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How To: Fix the Door Ajar Problem

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by synyster, February 13, 2010.

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    1. synyster

      synyster Active Member

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      City, State:
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      Year and Model:
      '02 Limited V8
      A few weeks ago I kept having a problem with my door ajar, rear defrost, and dome lights coming on and staying on when I would turn on my rear defrost. After weeks of looking on the internet I finally found the cause. Here is what I did to fix it. It turns out it was a broken wire in the door boot.


      1. These were the tools and stuff I used to fix it. Yes the butter knife actually helped. I used: 1/4" Ratchet, 6" extension, 6mm 7mm and 8mm sockets, wire stripers, a butter knife, needle nose pliers, a screwdriver, electrical tape, and 12 AWG Industrial wiring from Menards.
      [​IMG]


      2. Start by removing the door panel trim. There are 3 bolts. 2 on the bottom of the door and one when you remove the trim piece above the door handle. Slide the panel over the door handle and disconnect any connectors that are there. DON'T leave the panel hanging with the connectors because you run the risk of damaging them or the wiring going into them. I used a butter knife to get the mirror adjusting connector out because I didn't have a small enough screw driver.
      [​IMG]


      3. Once you remove the trim panel there should be a boot that goes in between the door and the body of the truck. I used a 1/4 ratchet and a screwdriver to get it out. I used the screwdriver to get under the boot on the body side and jammed the ratchet in so I could take the screwdriver and move it around the boot to pop it out. Once you pop it out go threw the wiring and look for a 12 awg wire that is broke give it a few light tugs until it comes out.
      [​IMG]


      4. This is the side of the wire coming out of the body of the truck. I used a single piece of stranded 12 awg industiral wire to jump across the break in the wire.
      [​IMG]


      5. This was the side that was in the door. I took the other end of the 12 awg wire and spliced it to the end that was in the door. After that I checked it and the problem was solved. I finished up by wraping it in electrical tape. Don't mind the taping skills, this is just a temporary fix for right now until it gets warm enough for me to stay outside and solder and heatshrink it.
      [​IMG]


      6. Another view of the repair.
      [​IMG]
       
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    3. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Great write up. The pics are nice!! I have been putting this off. I have seen a lot of good info on getting this done. Hopefully I get motivated soon and tackle this.
       
    4. elcapitanmas

      elcapitanmas Member

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      I just did mine a few days ago, I had a bad sensor rather than a wire break, but pretty much had to pull all the same parts. Was done in less than 20 minutes. great write up
       
    5. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Got mine fixed today! It was the smaller of the 2 black ground wires. Good to have things back to normal.
       
    6. derfiticulum

      derfiticulum New Member

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      I just fixed mine, too. Fortunately mine was as simple as spraying wd-40 into my latches. I can't believe that I let the issue continue on and off for 3 or 4 years when the solution was so simple.
       
    7. synyster

      synyster Active Member

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      LMAO 3 or 4 years and it didn't bother you........I had this problem for 2 weeks until it drove me crazy and I fixed it.
       
    8. derfiticulum

      derfiticulum New Member

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      Oh, It bothered me. But it would only happen for about 5 or 10 minutes after getting in the car and then only when cold out. The event that broke the proverbial camel's back was when my dome lights wouldn't shut off long after the car was shut off. Did some quick research and found the wd-40 solution. I gave it a shot and I've been issue-less for over a month.
       
    9. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I agree with synyster, this was driving me nuts! I'm glad I got it fixed. I figured if I didn't the dimmer switch would wear out from shutting the dome light off and on all the time and that would be something else I would have to fix.
       
    10. apollo607

      apollo607 New Member

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      Sweet! I think I will solve an issue that I just find in my X in a similar way, probably going thorugh the wiring on the tail door.
      My central tail ligth, which turns on when we push the brakes, with my X all parked and doors closed and locked, it is showing a very soft ligth on, almost invisible. I guess I have some kind of short circuit on this ligth, and I am worry about run off my battery. I think I have had this problem since some time ago, but I did realize until just a couple of days ago since is hard to see this soft ligth that it is showing. Very probably at this moment it is only consuming just a very little energy and thats the reason why at this moment I have not had any issue with my battery yet, but this energy consumption could grow at some point.

      Thanks! I will review this on my X and I will let you know if I could fix it.
       
    11. XLTmodifire

      XLTmodifire Active Member

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      Great thread! I will be checking mine out this weekend after installing my new seat belts.

      Thanks!
       
    12. High_Order1

      High_Order1 Active Member

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      Big ups for the use of the kitchen utensil!!
       
