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Technical Custom Guys, School me on Trunk poppers/release

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Dan Hay, Aug 3, 2021.

  1. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 5,659

    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    I would just stick with simple and use a cable somehow and maybe a spring not any different than what was suggested with the OT German solution if that can work. I am not that familiar with an original latch on a 39, but would start there if it was me and see if I could somehow make that work. I recently got to work on a Buick that you know about that had shaved door handles. It just had a cable run to the original latch and a small spring in the jamb to pop it. Simple and straight forward and works whether the car even has a battery in it or not.
    Dan Hay and oldsman41 like this.
  2. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,967

    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    I've always converted my custom's trunk latch to a late 70's - 80's GM electric latch. Like Pist-N-Broke said. Easily found in junkyards, and they always seemed to work! Now they are getting a bit harder to find.
    The Caddy pull downs are fickle, and had problems even when they were less than 10 years old. I tried adapting one to my Olds, due to an ill fitting trunk lid, but it failed quickly.
    Now, on Tony Ray's shoebox, I'm using a latch he found. Electric, but it has one of those "kidnapping proof" latches, with a cable you pull on, as a back up opener. SHould work well, as I'm putting the battery in the trunk, and like to have a mechanical means to open it, if the electrics, or battery fail. Mounting the latch on the floor, so I can run the cable down a hole, to get at it behind the bumper.
    chrisp, Dan Hay and TrailerTrashToo like this.
  3. Texas57
    Joined: Oct 21, 2012
    Posts: 3,365

    1. 1952-59 Ford Social Group

    I have hydraulic lifts on my hood. They are a wonderful upgrade to the old squeaky springs, but they do nothing to "pop" the hood open. Maybe a stronger lift would pop it open, but I just wanted a balance, not a forced fly-open.
    I had a trunk lid popper because when my seals were newer, in hot weather the trunk lid would stick to the seals and not pop open. Cheap spring loaded popper I found on ebay that lasted a few years before it fell apart, but that was long enough for my seals to age a little and stop sticking.
    I'm also thinking that if the moving half of the latch assembly is on the lid, then the pull from the cable should be enough to not only open the latch, but pop the trunk open a bit. I don't think that would happen if mounted the other way, like chopolds is talking about in the above post........assuming the latch mechanism itself is not spring loaded.
    On another side note: McMaster-Carr has pages and pages of hydraulic lifts and accessories. Different sizes, types, mounting hardware, strengths, etc etc.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
    Dan Hay and guthriesmith like this.
  4. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,449


    If you have the electric opener, how do you open the trunk or hood when the battery is dead..

    I like the cable, they always work unless there is something wrong with the opener...
    Dan Hay likes this.
  5. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,066


    There has to be a backup mechanical means of opening the trunk, or in the alternative, since the hoods are able to be opened from outside the vehicle, a jump could be effectuated by simply grabbing a ground and the pole on the alternator/starter solenoid, etc., to provide enough juice to open the trunk.
    Elcohaulic and Dan Hay like this.
  6. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,540


    On my 51 merc I have electric trunk lid release battery under hood with cable release. If you are going to put the battery in the trunk like my avatar then a cable is the way to go
    Dan Hay likes this.
  7. Standard program, got the new phone. Got everything moved over. New phone won't talk to my computer. W.T.F? I gotta go back to the keyosk and deal with that dang 12 year old again! Bottom line no photos posted. I can see them in the new phone but I can't get them HERE.
    So yes on a back up cable release even on an electric latch. On the 51 as most others I just drop a short piece of cable strait down and drill an 1/8" hole as needed for it to pass through. I leave 1/2" tail and put a barrel stop on it and cut the extra off. Now just reach under find the barrel and pull down. It's open. I seem to use this more than I do the button inside under the dash. Oh Crap, now everyone here knows how to get in my Trunk.
    Photos latter,, maybe. (It insulting to be asking Doougie Houser questions in Public)
    Dan Hay, seb fontana and pprather like this.
  8. These are all great suggestions, but I'm honing in on a VW type hood latch, in that it is cable release, and the spring will also pop open the lid so it's easy to grab. Run the cable under the back seat on the driver's side probably. I'll post up picks when I get to it.
    Jim Bouchard and Special Ed like this.
  9. Thank you sir! But I'm going to try the VW unit, instead of the stock mechanism. I'll let you know if I change directions.
    Pist-n-Broke and Jim Bouchard like this.
  10. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 6,977

    Special Ed

    A 1950 Studebaker hood latch was used to secure and release both the hood and the trunk lid on all Muntz Jets, from the factory. The cable to open the trunk ran along the side of the trunk and into the rear seat area, and ending up on the passenger side armrest. Easy peasy ...
    These latches are still available, made in America, and inexpensive.
    Dan Hay likes this.
  11. teach'm
    Joined: May 8, 2005
    Posts: 311

    from Tucson, AZ

    Glad to see that Dee's '39 fordor went to a good home @Dan Hay!

    Dan Hay likes this.
  12. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 9,961

    jimmy six

    My son uses a latch like the Corolla style on his 40 Chevrolet. He used a bolted on arm instead of a cable. An ez reach for him.
    WalkerMD and Dan Hay like this.
  13. I've always bolted the striker to the trunk floor with studs so the nuts could be accessed from underneath in case of failure.
    Dan Hay, chrisp and TrailerTrashToo like this.
  14. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,449


    As far as door handles I think the chrome door handles look so nice, they sound so solid when closing the door, I never understood why anyone would want to remove them from a car in the first place. Sometimes I go down in the garage and open and close the door on my old car just to hear and feel that door close.. They reminded me of the old refrigerator doors.
    RICH B and Dan Hay like this.
  15. That is a good idea on some cars, however, a 39 Ford striker plate hovers over the tool tray on a brace running from the tail pain to the trunk floor. So the bottom of the tool tray is 5 or so inches of open space below the striker plate.

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