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Old 12-15-2015, 05:34 PM   #1
Michael_e
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Default 1939 coupe trunk handle problems

As title says, I've got some problems with getting the trunk lid open. I can turn the handle but nothing happens. I removed the license plate light/cover and can feel the square shaft turn with the handle, but it doesn't seem to move the latch mechanism. It almost feels like the square shaft is rounded off in the latch. Any ideas on how I can get the trunk lid open?
Mike
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Old 12-15-2015, 06:59 PM   #2
swoopNZ
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Default Re: 1939 coupe trunk handle problems

Have someone small wriggle through the seat opening to the rear ( providing the Masonite dividing panels are long gone ) with a crescent or a 9/16" spanner .
Undo the nut holding the handle shaft in place.
Remove the handle and check out the shaft for wear.
You may have to make up an oversized piece of square and use that to try to get the latch to turn.
If that doesn't do it then the person inside the trunk area will have to attach a piece of wire to the catch ( which is spring loaded ) and pull it back manually.

Last edited by swoopNZ; 12-15-2015 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 12-15-2015, 08:17 PM   #3
39topless
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Default Re: 1939 coupe trunk handle problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_e View Post
As title says, I've got some problems with getting the trunk lid open. I can turn the handle but nothing happens. I removed the license plate light/cover and can feel the square shaft turn with the handle, but it doesn't seem to move the latch mechanism. It almost feels like the square shaft is rounded off in the latch. Any ideas on how I can get the trunk lid open?
Mike
before going through back seat, first I would try a couple good shots of WD40 on the latch. maybe get things moving easy enough to work. If no good, then go through the back seat. Have your wife do it and promise a little something "extra" for Christmas.
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:50 AM   #4
Michael_e
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Default Re: 1939 coupe trunk handle problems

Thanks for the ideas, guys. Looking more & more like going thru the seat back into the trunk area might be the only way to solve this. Going to give the WD40 a couple more days first.
Does anyone have any pics of what the latch assembly/trunk lid look like?
Is it possible to get a 'slim jim' with a hook up under the closed trunk lid and release it that way?
Mike
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:59 AM   #5
nospartsman
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Default Re: 1939 coupe trunk handle problems

Hang on, I'll post some photos to show you what you're up against and how you might bend a tool to release the latch from access under the lid. Give me a day.
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:09 PM   #6
hotcoupe
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Default Re: 1939 coupe trunk handle problems

a friend of mine had the same problem with his `40, i was able to fabricate a tool out of 1/8" flat steel that we were able to open the deck lid with. it would be a big help if you could look at another `39 or `40 to see just where the tool needs to go and how to manipulate it. put some masking tape on the tail pan to protect the paint. and that was the problem with his car, the receiver in the lock mechanism for the handle shaft was rounded off.
tom
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:23 PM   #7
Michael_e
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Default Re: 1939 coupe trunk handle problems

Thanks for the fast replies. Looking forward to the pictures.
Mike
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:52 PM   #8
glennpm
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Default Re: 1939 coupe trunk handle problems

Hi,

There is an anvil shaped casting that mounts on the trunk rear support member. The lock mechanism has a pivoting U shaped channel that engages the front of the anvil. You can push the channel forward with a plate or bar stuck between the trunk and the rear body against the spring pressure to unhook it from the anvil. You could also get at it through the trunk with a strong hook to pull the channel toward you. Pics below are best I have.

Glenn
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File Type: jpg Trunk Lock Anvil.jpg (65.3 KB, 69 views)
File Type: jpg Trunk Lock Channel In center of pic.jpg (18.2 KB, 55 views)
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:29 PM   #9
nospartsman
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Default Re: 1939 coupe trunk handle problems

Here's what you are up against,somehow the shaft of the handle or the square receiver in the latch has rounded out. The latch has a capturing U shaped dog that rotates back toward the front of the car and upward to release from the anvil shaped striker. If you can bend a tool to push on the sides of the U shape you should get the lid to open. This latch captures the back square side of the anvil. Put a masking tape line of dead center on the deck lid, so you will know exactly where your anvil is located, that U shape you need to push is to the right and left of the anvil, 3/16th to 1/4 from center. Put a V shape in your tool to catch the sides of the U dog. As others have said look at a friends open deck lid to see what you have to do and maybe bend your tool while you are looking at his latch. The down side you may scratch your paint and damage the rubber seal. If you need a NOS 39/40 latch, I know a guy who has a few. Let us know if you got it unlocked. Going through the bulkhead is almost impossible for an adult because of bracing and spare tire, also too destructive of cardboard panels.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1581.jpg (23.8 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1582.jpg (30.3 KB, 55 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1583.jpg (50.5 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1584.jpg (43.3 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1585.jpg (34.5 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1586.jpg (101.2 KB, 69 views)

Last edited by nospartsman; 12-17-2015 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 12-17-2015, 08:03 PM   #10
FlatHeadCoupe
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Default Re: 1939 coupe trunk handle problems

nospartsman,
Great pictures and explanation!
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:06 PM   #11
swoopNZ
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Default Re: 1939 coupe trunk handle problems

You could possibly put an "S" bend into the shaft of the forked screwdriver.
Insert it between the lid and the trunk then rotate it 180 degrees and try to push the catch to the open position.
May the force be with you.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:11 PM   #12
Michael_e
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Default Re: 1939 coupe trunk handle problems

Thanks to Glenn & NOSpartsman for the pics and all others for their ideas and solutions to my trunk lid problem. It's dark & cold out in the garage right now, so hopefully I can get some time tomorrow to put these solutions to the test. Now, with pics, I have a better idea of how to attack the problem. Thanks to all.
Mike
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:09 AM   #13
swoopNZ
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Default Re: 1939 coupe trunk handle problems

Another solution may be to crawl into the trunk area and unscrew the 4 bolts that attach the 2 trunk hinges.
You could then perhaps move the top of the trunk lid sufficiently to allow the latch to become disengaged.
Good luck.
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:19 AM   #14
glennpm
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Default Re: 1939 coupe trunk handle problems

Glad to help! You'll get it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_e View Post
Thanks to Glenn & NOSpartsman for the pics and all others for their ideas and solutions to my trunk lid problem. It's dark & cold out in the garage right now, so hopefully I can get some time tomorrow to put these solutions to the test. Now, with pics, I have a better idea of how to attack the problem. Thanks to all.
Mike
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:21 PM   #15
32phil
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Default Re: 1939 coupe trunk handle problems

nospartsman.....you're killin' me.....So great to see the pics of your stash..

Do you sleep in your storage area...?? I know if it was my stuff.... I would... for sure

Thanks for posting
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