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  #1  
Old 08-11-2017, 08:12 AM
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98 E300 Trunk Misaligned, Latch Broken

Some time ago my son, who's a filmmaker, got in the bad habit of cramming, even force fitting, his equipment into the trunk of the E300. As a result, a while back the trunk became slightly misaligned (raised up a bit on the left side) so that it was difficult to latch (although he was still able to latch it). Now it won't close at all and I notice that part of the plastic on the trunk part of the latch system is broken off.

What all is involved in realigning the trunk and replacing the latch? I'll probably have my indie do it (especially since my son is paying for it...ha!), but I thought I would at least try to understand how to effect repairs and perhaps do it myself.

Part of me wonders if the piece of broken plastic really doesn't affect anything and that if I would just figure out how to realign the trunk everything would be back to normal.

Thanks.
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06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 173k mi
06 E320 CDI "Rutherford", Black, 143k mi
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 128k mi
98 E300 "Murray", Silver, 128k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, under son's care

Twelve other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 241k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife

Last edited by shertex; 08-11-2017 at 08:40 AM.
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2017, 09:00 AM
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Something is probably bent. Careful observation might locate it. If no obvious distortion of the lid it may be a hinge or hinges. Just a thought. The hinges might have just moved as well. Not as likely but possible.
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  #3  
Old 08-11-2017, 09:39 AM
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Look at the swing arm bracket is the spring still attached? Is the bracket bent? (Compare to right side). I have these parts if you need anything.
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  #4  
Old 08-11-2017, 03:42 PM
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Thanks...I will carefully inspect everything at next opportunity.
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06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 173k mi
06 E320 CDI "Rutherford", Black, 143k mi
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 128k mi
98 E300 "Murray", Silver, 128k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, under son's care

Twelve other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 241k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife
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  #5  
Old 08-11-2017, 06:36 PM
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What got twisted can be untwisted.

To correct for lid twist.

Step 1 Remove the stab or latch so the trunk does not become stuck shut.

Step 2 On the side that is low, place a block of wood at the very rear of the trunk lid ( very rear of car ) where the seal won't be damaged and it contacts a sturdy portion of the inner lid structure.

Step 3 Push down on the high side, remove wood, check fit and repeat if needed.

Step 4 Replace the broken latch parts, but be sure everything works before closing the lid.

Step 5 There will be some sort of rubber stopper on each rear corner of the lid, used these to adjust final height if needed.

Final body fit on the assembly line has traditionally been done this way. It is far too fiddly on the line to slide hinges back and forth.

As an alternative, you might be able to just grab the lid and give it a twist, it shouldn't take that much force. ( The wood block method is a bit more controllable. )
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  #6  
Old 08-12-2017, 04:28 PM
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Location: Barrington, RI
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Thanks for the step-by-step. I was able to straighten out the trunk. Looks like I'll have to replace the upper latch assembly. What all is connected to that? Vacuum routing?
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06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 173k mi
06 E320 CDI "Rutherford", Black, 143k mi
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 128k mi
98 E300 "Murray", Silver, 128k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, under son's care

Twelve other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 241k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife
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  #7  
Old 08-12-2017, 11:32 PM
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Your welcome. I have not taken a W210 apart so can't help there.
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  #8  
Old 08-18-2017, 04:17 PM
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Location: Barrington, RI
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Got the latch today and replaced it. The trunk visually appears to be aligned...everything is symmetrical (at least as far as I can tell). But, when I close the trunk, it still won't catch. Not sure what's wrong.
__________________
06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 173k mi
06 E320 CDI "Rutherford", Black, 143k mi
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 128k mi
98 E300 "Murray", Silver, 128k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, under son's care

Twelve other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 241k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife
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  #9  
Old 08-18-2017, 04:30 PM
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Location: Barrington, RI
Posts: 5,414
Adjusted and even removed the stoppers...still won't close. Now I'm wondering if bottom part of the latch has become distorted from being hit so many times. I ordered a new one.
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06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 173k mi
06 E320 CDI "Rutherford", Black, 143k mi
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 128k mi
98 E300 "Murray", Silver, 128k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, under son's care

Twelve other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 241k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife

Last edited by shertex; 08-18-2017 at 05:35 PM.
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2017, 06:03 PM
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Make sure the latch is in the open position. Push the release button and see if the fingers can be pulled upwards, not every latch has spring loaded fingers. ( regardless of brand. )
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  #11  
Old 08-18-2017, 06:21 PM
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Location: Barrington, RI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97 SL320 View Post
Make sure the latch is in the open position. Push the release button and see if the fingers can be pulled upwards, not every latch has spring loaded fingers. ( regardless of brand. )
Yes, the mechanism itself appears to work perfectly. If I press a dowel in, it closes; if I press the button, it opens.
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06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 173k mi
06 E320 CDI "Rutherford", Black, 143k mi
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 128k mi
98 E300 "Murray", Silver, 128k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, under son's care

Twelve other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 241k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife
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  #12  
Old 08-18-2017, 07:01 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6,383
You may need to shim the stab ( the part on the lid ) down with a few washers, perhaps that area got pushed upwards. Or the latch is too far downwards and needs moved up.

I just remembered that I have a 97 E320 parts car so I'll try to have a look.
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  #13  
Old 08-18-2017, 07:26 PM
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I adjusted the bottom part as far up as it would go. Shimming is a good thought.
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06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 173k mi
06 E320 CDI "Rutherford", Black, 143k mi
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 128k mi
98 E300 "Murray", Silver, 128k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, under son's care

Twelve other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 241k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife
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  #14  
Old 08-31-2017, 12:42 PM
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Location: Barrington, RI
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Still contending with this. Replaced both latch and striker, still not catching even though I've tried various combinations of shimming and moving the striker.

My mechanic has a highly sophisticated diagnostic tool: SILLY PUTTY. That enabled us to get a more precise sense of where the latch is hitting. So it's looking as that latch is hitting too far forward (due to some sort of deformity that we can't see by eyeballing it.

I think I just need to shim the striker more than I have. That, combined with adjusting its position with the two bolts should enable me to get it in exactly the right position.

BUT: What happens if it closes but is off just enough that it won't open? I'm trying to think of some way to test the position without everything in place.
__________________
06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 173k mi
06 E320 CDI "Rutherford", Black, 143k mi
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 128k mi
98 E300 "Murray", Silver, 128k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, under son's care

Twelve other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 241k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife
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