|Rover 800 820 825 827 Electric Boot Release.|
Car: 1999 Rover 800 825 V6 Coupe
Colour: Zircon Silver
With two ways (key or electric boot release) to get into a Rover boot, if one of them fails, at least the other way should still work. But, every now and again a problem arises that prevents you closing the boot instead!
Sometimes the problem is simply because the boot has been slammed shut too hard causing the striker to be moved slightly out of place. More often than not, this is usually done by someone who is unfamiliar with shutting the car boot normally for that make/model of car.
This problem can usually be rectified by removing the trim around the car boot and undoing the 2 bolts on the striker, repositioning the striker back in a central position and tightening the 2 bolts back up.
In the case of this car boot though, although the striker had been moved out of position, when it was put back in its normal position, the boot catch still would not click shut as the boot itself was closed down.
On closer inspection, and with another Rover 800 to compare it with, it was soon obvious that the locking mechanism was not springing into place as the catch was turned. Although it could be locked manually be moving the lever into place with a screwdriver, this was no good as the boot needed to be in a shut position first. In the Fastback (or other hatchback) you can do this and then climb through into the passenger compartment of the car, but in the saloon or coupe, you would just be trapped inside the boot, and so the only option is to drive around with the boot tied down.
Looking at the catch mechanism further, revealed that the catch was working perfectly with the key, but if the electric button was used you could see (when compared to another 800) that the actuator was not going back inside its unit once the button had been released.
On first removal of the actuator unit, some WD40 spray oil was used to try and free up the unit, but it was obvious this did not improve it, and the problem was deeper within the unit.
Removing the actuator from the car boot, meant that the boot now opened and shut and could be used with just the key. This confirmed the problem was definitely with the actuator or the spring on the lever. The spring did not look like it was meant to carry out the task of returning the electronic trunk release back into its box though.
Deciding that the actuator was useless, allowed for the opportunity to bust it open to see what it consisted of!
It was not a solenoid as we first thought though, with a magnetic force to pull the device back in, but it was a motor unit which uses spring tension instead. The spring had somehow been upset a little and had managed to unwind its tension, which must of been when the boot was slammed too hard.
Looking at all the parts we decided it was a simple case of rewinding the spring back inside the unit, as the device was designed so that the spring tension could be locked in place until the unit was clipped back together!
First of all though, because we had to bust the unit open with a screwdriver, we had to make sure all the edges were now trimmed neat enough to allow for it to be clipped back together as best as possible.
Then it was just a case of getting everything back and set up it the right positions! This took a few attempts to do correctly, sometimes the spring would unwind itself, if the unit was not quite snapped together correctly, other times we had not created the right tension on the spring, for the actuator to work properly.
In the end we worked out that we needed the actuator in its out position to get the tension right, the trouble was you could not clip it back together like this without the spring popping each time! Finally we set it up, like this, then moved the actuator back into the unit, locked the spring in place, and clipped it all back together!
The trouble was once the unit was tested a few times, it still managed to pop apart, as the unit was never really meant to be taken apart in the first place!
So we rebuilt it again, this time, knowing we had the setting correct, we put some strong builders tape around the unit to keep it held together. Now it is working fully again, but where it is, it does not matter if it does look slightly odd, as it can not be seen.
The unit can be replaced with another unit when we find one, but this one will work until we do. Obviously we are not just fixing it because we are lazy and require a push button! (..if we were lazy we would not of bothered to fix it now would we?)
No, it's just one of those things that you miss when it's gone sort of thing!
Anyway we hope this might help someone else should they encounter the same problem!
If your Boot Catch will Not Close Shut when you Try to Close the Boot, Try Adjusting the Striker as this Will Usually Do the Trick!
Although the Striker Did Need Adjusting on this Car, There also Seemed to be Some Sort of Problem with the Catch Itself.
On Closer Inspection of the Boot Catch, It Appeared the Locking Lever was Not Springing into Place as it Should!
Being a Car with an Enclosed Boot, Meant that the Option of Locking the Car Boot Manually from Inside the Vehicle, then Climbing Out Via the Passenger Compartment was not Possible!
We Did A Bit of Testing to Work Out Exactly what was Going Wrong! First with the Keys in the Boot Lock...
...and then with the Electric Boot Release Button Inside the Car.
(Once we Moved the Lever on the Catch back into Position Manually) the Car Boot Seemed to be okay if Used Only With the Key, but Once the electric Boot Release Button Had been Pressed, Even if Only Once, then the Boot Would Not Shut Properly Again. ...and so we Removed the Actuator.
At this point (and Resetting the Lever on the Catch Again Manually), the Boot Would Now Open & Shut Again, Which Meant if the Problem Could Not be Fixed at Least we Could Keep the Actuator Out of the Car and Just use the Key, Then be Able to Close the Boot as Normal Every time.
(We were able to Connect the Actuator Back up like in the Photo, when we Wanted to Test it Later.)
We Tried WD40 Spray Oil, Sprayed within the Unit, But this Did Not Make it Work any Better. Then we looked at the Actuator in Another Rover 800, and it Made it Quite Obvious this One was Not Springing Back within its Unit.
The Unit was Never Going to Be of Any Use Again, Unless it Could be Repaired. Opening it Up Might Destroy it, but as it was Useless Now Anyway, it was Well Worth a Try!
Busting it open with a Screw Driver to Lever the Edges did the Trick! But When we Heard a Spring Unwinding we we did Have those 'Oh No!' Thoughts!
The Spring Was Quite Easy to Rewind between The Yellow Gear & White Locking Tool.
With the Spring Wound & Locked a Few Attempts were then Made to Put the device Together, sometimes Failing to do this, because the Spring Would Unwind, other times the Tension was not Quite Set Right!
Finally We had Worked Out to Move the Actuator to the Fully Extended Position Before Putting the Fully Wound Locked Spring Cog in its Place.
The Actuator then Had to be Carefully Retracted, Whilst Making Sure the Unlocked Spring Cog Turned With it. Then the Cog was Locked Off Again and the Device was Clicked Back Together, Ready for Final Testing (connected to the boot wires loosely as in one of the photos shown earlier) and refitting.
This Still Took a Couple of Attempts to get Right! (Firstly When you Click it Together, You Need to Do it Quite Swiftly, Clicking it shut Nearest the corner to the White Spring Lock First).
When we had got that Right the Unit Still Popped Apart after Just a Few goes Testing it!
So when we Rebuilt it Again, the Device was wrapped with Enough Builders Tape to Keep it all Together for Good!