Author Topic: 1956 Fleetwood: deck lid release  (Read 170 times)

Offline Francesco

1956 Fleetwood: deck lid release
« on: May 23, 2018, 10:53:56 AM »
Hello Members,

my first post up here.
I own a 1956 Fleetwood, it has an electric deck lid release mounted in the trunk, that seems to be an original fitting part.
I've read a topic on this forum that in 1956 the option "power trunk with pull down" was already available. The wire going to this actuator is cut off... There is a red wire in the trunk, for the trunk light, and a brown one, for the fuel gauge.
Strange thing is, i cannot find a wire in the harness that leads to this release system, nor a wire in the glove box or under the dash. Neither is there a button. There is a hole left below the steering wheel, i think this spot in the dash was reserved for the convertible top button?

Does someone know weither this deck release may be added later? Does some know how the wiring harness for cars with the power trunk option was?

Greetings from Belgium.

Francesco


Offline JAG56Cad

Re: 1956 Fleetwood: deck lid release
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2018, 11:54:30 AM »
Hello Members,

my first post up here.
I own a 1956 Fleetwood, it has an electric deck lid release mounted in the trunk, that seems to be an original fitting part.
I've read a topic on this forum that in 1956 the option "power trunk with pull down" was already available. The wire going to this actuator is cut off... There is a red wire in the trunk, for the trunk light, and a brown one, for the fuel gauge.
Strange thing is, i cannot find a wire in the harness that leads to this release system, nor a wire in the glove box or under the dash. Neither is there a button. There is a hole left below the steering wheel, i think this spot in the dash was reserved for the convertible top button?

Does someone know weither this deck release may be added later? Does some know how the wiring harness for cars with the power trunk option was?

Greetings from Belgium.

Francesco

Francesco,

There are two pieces for the electric trunk release feature, the solenoid that goes inside the trunk lid where the lock key cylinder is located and the electric lock motor to pull down the lid.

There is a +12V “red” wire for the solenoid and this one is goes to the release push switch located inside the glove compartment (top left side). These wires harness route at the trunk floor to the left side, if I recall they are going the same route as the hardness for rear lights.

There is a +12V hot “black” wire that connects to the electric motor and a “dark green” for the indicator light at the left side of the dash, just below the wiper control.

Attach is the wiring diagram although is it for ’57 the same applies to the ’56.

Also there is a post by Clay aka lexi here that shows the location of the indicator -> http://midcenturycadillacs.com/index.php?topic=1937.0 

Good luck..!
Jose Gomez
CLC Member #23082

Offline Lexi

Re: 1956 Fleetwood: deck lid release
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2018, 03:02:43 PM »
Jose is correct. I believe other indicators that this factory option had a trunk valance area that I think was built a little differently to accept the pull down motor. My car is not close by for me to check it's construction, though perhaps Jose or another member can further comment on what to look for. Also, your lower dash panel was equipped with a small red indicator light that lit when the trunk was open, as Jose noted. You should have that red lens there or an empty hole where one should be. See attached picture of a lit example from a '56. I believe that the GM code for this option was the letter "S" which I assume was stamped on the ID cowl plate tag, but can't remember where it would be placed. Clay/Lexi

Edit 1: Also attached is page from the 1959 MPL showing systems 1955 - 1958.
Edit 2: 3 page General Service Letter with diagram, for introductory '55 model year (same I believe for '56).
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 03:27:14 PM by Lexi »

Offline Francesco

Re: 1956 Fleetwood: deck lid release
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2018, 03:26:02 PM »
Hello guys,

Strange thing is, my car only has the upper part that is showed...so no pull down mechanism, only deck lid release....
Could this be original or is it added later and therefore i can not find any wiring in the original harness?
Were there 56 Cadillacs equipped with only the deck release without pull-down motor?

Thanks for your input guys!!

Greetings!

Offline Lexi

Re: 1956 Fleetwood: deck lid release
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2018, 03:46:34 PM »
Hey there. The trunk latch release mechanism should have a solenoid attached to it. Looks like the regular latch except there is a solenoid mounted at the far end. You can see it when you open the trunk and look up in one of the access ports. I think your question has come up before and if I recall correctly the answer was a probable no. That is because it was a factory installed option, not a dealer install. Think it was a factory install because wiring ran through the harness and the trunk valance was also made differently. I have never seen one so equipped without the other. Although the General Service Letter info and the options list note the package as "Remote controlled deck lid", the tech bulletin makes it clear that it is a 2 part system which comprised of both the trunk lid latch/solenoid assembly as well as the pull down motor. So it was a package deal. Like, I don't think they would sell a convertible top without the rams or lock down assembly---as an analogy.

The mechanism on the pull down unit that grabbed the upper latch assembly is actually part of the pull down motor, ... a striker bar. A unit without the power trunk assist option had a totally different, and strictly mechanical set up to grab the upper latch when you closed the trunk. Also, unless your dash has been changed, there should be an indicator light there OR a hole were the missing red lens was. Jose posted a link to one of my old posts on this where I had a picture of what this area of the dash looks like.

Maybe someone began retro-fitting your car and then found that the project was not feasible for whatever reason? Check your aluminum cowl plate as described in the earlier post. If you post pictures it may help as we are trying to comment on something sight unseen. At this point all we can do is tell you how the unit was outfitted and originally intended to work. I can post clear pics of a '56 latch assembly if you think that would help,  but I think with what we have so far you should now be able to discern whether your car was originally equipped with this option or not. Clay/Lexi
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 03:55:37 PM by Lexi »

Offline Lexi

Re: 1956 Fleetwood: deck lid release
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2018, 04:09:16 PM »
I believe I have some extra parts for this system, but if your car was not equipped originally with it, and you choose to retro-fit such, you may have body work and paint to do when modifying your trunk valance. Perhaps that is what may have happened with a previous owner? Clay/Lexi

Offline JAG56Cad

Re: 1956 Fleetwood: deck lid release
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2018, 06:15:50 PM »
Francesco,

Clay/Lexi is 100% correct..!

The trunk pull down piece would require modifications to the standard locking piece to install the unit.

There is a plate that would need to be welded on the inside to bolt the unit and there are also holes at the bottom of the trunk that would need to be drilled. There is reinforce metal strip that is needed on the outside (under the trunk) to hold the unit as well.

I’m attaching a picture of mine for reference on the mounting placement, sorry but it is one I took after I made the cover for the pull down, I do not have one handy without the cover.

I’m also including a picture of the spare unit pull down and solenoid look I rebuilt last year for reference as well.

If you have the solenoid on the trunk locking piece then you should be able to open the trunk without the key, you just need to rig a push switch with a +12V and extend the wire all the way to the trunk lid to activate.

The dash light would only works if you have the pull down motor as the sticker switch send the +12V to the light once the trunk is open.

Good luck..!
Jose Gomez
CLC Member #23082