Boot Lid Opening Assistance

I am unable to open the boot on my 1955 XK140DHC. The key only pushes in half way when trying to unlock. Only the right side unlocks when depressing the handle button. Left side is stuck! Any advice is greatly appreciated. Local locksmiths have all turned down the job.

Can you reach in through the aft bulkhead door and pull the release wires?

No, I can’t reach the cable from the bulkhead door. The inside of the boot lid is covered with a hard material and upholstery and is fastened by 21 screws. The cable is under this covering and very close to the bottom of the lid. I just can’t see any way to access the cable from the car interior.

You can drill holes from underneath and undo the nuts that fasten the U-shaped locking devices for the studded wheels that lock the trunklid. BUT you need to know where to drill. Look and measure on another car. And drill/cut larger holes to allow for inprecise measurements.

Did you check the post from a couple of days ago (XK) Trunk/Boot Lock Stuck on XK140? I note it was for an OTS and yours is a DHC, don’t know if there is any difference, but perhaps worth a look at the replies.

Thx, will check it out

Let is know how you get on. I drilled the ‘rescue’ holes when I was restoring the body and can measure positions if you need them.

Thx Roger,

Looks like I will have to drill a hole on the left side! Any measurements that you could give me would be greatly appreciated.


I’ll check tomorrow. These holes are essential - I used them a lot while adjusting the boot fit. You’ll need a longish extension deep socket but it’ll get your boot open without damage. A couple of rubber grommets will keep the weather out.

Hi Noe,

See photos below.

The holes are 5/8", to allow a deep socket on an extension bar easy access, and an easy size for rubber grommets to plug them with. I have a small 1/4" drive set I use for this. I can’t remember the nut size, but I have a nasty feeling the new U-bolts are metric.

I made my holes 5" forward of the rear of the boot floor, at the first fold (see photo). The holes are 1.25" in from the side of the boot floor. I would strongly advise buying a step drill for this job as the result is very neat. This is just an example, they are easy to find in a range of sizes and are absolutely essential if you want neat holes in sheet metal.


I used these holes a lot when adjusting the boot catches. I don’t see how you can possibly do this job properly without them, and they give good peace of mind ‘just in case’.


Thank you so much for your detailed explanation and photographs! You are a lifesaver! I will keep you updated on my progress. Now to buy the step drill.


Pas de problème!
I like raspberries…