way look for that top cover switch and inspect it because pushing it by hand you should hear the trunk lid lock and unlock...
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  #21  
Old 08-25-2012, 08:24 PM
markoside markoside is offline
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I would like to thank everyone for their help so far, still have a favor to ask.

So far, I have removed the rear seats, removed the plastic barrier where Ski Pass would be. Cut carpet to get into trunk. Removed the two 10mm bolts. The lock is still attached to the bracket. I can get the trunk to lift a little, but the bracket is still attached to in the wall of the trunk.

I have gone back just to make sure that the tonneau cover switch is activiating the trunk actuator. It is. I can hear it / feel it actuating when I close the switch.

I have been continuing to research. It sounds like the rod between the actuator and the lock mechanism has become disconneted.

Someone (6'3" tall) had been able to reach in, remove the trunk lid liner and pull the rod. Someone else had previously taken his trunk lid liner off, and knew howit looked inside. He had seen how they were connected, was able to remove the license plate and the rubber bumper and then use a coat hanger to activate the lock mechanism. Not sure if I can accomplish these feats.

I'm not likely going to drill a hole in my trunk. I thin kI would be better off letting the dealer do that. Any further thoughts?

Thanks,
Mark
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