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Crack at the rear window panel

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by ykkspring, April 21, 2008.

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    1. ykkspring

      ykkspring New Member

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      Hi,
      I noticed a crack on the back panel ( below the rear window ) on my explorer during past winters, it autoatically fills up when its hot outside and it shows up again when its cold weather (looks more like a case of metallic expansion/contraction at different temperatures), I am interested in knowing if anyone else has observed this phenomena in their cars or is it just a crack in my car only and not by design?
      If its just a crack, what should be done in order to fix it (instead of changing the whole panel).
      Please advise.
      Thanks.
      Yogesh
       
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    3. Black92LX

      Black92LX Active Member

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      it's very common place.
      The best i can see is that water gets between there and freezes causing enough expansion to crack the plastic.
      Then of course with temps it expands and contracts making the crack visible or not Dependant upon temperature.
       
    4. ExplorerDLUG

      ExplorerDLUG New Member

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      Thats what that is. The crack in my rear panel is so perfect it looks like someone took a saw straight to it! Now if I wash the truck water will stay in there for even a few days and I get a shower when I go to get into the back!
       
    5. ykkspring

      ykkspring New Member

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      Thanks Guys,is there anything available in the market to fill the crack?
       
    6. planman4y2k

      planman4y2k New Member

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      Mine too!

      Hi,

      I have the same thing on mine. Cracked right by the ford logo on the right side. I contacted Ford and they told me too bad and wouldn't do anything.
      So, I called the dealer and they said that they would replace it for 100 dollars.
      The service guy said that its a common problem and normal replacement is 400 dollars. Didn't get it replaced yet due to no warrenty on the replacement part doing the same thing.

      I also did some research on the problem. I was on car complaints.com... I think, and found many other people with the same problem. They were trying to organize and get Ford to pay for full replacement due to the crack happening from a design flaw.

      My best advise is to check with the Ford dealership where you purchased your Explorer and see if they will cover part of the cost to replace the rear panel.

      Hope this helps.
       
    7. ykkspring

      ykkspring New Member

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      Thanks so much , it helped indeed !!
       
    8. pennstatejeff

      pennstatejeff New Member

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      Obvious design flaw...

      ykkspring: Have the same crack on my liftgate. Reason is that Ford oval logo right in the middle, leaving a much thinner section of the plastic panel above and below the logo, where stress concentrations occur due to freeze-thaw cycles, eventually cracking the plastic. Vibrations from closing the liftgate probably contribute to problem as well. Yes, I have been reading about folks having this problem for some time, and no, Ford is not likely to pay to fix since it's not really a safety issue. I've been meaning to look into trying to fill the crack with clear caulk, if I can only do a nice "clean" job. Maybe now that the weather is beginning to break...

      Keep us posted if you hear anything about Ford getting off their @$$ and offering to fix it.
       
    9. crash594

      crash594 Active Member

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      Marine-tex works great for that type of repair. It can be found in most marine stores. I have used it to repair fairings on aircraft. It is sandable and I have painted over it with no primer. I always keep some around. If you use rtv you can not paint it. The pain will not stick. Marine/tex acts like bondo but will not crack and it bonds to almost anything. Cold temp will not cause it to crack. -20 to above 100 degree
      PS
      It comes in grey and white

      http://www.discountmarinesupplies.com/Repair_Kits_Materials-TRAVECO_MARINE_TEX_EPOXY_PUTTY.html
       
    10. regina falangy

      regina falangy New Member

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      This problem is not just due to freezing. My 04 has never seen a temperature below +70 degrees F. and mines cracked.
       
    11. hellodavey

      hellodavey New Member

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      I've had three explorers (1 '02, 2 '03) that all had this problem. My assumption was that this was the result of different thermal expansion and contraction rates of the plastic vs the glass window that the plastic is bonded to. The cracks open up almost 1/8" in the cold but seal so tightly you can't see them in the summer sun. Nothing seems to be in danger of falling off. It's just cosmetic. I wouldn't want to fill the cracks with anything given the way they swell shut in the sun. You may induce even more strain on the component.
       
    12. DavidS

      DavidS Member

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      According to my research on my '02 EB, there was an issue with the plastic formulation used for this panel, which is glued onto the all-glass upper liftgate section. When mine first started becoming noticeable, the dealer told me that I'd used the wrong window washer fluid and it'd damaged the plastic(?). Since almost everyone's window washer fluids consist of methanol/detergent/water mixes, I told them that was BS but they wouldn't budge. I had brought it in for the recall over the hinges in the upper liftgate. They told me that if they broke the glass during the hinge replacement, then they'd replace that section as well, otherwise it was $269 for the replacement panel and the paint job. Mine has now cracked both vertically and horizontally and on cold days the crack is almost 1/4" wide! On warm days it's less, proving that an inferior material was chosen for the design. Mine was under extended factory warranty at the time it was reported but they said it only covered drivetrain issues which they paid dearly for when my rear axle bearings and a few other transmission-related issues showed up. Crap over responsibility for things like this is just one of the many reasons Ford is in trouble. :mad:
       
