Trunk lid lock protection bar

project: by Kees Stein and Maarten Tromp, published: by Maarten Tromp.

What do you do when trunk lid of your stops closing properly? You investigate and engineer a solution.

My first car was a Peugeot 205 Terberg. The model is like a regular 3 door Peugeot 205, but fitted with a plastic extension on the top and back to make it into a light van. It was perfect for me. A lot of stuff fitted in the trunk (sound system, servers, furniture) and the car had room for a single passenger. It was cheap, light, fast enough and fuel efficient.

However, one part of the conversion was not thought all the way through. The way the trunk lid closed was a bit silly. The lid had a normal lock that grabs a pin. So far so good, but the pin itself was sticking straight up in the door opening. On a normal Peugeot 205 the pin sits at an angle, because the trunk lid is at an angle. That way you never hit the pin while loading stuff in the trunk. But with the conversion the trunk lid is vertical and so is the pin. Everything you lift in the trunk hits the pin. And since the pin sits on an flimsy angle bracket, it would bend inwards and then the lid wouldn't lock properly. It took me a while to figure out what caused the lid not to lock at times and started to use a bungee cord to hold the lid closed instead. When I finally found the culprit I wasn't sure how to fix it. I kept bending the pin back up, but it kept bending down again. Clearly a better and more permanent solution was needed.

Luckily Kees, my stepdad, is a mechanical engineer. He has experience with with metal work and was willing to help me come up with a solution. We decided to make a metal protection bar to go over the pin.

First we bent a metal bar, formerly part of espagnolette window lock, into a U-shape. Heating it up over the furnace in the kitchen and then bending it over some bricks were things I, being an electrical engineer, would have never thought of. Then we welded it on a piece of angle profile. This was also something I had never done before. Who would have thought mechanical engineering would actually be this useful? Last we mounted the angle profile on the bottom of the trunk, so that the U-shaped bar sits over the pin. With a little paint it wasn't even all that visible.

This protection worked flawlessly. The pin never bent again. After years of use I can say this hack worked perfectly.