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Review Of Cal Warnecke's Rear Trunk Actuator Kit: 100% Legit!


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Hi all,


I had some time over the past month to install a new, more reliable alarm (Viper 3305V), I decided it was high time to install the trunk actuator kit that Cal Warnecke put together.  I gotta tell you this has got to be one of those must have modifications for all 02 owners.  Sure, it does detract a little from the appearance of the trunk area, but the utility far, far, far outweighs any cons.  


The instructions are very detailed and is injected with bits and pieces of humor :)  I would say that some of the instructions could be a little more simplified with more pics, so I decided to add them here.  


Installation at a high level comprises of a few things (my own words):


1)  How will you open/actuate it?  I decided to tie it to my alarm system.  Most barebone alarm systems will have an aux output that allows you to open a trunk or some other actuated device.  If you do decide to run from your alarm system, you will need a relay and an in-line fuse plus a lot of red colored wire!  I used 14 gauge.


2) Running the wires to the rear of the vehicle.  Since I am running it from the alarm, I needed to provide power to the relay and run a wire from the relay to the actuator's motor.  Grounding the actuator can be done in the trunk area


3) Connecting the pos wire and grounding the actuator


4) Assembling the actuator and stock lock mechanism to the plastic spacer and metal bracket (a well designed and quality piece I might add)


Interspersed in #1-4 are some cleaning and testing instructions very well covered by Cal's instruction sheet (pdf)


Ok, here's how I wired my relay and to the actuator.  Thanks to Funky for his help here:




Here are some useful tools for removing and attaching the springs and chamfering the escape pull hole:




Smoothes out the hole edges:




Running wires under carpet:




Through the rear firewall (Passenger side):




Good advice here.  Stuff the back channel thing and the two holes that are adjacent to it.  You don't want to lose any hardware down those holes:




After removing the lock mechanism, here's the first and easiest hook to remove.  Just simply pull off.  If you have a hooked tool (mine was straight), it's a lot easier to remove the rings on the spring:




Here's the more difficult one to remove, but doable with a tool.  After removing, clean the heck out of the lock mechanism.  I soaked mine in Simple Green and went to town with an old tooth brush and then some Brake cleaner.  Then I painted it and applied some spray silicone in the moving parts:




Test wired up.  I contacted Cal and he says each actuator's wire color might be different.  That's why he soldered the wires for power (red) to distinguish between it and ground.  If in doubt, go try connecting it to the battery:




When you put the new spring that the kit supplies, the important thing to remember is to attach the ring connector from the actuator below the original spring's location:




I even had time to paint the lock mechanism b/c mine was looking a little worn:




This is one of those "pics speak a 1000 words" shot.  Here's how you align and assemble the actuator to the plastic spacer to the metal mounting bracket.  This is shot from the passenger side:




Terrible, blurry underexposed pic of the whole shebang:




This thing opens with authority!  I bet you could have a lot of fun with this!  Here's a link to the vid.  Not sure how to embed a video in here:





Feel free to ask me any questions while its still fresh in my head.

Edited by sizzlerscheesetoast
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Thanks, guys. 


First, Sizzlerscheesetoast has a better camera and photgraph skills than I!  (Not to mention LED lighting in the luggage compartment with what looks like a "brilliant" location, out of the way against the back wall).  I agree with all of the build comments and will work to update the instructions to cover those points.  I'd also appreciate any other feedback from those who have completed the installation (or are having problems, for that matter).


The only problem reported from those who have previously communicated is with wiring polarity.  And, it was my fault...  After the first round of kits were sent it was realized that BMW's wiring harness color code standards seem to have changed or were not so standard- Two users including Sizzlerscheesetoast reported the problem.  I had initially gotten connectors with rather short wiring, and spliced on some additional wire. When I did those additions I assumed that color coding was uniform.  Not so...    If you have one of the (apparently few) mis-wired cables, your actuator will try to push instead of pull, and nothing will happen.  Just swap the polarity, and sorry for the inconvenience! 


Since that first batch, I've made sure that the cable was long enough to not require more wire spliced in, and have included a diagram of the connector in the instructions.


As a matter of policy, I don't include wiring instructions beyond the need to get power to the actuator since everybody's car is different. But, the relay diagram above makes sense to me.


In the last photo above, there's a widget to the right (driver's side) of the grey bracket.  That's not part of the kit, whatever it's purpose.


Finally, the kit is still available.  Steve now carries it on the BLUNTTECH website at:




or you can still contact me directly.

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I can't tell you how impressed I am about the kit.  Thanks for noodling this one together!  


I used my iPhone 4S.  I'm continually impressed by the quality of photos that this phone can take! I use a paid app called "Camera +".  It has a feature where you can force the focus and correct exposure issues by dragging a circle at the intended area of focus.  Ok, digression aside...


Good eye on the widget!  The black/grey looking widget is actually the base to my magnetic switch that manages the on/off for the LED lights.  It's mounted on a small piece of metal I shaped and welded onto the lock mechanism mount.  I will write a write up on how I did my LED lights tonight or by tomorrow.  

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