    13. daprez1963

      daprez1963 Active Member

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      Okay....Some of you are a bit offf in your guesses. I have had this problem on another exp and I had it in Arizona and it never saw a temp under 60. The reason it is "common" is that fact FORD used a thin cheap plastic in an area that has in some cases and people, a lot of traffic with opening and shutting of door. There is no insulation between the plastic panel and the glass door. I would suggest that you use the glass window for access and if you need to open the rear door, you close it softly but firm enough to shut. It also helps where you push on when doing this. The cracks all appear to head or start in the same area (center). You can find a replacement panel from $50-100 but it comes unpainted and attaching it to look like day one is not as easy as it looks. Unless it really bothers you, I would just leave it alone. If you replace it, the new one will just crack as well unless yo9u take care of it (something everyone should have done in the first place to avoid this). Ford has not nor will pay for this. Sorry, all those complaints will just be ignored.
       
    14. regina falangy

      regina falangy New Member

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      The "crack" has nothing to due with "taking care of" or "opening and shutting of door" My 04 has 13000 miles and the "rear door" has rarely ever been opened. It's a poorly designed part and thermal expansion is the culprit. But not just freezing causes the crack, high temps will crack the pos as well.
       
    15. trolsk

      trolsk New Member

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      Cheap crap plastic

      It's academic at this point don't you think as to the reason the stupid plastic cracks? It cracks, it's crap, it needs to be replaced. I got the part for about 40 bucks after-market, painted it and stuck it on. No problems.
       
    16. High_Order1

      High_Order1 Active Member

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      I saw a TSB for this too. Are y'all sure there isn't an owner dialog program for this problem? It seems to be pretty widepread.

      -Shawn
       
    17. dorf16

      dorf16 New Member

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      The panel cracked on my '02 when less than a year old. Ford replaced it for free and acknowledged a problem. It has been fine since. I have seen numerous others with the same crack in the panel, always near the center. One other owner I was telling about how Ford foot the bill for mine told me he had already had Ford replace his once, and it had happened again. This time, he told me, Ford would not cover it.
       
    18. Black92LX

      Black92LX Active Member

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      it's always going to be near the center because that section of the plastic is extremely thin since it's recessed to fit the Ford Emblem there
       
    19. 03Redfire

      03Redfire New Member

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      Has anyone talked to a body shop about replacing the entire tailgate with one from a 2006 or newer with the different design? I have not looked at both vehicles side by side to see if it will fit the opening, and has the same mounting points. If you add this problem to the bad piller trim and door piller trim panels that the paint flakes off you have quite a big bill to keep your X looking good on the outside. I had to replace a tailgate on a Chrysler van and it was about $1,200.00. If you could buy the tailgate from a salvage yard it might be a nice mod if it will fit.
       
    20. Curtis

      Curtis Well-Known Member

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      True, but then you'd loose the low opening for putting stuff in and out with just the glass open. I like that feature.

      Mine hasnt cracked (knock on wood) but on a hot day the top of the panel seperates from the glass like a bubble. cooler days its not even noticible.
      because of this rain does collect in there. and I too can end up with a shower when I open the glass.
       
    21. thewho6

      thewho6 New Member

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      well went to the store today and when i went to open the back door there was that crack that i had read about, i have had my 04 for 7 years and just paid it off, now it will start to fall apart, the more i have it the less i'm not liking ford, i think there trucks are good but for the exploers are junk, or i just bought the wrong year
       
    22. jrgoffin

      jrgoffin Elite Explorer

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    23. Capt Jim

      Capt Jim New Member

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      That was exactly why I traded my '02 Explorer in for a Durango. I'm a Ford man. I have a Shelby GT500 right now, have owned a Mercury Marauder (great car!), numerous Cobras and Mustang Gt's. But my Explorer was the biggest piece of garbage I've ever owned. The rear panel cracked liked everybody elses, the 4.6 V8 blew a spark plug out of the head stranding my wife late one night. The best was listening to the service writer say "We've never heard of that happening before." Yeah, right. That's why it's talked about all over the internet. Once that truck hit 60k miles, things broke at a rate of once a month. Window regulaturs, transfer case banging in & out of
      4wd. Glad it's gone.
       
    24. MisterB1949

      MisterB1949 New Member

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    25. Jimbud

      Jimbud New Member

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      So is there any aftermarket replacement rear window panels available for the Explorer or does a person need to go through Ford to purchace a replacement panel? Thanks!
       
    26. Curtis

      Curtis Well-Known Member

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      To my knowledge its a Ford only part
       

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