’32 Update: Trunk Latch/ Handle Installation (article 9, archived)


The Bear deck lid has a recessed rectangle that’s a good place to start for an access hole. I put masking tape around the inside perimeter of the hole, and will cut out the area inside the tape. This way, we can make up an aluminum cover later on to hide the hole, and it will be recessed. I’ve got the center marked on the other piece of tape.


The time consuming part of the deck lid latch is getting the slot in the correct spot. Mark the area with masking tape, measure your mounting hole centers, then figure out where the sweep of the “flag” is going to be. The distance from the flag to the outside of the deck lid is very important in our case, because we’re not using the bracket that goes on the body. We’re going to mount the handle so that the ‘flag’ will brush against the inside lip of the trunk when it’s closed. That way, there won’t be anything for the suitcases to catch on! I can’t possibly explain all the little dimensions I had to take- just remember to allow for the thickness of the fiberglass, and also the curvature of the trunk lid.


Voila… pretty trick, eh?! We’ll be using flathead allen bolts to clean it up even more.


This was a tricky part- transferring the measurement from the inside of the deck lid to the outside. I used a square and two eyeballs.


After you drill the hole, check the location with a scriber or something else that fits in the little hole.


I got it pretty close the first time, but I had to offset my hole a bit to get it centered. Do the same thing as the door handles: mark the tape with the hole, then cut out the inside so it’s easier to see when you’re filing it out to size.


This is the trunk handle locking mechanism. Because of the lip on the Bear trunk (and every other fiberglass trunk), putting this in its proper location was nearly impossible. The hole centers would have been about 3/8″ below the outside surface of the deck lid. So I machined a piece that replicates the original locking ring, only about 3/4″ higher. This lets us mount the latch further away from the outside surface of the deck lid –> hopefully, right at the inside lip of the trunk.


Here is the locking finger locked in the slot. You can see from this picture what I was talking about in the last description. You see where the handle mounts to the lid… then take away the spacer I made, and that piece is mighty close to the outside of the lid too. Write me an email if you don’t get it. Actually, write me an email if you DO get it, just so I know the email button is working.


Oh yeah, that’s what we’re talking about. Don’t forget about the little rubber gasket that goes under the handle!


Here’s why the rear end isn’t in the above picture.

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