Retrobird Tech Tip...
Courtesy of the Kelowna, BC, Canada "Valley Thunder" April newsletter...
~ By Mike Schwartz
Mike & Evelyn Schwartz
Emergency Key Release Built Into the
Carpeted Back Panel
The Unique Retro Bird’s Trunk Release
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Spring is here for most of us and our T-Birds are coming out of winter storage eager to stretch out, loosen up & hit the open road.
The Retro Thunderbird due to some of its very own unique features may not come out of winter storage without showing its stubbornness. Some owners may find that their Retro has a dead battery, and where is that battery stored? In the trunk of course. But you can’t open the trunk. There isn’t an exterior key lock on the trunk. The only trunk release is either the button on your key fob or the electric release push button on the driver’s door. But neither of these will work when the Bird’s battery is a gonner. Oh what to do?! Oh what to do?!
Calling a locksmith won’t work there is no lock to pick, jimmy or make a key to. Calling a Ford dealer won’t work, the last Retro build was 10 years ago, no one at the dealer will remember what to do.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh YES! You Remembered.!
Way back long ago you spotted the emergency key release built into the carpeted back panel, just below the package ledge behind the driver’s seat. When you first saw this circular ring, You probably wondered what that could possibly be for. Trying the door/ignition key in this key slot showed you that you could manually release the trunk. Here is a photo to help. (See photo below).
Turning the key should release the trunk. It is designed to do just that. However it has been reported that some trunks are not popping open when the key is turned. Some owners have told me that they needed someone to lift the trunk lid while they turned the key. The worst reported situation I have heard about is from an owner that told me that turning the key had no affect at all. That the cable had disconnected from the backside of the key linkage. In this case getting the trunk to open required the use of a battery charger that had the plug to fit into the cigarette lighter. Back charging the battery in this fashion for only 20 minutes gave this owner enough charge to get the trunk open from the driver’s door push button.
Access to the back side of the interior manual trunk release is not difficult if a repair is necessary like in the above situation. It is a matter of removing the interior trim pieces. They all will pop off their clips when tugged on with some effort.
Lesson to be learned here is to avoid frustration, try to release the trunk from time to time with the interior manual release & get it fixed if necessary. And when putting your Retro Bird away for the winter, if you don’t put the battery on a trickle charger don’t latch the trunk, just close it down on a rolled up towel.
Last edited by YellowRose : 06-28-2016 at 03:38 AM.