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Cracked Hatch

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by alphabets13, February 3, 2012.


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    1. alphabets13

      alphabets13 Well-Known Member

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      apparently this is an epidemic with this generation explorer/mountaineer. i have the famous crack right below the rear window near the mountaineer symbol. my question is, what is the hatch made out of...fiberglass or plastic?

      thanks!
       
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    3. Exproblems

      Exproblems Well-Known Member

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    4. Joe Dirt

      Joe Dirt Explorer Addict

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      Plastic.

      You need to use the correct/better adhesive than Ford used to reattach that allows for expansion. The Ford adhesive did not allow for expansion/contraction of the glass panel nor the panel stuck to it due to weather conditions.

      Lots of info online about it, I believe there is a class-action lawsuit in CA about it also.

      Nothing is going to leak, as the rear window does extend below that panel, it is not leaving space open to the tailgate.
       
    5. SyberTiger

      SyberTiger Active Member

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      I'm curious to know how this piece cracks...specifically under what conditions. Does it crack on it's very own just sitting there?...Under extreme hot/cold?...Slamming the hatch hard or closing it while pushing in on a certain area?
       
    6. Joe Dirt

      Joe Dirt Explorer Addict

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      Glass expands when heating/cooling. Trim piece held on with non-flexible adhesive. Glass expands or shrinks, trim does not. Crack.

      Some had water under them, freezing, then cracking and thought it was the ice. The expansion makes more sense since it also happens in warm climates.
       
    7. Exproblems

      Exproblems Well-Known Member

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      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      Mine broke right after I washed the truck in my driveway back in September. I remember opening the tailgate right after I washed it to put some things away and I closed the tailgate by holding the wiper arm, just let go of it a few inches from closed so it would latch properly. It was still warm here, in the 70's. I parked the truck for the day right after that and noticed the crack the next morning as I walked behind the truck. When I first noticed it, I thought I was looking at a trickle of water running down the tailgate till I ran my finger across it and felt the crack. I was pissed because it made it 6 years from new, before it finally cracked only after I owned it. The crack ran down the right side of the Ford emblem/badge. I'd say it is the vibration/jarring motion of the tailgate closing that causes it to crack, not heat or cold. In Buffalo, I live in extreme weather conditions either very hot and humid 80's - 90's temps in summer or very cold, average 0-30 temps in fall and winter and it broke on a pleasant day in the 70's. Right after I bought it last January, we had a good month and a half of very cold weather, as low as -14 degrees and it didn't break then, so again, I feel it is not from temp issues.
       
    8. SyberTiger

      SyberTiger Active Member

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      So do you think you are likely to minimize the risk by opening the full hatch instead of the half hatch when you need to get into the back?
       
    9. Exproblems

      Exproblems Well-Known Member

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      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      No, opening the half hatch/tailgate window only, may reduce the risk of breaking the panel. I had opened and closed the full tailgate when mine broke. The weight of the full tailgate along with the vibration of closing it is what I think caused my panel to crack. I seldom open the half hatch when I need to get into the rear of the truck. I think for it to break, you just have to catch it in the right spot and force and it cracks.
       
    10. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      The glass, adhesive, & plastic piece all expand and contract at different rates. I don't think there is anything you can do to prevent it, short of mentioning it when you hit your knees before bed each night.
       
    11. alphabets13

      alphabets13 Well-Known Member

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      thanks. my father-in-law owns a body shop so he is going to fill it in and cover it up the best he can when the weather gets a bit nicer. he asked me to find out if it was plastic or fiberglass. i could not believe what i found when i googled this issue. it's sad.
       
    12. abarkl

      abarkl Active Member

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      You might find other cracks develop after the cosmetic repair. It's the adhesive that was originally used and would not flex with the glass. The replacement I installed several years ago was put on with 3M sponge type auto molding tape. I haven't had any problems since.
       
    13. Joe Dirt

      Joe Dirt Explorer Addict

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      I would also suggest the foam based tape, or a 3M "DP100 Plus" type of epoxy if you prefer that.
       
    14. friscorental1

      friscorental1 New Member

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      maybe this is too radical but has anyone heard of replacing the entire hatch with one from a 2006 which was redesigned or trying to get the body shop to replace the plastic with a stainless steel fabricated piece ro something metal that won't crack? Never buy another Ford!!!!!!!
       
    15. drdoom

      drdoom Well-Known Member

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      Both have been done.
       
    16. friscorental1

      friscorental1 New Member

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      So not so crazy - could you help with some specifics. thanks. About to address with a body shop and would like to know if this is the right approach or if I should be doing something different. We all know spending $1,000 to have it crack again is just wrong!!
       
    17. drdoom

      drdoom Well-Known Member

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      There is a thread about the 4G hatch swap, not much technical info, last I read the wiring needs to be modified, and the interior trim had to be remolded with a heat gun. So it can and has been done, but not a direct fit. If you are handy just order a pre-painted Doorman applique for <$100 USD.
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=225206
       
    18. 96firephoenix

      96firephoenix Active Member

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      For what it is worth, since this got resurrected, Rockauto has them for explorers, not sure about mountaineers. They are listed under "Body>Rear Panel" and can be gotten paint to match by code or one of the 5 most common colors.

      As for the adhesive, I would think that silicon caulk would do the trick? Others mentioned the foam-backed 3M tape...
       

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