Thursday, November 20, 2014

DIY Fix: Increasing trunk tension on a Lexus GS300 or Toyota Aristo (preventing decapitation!)

The Lexus GS300 (Toyota Aristo for our overseas readers) is a great luxury sport sedan, and it has been our ongoing project car for the past 18 months.  There are a lot of things we love about the car, and a few things we don't like.  One annoyance is the fact that the trunk closes way too easy, and it comes down with enough force to leave a bruise on your back or head, such as when were installing the rear strut tower bar on the car. 

On a recent trip to get groceries, a small incline was enough to keep our trunk from staying open.  Juggling groceries, packing a stroller, getting rained on, and caring for a toddler don't make for a great mix.  We decided enough was enough, and took a look to see if we could do something to keep the trunk from being so easy to close.  Thankfully, there is a remedy to increase the tension on the trunk, and it literally took a few minutes to do.
As always, please take caution when doing any work on your vehicle.  We are not responsible for any injuries or damage that may occur if you work on your car. 

The first thing we did was take a small flat tip screwdriver and pry the body clip out of its hole.  Take care not to break the clip as it is a little brittle. 

Use a small flat tip screwdriver to remove this body clip.
Remove the carpeting out of the way, and you will see a rod inside one of 3 slots.  The slots are for the amount of tension on the trunk.  Our GS300 had the rod in the slot that was closest to the front, which makes closing the trunk easy.  It was probably like this from the factory to assist elderly people who might not have much strength to close the trunk, or at least that's our best guess. 
With the carpeting removed, you will see the trunk rod in 1 of the 3 slots.  Ours was in the slot closest to the front of the car.
All you have to do is pull the rod out of the slot, and insert it into whichever slot you want.  We chose to put ours in the slot closest to the rear of the car.
Just pull the rod out of the old slot, and insert it into your desired slot.  We chose the rearmost slot.
Once that is done, replace the carpeting and repeat the process for the other side.  It took us about 5 minutes to do the job.  Once you have finished, you will notice that the trunk doesn't automatically slam shut if the lid is moved down.  It will hover to just above closing.  It also takes a little more effort to close the trunk, and we don't mind at all.  At least we don't have to worry about feeling like our body is under a guillotine blade anymore!  Happy motoring and keep on driving!

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