How To Add A Hatch Release

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The hatch release is a very convenient little item. Sitting next to the gas tank release, it provides internal access to the hatch latch. Fortunately, if your RX-7 does not have such a feature it is easy to add. All you need is access to a parts car with a trunk release.

Parts Required


Step 1 - Obtain the parts
If you find someone parting out a car, then you can have them remove the parts for you. You could also have a wrecking yard get them out of one of their cars. Otherwise, you will have to remove the parts yourself.

Trunk/gas door release lever: The lever is located underneath the drivers seat on the door side. The cover comes off with a screw on the top, and the lever comes out with one bolt. It may be easier to remove the seat to access these things. Now simply disconnect both cables and remove the lever.
Trunk release cable: The cable runs along the drivers side of the car. To remove it, most of the trim along that side will need to be loosened or removed. Remove the door sill trim by removing the screws. It can then be pried up with a screwdriver. After removing that, unclip the carpet clips. Pull back the side trim by first removing the fur trees holding it on and then pulling it away from the body of the car. Remove the speaker cover by taking the screws out of the sides and off the top then lifting up the cover. Remove the screws from the plastic trim and slide off the trim. Also open the spare tire cover. At this point, you can unclip the release cable from the latch and remove it from the surrounding clips. Follow the cable back to the front of the car, removing it from the clips on the way. Once you get to the drivers seat, unclip the cable on both sides and pull it out through the whole in the inner frame.

Step 2 - Install the cable and lever
Remove the trim surrounding the lever, the lever itself and the trim on the drivers side of the car. See the above step for details. Run the release cable along the drivers side of the car. Snap it into every second clip as you go and then connect it to the latch mechanism. Using every second latch allows some adjustment later. Clip the cable onto the lever, along with the original gas door cable. Put the bolt in the hole in the lever and use a socket on an extension to hold the whole assembly. Slide the lever into position and tighten it down using your fingers on the extension. Now tighten it down with a wrench. Go back along the cable and snap it into the clips that you skipped the first time.
Step 3 - Reinstall trim
Reinstall all the trim, being careful not to over tighten any screws. If you do, you will crack the plastic. Spray some penetrating lube down the hole before you put the cover piece on the lever.


1. Nothing too complicated here. Just remember that you should be careful when removing parts from a parts car. Someone may want that piece of trim that you just broke.

2. In very cold weather, water that has collected near the release lever may freeze, thus preventing use. There is nothing you can really do about this except filling that area with oil. This will probably stain the carpet pretty badly though.

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