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VB/Black Dragon electric hatch solenoid


Dan Juday

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My car is back under the knife for some big and some little improvements, and lots on little nagging things that don't work perfectly.

 

One of those little nagging ones is my electric hatch release. Several years ago I installed a lock solenoid from a Q45 back there and it worked perfectly with my old, worn out, hatch seals. After the car was painted I replaced the seals and the new, more robust, seals put too much pressure on the latch for the Infinity solenoid to overcome. To open the hatch one person has to push down on the hatch while the other pushes the button in the glove box. This is very un-cool.

 

I have searched the site, and while several people have mentioned the VB/Black Dragon electric hatch release kit, I hadn't found anyone who actually installed one give a review. I'm particularly interrested in a review with NEW hatch seals installed. Or if you have any electric solution I'm interrested in hearing about it.

 

Thanks, Dan

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Sounds to me like the latch has little too much grab to it. I would file down some of the hook to give it a smoother surface to slide across when the release is pressed. Keep it lubricated and despite the upward force the solenoid should be able to release the latch easily.

 

Tried all that. The only way I can get it to work without help is if I adjust the latch up to let some of the pressure off it. Do that and the hatch doesn't sit flush when closed.

 

What I need is a stronger solenoid that will fit in the hatch.

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You know what would be really neat to see?

I remember when I was in school my mother had a nice Toyota luxury car (can't remember what model right off the top of my head) and it had a lift and release latch on the trunk. When you hit the release the whole latch would move up to relieve pressure then release. When you shut it you just push down until the latch clicked and the whole mechanism would draw down sealing the trunk. I think Cadillac had something like that too. Might want to look at one of those setups and see if it's doable. Hell I might even look at one now that I think about it.

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  • 2 months later...
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A bit off topic perhaps... I spoke to my local car audio chap about this and he was reasonably confident that a 35lb (pull) solenoid would do the job. They are approximately 2" in diameter and 3+" long.

 

Need more? He can also get a 65lb *MONSTER* at about 4" in diameter and 7+" long... probably fold the hatch in half :mrgreen:

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You know what would be really neat to see?

I remember when I was in school my mother had a nice Toyota luxury car (can't remember what model right off the top of my head) and it had a lift and release latch on the trunk. When you hit the release the whole latch would move up to relieve pressure then release. When you shut it you just push down until the latch clicked and the whole mechanism would draw down sealing the trunk. I think Cadillac had something like that too. Might want to look at one of those setups and see if it's doable. Hell I might even look at one now that I think about it.

 

There were quite a few GM vehicles to have this. Most Caddys, F-bodies, some mid/late '80s RWD vehciles from Oldsmobile and Buick. I've seen them on some newer cars but don't recall which ones off hand.

 

The door lock solenoid will not have enough force to release the hatch, I don't understand why people use door lock solenoids to pop doors or trunks and hatches. The force required to open the latch is MUCH higher than it takes to lock or unlock the latch.

 

Go to your local Car Audio specialist and get a "trunk release solenoid kit". These in thier most common offering have a 15# pull. You can get heavier ones that pull at 30#, but you should have more than enough force with the basic 15# pull solenoid. I use these for door poppers in shaved handle cars, trunk/hatch releases, never have a problem with the truck or hatch release, but sometimes if the car is parked at a wierd angle the door popers sometimes don't always release, but a little push on the door is all that it takes in those cases.

 

Here is a picture of the solenoid and kit I am talking about:

a_trunkreleasel.jpg

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I put one of the Black Dragon units in my 71 240z. It barely fits in the available space and you can't mount it at any angle where it can pull on the release lever effectively. I welded a tab to the release lever to provide a 90° lever position, and the release cable pulls on that tab -- hard to describe without seeing it. The pull strength was still marginal, and sometimes I had to press the hatch down a little bit to relieve pressure enough for the release to work. It stopped working after a couple of years, and I haven't opened it up to see why. More trouble than it was worth.

 

Bill in San Diego

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Thanks Bill,

 

That's the most helpful reply to my question. You addressed two issues that most people wouldn't think about until they tried to do this for themselves: The limited space inside the hatch, and the inconvenient angle at which the mechanism operates.

 

Anybody out there with any real-world success with an electric hatch release in an S30?

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You could consider looking at the solenoid/release mechanism for the 350Z hatch. I know it was pretty robust and strong from what I could tell. On mine the release would literally pop the hatch up instead of just releasing it when I would have the rubber stoppers adjusted high for the hatch to have a tighter seal.

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I am currently doing this to mine, I have been playing around trying to decide.. I am either going to run a cable from the roof and run the cable threw the hatch so I dont have to have a selenoid in the hatch I can remote mount it and have it pull the cable, also there are a couple different type of poppers out there.... here is a interesting one

http://www.a1electric.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=AEOS&Product_Code=94000-REM4

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I am currently doing this to mine, I have been playing around trying to decide.. I am either going to run a cable from the roof and run the cable threw the hatch so I dont have to have a selenoid in the hatch I can remote mount it and have it pull the cable, also there are a couple different type of poppers out there.... here is a interesting one

http://www.a1electric.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=AEOS&Product_Code=94000-REM4

 

I wouldn't even think of using that system in the link to pop doors. It is using door lock actuators that are rated at around 2.5 to 5 lbs pull, not nearly enough to pop good working doors reliably.

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Is that all it does or did you read the shipping weight is 5 pounds ?

 

 

Reading comprension pwnz joo.....

 

The shipping weight is 5 lbs, as what the combined items physically weigh when shipped.

 

The mechanical pull strength is between 2.5 to 5 lbs.

 

The two properties are NOT related by any stretch of the imagination.

 

How do I know this? I work with this stuff for a living.

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The picture that Six Shooter posted is ( I believe ) the Autoloc trunk kit.

 

It is what I used, but with a few modifications.

 

I did not use the stock bracket, I rigged one so the solenoid mounts parallel with the hatch.

 

I made a "u" shaped bracket which mounts to the inside of the hatch and the solenoid sits inside the bracket.

 

I took the stock latch out and drilled a hole in the part opposite the stock "key pusher".

 

It was a while back so I don't remember exactly but if you take yours out you will see what I mean.

 

Basically you want a place for the solenoid cable to anchor on the stock mechanism so it will pull it when actuated.

 

I attached a piece of thick cable to this point and rehung the stock striker.

 

The next move was to attach the solenoid cable to the striker cable to find the right pressure.

 

It took a little jimmying around to find the right pressure, but this I adjusted with differing anchor points on the cable.

 

The only maintenance is I just keep it lubed with Triflow and I have had years of trouble free functioning.

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