    13. ajitaw

      ajitaw New Member

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      Fixed my problem with WD-40 yesterday, I think the majority of the problems are caused by faulty door sensors in the latch, they dry up and get stuck open. A generous spray of WD and your good to go again... unless you are experiencing another electrical problem associated with the doors or like the OP stated. Then I would check inside the drivers door like he did or check the ground behind the passengers side kicker panel, I've heard of that also working itself loose.
       
    14. stuartr

      stuartr Active Member

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      Good write up. Wish it had been there when I had to do mine.


      STU
       
    15. rlgdguy

      rlgdguy Member

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      Do you always do this at the "Driver's" door, even if I suspect my problem is with the "Passenger" door? Might sound silly, but why end up taking two doors apart if only one is needed?
       
    16. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      What problems are you having and why do you think it is with the passenger door? :salute::popcorn:
       
    17. rlgdguy

      rlgdguy Member

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      Well, I get the "door ajar" light coming on and flashing (well after the doors have all been closed. Maybe 10-20 seconds afterwards), accompanied by the "chimes or dings" sounding off, overhead dome light flickering on and off and the power door locks opening and closing rapidly. Again, all of this is going of or happening at the same time, but only if someone opens and closes the front passenger door. If I'm by myself and open no other doors or any other door (including the rear door and door/glass hatch and accept the front passenger door, nothing happens. It all stops after I drive a mile or so, but occaisionally returns maybe one time and is then ok. Also, if this is happening alot in any instant, when I go to arm the anti theft system, it sounds off immediately. I wait a minute and try again, it usuallu arms. Them almost always during the middle of the night exclusively, it sounds off several hours later.

      I just assumed, but could be wrong. That's why I asked if it matters what door to open and check or if I should just check both? Thanks for your inquiry. I look forward to any responses.
       
    18. derfiticulum

      derfiticulum New Member

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      If I were you I'd try the WD-40 thing first. A healthy shot in each latch on the car can do wonders.
       
    19. rlgdguy

      rlgdguy Member

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      I almost don't want to say it and jinx myself, but the wd-40 remedy has seemed to fix the problem. I sprayed the hinges and handles as instructed 4 or 5 days ago maybe and I have not had the problem happen again, accept once very briefly (which I sprayed again for) and have not seen it since. The alarm has also stopped going off in the middle of the night too. I'm hoping this is all it was and I don't end up having to pull the door panel(s) off. I'll post again if I do or experience other issues. Thanks for any and all advice on this ladies and gents!
       
    20. derfiticulum

      derfiticulum New Member

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      Your problem seems really similar to mine with the exception of the alarm. Mine never went off like that. But I used to have the problem quite often. I sprayed all my latches right around Christmas and haven't seen the issue crop up since.
       
    21. philipx2000

      philipx2000 New Member

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      I am new to the forum but have found some useful information in this thread,
      my problem is somewhat different in that the map lights?dome lights interior do no swith on either manually or when I open any of all doors the only light that works is the rear cargo interior light, all bulbs checked and no 12volts coming out at any of the suspect interior light outputs my question is is there a relay or fuse that covers these items so that I can begin to further my fault finding and has anyone had similar problems?
      great forum thanks in advance
       
    22. WoodBro

      WoodBro New Member

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      Many Thanks synyster

      I am brand new to this site. I stumbled across while trying to figure out the problem at hand. I am by no means a mechanic. I am however on a budget. The information provided by synyster was epic. I didn't have to spend 1 dime out of pocket. I already had all of the tools necessary as well as the butter knife!!! I had it fixed in 1/2 hour. The pics/instructions were spot on. Now I can concentrate on the grinding in the front end when I turn to the right. Only when I turn to the right.

      Thanks again synyster!!
       
    23. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I agree, kudos to synyster:thumbsup:

      I have the same problem as you with the noise when turning. I believe I have a bad wheel bearing. Did you try doing a search for that problem yet? I found a whole boat-load of info on it. :salute:
       
    24. synyster

      synyster Active Member

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      no problem.... i got tired of having my lights come on everytime i hit the defroster on. haha...i had to ride around with that the whole winter.
       
    25. synyster

      synyster Active Member

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      im leanin towards the wheel bearing....i have a sound when i turn right only but i've been to lazy to check it as of late...i'll get around to it soon tho as i have to do an oil change in a couple miles.

      no need for the thanks..just glad to help out. I searched for the problem for weeks on end and there was nothing on the net...so why not put it up there and save people some time.
       
    26. upei93

      upei93 New Member

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      Did mine today...6 broken/cracked wires on a 2002 Eddie Bauer. Nice to have everything working again!! Thanks for the info!!
       

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