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Trunk lock cylinder cover repair


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Beautiful day today, so spent some of it in the rear of the car for a change.

The black cover and shutter in the lock cylinder had, at some time in the distant past, come off. Fortunately, in my case they were floating around in my center console. Went by the Buick dealer a while back, and the parts guy gave me a few new springs. Two are needed, so now I have a couple of spares. (I've read in the archives that Barney has kits for those who have lost their covers/shutters. I imagine they are available from the other usual suspects too.)

Once again, the FSM is not very detailed on how to do this. Basically you have to open the tail light assembly to get access to the two screws for the bracket that holds the lock cylinder housing in place. Then you have to remove the black "under bumper" cover to actually access the cylinder housing. So here are the steps:

1.) Open the trunk and remove the four plastic retainers that hold the rear cover panel. Also unhook the panel from the metal tabs on both bottom corners. Take out the cover.

2.) Unscrew the 10 plastic retainers for the tail light. The ones on either end are slightly hidden by the side panel covers.

3.) IMPORTANT: Remove your license plate - especially if it has a frame around it. There is a ridge across the bottom of the tail light assembly which can get hung up on the license plate.

4.) With a few shop rags in range, slide the tail light assembly out. There are a couple of ropes that keep the assembly from falling to the ground, but the studs in back can still scratch up the bumper cover. So place shop rags in strategic spots to avoid scratching.

5.) Under the car, unscrew most, if not all, of the under bumper cover. There are two 10 mm nuts on each side - next to the rear wheels. The rest are screws with 7 mm heads along the bottom of the bumper cover. I removed all the 7 mm screws and just the 10 mm nuts on the right side.

6.) Back on top, pull up the grommet/wire harness that leads to the lock cylinder. Unplug the connector.

7.) Unscrew the two 8 mm head bolts that hold the bracket for the lock cylinder housing in place.

8.) Back under the car, slide the lock cylinder out of its hole. Unscrew the cylinder from the bracket. Clean the cylinder as needed.

9.) Insert two springs into the two spring holes. Insert the shutter so that the ends of its spring fit in the slots in the cylinder housing. Stick your pinkie finger through the black cover, press it against the shutter, and slide the cover off your finger and onto the cylinder. The slot in the side of the cover should align with the slot in the lock cylinder.

10.) Use a hammer and punch on the four dimples to set the cover firmly in place.

11.) Perform steps 1 - 8 in reverse. At step 6, close the trunk lid and test the key to make sure that everything works.

12.) If you have a 'vert, put the top down. If you have a sunroof, open it. Go for a drive.

(Ronnie: You are welcome to place the above on your web site.)

Edited by wws944
Minor clarifications (see edit history)
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Thanks for providing, and giving me permission to use, the great tutorial. If it is OK with you I would like to integrate it with the article I already have there on the same subject that was submitted by Barney Eaton. I think what he has said and your instructions would compliment each other. Of course I will give you proper credit for your instructions.

Here is what I have now: - Trunk Lock Cover Repair

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Ronnie: Fine with me.
I have updated the article on my website concerning the trunk lock cover. I hope you and Barney both approve of how I have presented the information given to me. I have made changes to try to keep it as brief and clear as possible. Let me know if corrections need to be made.

Thanks to both of you for making this information available!

- Trunk Lock Cover Replacement Instructions

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Does the lock have to come off to just replace the shuter ?

Yes, because the reason the cover slid off in the first place is that the dimples probably aren't deep enough to protrude into the slits in the cylinder. If you just try to push it back on, it will likely pop off again. The only way to take a hammer/punch to it, to deepen the dimples, is by removing everything.

Ronnie: Your version needs to have step 8 fixed. It should say something like "Perform steps 1-5 in reverse. At step 2...". Otherwise, it is fine.

Good that you put the warning about the license plate in your Tail Light Bulb Replacement instructions. I would change "the row of black plastic wingnuts" to "the ten black plastic wingnuts". (They aren't in a row, and it is good to point out there are ten of them.)

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I sell a repair kit with the "shutter", cover, and springs because when it lets loose... you usually loose everything.

I sell the kit because I spent several hours one day by first finding out that you must buy a new complete lock kit if you go to the dealer. The first lock shop did not have black and when I finally found the black parts, they were about $3.50 each and that was at least 5 years ago.

Knowing other Reatta owners would have the same problem, I purchased parts and made up kits with instructions. They are $9.00 for the kit and that included instructions. Try buying the parts and you will see that I am selling them at cost.

In addition, when I tried to buy the parts in quantity, they would not sell them to me in Texas because I was not a licensed locksmith..... figure that one out. I buy the part out of Pennsylvania where the law must be different.

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I have bought several of these kits from you. I used one kit when I did the complete paint restoration on the coupe several years ago - then used the spare or second kit when I got tapped in the rear while driving the same coupe. I am now without a spare kit. I think the $9.00 is complete with shipping - am I correct please?



Edited by nic walker
nothing done (see edit history)
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