Junk in the Trunk
Behold the classic Porsche 914 rear deck. Like the front hood, the coiled metal springs were replaced with pneumatic air springs. While the installation on the front lid was pretty easy, the rear trunk lid required some cutting and drilling. Hopefully I can give enough detail and some suggestions for a satisfying install.
. Pictured above is the right rear trunk hinge with the lid not yet bolted on. The kit’s instructions suggest peeling back the surrounding weatherstripping for this process, which I’ve done in the picture above.
. A channel must be cut into the lip of the divider to allow room for the air spring to retract when the lid is shut. The Camp914 instructions provide cut measurements, but I used the actual hinge and spring to decide where to cut. I applied some blue masking tape to the lip and used a Sharpie to draw the lines right on the car. A small metal coping saw made the vertical cuts, and the resulting metal tab was easily removed with some back and forth stress-fracture pliers action. A hand file cleaned up the edges, and then some POR-15 dabbed on the raw metal added final protection.
. After removing both hinges, I used the upper mounting bracket itself as a template to mark spots for drilling. Keeping it flat on the hinge plate, and sliding it as far to the rear of the car as possible, I marked the hinge through the bracket mounting holes. The bracket should not be mounted any further forward, or when closing the lid, the black pneumatic tube will catch the lip of the divider and cause damage. The kit also provides nylon spacers to position the mounting bracket away from the hinge plate, but the extra height caused the spring’s end nub to bind on the weatherstripping, preventing the lid from closing. Everything fit better without the spacers, so I dumped them and used shorter mounting screws to avoid even more binding.
. After the upper air spring is attached to the hinge plate, the lower mounting bracket can be attached and used as a template to mark the next drilling spots. Again, I placed some blue masking tape on the trunk lip so I could mark directly on the car. The exact position of the lower bracket decides all remaining clearances, so I’ll give some advice:
. 1 – As the trunk lid is closing, the silver front half of the air spring descends into the engine bay, and the black tube half retracts into the trunk side. To wit: Make sure that the lower mounting bracket is positioned so the black tube has enough room to do that. It needs space to avoid the channel that was previously cut in the divider lip. Ideally, the width of the channel could be just the diameter of the silver upper spring shaft. I’m just saying.
. 2 – Notice how the black pneumatic tube is rubbing against the weatherstripping above? Scootching the mounting holes in the weatherstrip channel just a tad towards the inner trunk should alleviate any weatherstrip deflection when the trunk lid is open. Remember, you can’t undrill these holes, so they must count the first time. I also applied a little POR-15 to seal all the exposed metal before mounting anything.
. Junk in the trunk, as promised. I sprayed some Armor-All on the black tubes so they slip nicely past the weather stripping. The upper air spring nubs were still binding on the weatherstrip (even without the nylon spacers), so I trimmed it back on both ends to create clearance. I’m mostly happy with the result, but if the supplied parts were slimmer, there would be no need to chop up a beautiful new trunk seal. So now the trunk lid opens and closes cleanly, and seats snugly. The springs feel firm, yet yield easily when raising or lowering the lid. Pretty good, overall.