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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:53 pm 
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Location: Cecil, PA - About 25 miles south of Pittsburgh
Year and Trim: 1988 Buick Lesabre T-type and 1997 Riviera
Hey everyone,

The trunk release on my '88 SSE decided to stop working, and at the worst possible time (since I didn't have a key lock in it at the time, long story). Anyway, the release is wired so that it won't work unless you have the ignition/battery on. I've owned the car for 2 weeks and it had been working fine until 1 week into it, then it just quit. I finally got to looking at it and after checking many things, including the fuse and bower to the release itself, there's not even any power getting to the switch itself.

So, in short, I checked these things:

-Fuse
-Power to the release
-Check the release itself

All those were good - The last thing I did was check power to the switch and there was exactly zero. I have a good handle on electricity and the basics but I don't even know where to start looking to solve this problem. If anyone has any way of helping me that'd be fantastic.

Thanks,

-Andrew Z

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1997 Buick Riviera - 97,000 miles : Series II L67/4T65E-HD : Intense intake : Ported S/C outlet : Ported LIM : 180 degree thermostat : AL104's : AC Delco 8mm wires : STS strut tower brace : Monroe HD rear air shocks : HD sway bar links :
1988 Buick Lesabre T-type - 124,500 miles : Series I L67 : 4T60E-HD : AL 104's : 180 degree thermostat : '97+ Ignition Coils : Intense FWI : Walbro 255 : 2.5" Stainless Exhaust : Flowmaster 40 Series : STB : 'Caddy' braces : hood louvers: Ported M62/Non-walled LIM : YT 1.8:1 rockers : 2.5" S/C pulley : Custom PCV Oil bypass : B&M Trans Cooler : Sinister Tune

I also run the Buick Lesabre T-type Registry


Last edited by Z-type on Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:45 pm 
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Location: Powell River BC - 7 time WCBF Survivor
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Also check to make sure the emergency release in the trunk is not caught up. :wink:

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2000 SSEi - SilverBullet - 69,000 kms, 4" "straight shot" custom headlight ram air inlet, TOGs, 1.9's, Lsd, 2.9-3.4"MPS 15 psi, Ported GenV, EGR eliminated, OR pushrods, oil volume kit, shift kit, Titanium retainers, 90 lb springs, 160 Stat, 42#, Fuel pump voltage increase, WB O2, 3" to dual 2 1/2" Magnaflows, Snow Meth/water injection, 255/50WR17, timing commander, 2 speed Fan over-ride, disabled DRL, Solid motor mount, Meziere Electric water pump, adjustable fuel pressure regulator, Drilled & slotted rotors/ceramics, GXP sway bars and STB, PB 13.5 quarter, (April 2014 car of the month)
1994 SSEi - SilverGoose, stock - 211,000 km - 180 Stat, K&N Filter, Super light 16" Alero wheels, clear corners, tinted tails, drilled & slotted rotors, ceramic pads and a new fuel pump - (March 2014 Car of the month)


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:26 pm 
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Location: Oregon WCBF'04, '05, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11 Survivor
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It's possible a car this old doesn't have an emergency release in the trunk. Aside from that, the emergency release is purely mechanical and cannot be causing your problem.


It would be good to have someone with an 88 or 89 (not 87 or 91) factory service manual trace the circuit for you.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:47 am 
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I can take a look in the morning when I get off work. What do you mean, you checked the power to the release? Do you mean that you have 12 volts to the latch in the trunk?

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Mini vans suck so bad! I dont own one but i drive the work van at my shop and you instantly drive like a idiot when your in one!


2000 SSEi "The Rubber Chicken" (L32 long block, S1x, Comp Cams 105# springs, OR rods, 3.0 Smoothflow MPS, Pacesetters 1-5/8 primaries, Zillamotorsports P&P SC, JP single roller timing set, FWI, Magnaflow cat, Interceptor scangauge, AEM wideband, Powerslot rotors, Hawk ceramic pads, solid transmission mount, HPT)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:26 am 
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Location: Cecil, PA - About 25 miles south of Pittsburgh
Year and Trim: 1988 Buick Lesabre T-type and 1997 Riviera
I do not have power coming to the switch in the glove box so there's nothing getting to the trunk either.

I appreciate you taking a gander at a manual or whatever you have. Thanks.

-Andrew Z

_________________
1997 Buick Riviera - 97,000 miles : Series II L67/4T65E-HD : Intense intake : Ported S/C outlet : Ported LIM : 180 degree thermostat : AL104's : AC Delco 8mm wires : STS strut tower brace : Monroe HD rear air shocks : HD sway bar links :
1988 Buick Lesabre T-type - 124,500 miles : Series I L67 : 4T60E-HD : AL 104's : 180 degree thermostat : '97+ Ignition Coils : Intense FWI : Walbro 255 : 2.5" Stainless Exhaust : Flowmaster 40 Series : STB : 'Caddy' braces : hood louvers: Ported M62/Non-walled LIM : YT 1.8:1 rockers : 2.5" S/C pulley : Custom PCV Oil bypass : B&M Trans Cooler : Sinister Tune

I also run the Buick Lesabre T-type Registry


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:07 am 
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Location: Pittsburg, KS 6662
Year and Trim: '89 LeSabre T Type
Wait, so you don't have the trunk lock in? Well, why not just slip a flat screwdriver in the latch and release it by turning the screwdriver? Thats how I get into trunks at junkyards sometimes...

