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My K1200LT trunk latch hadle broke recenly. The dealership says the entire trunk has to be replaced costing just over $1000 dollars with labor. Is there any way to replace just the latch handle?
 

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Yes there is a simpler and far less costly solution. Think it's a $250 +/- touch. Someone here will have the exact link for you I'm sure.
Share it with whatever dealer told you it was a $1,000 new trunk. The turkey !!
Keir
 

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Is it just me or is $300+ for a "latch" and obscene amount to pay. Not even going to comment on the BMW alternative :(
 

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BigH501 said:

Is it just me or is $300+ for a "latch" and obscene amount to pay. Not even going to comment on the BMW alternative :(
I just bought one and thought the same thing before the kit arrived. Once you see all the parts that had to be engineered to work as a replacement, and the quality of the billet latch itself you will understand. don't forget that this isn't something he can sell thousands of, so he needs to recoup his R&D costs through a small number of units.

IMHO it is well worth the price and will be the last latch on your LT.
 

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I spent the day putting a new latch in my 09LT. No, it hadn't broken, this was preventative. The electric lock makes it a bit more complicated. There is a little sliding mechanism that is not present on the non-electric models. The latch I got didn't account for this. I used an angle grinder to make the adjustment. If anyone is making the swap on a newer model be sure to stipulate electric lock when ordering. The engineers at BMW really knocked themselves out looking for complicated solutions to fairly simple problems. Of course that's not limited to the latch!! Stock up on E-clips. Those suckers will disappear like no tomorrow. I think a couple of mine launched into orbit.
 

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BigH501: Designing, Programming, Machining, Finishing, Packaging, and generating Instructions was a huge effort. All speculative, all my time and my money. This thing is machined from solid material.

Further, when I recently found out about the change in Latch Handle color that occurred in 2005, I put good effort into matching the color and using Ditzler Deltron Base-Coat/Clear-Coat paint for a durable finish that matches the OEM. I was also made aware of the electric locking feature (Central Locking System, or CLS) and spent considerable effort to accommodate this and made new instructions to include this.

The profit margin is slim on this product! When the 100 kits are gone, I likely won't produce more. If it was hugely profitable, I surely would.

I batted emails back and forth with a guy here who was also appalled at the price. He went on to ask me what my "marketing survey" had found prior to undertaking this business. "SAY WHAT??"

V Rod Pete: It was a pleasure doing business with you, thanks!

Big pile of aluminum before machining (Over 3 years ago):
 

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A few years ago, when Evan had his workshop at his house down the street and around a few corners from me, I visited with him for a bit. My gawd, what a set-up. Just the room cooling monster wuz impressive, let alone the water delivery system that is needed at the CNC milling machine. And the machine!!! Just blew me away.

And then to see the CAD program that Evan developed for the trunk latch machining process, along with the HUGE CNC machine that turned out the nearly finished product, wuz equally mind boggling. After leaving Evan's house, I thought to myself, there is no way to make any money from this endeavor. And, to this day, I think I thought right!!! Butt, here he is - doing it for the love of doing it (and he doesn't even own an LT!!!). Amazing. I guess owning one of the few machines in the country that is capable of doing what Evan does (in addition to the trunk latch work), you need to keep it busy somehow. I imagine Mike, another forum member and producer of a trunk latch repair kit, knows ed zachery what it takes, also!!!

Evan no longer lives down the street and around a few corners; having since moved east to Houston. I suspect that is partially due to his potential bidness with NASA, where he has been very successful in conquering more than one of their demands for some sort of filtering panels for...... hell, I don't know what it's for!!! I just couldn't believe you could drill 90 gazillion holes in a piece of thin metal that small in size!!! (A tale for another thread sometime!).

My belief is the forum members here have greatly benefitted having both Evan and Mike as manufacturers, producers, and vendors of a product that fulfills the needs of those members who have had their trunk latch fail, and who found the solution offered by the OEM manufacturer less than ideal and difficult to stomach. Granted that the failure rate is small in comparison to the total numbers of units in use, it still begs the question "what were they thinking?"!!! If the tailgate latch on ole Tundra fails, I sure hope I don't have to buy a whole new bed as the fix!!!

Thanks, Evan and Mike. BTW, ole Toad's latch is still doing well, and has a very good prognosis for staying so in the future!! That Ft. Worth rack almost guarantees it!! :histerica
 

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BilletsGalore: I apologize. I did not realize the work that went into your latch replacement. I stand corrected.

I guess I just reacted to the price on something so small and "apparently" simple costing that much $$

Have you tried marketing your design and mfg process directly to BMW to see if they might consider replacing the latch on new production bikes ?
 

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BigH501 said:
BilletsGalore: I apologize. I did not realize the work that went into your latch replacement. I stand corrected.

I guess I just reacted to the price on something so small and "apparently" simple costing that much $$

Have you tried marketing your design and mfg process directly to BMW to see if they might consider replacing the latch on new production bikes ?
Never gonna happen. BMW so far refuses to admit there is a problem. And we can't force a recall 'cause it's not a dangerous failure.
 

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BigH501: No problem! Hey it's all free enterprise! If you don't like it, don't buy it! No sweat!

Dick: Thanks for the kind words! It was great meeting Dick! He's every bit as friendly and hospitable in person as he is here, on this forum!

Ahh, I recall the stuff I did for the New Horizons mission to Pluto. I produced exactly 5 parts for the SWAP (Solar Wind Around Pluto) scientific instrument. VERY difficult! Four of the parts were electrostatic grids that I built from solid 7" aluminum chunks. Machined to .015 inch thickness, I then drilled 99,820 holes in each one (there were 4 of these!)! The holes are .0135 inch diameter with connective material between each hole being only .0015 inches! The resulting mesh is 90% open! And the assembly had to withstand 45 g's of vibration on the "vibe table". If anything went wrong during the drilling, it was a complete re-do! And yes, there were some re-do's!







