How to open a locked trunk with no key!

Im heading up to get some parts off of a junked 68 cougar. Anyway I really need the trunk latch however the trunk is closed and the owner has no keys for it. Any ideas?

Only thing I can suggest other than breaking the lock, is to get skinny and crawl into the trunk through the rear seat and take it apart?

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That was going to be my suggestion.

Or you could go “mission impossible” on it! Crawl under the back end (jack it up if necessary), and using your drill (or sonic screwdriver) you back out all of the screws for the gas tank, then push the tank up into the trunk. Then you can sit on the ground and work on the trunk latch at roughly eye-level while holding your mini-maglite in your mouth. Remove the trunk latch, then carefully back out underneath the car while pulling the gas tank back into place so no one knows you were even there!

Or you could go “mission impossible” on it!

That’s funny! I guess taking a flat head and a convincing force to the lock is what its going to be.

If the trunk lid is no good the easiest way would-be to cut the metal around the lock and pull it out. Then stick the metal bar back into the latch and turn it with a pair of needle nose pliers.
A harder way is to make a key for it. You need a key blank. Insert it and turn it back and fourth with a pair of pliers and near the end you will see a witness mark from the first tumbler. File it into a V until it clears. Then repeat until you have all the tumblers cleared and you have a key. You only have to do one side. Ford made about 65 different key combinations. I know a local guy that has all the masters.

well the car is 3 hours away behind a garage and the only tools I will have are what I bring with me not to mention its going to be about 20 outside.

A cold chisel and a hammer would make quick work of the metal around the lock. If power is available a dremel tool with a cut off wheel would work.

If its not a convertible pull the rear seat and access the trunk and lock from the interior = no damage :wink:

You can take a 1/2" socket and pull the bolts holding the trunk latch or striker to the car and the trunk lid will open

Pull the bottom seat cushion (no tools) Removed the rear seat back (two screws at the bottom to the floor) Remove the cardboard divider if there is still one in the car then crawl or reach through the big opening

Don’t do the " tear the lock from the trunk lid" :frowning:

I highly doubt that a parts car from Ohio has a good trunk lid :think:

X2 through the back seat opening. I have done this in a junk yard before without too much trouble. Removing the latch bolts with a socket and a long extension is a fine idea as well.

Jeff Is Spot On Here!!! I have a 3’ Long 3/8" drive extension I use to reach back there after the rear seat is removed. We also have a 3’ long standard screw driver we jam in the latch slot and twist the rod. The lock rod is easily straightened afterwards so nothing is hurt.

Doesn’t the glove box lock have a code stamped on it? if so, you can have another key made since the trunk and glove box use the same key.

thanks for the suggestions guys. looks like crawling through the rear seat area and removing the striker is the way to go.

That code is found in three places as seen here. Not everyone wants to hassle with finding a locksmith or parting with the cash. Those cylinders are very unique and valuable so it would easily pay back if you did get a key made.

Seems like we used to crawl through the back with the seat out and use a pair of pliers to turn the tab on the back of the lock and they opened.

The lock rod does not protrude far enough through the latch to get a good grip on it with vise grips.

A yard trick is to grab a auto trans or engine oil dipstick to trip the trunk latch if the key cylinder is already removed or knocked out.

Plenty of 60-70’s Chevys running around down here with no trunk lock on the car :frowning:

On a similar note of no trunk key. Did watch (from a distance :wink: as a owner blew up when he locked his keys in the trunk at the Bellview Mustang show years ago. He used a nearby rock to beat the lock cylinder out of the trunk lid. What a mess iot made.

Wanted to offer a suggestion or help (as others did) just no one want to approach the guy while he was yelling, cussing and swinging a rock over and over again

Back to watching Russo & Steele auction :slight_smile:

That is sad :frowning: Especially considering if he had popped the back seat out he probably could have reached in and grabbed his keys with much less effort (let alone expense) than swinging a rock :frowning:

Although, there IS something to be said for letting out your frustrations. I think the moral of this story should be “don’t keep it bottled up!”
Or maybe “don’t close the trunk lid without checking that the keys really are in your pants pocket” ← this is how I do it. Probably look like some kind of perv, standing there holding the trunk open while pawing at myself…

Now Brian,

Just because they dump tons of road salt on our roads every year doesn’t mean that a trunk lid has to be in bad shape!
Ok so I keep my car shrink wrapped except for summer. :beerchug:


A yard trick is to grab a auto trans or engine oil dipstick to trip the trunk latch if the key cylinder is already removed or knocked out.

Or…my personal favorite…you could use a windshield wiper arm. Remove the arm from the actuator assembly on the outside of the car, then remove the wiper blade and use the end that attaches to the blade as your turning device to open the trunk.

I always keep one around in reach in my boneyard just for this purpose. I have taken locks out of my parts cars so I don’t have to worry about finding keys when it is time to get in the trunk.