97' 528i Trunk Latch Repair - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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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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  #1  
Old 03-30-2013, 03:45 PM
PCSbball PCSbball is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
97' 528i Trunk Latch Repair

Hi Everyone,
I figure since I use this site so often it was about time I put a recent fix on here since there didn't seem to be a ton of recent links to it.
This is a general procedure to remove the trunk latch and access the actuator or latch for any e39.

One day my friend slammed my trunk much too hard and as a result it just quit locking.
Apart from the annoying trunk open icon on my dash it is nice to have a locking trunk.
My problem (Spoiler Alert) was a broken spring in the mechanism that doesn't even appear on the real OEM diagram. Here is the picture for anyone who doesn't want to bother digging for it
http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...55&hg=41&fg=60

Tools required

You will need a Torx T30 bit, a standard phillips head screwdriver, flashlight (optional but handy), a Trim pulling tool (A screwdriver can also work here), and a small flathead screwdriver or other tool with a thin end.

First, open the access panel with your flathead or thin bladed object


Unscrew it and put it aside

Next, use the trim tool and remove the inner plastic piece.
Use the small groove on the outer ring and work it up.

There are two plastic "popping rivets" This is the best I can describe them, simply pull the trim piece down and they will release.

Now, use your T30 Torx bit and unscrew the three (3) screws holding the latch in place.
Then, Pull the black wire connecter off the left side of the mechanism.


Next, slowly work the mechanism off of the long metal rod.


Here are the two pieces that are meant to have a spring between them (Arrows)


I went to my local hardware store and picked up a new one
This was easy for me since my hardware store has a huge inventory of springs but it may be more difficult to get one that is similar


Just broke in two



Using my screwdriver I was able to work it around both of the ends where it fit snuggly


That's all there is, just put everything back in reverse order

Reattach to the metal rod.
Screw in Torx bolts.
Reattach the black wire connector.
Test to make sure it all works.
Pop the trim piece back in, put in the two part clips.
Screw in initial screw and put the small panel back over it.

Thanks for all the help in the past and I hope someone may find this helpful
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  #2  
Old 03-31-2013, 07:38 AM
air_cooled air_cooled is offline
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Good write up thanks.
I had to replace my trunk motor due to a sheared drive mechanism but this is good info for those who get "lucky"
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  #3  
Old 08-09-2013, 05:17 PM
Dulcio Dulcio is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 530i 2001
97' 528i Trunk Latch Repair

Where did you get the spring from I have been searching for one all day.


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  #4  
Old 08-12-2013, 10:27 AM
PCSbball PCSbball is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
I found mine at my local hardware store.
However I have an incredibly well stocked family owned store that carries just about everything. All I did was take mine in and have them match it. I'm not sure about any part numbers for that spring, REAL OEM didn't help me much there, its just something you have to go to a few different places to find I guess.
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  #5  
Old 08-12-2013, 10:46 AM
edjack edjack is online now
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Lowe's and Home Depot won't cut it. You need to find an old-fashioned REAL hardware store. Some ACE franchises may have springs.
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  #6  
Old 08-13-2013, 08:29 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, I'll crosslink this to the existing trunklatch repair thread found simply by typing /trunk latch F3 in the bestlinks:

- How to repair your frayed trunk wiring loom (1) & an easy fix for your trunk latch (1)& a trunk lock actuator DIY (1) & how to replace your trunk shock absorber struts (1) or your E39 touring tailgate damper (1) & how to repair a broken trunk boot lock spring (1) & proper identification & location of relays in the trunk compartment & location of the fuel pump relay K96 (1) & how to open the hood (1) or boot manually when you have a dead 12v car battery (1) (2) & how to unlock the older E39 if the key is locked inside the trunk (1) (2)
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Please read the suggested threads and add value, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #7  
Old 08-13-2013, 08:33 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, I just added and rearranged the trunk latch reference in the bestlinks because the single reference above was OUTSIDE of Bimmerfest.

Lately, I've been rearranging the links so that the number 1 link is to bimmerfest.

This is so that we can cross reference all subsequent related threads to that one link.

That helps for one-stop shopping, for users in the future.

So this is now the updated link in the bestlinks:
- How to repair your frayed trunk wiring loom (1) & an easy fix for your trunk latch (1) (2) & a trunk lock actuator DIY (1) & how to replace your trunk shock absorber struts (1) or your E39 touring tailgate damper (1) & how to repair a broken trunk boot lock spring (1) & proper identification & location of relays in the trunk compartment & location of the fuel pump relay K96 (1) & how to open the hood (1) or boot manually when you have a dead 12v car battery (1) (2) & how to unlock the older E39 if the key is locked inside the trunk (1) (2)
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Please read the suggested threads and add value, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #8  
Old 05-18-2014, 01:46 PM
M W M W is offline
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You guys are the best. 15 minute fix. Bravo. Thanks
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  #9  
Old 05-18-2014, 03:40 PM
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chiefwej chiefwej is offline
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If you can't find a spring to fit, you can just bend the last (broken) coil of the spring up and reuse the old one. It worked for a couple years for me.
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  #10  
Old 05-18-2014, 03:46 PM
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JDeGraff89 JDeGraff89 is offline
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I did this same thing a couple months back actually did it right in the ace parking lot. For me it was a bear to replace that spring. But I ended up with a spring with much more umph. And now my license plate vibrates when you unlock the trunk.
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  #11  
Old 05-18-2014, 08:35 PM
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musa musa is offline
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I did this repair a long time ago but used the same spring that broke. It broke exacty the same way as shown in OP picture. I couldn't find a replacement so I just stretched the broken end and twisted it into a hook. It has held for years now and functions perfectly.
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  #12  
Old 05-18-2014, 08:36 PM
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musa musa is offline
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I did this repair a long time ago but used the same spring that broke. It broke exacty the same way as shown in OP picture. I couldn't find a replacement so I just stretched the broken end and twisted it into a hook. It has held for years now and functions perfectly.
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  #13  
Old 06-04-2015, 08:57 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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There is a good offsite reference quoted today over here ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Unique trunk release problem
Quote:
Originally Posted by BennyT View Post
Ok, I searched for days for a thread that related to my issue but no dice so far. When I got my car two months ago the key remote worked most of the time. Then some of the time. Now not at all. I'm thinking more than likely the batteries are flat. No big deal. However, the trunk release buttons under the dash and on the lid don't work either. No audible effort from the actuator. When the keys did work, they would pop the trunk but the buttons on the car have never worked. My fuel door actuator doesn't work either, but it's not blowing the fuse. I have it disconnected for now, anyway. I just pulled the trunk actuator for a closer look and now I definitely need a new one. There is a spring inside. It will hit you in the face if you aren't careful. Kinda stumped on this one guys. Any advice what to try next?
Quote:
Originally Posted by BennyT View Post
Forgot to mention it's an 01 525i and I've already inspected the trunk loom where it passes through the body to the lid. Everything looks good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnstern View Post
Is your problem that the spring in the latch is broken? If so this is a common failure.

