Help – I can’t open the frunk

There are few things more harrowing for a 308 owner than pulling the cable release for either the front or rear compartments and having them not open. If you are lucky, the backup cable will work. If unlucky, you are going to have to cut and remove body work to get at the back of the latch.

Handle to open frunk

Several weeks ago, after I finished up my brake flush and bleed, I want to check how the brakes felt. So I put on the wheels, closed the frunk and backed out of the shop. The brakes seemed ok so I drive back in and pulled the frunk release to plug the car back on its battery tender. Click. The left side of the front cover released by the right side stayed shut.

Oh no…
 
My heart sank… I knew its almost impossible to get to the back of the right latch to force it open. In desperation, I called for help. Maybe, just maybe, if someone pulled on the handle while I pulled and wiggled the cover at the same time, it might open it.

Ferrari 308 Frunk Latch (US version)

Success! With the help of my seven year old son, it opened. But I considered myself lucky with no guarantee I would be so lucky next time. So I set about working out why now, after 7 years, the frunk had stopped opening.

Chief suspect was the power bleeder I used to do the brake flush. The cable to open the right hand latch of the frunk runs right over the cap to the brake reservoir. When I pulled the cable out of the way to open the reservoir, maybe I changed the tension on the cable. Time to figure out how they can be adjusted. First I tried lubricating the latch, then I removed the latch and tried adjusting the tension a little each way. Still no change – the cover would not open without some manual lifting and wiggling.

Ferrari 308 Frunk Latch

The problem didnt seem to be the cable tension or that the sides were opening uneavenly. The problem seemed to be that the cover was simply not being pushed high enough to clear the latch. I was out of ideas and adjustment so I decided to leave the issue unresolved… pulling up on the left side of the cover while pulling the lever seemed to work every time so I stopped panicking.

Fast forward 3 months and it was time to clean up some of the detail bits and pieces. One job was to refit the fiberglass front trunk liner. It screws down to hide the ventilation and heating hardware, brake servo and pedal box.

Front trunk liner

Once inserted, it was time to refit the rubber weather-stripping around the frunk opening… Wait… the frunk weather-stripping… where did I put that? Two days later I found it in my parts cabinet!
 
Wait… that weather-stripping… if that was in place, it would totally change the amount of force pushing the frunk cover up and out of the latch…

Doh! I quickly refitted the weather-stripping around the front trunk opening

Ferrari 308 front trunk weather-stripping

And that is all it was. With the weatherstripping refitted, the frunk popped up perfectly, just like it used to:

I guess in the 7 years I have been working on this car, I had simply never tried to open the latch with the weather-stripping removed.

Disclaimer: 308restoration.com describes the restoration work I perform on my car and only my car. I am not a professional mechanic. The website content is presented for entertainment purposes only and should not by seen as any kind of advice, information, instruction or guidance for working on any other car. The opinions stated here are my own and no-one else’s.
 
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