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Trunk Lid - Opening Without Damaging The Sheetmetal


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I have a unique situation. I read a lot of posts about opening a LS400 trunk lid where the car is intact - that is - lost keys, broken lock, etc... However here is what I am trying to do. I have a 1994 LS400 - very nice shape - no problem with the trunk lid on this car - but I found a 1994 LS400 with excellent sheet metal in a local junkyard - but the interior is stripped and gutted. The trunk lid is shut and locked. My problem is that I want to open the trunk - and the outer part of the key lock in the brake light lens is gone. The key is not with the car- and if the remote trunk lid release on the driver's side - well all that is gone, trashed, messed up. Obviously no power to the car, etc. I looked at mine to see how the linkage from the lock is mated to the lock and the actual trunk lid lock. I can see into the remains of the lock and after checking my car - I think I may two options. One --- crowbar... but I don't want to damage the trunk lid by using that method. I don't know how much force it might take and I may leverage against the wrong part and bend the sheet metal. The other option . possibly drill the key lock out - use a drill bit to drill the lock and then hope I can get a grip on the linkage with a pair of needle nose and activate the latch that way. I hope someone has a suggestion or two or possibly another way to get it open. I am in the process of removing the other pieces of the sheet metal . fenders, hood ,etc... I like this car - I have a 1998 model also but I am thinking that if I ever were to have an accident - bend the fender or what have you - I can rebuild the car fairly inexpensively.

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If any of the electricals are left inside in spite of the interior being mostly gutted, bring some sort of 12V battery, some jumper wires and see if you can jumper that lead. Otherwise, you're stuck drilling out the lock (bring plenty of drill bits in varying sizes) and using a BFS (screwdriver) to turn that lock cylinder once you've drilled it out.

Hope this helps--

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If the connectors that are at the bottom of the drivers side footwell near the bottom of the door are still there maybe you ca bring a battery and try this method.

This worked on my 99 GS300 that I locked the key in the trunk.
After fighting with this for 4 hours. I figured it out.
Leave the battery connected and let the alarm stop (let it run for one minute till it stops).
Remove the carpeting from the drivers kick panel.
There are three connectors vertically, the top one being blue.
Remove the blue connector and look at the bottom row of pins, the third pin pops the trunk with a positive (+) signal.
Connect a wire from the positive battery terminal and briefly touch it to the third pin.
Hope this helps.


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The picture below shows the wiring loom running under the trim on a RHD LS400 so bear in mind this may be on the other side on a LHD model.
The trim is just clipped so is easy to remove to access the loom. Remove a section of the black tape insulation to expose the wires within the loom.
Locate the thinner of the plain black wires then cut the wire.Trim the insulation back on the black wire nearest the trunk then extend the wire with another suitable piece of wire long enough to reach the battery positive terminal.
Briefly touching the other end of the wire to the battery positive will activate the trunk lock solenoid and the trunk will then pop open.
Once you have opened the trunk remove the temporary wire extension and rejoin the two ends of the black wire preferably by soldering and heat shrinking insulation, rewrap the loom and refit the trim.
It sounds complicated but should take no more than 15 minutes from start to finish.
The reason why the wire is cut first is to avoid any possible damage to the control unit by feeding 12 volts into it the wrong way.


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It is a car that is sitting in a junkyard - it was not wrecked - I do not know the history of the car - the exterior sheet metal is in excellent shape - but the interior -...everything inside is gutted and is quit a mess. The dash, steering wheel, console - ect. are gone or pretty much destroyed. And you are right - I don't have to worry about repairing the wires or harnesses. I am buying the exterior sheet metal... But I do want the trunk lid - it is locked and no key and actually the lock in the tail light lens has been tampered with - the outer or exterior of the lock is gone - so I was looking to find a way to open the truck lid without damaging it. I don't want to just take a crowbar to it. I am thinking about getting the engine (it doesn't have the fuel injection components) just to learn how to work on the engine in terms of crank, cams, pistons, etc.

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Update... I was able to open the trunk.... I was not able to use a battery to electrically unlock it... I decided to try to open it mechanically - so I attacked the key lock in the tail light lens. I did not want to break the lens... so I started with trying (and was successful) to remove the cylinder... and after using a brass rod and a ball peen hammer I was able to get the lock cylinder itself out leaving the outer part of the lock in place where I was then able to take a flat blade screwdriver into the rest of the lock and turn it to the right which then was like using the key. Pushed down on the trunk lid and turn it to the right and the lock opened. The trunk lid was not damaged nor was the tail light lens broken. I was able to get the trunk lid, the radio antenna assembly, the spare tire, tools, etc. along with the trunk lid itself. I bought the hood, left side front fender, various trim pieces, etc. Going back next week to get the transmmission.

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