That was THE most stressful project I've EVER done! I almost strangled the client!! The spaceship is 1/3 of the way to Pluto and will be there in 2015. It is traveling VERY fast, 43,000 mph for 9 years!
 

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I have to say, the real issue here is BMW's lack of commitment to quality! They did not just start making motorcycles and cars last week. I am not very knowledge about the quality of material they used for the latch however, anyone I have talked with that is, tells me immediately that it is low quality metal. It seems to me there is a couple of issues with the LT series. One is the latch, and the other is the radio. And come on $1,000.00 + for a hole new trunk when all you need is a $5.00 latch!

The gentleman that made the replacement latch has a tremendous amount of time and effort invested and his price is VERY reasonable. But BMW makes MILLIONS of parts, not TENS of parts. Their cost and ability as a global manufacturer should be much lower and the pieces should be able to be separated and sold item by item and not as a unit. If the latch on my Murano breaks, I don't buy a whole new back door.

BMW needs to step up and recognize their design flaw and issue a recall. Be fully committed to quality.

Now that I have vented, what are our options to address BMW. Anyone know someone at USA Corporate that I can call or write?
 

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I agree that the quality of the original latch isn't good enough. I see part of the problem being a way too complicated latch system. There is no advantage I can see in making a simple latch so complicated.
 

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I have a question for all of you who have experienced trunk latch replacement. When "Messenger 13", aka Joe Paulsey visited me in 2006, while he was on a trip (CCR), he advised me to simply push down on the carriage rack firmly enough to drop the rear tire to the ground and then close the latch. I had previously filed the rough edges off the latch arms. I never open or close the trunk w/o depressing the cover and have inspected and periodicalloy lubed the entire mechanism, inspected same for wear and see no issue.

Is it possible that a considerable of failures is due to not depressing the trunk cover before using the latch? Thanks for any comments.

Terry
 

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There are those who have done the modifications and been very careful and STILL had failure! There are some who will tell you that it's going to break regardless. Hmm.

On the subject of material and/or design, I'm of the opinion that the die-cast zinc alloy used for the latch isn't the source of the trouble. If you study the OEM handle, you'll notice that the region that breaks "hooks" around to the thin section. The major loads are actually quite close to each other in proximity. My design has solid material between the handle pivot location and the actuating location.

I'm pretty sure that the OEM "hooks" around due to the way they designed their die-casting process. I'm pretty sure theirs isn't inline because their retracting dies would interfere.

The issue is more about design than it is material. It is true that there's better material, though. The OEM latch handle is heavy at 430 grams (almost 1 lb), whereas my machined unit is only 187 grams.
 

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BigH501 said:
BilletsGalore: I apologize.
Accepted. Gladly accepted! If you had called me on the phone and told me you thought the price was high, I would have tied you up on the phone telling you what a GREAT deal you're getting! You're lucky you didn't have to endure that speech.....It's all good!.... :wave :wave
 

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My left trunk latch broke off about a year, ago.
The right trunk latch broke two Saturdays, ago.

Jon Ross, the Service Manager at Capitol BMW in Raleigh
was willing to rebuild my latch,
but as I thought about it,
we'd be using the same parts that I expect will also eventually fail.

So, I ordered the replacement kit from Evan @ http://www.lttrunklatch.com/
Just put it in, today.

Quality workmanship, everything fit as designed.
Thought I'd pass on some lessons learned.

Tools required:

Add: T10 Torx wrench
It’s not on the tool list in the front of the instruction manual.
It’s in the diagram near the end of the manual.
You’ll need it to remove the lock assembly.

E-clips. Small, little SOBs that are easy to get lost.
You'll have a couple left over from the disassembly.
Keep them little suckers.
You may need them.

Lay out all the parts,
then dry assemble the entire latch
before you assemble with Loctite.

When disassembling the Latch Hook Assembly,
after you use the Dremel tool cutting head to cut off the ends,
lightly tap the inside of the latch hook (toward the outside)
to detach the latch hook from the cross member.
Even with the ends cut off,
the cross member will not push through the holder.

Recommend that you always push down on the trunk lid
before opening or closing the latch.
Less stress on the latch mechanism and the locking pins on the lid.

I have 96,000 miles on my "01 LT.
Not planning to get rid of it any time, soon.
Cost of ownership and better than $1000 for buying another trunk bottom.
 

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Living close to Evan, I have spoken to him a few times over the last couple of months while he has been developing his "Fix It Before It Breaks" kit for the trunk latch. He's really enthusiastic about his products and goes to great lengths to make sure that they work.

He has finally completed the kit and I now have one installed on my 2008 LT. Installation took less than 30 minutes and it could have been done in a lot less than that if I hadn't been asking him questions. The billet, strenthening arms, etc, slid into place and were secured with the bolts without having to remove anything from the LT apart from the 2 small e-clips. He has pictures of the kit on his website: http://www.lttrunklatch.com/. It was a really simple installation.

I'll still continue to push down on the trunk lid whenever I'm opening or closing it - old habits die hard - but I don't ever expect to have a broken latch.
 

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Dave, thanks so much for letting me color-match the silver-gold color of the 2005-and-later handles, and thank you very much for allowing me to study your bike and use it as a guinea pig for testing this new product! Y'all are hardcore bikers (they've got 'rolling stock' and they ride 'em!).....You've been very accommodating, THANKS!

And Dave has THE FIRST and ONLY "Fix It BEFORE It Breaks" kit in the whole universe! Revel in it quickly, as I'm fixing to sell the heck outta these things! The website is coming along VERY WELL today! Gonna get it done! 54 kits, ready to go! :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:
 
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