Trunkback upper foam rubber bumpers

Thanks, I’ll take a close look to see if the number is visible and if it’s different. I would have validated I have all the keys when I purchased the GEM and should have validated that one too since it is so obvious/visible. My wife uses the spare set but it’s nowhere to be found so hopefully we can find them and the correct key is on that keyring.

Found the key and had a tough time getting it to release. I finally got it to release but the strap stopped me from lowering it. While removing the strap I had to relatch it and can’t get it to release again. ugh.

Is yours a double sided key? Flip it 180 and see if the other side is worn differently.

Give the lock a shot of wd-40 or a couple drops of 3n1. This makes for a gooey key for a while but it might help free up some of the flags in there.

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it’s a single sided key and I can turn the key and then the handle 90 degrees.

I’ve been looking for an exploded view of the locking mechanism to try and figure out of there’s something I can lube from the back. There does not seem to be much movement even when it did unlatch the one time.

I really think you need to pull off the back of the seat and see what is going on with your linkage. There are a couple of things back there that could have come loose.

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Was hoping to not have to deal with that and almost broke it trying to figure out how to get the rear seat off. I’d read there were 2 bolts at the bottom and then you lifted up to unlatch 2 hooks but that wasn’t wroking. Could not pull the bottom out because of the seat belt locks so had to loosen them and then still could not pull the back out. There are 2 screws in each tail light(behind the lens) which screws the tail light body panel into the plywood seat back. Once the seatback was removed, it was easy to see the problem, a turnbuckle loop had pulled open so the handle was not pulling the release far enough. Pliers closed the the turnbuckle loop and the handle worked again.

I posted pictures and details in my very long working post on this GEM.

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So far the glued in added foam spacers has been holding up. My wife, daughter and 2 friends took the GEM out and when they came back, my wife told me 3 different times how much smoother the ride was.
We know it really didn’t change the ride but by eliminating all the noise/rattling it sure seems like a smoother ride.

The rear suspension on the 2002 is terrible for going over bumps, especially things like uneven pavement or potholes. Gotta get off my ass and try the Honda Goldwing air shocks to see if they’ll hold up to the task any better and I’ll likely weld on some corner reinforcements to the swing arm since lighter shocks will likely increase torquing.

(Post removed and moved over the other thread to avoid confusion)

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YES, it’s like a gate on a swing and I’ve not looked to see if it’s on rubber bushings but regardless any bump on either tire sends energy directly into the stiff shocks. LOVED the drawing you linked to and as you mentioned, all those linkages are bushinged AND it allows probably a couple of inches of horizontal offset before things get translated to the opposite side.

Has me wondering if the existing setup can be helped with a bit of welding. ie cutting off the straight axle from the body mounted arms, welding some square tubing to the axle and welding bushing holders onto the cutoff ends of the body mounted arms.

First, I have to get under there and see if there are rubber bushings holding the “gate” to the body and see what condition they are in.

Another thought is how much it would cost to get the 4 arms off one of the junk 2008 units @Trip is parting out. I can’t weld aluminum but could probably get a local body shop to weld on the extra frame bracket if the existing frame mount is in the same location as the 2008+ years. ie they only added the extra tab to the frame. I’d have to weld all the tabs onto the axle but it’s steel so I can handle that.

The bushings are on the swing arms. They are rubber dampened. You can get replacements from NEVA, but pressing them out and the new ones in is a mother f’er. Even with 10ton press, oxy-ac torch and dry ice it was a pain

Not sure if the 08 s that Trip is scraping have the extra swing like the 11 illustration shows. My '10 El is still solid rear, just better designed.

Should be illustrations here:

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Yes- there will be rubber bushings at the frame pivots. But I doubt they provide any flex. The offroad guys call this articulation. Too much of it is actually not good for street use (study Grants efforts on this)

It is easier to picture it all if you have the trunk and spat off.

I’ll send you a few pics of mine if you want to see it all together. I am right there and I should check. Just for fun and notes. It probably won’t be much, but better than the swinging gate.

But we are branching from your original topic. Perhaps it is better to start a new one?

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I’ve now seen the “swinging gate” setup, the next step which was to just replace the straight arms with bushinged arms and then the full multi-armed and bushinged setup. I googled and found the 2008 have the full 4 arm setup so was surprised to hear jrjava has the ‘swinging gate’ on his `10 model. Maybe it’s a truck.

Maybe a new thread should be started we can call it “Fixing the Swinging Gate rear suspension or Not”

I might also be confused at this point The bed has to come off for me to fix the battery fuses, so I’ll have an opportunity for lots of pictures.

My 02 has the same single swing arm, single pivot point design but it has 4 rear shocks. Can’t remember if it was even in the book or not

My 02 has the same single swing arm, over pivot point design but it has 4 rear shocks. Can’t remember if it was even in the book or not

I’ve seen that somewhere too.

Looks like quad rears are in the manual. Page 7 (page 15 according to the PDF viewer)

Nice find Jrjava! That was one I did not have in my library yet.

At least I have that going for me…

Hi i send you manual 4 rear shocks

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Thanks @Gem_e2 .

Looks like the old 4 shock eL were prone to frame cracks rather than swing arm / subframe cracks. Sigh.

Lovely. I just live for outdoor Tig welding…

Lovely. I just live for outdoor Tig welding…

That’s why God created spool guns.