1989 Jaguar XJS...Trunk locking issue...unlocking as well

Richard, to save writing the same thing over and over again,we can see all your responses to each poster so just combine all into the one post, we really understand that you don’t want to drill a hole but honestly unless you have any Uri Geller skills that would certainly seem to be the only way forward.

Whenever I now work on a boot latch I always trigger the mechanism with a screw driver to imitate the closed position to ensure that’s I can cycle it open again.

It may like regular gas. It may actually be looking forward to drinking some.

You realize that the hole you drill is completely covered by the license plate, and can’t be seen or detected with the plate installed? You are drilling into the vertical flat portion of the trunk lid behind the plate, not the body. I didn’t realize my '95 had the hole until I removed the license plate when I had the car repainted. It’s simple to trip the catch once you drill the hole; I tried it.


It sounds like you can get the trunk open a sliver? If so, perhaps you could fit a coat hanger in and maneuver the lock open??

I think it is polite and the sign of a gentleman to answer each post. No wasted space and it is a nod to the person reaching out to assist. In this world of communication without communication, I believe thanking some for their help is a sign of appreciatiation and not writing over and over as you suggest.

@bimmer124 @robin_o_connor
Thanks for your thoughtfulness Richard. But I believe over 90% of the forum members do not expect a personal reply. We think in terms of the group.
@robin_o_connor Robin thanksfor your tip.

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Ok! Well in that case, let’s think as a group and figure out how to latch the boot so it opens again. I was wondering if in Paul’s picture the long rod…if it were bent to make it shorter…the throw would be less and perhaps the latch would open. What say ye?

Mine came “predrilled” LOL
Have a license plate holder that is spring loaded. Swing plate down trigger mechanism with my finger. Easy peasy.

Connect a cable to the back of the license plate holder that serves as a backup trunk release. :grin:

Add a latch to the swing down license plate holder to others don’t accidentally swing it down.

Thanks…question is a permanent fix without drilling as I have the boot open. Can the long rod be bent to apply more pressure to the locking mechanism?

Mount a 12V solenoid to the inside of the boot lid with a linkage that does not interfere with the regular key linkage, but which can pull the release link and unlatch the lacthing mechanism.

Wire the 12V solenoid with a two wires, connecting one wire to a convenient ground in the boot, running the +12V lead up to the dash (or any convenient location) to a momentary contact switch/button, which is fed +12V from the fuse block or ignition switch (if you want to require ‘key on’ for trunk release).

That will allow you to release the trunk from within the car, whether for emergency release or daily convenience release.

Great idea…thank you.

Here is another way to wire that solenoid, and it might be easier.

Being as the solenoid may be a heavier current draw than you may want to add to an existing circuit, this would solve that concern.

  • From battery +12V, connect an inline fuse; run that to the relay +12V terminal (terminal 30) and to one side of the relay coil (terminal 86).

  • Run from the relay terminal NO (Normally Open, terminal 87) to either terminal of the solenoid.

  • From the other terminal of the solenoid, run to chassis ground or to the battery - terminal.

  • From the other relay coil terminal (terminal 85), run to the momentary contact switch/button.

  • From the other side of the switch, run to chassis ground.

When the momentary switch is activated, the relay pulls in and closes the NO contact, which then applies +12V to the solenoid; which releases the boot lid latch.

12 Volt Relay Pins

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Adding photos.

For adding solenoid boot lid release.

Mount solenoid inside latch area if desired (and if it fits, feels like it might, depending on size of solenoid).

Make actuator arm from solenoid to hole in key latch arm (or so it pushes arm, but going in the hole provides its own support and connection).

When key is used, cylinder rotates arm up and releases latch.

When solenoid activation switch is activated, solenoid pushes arm up.

Note: if the issue is that the likage falls from the key arm, then the solenoid would need to be connected to the linkage that goes down to the latch. Or, better, to allow for that linkage to come loose, make a linkage which connects to the latch release itself.

First above is for convenience and if key/cylinder doesn’t work.

Second above adds a belt.

Third above adds belt and suspenders.

Choose your level of comfort.