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Discussion Starter #1
I just replaced the rear hatch seal on my '01 NB to hopefully fix some leak issues - the old seal was definitely trashed in a couple of spots. However, now the hatch won't close properly. It does latch, but it is sitting up too high - the warning light stays on and I can hear wind noise from the rear. I tried adjusting the lower part of the latch that's in the body, but it's as far down as it will go now - that helped some but not enough?

Any ideas as to what's going on? It's supposed to start raining in a couple of days! Thanks...
 

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Here are the things I would suggest:

1. Raise the latch in the body back to where it had been.

2. Compare the cross-section of the new seal to the old one to be sure it is correct.

3. Be sure it was pushed all the way down when it was installed.

4. Try opening a side door while closing the hatch. They do normally take a bit of force to close. Opening the door means you won't have to fight air pressure as well.

5. It could be that you have too much pretension in the hinges. See the following post:

http://newbeetle.org/forums/questio...5-opening-rear-hatch-question.html#post731320

In your case, you would want to move the two bolts inward (tighten) to reduce the pretension. Try 1/2 turn at a time, up to 2 turns.

6. If the above hasn't fixed it, then adjust the stoppers on each side of the hatch downward about 1 mm at a time until the hatch will close. When the trunk release is pressed the hatch should pop up a little. If it stays latched then go back and increase the pretension (move the screws in the hinges outward).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I tried everything but #5 so far with no significant change. The odd things are:

- The hatch closes and latches fine, no hard slam necessary.

- The warning light on the instrument cluster stays on, but the trunk lights go out when the lid is closed. One would think they are triggered by the same switch, but then this is a VW... :)
 

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The warning light on the instrument cluster stays on, but the trunk lights go out when the lid is closed. One would think they are triggered by the same switch, but then this is a VW... :)
I looked at the wiring diagram. There is only one switch for the rear lid. It operates the trunk light and also feeds into the comfort system. There are no microswitches on the trunk latch like there are on the side doors. So, are you sure that the trunk light is coming on and turning off?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So, are you sure that the trunk light is coming on and turning off?
Positive. I saw in a another thread that the two lights come off different contacts on the switch. When I get some time, I'll take a look at the switch, my first priority right now is making sure the trunk seals.
 

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You could take a look at where the wiring goes from the hatch into the body as well. Given the work that was done that would be something to check. The wire going to the comfort system taps off from the light circuit at that point.

I guess if you've moved the latch down as much as possible then you've done what you can to close the hatch against the seal. Are you sure the new seal is as tall as the old one was?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I guess if you've moved the latch down as much as possible then you've done what you can to close the hatch against the seal. Are you sure the new seal is as tall as the old one was?
The new seal looks identical to the old one, but the portion of the old one that actually does the sealing had obviously taken a squished-down set.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I think I finally got it right. First off, thanks to red99 for all the good ideas!

I decided that I really needed to analyze the problem a bit more logically, so I spent some time with the wiring diagrams and poking around the car to see how things really worked. It turns out that there are indeed two terminals on the latch microswitch, one for the trunk light and one for the instrument cluster (red99, I think you may have been looking at the diagram for the non-power lock models). The contacts are closed (short to ground) when the hatch is open. I disconnected the connector from the switch (easily accessible when hatch trim is removed) and manually shorted each connection to ground - they worked correctly (trunk light and warning light came on), so nothing wrong with the wiring. Must be the switch, I thought. Turns out the switch is like $60-80, so I decided to explore further before laying out bucks and removed the latch assembly for bench testing (requires 10 mm triple-square/12-point bit).

After playing around a bit, I found that when closing the latch, the switch opens the trunk light circuit first, then the warning light circuit after moving a little further (probably why it's not so cheap). This corresponds to two positions of the latch hook, when it first captures the fixed body part of the latch and then when it snaps around that part to pull the hatch down tight. So something was preventing this second operation from occurring.

To make a long story slightly shorter, I apparently had adjusted the fixed part of the latch too far down, preventing it from tripping the latch hook properly. After some trial and error I now have it where the lid latches completely with a firm (but not too firm) slam. It actually needed to be a little cockeyed, with one end higher than the other. Amazingly, it ended up pretty close to where it was before I replaced the trunk seal. Imagine that! :)

I haven't driven it on the freeway yet, so the last thing will be to see if the road noise is gone and no rattles were introduced.
 

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Hey, pa32dude, glad to hear you are getting things straightened out. If there are rattles, you still have the interesting hinge preload mechanism to figure out yet!
 
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