'91 Polo Green

Help to Open a Stuck/broken Glove Box Latch

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Hello All- 

So out of the blue, my glove box (that is unlocked) won't open. The latch seems to be a bit free-er in movement than I remember. Saying that, it feels TOO freely moving now and must have broken something inside.  ?? Does anyone know, or have experience getting glove boxes open in this situation? ANY Help would be greatly appreciated.

 

My guess would be some sort of clever wire hoop to get behind the 'Upside-down trigger' looking thing and release it, or moved out of the way long enough to get door open. But maybe there is a way to come up under the glove box liner or something crazy I not aware of! ? 

 

Thanks!

JW

 

'91 Polo Green Reatta

'68 Duo X15 Runabout

'86 Honda Helix

'71 Volvo P1800E

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After you get it open, take the glove box door apart and remove the latch.

Now remove one of the storage compartment latches (behind the seats) install that in the glove box.

This will give you time to locate a replacement latch which then you can put it in the storage compartment.

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After breaking mine, and swapping it as Barney advises- I now push the door in slightly, before lifting latch. It takes pressure off the latch, so it moves freely. If just yanked down to open- it will break again.

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I think I posted this picture earlier this year, but here it is again.

Lifting the broken latch, pull down on the metal part....

In this picture, the dark grey bar going above/behind the light grey or silver part is the part of the latch that breaks.

With a piece of coat hanger, with a hook on the end, you can get behind the light grey part and pulling releases the latch.

position your hook as high as possible on the light grey part and it releases easily,  as you go lower (using this photo as reference) you are closer to the latch pivot

and it takes more effort to release.

GB latch.JPG

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I replaced that stupid latch several times over the years.  About the ONLY reason I ever opened the glove box was to press the fuel door release button, which was an awkward stretch from the drivers seat IMO.  I had always thought the '88 console button cluster / latchless  glove box door was a superior design, so about 3 years ago, with the help of a few members on this forum, I gathered up all the pieces to retro-upgrade my '89 to the '88 configuration.  I just like the clean look of the latchless glove box and the solid row of buttons on the console and while I am aware that the '88 glove box design came with its own set of issues, at least it seldom is opened these days, so hopefully it will last a long time. 

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1 hour ago, drtidmore said:

I replaced that stupid latch several times over the years.  About the ONLY reason I ever opened the glove box was to press the fuel door release button, which was an awkward stretch from the drivers seat IMO.  I had always thought the '88 console button cluster / latchless  glove box door was a superior design, so about 3 years ago, with the help of a few members on this forum, I gathered up all the pieces to retro-upgrade my '89 to the '88 configuration.  I just like the clean look of the latchless glove box and the solid row of buttons on the console and while I am aware that the '88 glove box design came with its own set of issues, at least it seldom is opened these days, so hopefully it will last a long time. 

how much difference in the wiring?

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I don't know if a different door and latch assembly would be needed- but if a Vendor here can hook you up with all the necessary stuff- you're all set. Or- you could at least get the "guts" of what's needed-

 

CONTROL PANEL         ELECTRIC LATCH

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The swap is more then a plug and play deal. Maybe someone will chime in but to me it wasn't worth the effort. As a matter of fact I believe Ronnie switched away from a 1988 latch system as I sent him a later style glove box for his 1988.

 I think it has more to do with where in the country you are. I have 3 Reatta and have only replaced one latch...

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2 hours ago, DAVES89 said:

to me it wasn't worth the effort

 

(from a guy who just swapped his entire Powertrain- that says a lot:lol:)

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18 hours ago, handmedownreatta said:

how much difference in the wiring?

There is some rewiring that needs to be done.  It was not overwhelming.  You do need the connectors that match up with the 5 button console buttons.  Also, you need the '88 glove box with the associated solenoid and interior light/switch with either the door in the correct color or be willing to have it painted to match your interior.  I got lucky and Walter found me a glove box in great shape in the correct color.  

 

You really do want to wire it up as designed to ensure that the button interlock with the gear selector works properly.  If you are interested in the details, I have what I did documented for future reference should I need it.

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4 hours ago, DAVES89 said:

The swap is more then a plug and play deal. Maybe someone will chime in but to me it wasn't worth the effort.

I fully understand not everyone relishes dealing with wiring, but that is not an issue in my situation.  Other than gathering up the parts and planning the conversion out in detail before I started, the actual work took me only a few hours total. I found the effort well worth it to me if for no other reason, avoiding the reach over to the glove box to unlock the fuel door and the remote release glove box door is just cool.  The only downside to the conversion is that Buick did not include status lights on the fog and headlight door buttons which were part of the '89.  I did investigate the potential to add those using the '89 buttons, but there was simply too many mechanical differences. 

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I like the buttons on the console and Kat likes the latch on the door. She likes things simple. The '88-->'89 swap isn't as easy as you might think. The left support arm on the door has to be removed. There isn't room inside the metal dash for it to fit into unless you want to cut some metal. The right arm still gives plenty of support for the door. The button holes have to be covered with gray carpet.. The '88 owners manual won't fit in the '89 box. The '89 manual must be smaller. No biggie for me. I carry my FSM behind the drivers seat in the compartment all the time. There is room in the box for sunglasses, registration/insurance papers and a phone. That's all the room we need.

SAM_3570.JPG

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I guess I should reword this. As I don't have an issue with broken latches and don't mind opening the glove box to get at the gas button swapping back to a 1988 set up has no appeal to me. But I do hearing/reading about guys who have done different things to their cars.

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Thanks Barney, and everyone else who answered. I got her open and am going to source another one in Tan, then simply exchange the lock cylinder.

 

Jerome

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8 hours ago, Ronnie said:

I like the buttons on the console and Kat likes the latch on the door. She likes things simple. The '88-->'89 swap isn't as easy as you might think. The left support arm on the door has to be removed. There isn't room inside the metal dash for it to fit into unless you want to cut some metal. The right arm still gives plenty of support for the door. The button holes have to be covered with gray carpet.. The '88 owners manual won't fit in the '89 box. The '89 manual must be smaller. No biggie for me. I carry my FSM behind the drivers seat in the compartment all the time. There is room in the box for sunglasses, registration/insurance papers and a phone. That's all the room we need.

 

going 89 --> 88 is mechanically a no brainer.  No need to cut or remove anything and the smaller 89 owners manual fits where intended.  The only thing I had to do was install one additional captive nut on the lower edge as the 88 glove box has one additional screw to the far left that is not used in the 89, BUT Buick left the hole in the dash metal for it, so that was an easy one to resolve. 

Edited by drtidmore (see edit history)
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