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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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Old 12-27-2015, 07:55 PM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: ND
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 251
Mein Auto: e38 750iL
Touring wagon spare tire latch failure and removal

The latch opening the hatch granting access to the spare tire area failed on me and would no longer open. This is the latch I'm talking about.

The first shows the latch to which I am referring. the cell phone pictures are upside down for some reason. I find it a bit dizzying.

After trying to lock/unlock mechanism, pry at sides, and pick at the latch from underneath I took a dremmel tool with a cut off wheel and started cutting at the latch cover, hoping to find what gave way to leave the latch ineffective. I needed the hatch accessible in case of flat tire.

The second photo shows some holes that did no good. Turns out all the hardware of the latch run down the middle. There is tab in the center beneath the part of the latch that rotates down and aft when the handle side is pulled up. This tab pushes into a slot and against a metal shaft that opens the mechanism. I think because the bar along which the latch pivots got a little bent out of shape, the tab and shaft became misaligned.

The hole in the third picture faintly shows the shaft that I was able to realign just enough with a screwdriver so that the latch functioned one last time. With the hatch door out of the car the mechanism in its entirety can be removed by screws from beneath. For now I have just an opening to grab to open the hatch and will look to replace the mechanism.

My 2000 528iT just passed 200,000 miles on the odometer...with, at present, no warning lights on the dash. Quite a feat with the nearest stealer 500 miles away.
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