There isn't an emergency in-trunk release on the 87-91 either.

As for the circuit, its super simple. One wire runs from the glovebox along the passenger side, under the rear seat, into the trunk, up the wireloom thats clipped to the trunk lid support and then to the release solenoid. When you push the button in the glovebox the circuit is completed, power goes through the wire to the solenoid and is grounded to the body of the trunk lid. The solenoid should engage and the trunk tension rods pop open the trunk. The other wire from the glovebox switch goes to the fuse panel (number 20 I think) where it is powered from a main bus from the firewall I think.

So... if you have power, then you could have a bad solenoid. If you don't have power, then you could have a short somewhere.

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"Energy and Persistence Conquer all Things" --Benjamin Franklin
-1989 Buick LeSabre T Type: 220k miles
-1987 Fiero GT: 224k miles
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:49 am 
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Location: Cecil, PA - About 25 miles south of Pittsburgh
Year and Trim: 1988 Buick Lesabre T-type and 1997 Riviera
Haha...the screwdriver thing was what I was doing until yesterday. There's a lock in it now. I understand all of what you're saying so I guess my real question was meant to find out where the power comes from that goes to the button itself in the glove box. The solenoid works (hooked it up to a battery itself to check that) so I was thinking I may have had a short. I'm just assuming now that is has to be somewhere before the button itself because according to my meter, there's nothing getting to the button. Also, the only reason I wasn't sure where the button was powered from is because it's the kind that work with the battery/ignition on only (you know - the security feature thing).

I hope I cleared some stuff up. Thanks for the help so far everyone!

_________________
1997 Buick Riviera - 97,000 miles : Series II L67/4T65E-HD : Intense intake : Ported S/C outlet : Ported LIM : 180 degree thermostat : AL104's : AC Delco 8mm wires : STS strut tower brace : Monroe HD rear air shocks : HD sway bar links :
1988 Buick Lesabre T-type - 124,500 miles : Series I L67 : 4T60E-HD : AL 104's : 180 degree thermostat : '97+ Ignition Coils : Intense FWI : Walbro 255 : 2.5" Stainless Exhaust : Flowmaster 40 Series : STB : 'Caddy' braces : hood louvers: Ported M62/Non-walled LIM : YT 1.8:1 rockers : 2.5" S/C pulley : Custom PCV Oil bypass : B&M Trans Cooler : Sinister Tune

I also run the Buick Lesabre T-type Registry


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:32 am 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 10:19 pm
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Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Year and Trim: 2000 SSEi
2004 GMC 2500HD
2013 Buick Regal GS
Pull out your fuse and check power there. Yes, it only has power when the key is on.It should be a 20 amp fuse in slot 20.

By the way, do you have the locking fuel door?

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95se wrote:
Mini vans suck so bad! I dont own one but i drive the work van at my shop and you instantly drive like a idiot when your in one!


2000 SSEi "The Rubber Chicken" (L32 long block, S1x, Comp Cams 105# springs, OR rods, 3.0 Smoothflow MPS, Pacesetters 1-5/8 primaries, Zillamotorsports P&P SC, JP single roller timing set, FWI, Magnaflow cat, Interceptor scangauge, AEM wideband, Powerslot rotors, Hawk ceramic pads, solid transmission mount, HPT)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:53 pm 
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Location: Cecil, PA - About 25 miles south of Pittsburgh
Year and Trim: 1988 Buick Lesabre T-type and 1997 Riviera
Hey guys (and gals...do we have any gals?) - I found the problem. Turns out the wire that ran to the actuator/solenoid in the trunk was broken inside the loom on the hinge for the trunk. I actually ran across the problem by accident and I'm glad I was poking around where I was. There were a bunch of wires run for woofer in the trunk that I was removing, and just happen to have the seats out in the back to do it, and lo and behold, this black wire with a frayed end it sticking out of the loom in the trunk once I got there. I put my 12-volt jumper to it and the release opened a shut like it's supposed to. I found the other end of the wire and spliced it together. Works fine now.

This was all very bizarre if you ask me.

I really appreciate all the help from everyone though. I'm glad this was a stupid problem...

_________________
1997 Buick Riviera - 97,000 miles : Series II L67/4T65E-HD : Intense intake : Ported S/C outlet : Ported LIM : 180 degree thermostat : AL104's : AC Delco 8mm wires : STS strut tower brace : Monroe HD rear air shocks : HD sway bar links :
1988 Buick Lesabre T-type - 124,500 miles : Series I L67 : 4T60E-HD : AL 104's : 180 degree thermostat : '97+ Ignition Coils : Intense FWI : Walbro 255 : 2.5" Stainless Exhaust : Flowmaster 40 Series : STB : 'Caddy' braces : hood louvers: Ported M62/Non-walled LIM : YT 1.8:1 rockers : 2.5" S/C pulley : Custom PCV Oil bypass : B&M Trans Cooler : Sinister Tune

I also run the Buick Lesabre T-type Registry


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:00 pm 
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We are always glad to be of help... and glad that you found the issue and solution :wink:


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