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OK, I decided to go the DIY route. I have put together a quick preliminary how to with pics.
(Thanks ccclarke for the information provided)

Step 1, Gather tools, For this operation I chose small tree fallers wedges which I found at a local convenience store similar to Walmart. these wedges have a serration on one side to prevent them from backing out. I put this edge upward toward the carpeted side

2x wedges

1x 7-8" sawzall blade (may need more than one)

1x 3/4 inch metal conduit (Or whatever you wish to use for a handle but keep in mind there will be a lot of force on it)

1x thin piece of flat plastic (a milk jug would do but I used the packaging from the wedges)

1x roll of masking tape.

1x roll of electrical tape.

1x rubber cap such as used on metal legs for various items (also could use pipe wrap)














Step 2, Prepare the tools

You will see from the above pics that I first cut both ends of the sawzall blade straight. For this I used an air powered cutoff tool but an angle grinder would work too. This isn't really necessary but it made it easier to wrap it with tape.

I then cut the conduit to 6ft which had previously determined was the best length to maneuver into the opening and achieve sufficient leverage.

I then used a sawzall to make a cut approximately 1 3/4 inches long down the length of the conduit making a slot to put the blade in. for this conduit, it was necessary to flatten it since the blade was narrower then the edges of the tubing. Once flattened I put the tubing in a vice and then used vise grips to hold the blade in place for drilling. With both ends cut from the blade you will need to make sure you put the blade in with the teeth angling back toward you. Notice in the image of the pole saw that the blade is actually angled slightly. This will help you gain a little leverage. Find 2 bolts and nuts, 1/4 inch diameter should do. Drilling the 2 holes will take some time since the blade is hardened steel but it is possible, I did it. After you have the blade bolted in place I used the electrical tape to wrap the sides. I put several thicknesses of tape to make a thick smooth guide. This was to lessen any damage to the plastic latch cover or the carpet. Make sure to leave enough blade exposed to cut through the striker. I used the piece of thin plastic to further prevent damage to the plastic latch cover. For this I taped it to the wedge I placed on the cut side of the latch. It took several attempts to get the wedges into place. Finally I put a rubber cap on the end of the saw handle to prevent damage to interior surfaces.


Step 3, Remove the storage compartment from between the seats to gain access. You will also need to unhook the bungee corded mesh barrier from at least the middle hook.



Step 4, Drive the wedges on either side of the latch. Here I used the masking tape to hold the wedge onto a rod while driving it into the space. I used a piece of steel pipe for this but any sort of rod, pipe or dowel should do. I didn't drive these in with a great amount of force. Just drive them in far enough that you can see about 1/2 inch of the striker. it helps to let the wedge tip hang slightly downward. I first tried taping the wedge onto the rod straight and was unable to get it into the space.







Step 5, Now go pound down an energy drink then carefully insert the pole saw into the trunk. Once in place, find a comfortable position in the seat facing the latch. The cutting process took only about 10 min total including breaks but then I'm a pretty high energy person. The rear part of the striker has to be cut by feel since you can't actually see it. It was fairly easy to feel where it was with the blade at an angle. Below are the images of the opened trunk. You will notice there is only the slightest damage to the plastic latch cover and none to the upper carpet.






UPDATE:
I have drilled the rivets and opened the latch housing. What has happened is that the end of the lever inside which both cables attach to is broken, Notice the beige colored lever. So obviously neither cable was doing anything. The reason the latch wouldn't open is that the broken piece was jammed under part of the linkage and impeding the latch movement. There doesn't seem to be any way to machine a new lever without more advanced tools than I have at my disposal. Before I order a new latch I may take the lever to local machine shop and see if they can create a new one out of aluminum.










Once you're finished, you can find replacement parts here:
http://www.gmpartsdirect.com/

Striker.....................PN# 15142951 - $31.34 + $12.95 s/h
Latch......................PN# 15847487 - $218.57 + $55.74 s/h

Other parts that may get damaged:
Sill Plate..................PN# 15147014 - $52.08 + s/h (doesn't include the metal logo plates)
Upper Carpet Panel....PN# 25788791 - $81.81 + s/h

I believe these part numbers are the same for all years but you should check with you local parts dept as returns are not accepted. The striker and sill plate weren't even available at my local dealer. The striker still hasn't shipped from gmpartsdirect so if it turns out that it's not available there either, I'll be welding the old one back together.
 

