|Transporting a body? Shelly recruited into car repair? |
You be the judge.
The blueprint image of the boot latch mechanism that flashed before me showed the release latch handle passing through the rear bulkhead into the boot, connecting at a fulcrum point in the rear corner, where the now-loose rod began and ran over to the boot latch that had clicked in place dutifully. The fulcrum point in the middle had come loose, and there was now no way to unlatch the boot.
There is no lock, but I had managed to lock myself out anyway. I found that I am not the first one who has managed this feat. One solution was to drill a hole through the bottom of the boot, carefully avoiding the gas tank, just in front of the latch in the center. Once that is done you can reach in with a long screwdriver and push the latch release directly. I was not excited about drilling into the car, and luckily I had one additional option. The spare tire normally protrudes from the boot into the area behind the seats through a large rectangular cutout. Normally, the spare is clamped firmly in place with a big bracket tightened against the tire from inside the boot with a wing nut. I have been in the process of fixing this arrangement in my car, and as a result my spare was free to move a little inside the boot. From behind the seats in the cockpit I pushed the tire as far back and to one side in the boot as possible. Peering hopefully inside with a flashlight, I was relieved to see that I had a pretty clear view of the boot latch several feet away.
|Peering hopefully inside from behind the seats. The target is |
just past and to the left of the piece of wood in the picture.
The latch is about 2" long and requires a few pounds of force to release. It could only be reached by a tool 2-3 feet long, while laying on a small metal shelf peering through an 8" slot into the dark boot cavity. To apply enough force the tool needed to be thick, but to be positioned carefully it needed to be light. After trying several wood scraps, I cut a 2x2 down to size with an angled end and Shelly went to work. If you can imagine holding on to one end of a broom handle trying to slide a bag of sugar across the floor with the other end, all while balancing yourself on your side in the dark and reaching around a corner you have the picture of this procedure. It wasn't easy, and it took long enough that a break was necessary after a while, but she got it unlatched. If I did not already have 20 years worth of reasons to love my wife, this one might have been enough on its own. Somehow I don't think Shelly had this type of thing in mind when she said "in sickness and in health" though clearly this car would qualify me for the sickness category.
|The area needing repair as I found it. The loose nut is just above|
and right of the center of the picture, and the fulcrum point with
dislodged release rod just left and below center.