Cutting a Hole in the Trunk

Today was the first day of my extra long holiday weekend. Of course it didn’t start off that great when I dropped the truck off for an oil change and found out that my radiator had a hole in it.  I always hate spending money on crappy things, I’d much rather spend them on fun things 😦

I did manage to get out to the garage after lunch and started working on the trunk.  First I had to make sure that the bar holding the trunk hinges was properly welded to the chassis.  Currently it’s just bolted onto the body of the car temporarily.  Before I started doing any kind of latching mechanism alignment I needed to know that nothing was going to move.

I decided to use a standard Subaru trunk latch and striker mechanism since I’m familiar with it on my WRX.  It makes it much easier when you can walk over to the car in the driveway and double check how everything works and then come back and fabricate it. The mount for the striker started off with marking holes for the offset bolts.  These holes were then elongated so that the striker had some vertical adjustment.

I also realized that I needed to first create a lip around the top of the afterburner mount.  This lip ensures that when I place the rear trim plate flush on top of the afterburner that there are no gaps for water to get through.

I then measured how much space I was going to need between the back of the afterburner and the striker to create two ends for the mounting plate.  I made sure that I cut a hole in one side to allow for the trunk release cable to come through and connect to the striker.  You can see the “trunk open” indicator switch on the left hand side of the striker.

Here you can see the striker mount in-place on the back of the afterburner with the trim plate at the bottom of the photo.  The shot is taken looking down into the trunk while standing over top of the afterburner.

Now comes the fun part.  One starts to ask oneself, how in the world am I going to make everything line up and have the latch actually hit the striker? Well the answer to that is “cut a hole in the trunk lid”.  This way you can see just where the striker needs to be placed and it also allows you to position the latch and make a mounting plate for it as well.

Oh, and I almost forgot… the last thing you want to have happen is the trunk to actually latch itself closed with no way to reach in and pop it open (this happened to me once on my Subaru and it wasn’t pretty).  So the hole serves double duty! I already have an emergency trunk release cable that I’ll have hidden on the outside of the car just in-case I lose power.  I plan to have a electronic popper on the hatch, so the manual cable serves as a trusty back-up.

I used a couple of small pieces of tape on the sides of the body to show where the rear bumper beam was so that I could make a guestimate on where to mark the opening.  Turns out it was spot-on!  Next I’ll be creating the mount for the latch mechanism and get it attached to the trunk lid 🙂

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