A place for Puma owners and enthusiasts to ask questions, provide answers, and post information of interest.
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Having either the front trunk or rear decklid not open is one of my greatest fears. The cables are solid wires, like a lawn mower throttle cable, and the clamp ends, at least on mine are pretty cheesy.
Compounding the problem is that there is no other way into the engine compartment. The first thing I would do is to try and remove the taillights. If you can do that, then you can remove them, and get access to the latch. They are held on by screws that go through the taillights, and then pass through an "L" shaped bracket. This bracket fits between the taillight, and on mine was held in place by a nut and lock washer. You might be able to loosen it enough to get all of the nuts to fall off, and extract the taillight. If not, you will most likely have to cut the latch.
I;m on the road today, but I'll shoot a couple of photos when I get home and show you what everything looks like. Another possibility would be to remove the nuts holding the hinges in place, but I can remember if that is even possible on normal cars. I could do it on mine, but there is a chunk cut out of the tray to clear my Webbers.
Keep in mind that you may need some assistance on opening that deck lid. Have someone gently lift on the deck lid while you pull the cable. Since the rear lid isn't spring loaded it will not "pop" open like a modern car.
If that doesn't work then you have a couple of choices on getting in the engine compartment. First, see if you can get the car up on jack stands so that you can get underneath it. Chances are that you may be missing some of the engine tins which will allow you to reach your hand up into the engine compartment and manually unlatch the lock. Even if you aren't missing the tins, you can get a tin snip and cut them out of the way so that you can get in from the bottom. They are cheap to replace.
Secondly, if you know how to work with fiberglass you can cut a hole in the bottom of the engine compartment to gain access. Rebuilding the floor would be a snap if you didn't want the permanent access hole there for future issues.
Just feel lucky that it isn't your front latch that is giving you trouble. That would be a much more challenging issue to overcome. For more technical information take some time to visit www.PumaGTE.com You may find a lot of information that will help you repair and maintain your Puma going forward.
Thanks guys! i appreciate the help! i did have my dad gently compress and lift at the trunk as i fiddled with the cables, but to no avail. my engine tins are mint and i don't want to cut at anything if i can avoid it. i've tried to remove the taillight assembly on the drivers side but the screws seem to be captured. i do not know how hard they are to come by so i want to avoid breaking them until i know i can get another set if need be.im going to try the passenger side today to see if it brings more luck. id like to avoid butchering the car if at all possible. from now on i think ill keep friends away from the car, because apparently i wasn't clear enough when saying "dont shut the decklid", oh well. thanks again, i really appreciate the help from people who know, because until now i've been a strictly gm/ford guy, and have little experience working on volkswagens, save for some work on a friend of mine's 88 scirocco.
Hey, I had the same problem, like Brandon said cut a hole from the underside.
I made it a little less of a repair I drilled a 3/8" hoie in line with the release from the underside only to have a quart of water run in my face. I then used a 18" flat blade screwdriver to push the release open. I left the hole, now called a drain hole so when you wash your car any water will flow out to the ground.....
Give me a yell or a email, I will stop by with my car on the weekend..
I sent you some photos just a few minutes ago detailing the latch, spring, and location. This should help you quite a bit.
There are also some tricks included. Hope this helps!