http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...k+latch+spring
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
That's a nice cross reference to add to the bimmerfest trunk latch thread ...
- An easy fix for your trunk latch (1) (2)

See also:
- How to repair your frayed trunk wiring loom (1) & an easy fix for your trunk latch (1) (2) & a trunk lock actuator DIY (1) & how to replace your trunk shock absorber struts (1) or your E39 touring tailgate damper (1) & how to repair a broken trunk boot lock spring (1) & proper identification & location of relays in the trunk compartment & location of the fuel pump relay K96 (1) & how to open the hood (1) or boot manually when you have a dead 12v car battery (1) (2) & how to unlock the older E39 if the key is locked inside the trunk (1) (2)
__________________
Please read the suggested threads and add value, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #14  
Old 06-08-2015, 08:37 AM
cdorsettc cdorsettc is offline
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Location: Long Beach, CA
 
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Thank you for making this step by step instructions easy to find online. It is my issue exactly.
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  #15  
Old 01-17-2017, 05:40 PM
Zorlac Zorlac is offline
Skate tough or go home
Location: Raleigh, NC
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2000 528i, 2004 545i/6
Trunk latch fixed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCSbball View Post
Hi Everyone,
I figure since I use this site so often it was about time I put a recent fix on here since there didn't seem to be a ton of recent links to it.
This is a general procedure to remove the trunk latch and access the actuator or latch for any e39.

One day my friend slammed my trunk much too hard and as a result it just quit locking.
Apart from the annoying trunk open icon on my dash it is nice to have a locking trunk.
My problem (Spoiler Alert) was a broken spring in the mechanism that doesn't even appear on the real OEM diagram. Here is the picture for anyone who doesn't want to bother digging for it
http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...55&hg=41&fg=60

Tools required

You will need a Torx T30 bit, a standard phillips head screwdriver, flashlight (optional but handy), a Trim pulling tool (A screwdriver can also work here), and a small flathead screwdriver or other tool with a thin end.

First, open the access panel with your flathead or thin bladed object


Unscrew it and put it aside

Next, use the trim tool and remove the inner plastic piece.
Use the small groove on the outer ring and work it up.

There are two plastic "popping rivets" This is the best I can describe them, simply pull the trim piece down and they will release.

Now, use your T30 Torx bit and unscrew the three (3) screws holding the latch in place.
Then, Pull the black wire connecter off the left side of the mechanism.


Next, slowly work the mechanism off of the long metal rod.


Here are the two pieces that are meant to have a spring between them (Arrows)


I went to my local hardware store and picked up a new one
This was easy for me since my hardware store has a huge inventory of springs but it may be more difficult to get one that is similar


Just broke in two



Using my screwdriver I was able to work it around both of the ends where it fit snuggly


That's all there is, just put everything back in reverse order

Reattach to the metal rod.
Screw in Torx bolts.
Reattach the black wire connector.
Test to make sure it all works.
Pop the trim piece back in, put in the two part clips.
Screw in initial screw and put the small panel back over it.

Thanks for all the help in the past and I hope someone may find this helpful
Greetings all and happy new year.
New member to the site and posting here to give thanks to PCSbball for this excellent write up. Our 2000 528i, driven by daughter for school and teenage transport, suffered a non closing-non latching, trunk issue. Trunk open light lit up on dashboard. Though I generally make repairs myself on this car, a time crunch necessitated a decision by my better half to take it to dealer before I could take a look at it. $99.00 diagnostic fee, "vehicle needs trunk latch" estimate of $510.00. Repair was declined and found some time to locate and read through this DIY.
This broken spring was exactly the issue on the 2000 528i. Went to ACE Hardware and purchased Expansion spring #74. Spring measurement 1 3/16 x 5/16 x .035. Not a metric spring, but very close to OEM size and works perfectly. Set aside a few extra minutes, a very small flat head screwdriver, and a very good desk lamp to see and place this little dude in its channel inside the latch mechanism.

Thanks again to PCSbball and hope spring size info helps...cost of spring 89 cents.

Zorlac

-Skate tough or go home

Last edited by Zorlac; 01-17-2017 at 05:48 PM. Reason: *
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  #16  
Old 01-19-2020, 09:10 PM
Bmwe39528i Bmwe39528i is offline
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Mein Auto:
Thanks for the tutorial!
I didn't bother buying a new spring, simply belt the broken end with pliers, works perfectly.
No more annoying dashboard light for open trunk!
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