Adding a Power Deck Lid Release

Here’s a small tip that I found out as I started upgrading the body on Terri’s new 86 Fiero Coupe. You don’t realize how much you miss a power deck lid release until you don’t have one. This is one of the easier upgrades you can do since GM takes the cheap way out and makes all of their cars with the wiring already in place, which is good for us.
Again as with most modifications you can do this several ways:
  1. Take a whole deck lid from a car with the release, which is good if you’re already changing the deck lid in an upgrade.
  2. Take the power release and latch off of a donor deck lid.
  3. Take just the power release solenoid and attach it to your deck lid.


The first choice is the best, since you get the wiring harness that’s built into the deck lid. All you have to do is bolt up the deck lid and hook up the wiring. We’ll get into the wiring issue later.

The second choice is to unbolt the whole latch assembly (2 10mm bolts) and switch it out with a power latch assembly. If you need to change the lock for some reason now is the time to do it. When the latch is removed all you have to do is remove the two Philips screws from the plate that’s behind the latch and pull out the plate, which holds in the lock cylinder. Pull the lock out through the latch side.

The last choice is to take the solenoid itself and bolt it up to your existing latch. First you’ll have to pop out a small knockout plate on your latch and then bolt up the solenoid, which is only attached with one bolt.

The wiring is the next thing. All Fieros should have a pigtail hanging out of a wiring harness below the right or left deck lid hinge. You hook this pigtail up to the harness coming out of either the left or right side of the deck lid (if it’s a power deck lid). I found that some 84’s and 85’s have a small one wire hook-up coming out of the left side and the 86’s on up seem to have a four wire plug coming out of the right side. If you don’t have a deck lid with a harness than you have to make one. The solenoids only need one wire that’s hot and the ground it gets from the latch when it contacts the body. In fact, some of the cars I’ve done with heavy spoilers or wings sometimes have needed a separate ground wired to it since it doesn’t always make contact properly. The switch is the easiest part since you just bolt up a release switch into the instrument cluster and hook up the wires, which are already there. The last thing is to find the pigtail under the dash, above your right knee. It should be a three-wire pigtail and you’ll need to plug in a relay.

Typical Decklid Release Switch

Typical Decklid Release Switch

Underdash-mounted Relay

Underdash-mounted Relay

Solenoid Mounted on the Decklid Latch

Solenoid Mounted on the Decklid Latch

On Terri’s Fiero, which we call Blackie, I actually did it two ways. First I had hooked up a non-power deck lid with a mustang spoiler. I took a solenoid I had, removed the knockout plate and bolted it to my old latch. Then I had to make a wire harness and used wiretaps to hook it into the pigtail. Next I just hooked up the switch and plugged in the relay. Because of the weight of the spoiler I had to hook up that separate ground wire I talked about. About a week later I got a knock off Fiero GT wing. I had an extra 85 GT deck lid so I bolted that up with the wing. This was a power deck lid but being an 85 it had the wire coming out of the left side, so I had to run that to the right side where my connector was. I had to swap out the locks so I could keep my key, but now I can open the deck lid with a push of a button! Keith and Terri
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