How can we open the wheel compartment of Mark V?

There are photos of the compartment on the page 19 of the "Jaguar Operating and Maintenance Handbook for Mark V Models". 

Kind regards


Is it impossible to open the compartment without the budget lock key ?

A flat blade screwdriver wide enough to fill the diagonal in the square budget lock will allow opening and closing of the budget lock.As long as the tool fits into the budget lock and is wider than the accros-the-flats distance then rotation of the tool will move the lock mechanism. It only needs ninety degrees of turning.

Thank you for the kind explanation. In the meantime I found a black tool in my tool box for MK V. I attached a photo of it. (The CD in the photo is laid for your estimation of the size. ) Is it probably the budget lock key?

I’m sorry for my mistake. I send now the photo.

Yes, the tool in your photo is a type of budget lock opening tool, the key to the lock.

The Mark V used a C.2798 Key, Tee, for Budget Lock (Spare Parts Catalogue p.92).

However, the Mark V tool kit holds an “L”-shaped key rather than a “T” (or “Tee”) shape.

Keys of this type come in many sizes and tapers of the rectangular key ends. They come in “L” and “T” versions and some will work on the Mark V spare tire compartment and rear wheel covers and some will not. They were used in a lot of places other than Mark V cars. A short-handled “T” type will not work on the spare tire compartment, a “T” handle must clear the surrounding bodywork, while an “L” can do a ninety degree rotation without needing handle length for clearance.

The key you display in your picture may work fine. It is an “L” shape and is not one I have seen in Mark V tool trays before

You should join the pre-xk forum for Mark V questions.

This is the correct tool for the Mark V spare wheel compartment, and is called the C.2798 Budget Lock Key.
tools 017
It works better than the Tee Key because of interference with the bumper guards.

Dear Roger,

Thank you for the answer to my continued question. And please allow my next question. What should I do in order to open the wheel compartment after I have rotated the budget key anticlockwise for ninety degrees ?

Kind regards

Dear Bob,

Thank you for the explanation. And I will go to the pre-xk forum for the next topic.

Kind regards

When viewed from behind the car, the right hand lock is opened by a ninety degree clockwise rotation and the left hand lock is opened by a ninety degree counterclockwise rotation.

When both locks are in the open position, then the wheel compartment lid may be pulled out by pulling back towards the top of the lid, and rotating open downwards on its lower hinges. It is common for these old cars to not open freely, for many possible reasons. Your question is a good one.

Be careful on pulling the compartment lid open so as not damage yourself or the car. Even a stuck lid can be opened most times without damaging the car. If it comes open quickly, the lid is heavier than you may think, so use a little caution to not let it hit you.

Dear Roger,

I tried to rotate the key in the hole in the attached photo clockwise, but there was almost no response. So I think the lock is not yet opened. What would be the problem ?

Kind regards


It looks like that side may or may not be fully latched. With a bright (LED) torch you may be able to see if the lock is closed or open.

The ”door” is hinged from the bottom, it could help if you try to wiggle it a bit up and down when you try to open the lock.

Once both locks are open it (the door) should drop down to reveal the spare wheel and jack (to the left) and on all but early models the jack ratchet and wheel nut wrench on the inside of the door.

It’s not uncommon that the locks are rusted and frozen close, but a little bit of force and wiggling should do it. :slight_smile:


Pekka T. -647194-

The two sides turn opposite ways to unlock them.
Left side locked.

Left side unlocked.

Right side locked.

Right side unlocked.

Here is what is inside, the same budget locks as are used on the fender skirts (spats).

They catch on some angle brackets welded inside the tire tray.

If your budget locks are rusted, I would get some penetrating oil like WD40 with a long nozzle or spout and spray oil in the holes.

All advice above is correct.

With the key in place try to rotate the key either direction.No further rotation outside the ninety degrees can occur in either direction. Until you learn the key position, it could be anywhere on that rotation range. If the lock tongue is jammed against the receiving slot on the body, sometimes a push inward or pull outward on the door is needed to help make rotation possible by hand. Using a longer handle than by hand on the key is not recommended at this time.

There can be corrosion making the key motion difficult by hand (but I would not add leverage more than a hand). Perhaps the lock is open already. Perhaps the door is in a position where the lock cannot rotate. The lock “tongue” which rotates as shown in photos above can be held tightly against the body slot where it should sit. If the lid is slightly open (as it looks in your photo) the key will not rotate much since the car body elements block the tongue rotation.

The lower lid hinge commonly is corroded or bent and the lid may not rotate by hand. In either case, a lubricating solvent will help make the rotation of the hinge easier.

Dear ptelivuo,

Thank you for the advice. I illuminated the key hole with a bright torch, but I saw nothing there. Have I possibly misunderstood your advice?

Kind regards

If you look into the key hole with a bright light, all you are likely to see is the interior of the spare tire compartment. Your observation of seeing nothing when looking through the key hole seems correct.

If you look with a bright light into the slit along the side edge of the boot lid and the body where the lock tongue might be seen, you may be able to see whether part of the lock tongue is engaged with the lock mechanism or jammed. The photos above show the inside of the lid with the key in the key hole. You can see the lock tongue in various positions of rotation when it is free to be moved. You also may see the place on the body where the key would lock if in normal position for locking.

On looking a bit more into the edge slit on the side on my car, that would be hard to see well into without some small mirrors. And looking more closely at your photo, maybe you can feel along the edge to see if the lid is slightly opened or appears closed (vertical in the body position).

Putting some light oil, WD-40, or Kroil into the locks and the bottom hinge to soak a while would help. Then do see about pushing or pulling a bit on the lid while wiggling the key in both rotation directions to see about getting them loose.


Yes, sorry I wasn’t very clear. I meant that with a bright light you should be able to see the ”tongue” on the lock in the very small gap between the car body and the spare wheel ”door”, especially if you try to turn the lock back and forth like suggested.

That worked on mine so I knew the locks were both open before I used some force to open it for the first time (to find out that no jack or any tools were there, just one beaten rim without a tyre).


Even with both locks open, I’ve seen rubber get so crispy and bonded to both surfaces that it is actually holding the metal tightly to the body. I would put a couple of old pillows on the ground under the cover so if it does fall down when it finally releases, you wont damage it.

If anybody does not know what Kroil is then Google it and look for the special deal they offer which is an incredible value. This stuff is magical!

I use a blanket or pillow when removing my MK2 hubcaps as they can easily get scratched if they hit the ground. The rubber on the spats had bonded to the car and made their removal difficult, similar to your situation.


Dear ptelivuo,

Thamk you for your help. In the meantime, my mechanic could open the wheel compartment using his tool after he had removed the covers for the budget key holes. So my problem is solved.

Kind regards