Lock not working on my MGF boot

8 months 2 days ago #191895 by Ericmgf
Hi everyone, could anyone help me please? went to open my boot lid today and the key turns in the barrel, but won't release the boot.
Does anyone know how to fix/work around this please?

Currently I have no way to check coolant/oil or even open the front bonnet. I have seen posts of the internet which involve smashing the rear light to gain access to the cable, but if possible, would like to avoid this.
Any help greatly appreciated!


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8 months 2 days ago - 8 months 1 day ago #191896 by David Aiketgate
There is, I believe, only one way to get into the boot to access the lock mechanism without causing damage to the car.

This is the 'TREFFEN METHOD' so called because it was devised at an international MG meet( Treffen in German is meeting) by a group including well known MGF enthusiast 'Scarlet Fever'. Thanks to him for this description.

It is long and involved and means getting bruised and scraped arms, but it causes no damage.

The Treffen Method


This was developed ad-hoc by some enthusiasts (including me, Scarlet Fever!) when one of our group locked their keys in the boot on a tour to Germany (called the Treffen (German for ‘meeting’)). Anyway, we tried some of the other methods but because the boot was jam packed with luggage they weren’t successful.

This method is pretty safe to tell people about, it requires time, patience, tools, full access to the cabin and the keys to actually be in the boot. It also provides a bit of a ‘spectacle’ as you remove panels and trim, so it isn’t really any use to a thief. :)

Lastly, if you have an aftermarket air filter like the ITG Maxogen, you may find that this needs removing to give you enough access, entailing extra tools / time.

You need:

10mm ratchet spanner
A piece of string or a length of bungee cord

Begin by removing your windstop (if you have one), raise the hood and unclip the 5 over-centre catches around the back of the parcel shelf under the carpet. This will release the rear of the hood, allowing you to fold the rear upwards towards the front of the car. Secure in the upright position using the bungee cord diagonally across the top of the hood, or the piece of string tied around the hood frame by the door.

Work the parcel shelf carpet backwards out of the car and place to one side, do the same with the sound deadening material underneath.

Using the 10mm ratchet spanner undo the 11 bolts that secure the engine bay access panel in the parcel shelf area. Note, if you have a TF there will be 13 bolts, also if you have T-Bar speakers then access to three of them is limited, (hence the ratchet spanner). The panel is a tight fit in the parcel shelf and tends to foul the over centre catches as you try to lift it clear of the car, work it past the catches and it’ll eventually come free. Place the panel safely to one side. Admire your engine! :lol:

OK, now the tricky part.

The basis of this method is to undo the hinges from the boot lid, this will allow the lid to be opened ‘backwards’ a little, pivoting on the latch just enough to allow you to reach into the boot and retrieve the keys. Here’s how it is done.

First off you will be working blind, by feel – I recommend anyone who reads this to study the way the boot hinges bolt to the boot lid as it’ll pay dividends if, (god forbid) you ever find yourself having to try this for real. Also access is very limited, don’t be surprised to find a number of bruises on your arms following this job! Using the 10mm socket on the ratchet, reach into the engine bay and find the 2 bolts that secure the boot hinge, carefully undo them, as i say access is limited (small hands are a bonus!) and be careful not to drop the bolts when they come loose!! Repeat for the other side, but you will probably have to unclip the top of the air filter box and move it out of the way.

Carefully lift the rear of the boot lid, note the hinges are spring-loaded and will try to ‘ping’ upwards (potentially scratching the paintwork on the underside of the boot lid and putting tension on the latch), be prepared for them. Do not be tempted to lift the lid too high as you run the risk of bending the bootlid by the latch, also you are limited to how high you can go by the wiring loom on the passenger side hinge (to the lock, boot light and high level brake light).

Retrieve the keys and unlock the boot. Or, if the boot is full, reach in and using the open end of the ratchet spanner, trip the lock release lever towards the driver’s side (the latch will be under tension because the boot lid is raised and therefore will be difficult to trip by hand, lever it across against the lock box).

Put the key in the ignition to stop you locking in the boot again during the reassembly!!! ;)

With the boot unlocked you can now start to reassemble the car. Re-fitting the bootlid is tricky on your own because the hinges are now pointing upwards – ideally collar a passer-by and ask them to take the weight of the lid whilst you bolt it back onto the hinges. Bolt it on roughly, and then adjust the boot lid alignment before nipping the bolts up.

Work the engine bay panel back into the parcel shelf, make sure the hard top wiring isn’t trapped under the cover in the engine bay (easily done!) then replace the 11 (13) bolts, Important – it is very easy to strip the threads on these bolts, as a guide, no more than finger tight + half a turn. Note if you have a TF, the additional 2 bolts secure the engine bay braces, do these ones first and make sure the braces are lined up underneath the engine bay panel using the engine bay opening / slot in the boot. These 2 bolts can be done up tightly.

Insert the sound deadening material, and then work the carpet into place, ensuring the hard top wiring is accessible. Do not tuck the edges in yet; you need to put the rear of the hood back first ;)

Undo the string / unclip the bungee cord and lower the rear of the hood. Enter the cabin and reach into the parcel shelf area, fasten the 5 over centre catches, starting with the middle one and working outwards. Finally lower the hood and refit your windstop (if you have one).

Job done - Phew! :D

-wrote Scarlet Fever

The following user(s) said Thank You: Bertl, BruceTF135

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8 months 2 days ago #191898 by Ericmgf
Many thanks David for your excellent reply!...will give it a go this weekend, much appreciated.


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8 months 2 days ago - 8 months 2 days ago #191899 by El gordo escoces
Brilliant how to. Hope I never have to try it!. I've already had experience of breaking the back light to gain access to the boot. It's not that easy.

Have you tried entering the key in the lock and pulling the key fractionally back towards you. For some reason this trick works on one of my MG's. Don't know why? The key turns the lock but doesn't open it. Pull it fractionally back out of lock turn the key again hey presto the bonnet springs open.
Good luck

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8 months 1 day ago - 8 months 1 day ago #191921 by David Aiketgate
I recommend fitting an electric boot release, (available on ebay) as an alternative method should you suffer a lock failure or more likely, lock your keys in the boot. A spare key is also a sensible precaution.

Something like this:-


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7 months 3 weeks ago #191969 by Keymaster
Any success with the boot lock Eric?....

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