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59 Convertible Trunk Not Opening

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  • 59 Convertible Trunk Not Opening

    Yesterday, I opened the trunk twice in a usual manner. Put it back in it's storage spot, pushed the button, and nothing happened. I did hear a click somewhere, but not from the rear solenoids opening. It seemed to be coming from the right side of the interior somewhere. I have the Shop Manual, Electrical Manual and the Convertible Manual. After reading through everything, the only thing that made sense was "Luggage Compartment Lock Relay" as the possible cause. Pulled out my parts catalogs, and the only one I could find who listed it was Pat Wilson Tbird Parts. So I ordered that yesterday and it shipped today, but there was no photo of that relay. The diagrams I saw in the above manuals seem to mostly show the relay on the passenger side of the interior, behind the upper part of the dash far right side. Today I took off that bottom section of that lower side of the dash, and could not see anything that looked like a Relay up there.. So, where is it? Should I remove the glove box to see if it is behind that area? There is also one diagram that shows that relay on the driver's side, but I hope that is not where it is....
    I'm sure somebody has found that thing. I was hoping it was actually under the hood on the firewall, but that would likely be too easy of a solution. Help!

  • #2
    Your relay is in the engine compartment on the passenger side inner fender behind the blower motor near the hole where the antenna wire goes into the fender. Easy to replace.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #3
      Thanks John, that makes it so much easier than I expected. Those illustrations in the manuals sure did not help! Probably get the new part early next week...

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      • #4
        I guess I had good instincts on that. Just went back to look, and earlier today I had pulled the connector off that relay, taken a steel brush and cleaned the 3 posts, put dielectric grease on the posts and put it back together and then hit the trunk switch again, but no action, so wasn't sure it was the right relay. So hopefully the new one will solve it and I hope there are no wiring issues in the circuit somewhere else.

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        • #5
          You can jump the connector to verify that it's the relay. Put a wire from the black to the blue and the trunk should pop open.

          John
          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

          Thunderbird Registry #36223
          jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

          http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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          • #6
            Originally posted by elijahbird7 View Post
            Thanks John, that makes it so much easier than I expected. Those illustrations in the manuals sure did not help! Probably get the new part early next week...
            The '58 has the relay under the dash like the illustrations .

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            • #7
              Here is the exact quote from the 1959 Thunderbird Shop Manual, Page 14-4
              LUGGAGE COMPARTMENT LOCK RELAY
              "The luggage compartment lock relay is located on the right side of the dash panel in the passenger compartment".
              Makes you wonder what else in the manual is not correct???

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              • #8
                Often pictures and descriptions are carried over from previous years. Service manuals usually have multiple revisions during the year to correct errors. I'll have to check and see what revision 1959 manuals I have and whether any have the correct relay location.

                John
                John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                Thunderbird Registry #36223
                jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

                http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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                • #9
                  Both of the 1959 manuals I have show the incorrect relay location. However both manuals are dated 1958 so they are obviously early editions.

                  John
                  John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                  Thunderbird Registry #36223
                  jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

                  http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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                  • #10
                    Got the replacement relay late yesterday afternoon. Replaced it this morning, and now my trunk is opening again. At first I just attached the wiring harness before bolting it back against the inner fenderwell, and tried the trunk button and nothing. Then figured that it needed to be bolted back against the fenderwell as a ground, and then it worked.

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                    • #11
                      Good to hear that the relay solved the problem. You're right about it needing to be grounded.

                      John
                      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                      Thunderbird Registry #36223
                      jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

                      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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                      • #12
                        Just thinking ahead. I noticed when looking at the Tbird Parts Catalogs for the relay that I didn't see any top solenoids for sale. Who makes those if I ever need to replace those?

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                        • #13
                          They are not available new. If you were to need one you would either have to find a used one or modify a generic one to fit.

                          John
                          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                          Thunderbird Registry #36223
                          jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

                          http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jopizz View Post
                            They are not available new. If you were to need one you would either have to find a used one or modify a generic one to fit.

                            John
                            There was a set ( complete with locking gears ) on ebay last week . bidding started slow and low , but final bid was around $ 450.00 . Wow . bought parts cars for less years ago .
                            As for the relay Jim, they can be opened and repaired sometime so don't just toss it without looking at the problem first . May make a good spare .

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