4.319: Repairing the Hatch Release on the Saabaru

After a couple of years of frustration followed by a marathoning of Mighty Car Mods on YouTube I decided it was finally time to fix the hatch on my car. More importantly, now that winter is pretty much here in Canada, I’ll be driving the car a lot instead of the bike and will really probably need access to my luggage space. So here are some photos and description of how that went down.

First I needed to remove the rear hatch garnish so that the handle could actually be removed. For anyone doing this to their Saab 92X Aero there are seven bolts, be sure you get all seven. I did not, I removed six and broke the seventh one off thinking it was one of the plastic clips.

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Now that my car looked like it had been in an accident, I decided I should clean up everything while it was exposed.

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Next it was removing the interior trim to gain access to the mechanisms inside the door and remove the handle. The internal release mechanism can be seen dangling in this photo. And yes, I need to get that rust looked after.

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Here’s a comparison between the new handle and the old handle. The old one is covered in rust, a common problem with these cars. For anyone looking, the part number for this isĀ 62150AA211 and is the same part as on the Subaru Legacy GT Wagon from 1995-2004. It does NOT include the other mounting plate with the rubber grommet.

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As the forums were not helpful at all, I could not find the part number for this mounting plate or the rubber grommet that will go in it later. So I got a wire brush and took the old one down to bare metal. I then applied a rust inhibiting primer and spray painted it black. I don’t much care how this part looks as it’ll be hidden, hence the lack or care in it’s appearance. I mainly want to prevent it from rusting again in the future.

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While the mounting plate dried I went to work on the bolt I’d broken off. I didn’t actually brake the bolt itself off, I broke off the plastic it was attached to. It came off in one solid piece so I was able to clean up the area and super glue it back in place. It’ll hold just fine, there’s very little work this bolt actually does, with the other six bolts and 8 plastic clips there to do the same job. I only reattached it just in case a rattle formed without it.

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Taking the old mounting place I reinserted the rubber grommet then slid the new handle through. On the reverse side I reconnected the mechanism to the handle and tightened the nuts in place.

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After testing out that the mechanism worked fine I reattached the garnish and the seven bolts. Near all the wires almost dead center in the photo is the seventh bolt I’d missed.

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Then it was time to refit the interior trim, and once again re-test the mechanism to be sure.

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And I’m done! Looks good as new! Well, except that rust stain, damn rust.

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-Aka