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Can't open boot

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Ive heard horror stories of drilling through the boot or from behind the number plate

I think there is a guide on LEW. Might be worth checking that out.

Cable might not be snapped. Might have stretched or release mechanism might be sticking.

If a Lotus dealer services the car, give their service dept a call, they may know an easy way round the problem. Failing that, perhaps the guys at the factory.

Good luck and tell us how you get on.


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Before trying to drill any holes get a floor jack and try lifting the body slightly in the same corner as the sticking side to try and pop it free, ive done this before and it worked, and of course using the proper lifting points on the car. Sometimes the latches just need more grease.

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Scroll right past the main explanation to "alternative ways". I must admit that after reading this procedure, I tried to avoid using the rear cargo area in an effort to preserve the cable! Having said that, I am much more prepared to cut out the floor fasteners of the cargo area than I am to drill a hole in the body of my car. Fasteners can be replaced... a hole behind the licence is forever.

As previously suggested, try lifting the lid on the problematic side or reset the lid and try the handle a few times. Mine sometimes sticks on one side only, but I can always lift the lid open regardless.

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the cable might not have snapped especially if one side unlatches, the problem will be the mechanisum sticking around the spigot on the hatch what you can do is at the top of yor tail gate you will see two small eight/ten mm bolts per side with the one side released via the tail gate release handle if you lossen these bolts on both sides (YOU WILL NEED A GROUND DOWN SPANNER FOR THIS ie NARROW WIDTH) the tailgat will be and to quote a technical phrase jiggleable with patiance and perseverence and a mate keeping the release handle in the release position jiggle the hatch fwd back up side to side and eventually it will release.

once you have it open disconnect both release catches and let them hang down. disconecct both gas struts and then reallign the tailgate gaps and tighten the securing bo;ts at the hinge points that you previously loosened.

then lower the hatch and see where the spigots go through the body and adjust the bodywork to maintain a centeral position of entry of the spigots for both left and right

last reposition the tailgate catches wich are still hanging down back to the body bang in the middle of your freshly dressed holes and apply copper grease .

hope this helps

regards rob

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Simpler still: press down on the spoiler to "charge" each strut and then try the cable-pull again.

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i had this issue awhile back on my Esprit. What was happening was the latch was not fully releasing. All I did was have someone push on that corner of the spoiler to take the tension off of the latch and then you could hear it release. Later I realized the latch was always releasing, however when you lift the release and then walk back to open the lid the latch was sliding back just far enough to hold one corner shut. Now all I do is lift the release all the way up with my left hand and grab the tip of the spoiler with the right hand and lift the lid up while still holding the release all the way up.

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The latch pin fixed to the door had loosened a couple of turns, so getting someone to push down on the corner while I operated the latch sorted it, and I simply re-tightened the pin.

Thanks for all the advice.

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  • 6 months later...

A good mod to do before it happens is to remove all the boot floor bolts and replace then with nylon number plate ones. But of course, if you're reading this it's too late!

I came to grief after adjusting the boot lid on my V8; it got stuck shut on the latch plates, not the latch itself. Jacking each corner of the car almost helped but didn't quite release the lid in this case.

I had to remove the exhaust, and dremmel off the metal bolts from under the boot (wear eye protection and expect to be showered by shards of hot metal...). The bit for my dremmel was

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One idea I had thought of doing is making an "emergency" release cable that can be accessed from outside of the vehicle. Basically the idea is to attach a string or cable to the length of cable already going from one latch to the other, drilling a small hole in the floor of the trunk and letting it hang out of the bottom of the trunk. This way you just need to pull on the string to release the latches. Of course this will only work in the event that the main cable from the handle to the left latch is broken. I've also toyed with the idea of hooking up a couple of release solenoids to each latch and using the main cable as the "emergency backup" in the event that a solenoid fails.

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We made emergency cables and hide them :)

If original cables snap it's very easy to pull from these "hide cables"....thay are very easy to install, I recommend. You notice very quickly where to hide them B)

Have to grease those mechanism things also, that we didn't do...

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Few potential malfunctions on the Esprit keep me awake at night more than this one. But I know it's most likely to happen the moment I stow $300.00 worth of perishable groceries in the boot, so I limit myself to $299.00 at all times. And that has worked so far.

Of course this is just another example of confusing correlation with causation, but it gets me through the day.

Seriously though, I've come to incorporate the lubrication of the latches as just another part of routine maintenance duties in the care and feeding of the marque. If I begin to sense even a hint of increased resistance when pulling the release handle, both latches get either a shot of WD 40 or a dollop of grease. It doesn't hurt to lightly grease the hatch pins as well, but be certain that you do not make contact with them later if wearing a fine tweed.

And should events conspire against me, prophylactic efforts notwithstanding, I find the LEW suggestion of cutting a hole behind the number plate not as distressing as some. Afterall, if done properly it would be completely hidden from view, and most likely could be "plugged" with the removed piece after affixing a suitable (velcroed?) flange. From that point on, you would have the peace of mind of knowing that near immediate access could be gained should the problem arise again. :P

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