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Broken handle on the outside of the rear hatch.

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by michaeldfv, March 12, 2010.

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    1. michaeldfv

      michaeldfv New Member

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      Hey, the handle for the back door on my 2003 explorer sport xlt is not opening my door at all. you can still pull it and it springs right back like its supposed to but I can tell that its just not catching on anything. I need to fix this problem. I cant even get my spare down without opening the back door. If anyone has any advice or solutions PLEASE let me know.
       
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    3. Sams01XplrSprt

      Sams01XplrSprt Southern Cali Explorer Elite Explorer

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      welcome and that sux bout ur broken back door handle
       
    4. msilver

      msilver Active Member

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      have u tried taking off the panel to see whats going on in there? maybe it came unhooked
       
    5. michaeldfv

      michaeldfv New Member

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      I've already thought about taking the door panel off but the thing is, I have to open the door to do that, and right now i dont know how open the door
       
    6. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    7. michaeldfv

      michaeldfv New Member

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      there is no handle inside the door, only on the outside
       
    8. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    9. cjryan

      cjryan Active Member

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      I have the same problem. The newer style hatch on the 2nd gens. One day when I went to open the rear hatch the plastic mechanism broke. Now the handle is loose and doesn't work. Has anyone else had this problem and fixed it?
       
    10. gijoecam

      gijoecam Village Idiot Elite Explorer

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      You don't need to open the tailgate to remove the trim panel. It certainly makes the job easier, but it's not necessary. Flip the seats down so you have some space to work... Two screws in the grab handle, one screw next to the window latch (speaking of which, does the window open? If not you'll have to 'modify' the plastic a bit), pop the trim off around the top and sides of the window, pull up on the panel and it's off. The back window will need to be open, but if it won't unlock either, you'll have to get it loose, then cut/break the bottom where it hooks under the window latch to get it out of the way.

      Once inside, I suspect you'll find either a link that came loose, busted plastic clip, or the actuator isn't moving all the way to unlock the tailgate.

      Good luck!
       
    11. FordExploderXlt

      FordExploderXlt New Member

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      i dont have that problem but on the inside the handle is rusted badly so i cut a hole on the inside so u can just pull the bar back and forth if it gets stuck would probaly work same for u and if u gotta replace the handle good luck cuz mine is stuck on there cuz i cant find a way to get to the 2nd bolt and the 1st 1 is rusted on
       
    12. bairdp

      bairdp New Member

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      Many Thanks

      Rear door latch stopped operating. I read gijoecam's post and tried it today. Hard to tear into the inside door panel but, opened the window, removed the inside pull strap and from inside the truck, pried the inside door cover clips off starting with the window top and working down each side, lifted the panel up to clear the lower panel fasteners. Then carefully removed the glued plastic cover from the door. Found the link rod between the handle and release mechanism hanging loose. The plastic nut on the back of the linkage clip on the door handle had broken off and the clip had twisted enough to open and release the linkage. With no drawing to follow it was a challange to figure how the linkage was supposed to work but straightened the clip put the linkage in and closed it. Worried that the clip might come loose again I screwed a 3/8" stainless steel sheet metal screw with washer into the open end of the clip mounting tube and buttoned it all up. You guys are the greatest.
       
    13. Papia77

      Papia77 New Member

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      Were u able to get the panel off without breaking any of the clips?
       
    14. bairdp

      bairdp New Member

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      clips

      Yes, the repair was a success completely. By paying attention the direction of the clip as you pry it out you can remove the panel with no breaks. It's delicate work but possible with some care. beb
       
    15. Papia77

      Papia77 New Member

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      :exp:Wish me luck. :rolleyes:
       
    16. kevin4444

      kevin4444 New Member

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      is there any way of opening the door when the clips are broken. I have a flat and need to access the spare tire.
       
    17. bobflood

      bobflood Elite Explorer

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      See posts #9 & 11 in this thread. It's awkward, but you can get the inside door panel off with the tailgate closed. Unscrew pull strap, don't forget the screw under the little panel where the lock button pops up, pop off plastic push pins around window, pull up on panel to clear hooks on bottom of panel. Good luck.
       

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