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OK. So, how did it get broken in the first place? By the look of it, it is only used if either the key or emergency release levers are used. I would guess this is rare. Can you determine the circumstances under which that plastic link is subjected to enough force to break it? Does it carry a force while the motor operates? For myself, when I have used the key it has not required much force and the deck lid auto lifts as soon as it is released, so I have stopped turning the key any further.

A second thought is that this isn't necessarily the defect in the latch, the component could have been broken by somebody trying to get in after the latch had stopped shut and they pulled too hard in their efforts to free it. Do you have enough evidence to know that this scenario is not what happened? I.e. the root cause of this problem is the broken piece you have found?

Thanks
 

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A second thought is that this isn't necessarily the defect in the latch, the component could have been broken by somebody trying to get in after the latch had stopped shut and they pulled too hard in their efforts to free it. Do you have enough evidence to know that this scenario is not what happened? I.e. the root cause of this problem is the broken piece you have found?

Thanks

I cannot say for sure that the broken lever was in fact the initial cause of the failure. After the latch became jammed I did pull excessively hard on the emergency cable. I can say that the broken piece was in fact stopping the latch from opening. I do plan to attempt fabricating a new lever made of steel. If successful I will find out if there is any other defect which caused the failure.

This is a very weak point. If anyone needs to use this emergency release for any reason, be sure to use very light pressure. The plastic is very brittle. You can see from a close up of the break that it may not have been molded properly.
 

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I think you are correct. That piece is part of the manual process and is part of the emergency cable system. So the real reason the trunk wouldn't open is still undetermined.

I wonder if you can "bench test" the switch while it is apart to see if something is jammed in the metal gearing.

Remember to replace all of the emergency cables since they had so much strain placed on them by well intended people tugging on them.

Thanks for the exellent documentation.

Regards

Jerry



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I cannot say for sure that the broken lever was in fact the initial cause of the failure. After the latch became jammed I did pulled excessively hard on the emergency cable. I can say that the broken piece was in fact stopping the latch from opening. I do plan to attempt fabricating a new lever made of steel. If successful I will find out if there is any other defect which caused the failure.

This is a very weak point. If anyone needs to use this emergency release for any reason, be sure to use very light pressure. The plastic is very brittle. You can see from a close up of the break that it may not have been molded properly.
jellyhead, great job!!!! all i can say is YOUR THE MAN:party,thanks, AL:party
 

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I just wanted to say great job jellyhead. I hope to god I never come across this problem. I am a DIY guy and this sounded intimidating luckily with your skill and persistence it will all pay off. The best thing is you know exactly what happened not some rookie LEARNING on your car. The car being yours you thought about damages a lot more and you did a great job. I would either make one from aluminum on the old bridgeport or reinforce the length where broke with ? Along the whole web. Good job documenting too.
 

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I can't stop thinking about this issue.

One of the things that struck me is that there is no real escape button inside the trunk as is now required in virtually all other vechicles.

So, IF a child or someone was in the trunk voluntarily or unvoluntarily there is no way for them to easily escape whether a latch failure occurred or not.

This could be catastrophic in the event of a vechicle fire or flood.



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Not sure how your XLR is configured, but mine has an emergency escape lanyard for the latch, as required. As long as the latch isn't jammed with somone in there, (and the chance of those two things happening simultaneously are pretty darned low, throw in some fire and flooding and they drop even lower) I wouldn't lose sleep over it.

---Unless you routinely have people in your trunk . . . and drive through flaming, flash flood-prone areas. . .

CC :)
 

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All I can say is, if you for some reason you crawl into the trunk and close it, DON'T panic when pulling the release cable or it will most likely break. I know this trunk is huge and it's probably pretty common for someone to get trapped in it....
 

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if a picture of and xlr with the rear bumper remove would help you. Let me know, as my 2004 xlr is in the body shop with all the right side panels and rear bumper off. What appears to be little damage under the right side door. Turns out to be a major job and major exspense. Also getting body parts is close to inpossable
I have been watching them repair your car and was going to suggest that he goes to look at yours. Bob
 

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It's sort of a big state (--Unless you live in Alaska or Texas). XLR Sam is near LA. I'm outside of Sacramento, so I doubt he wants to drive his car seven hours up here for a repair. There have to be loads of Cadillac dealers in LA and at least one certified XLR tech in the area.

CC
Hi Sam are you located in Sacramento I have a 2006 xlr having trouble with my top if I hold the bottom down and have someone push the trunk open by hand the top will open and go up or down but it will not do it automatic
 
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