GM Prizm/Nova 1985-1993 Repair Guide

Hatch or Trunk Lid



See Figures 1 and 2

In all cases the hatch or trunk lid is removed by separating the lid from the hinge. Certain rules must be observed:

  1. Two people are absolutely required for safe and efficient removal. Some components are heavy and/or bulky. Damage or injury may result from improper removal.
  3. Although the lid may be supported by springs or struts, always install a prop to support the lid.
  5. On hatchbacks, the support (gas strut) must be disconnected from the lid before removal. The hatch is heavy; make sure an assistant supports it before removing the strut.
  7. Trunk lid hinges are supported by 2 torsion rods (spring rods) running between the hinges. These rods SHOULD NOT BE DISCONNECTED during removal of the lid.
  9. Outline the position of the hinge with pencil or marker. Pad or cover the surrounding area so that the paint is not damaged during removal.
  11. Check carefully for any wiring harnesses or hoses running from the body to the lid and disconnect them before removal.
  13. Make sure that both ends of the lid are well supported before removing the final bolt. The lid may slip and cause damage.
  15. Place the lid on cloths or a padded surface to prevent scuffing. Do not stand a hatchback lid on edge and do not allow it to rest on the glass.
  17. When reinstalling, position the lid to the car and install the bolts snug but not tight. Move the lid until the matchmarks made during removal align.
  19. Tighten the mounting bolts.
  21. If reinstalling a hatchback lid, connect the strut to the lid.
  23. Connect the wiring and hoses as necessary.
  25. Align the lid with the body.

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Fig. Fig. 1: Removing the hatchback support strut

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Fig. Fig. 2: Removing the hatchback lid-to-hinge bolts


See Figures 3, 4 and 5

With the trunk lid or hatchback down and latched, check the lid-to-body gap all the way around. It should be even in width and the lid should sit flush to the other body panels. Check the corners farthest from the hinges; this is where any errors will be most visible.

If adjustment is necessary, loosen the lid-to-hinge bolts and reposition the lid. Tighten the bolts and recheck alignment. If vertical adjustment is required, shims or washers must be added or removed between the lid and the hinge to raise or lower the lid.

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Fig. Fig. 3: Loosen the hinge bolts to adjust the trunk lid

The lid striker is adjustable. Loosen the nuts or bolts just enough to allow motion in the striker. Close the lid and let the latch move the striker into a matching position. Open the lid and tighten the striker. Double check the striker position by opening and closing the lid a few times. Chances are good that the striker adjustment will not come out right the first time. Continue adjusting it for the best feel when closing (no drag or grinding) and ease of release. The latch should hold to the striker without binding; there should be almost no tension on the key when used to release the lid.

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Fig. Fig. 4: Adjusting the hatchback striker

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Fig. Fig. 5: Adjusting the trunk lid striker