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Rear hatch lock issues

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by LifeisaBeach, September 26, 2008.

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    1. LifeisaBeach

      LifeisaBeach New Member

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      Howdy all. I'm having some issues with the rear hatch on my 2000 Explorer Sport. The remote unlock won't open it, nor will the key open it. This once was an intermittent problem but now seems permanent. The only way to get the door unlocked is to crawl into the back and flick the lock switch above the wheel well a few times.

      The problem seems to be an electrical one of some sort, but I have no idea where to start here. Anyone seen this problem before? Any suggestions? My wife has eliminated the idea of me taking it to the dealer for a potentially costly repair given what the value of the Explorer is these days, but it's a royal pain not having it work.
       
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    3. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      Since you say the key wont even work, leads me to think the lock actuator is sticking. The lift gate panel comes off very easy. 2 screws from the strap, plugs around the panel come off from a tug on the panel, or I use a door panel removal tool. A flat screwdriver will work for prying upon the panel plugs. Careful to not break them, you reuse them. Look at the lock mechanism, try to spray a lubricant, WD-40, or white lithium spray grease. You will see some small rods that will move with the lift handle, soak them good. Use a paper clip, push the weather door on the key entry, and spray a little inside the lock. After your all greased up, start working the lift handle open/close--open/close.
      Then the key, side to side, in/out. If this works, congrats! You just saved some coin, and the misses will think your one handy guy, and she is lucky to have you! If not, you just eliminated one thing, and may need to try the electrical angle. Your Misses will still give you points for trying!LOL!
       
    4. LifeisaBeach

      LifeisaBeach New Member

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      Thanx gman. I took it all apart and checked out the lock. I could see where, when it wouldn't open, how the mechanism was moving slightly when trying to unlock with the remote. Repeated clicking of the unlock switch would move the arm a little bit at a time until it eventually reached the correct position. So I lubed everything up good and so far it's looking "mostly" fixed. It failed to unlock a couple times with the remote still, but the second try got it. Perhaps when the lube sets in some more, it'll be perfect. In any event, I seem much better off now. Thanx a bunch for the tip.

      I'm having a similar problem with my driver's door lock, but I'll start a new thread on that since it's more complicated.
       
    5. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to the Forum! Glad to be of some help.
      Tip, White spray lithium grease will last a long time, it has a straw nozzle like the WD-40 so you can get a good shot at your object.
      I was thinking, does your lift handle have a crack in it anywhere? Does it come away from the door at all? Moisture/elements might be getting to the lock mechanism. Just a thought.
       
    6. LifeisaBeach

      LifeisaBeach New Member

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      Yeah, I used white lithium grease. Very good stuff. I avoid WD40 like the plague. I used to work in a skateboard shop years ago, and we were constantly seeing people come in who had used WD40 on their wheel bearings, and the WD40 had ate up the wheels. Nasty, corrosive stuff if it gets on the wrong things.

      I didn't notice any cracks in the lift handle... it all seems ok here. Even the mechanism all looked ok to me from the inside. If the lube fix doesn't hold up long, I'll post back. Thanks again for the help.
       
    7. IAmTodd

      IAmTodd 4x Explorer Veteran Elite Explorer

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      Were you able to get the key to work in the hatch? I haven't been able to use the key since I bought the vehicle. I pulled it apart but found nothing that appeared to be out of place.
       
    8. LifeisaBeach

      LifeisaBeach New Member

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      I just checked it... key works fine now.
       
    9. IAmTodd

      IAmTodd 4x Explorer Veteran Elite Explorer

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      Hmm, Just another issue to iron out once I get back in the states!
       
    10. etraffic

      etraffic New Member

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      2000 ford explorer back hatch handle loose door locked

      The linkage on the back hatch came unfastened and the handle was loose. Ford uses plastic fastener clips over perfectly good threads to hold this together. The outdoor plastic handle is only conected to the car with two aluminum ribets. One was already missing on mine. But if you just want to open the door, you can rip the handle off and pull it out. hopefully you won't crack the plastic. You can see the linkage screw hanging as you look up through the left hole. Grab it with a plyers and apply a steady force down. This will open the hatch. I just rigged up a different handle and put a nut on the treads to hold it together. This can all be done without tearing appart the interier and may only take 20 minutes. I used a rope and handle from the garage opener, a medium size washer and a nut. First make a small loop, with a small hole to slide over the linkage screw, then the washer, then the nut. Slide the other end of rope through the handle, move the handle very close to the vehicle and tie the not close. Trim the rope and wala ... the hatch works.
       

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