Serious Explorations Ford Explorer and Ranger Message Board
#1 Resource for Ford Explorer and Ranger Owners - By Enthusiasts, for Enthusiasts.


Ford Explorer Generation Guide

EF Swag Store 2016 Ford Explorer Forums Elite Membership Chat Room My Posts Reviews Explorer Photo Gallery
Go Back   Ford Explorer and Ranger Forums "Serious Explorations" > Ford Explorer Ranger Repair - Troubleshooting - Modifications & Detailing Forums > 1995 - 2001 Explorer Ranger Mountaineer - Sport thru '03 - 2nd Generation > Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers

Notices

Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers Questions related to non-modified 1995-2001 Explorer, Mountaineer, Ranger and '02+ Sports and Sport Trac. Problem solving, maintenance, TSB, service bulletins, owner reviews, specifications.

Real problem why 1996 Explorer doors won't open....

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-18-2012, 04:26 PM   #1
1996BLKBauer
Elite Explorer
McHenry, IL
 
1996BLKBauer's Avatar
1996 Eddie Bauer AWD V8
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,511

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Smile Real problem why 1996 Explorer doors won't open....

From the inside that is. After messing with the linkages on both of my back doors for a day, just to make one barely work, and to break another, the same exact issue plagued my drivers door today. After swearing for 45 minutes, I decided to put it back together and take some time and think. while putting the interior handle back in I noticed that it had a white mark on the piece that moves the metal bar for the latch. upon closer inspection, I noticed it was not a mark, but a piece had broken off, and would not let the handle move the bar barely at all.

So I threw it back together, ran to my local junk yard grabbed a few, and saw that there sure was a piece missing on mine, and that that piece made the bar move enough to un latch the door. I was so happy that I bought 2 handles. went home replaced it and it worked. I also found out them my handle had been replaced with a Chinese one in 2010, by the sticker on it. I checked the rear door that barely worked, and sure enough it was broken, but only slightly, so that it would only work some times, but not always, replaced it, and once again, it works like new. I will take some photos so show every body what I am talking about. I am just so happy that this was all the problem was, and that it only cost $5 and a short trip to the junk yard to fix.




__________________
Martha, My 1996 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition
-Alpine stereo, with Alpine Type S Doorspeakers and Alpine Type E Subwoofers in a dual chamber sealed box.
-15x7 Cragar Soft 8's, On Goodyear Wrangler Authority 31x10.50x15 Tires
-Midland 1001 LWX, with Firestick 4ft. whips on taillight mounts.
-Torsion Twist, and Warrior Shackles.. Safari Rack, and 6 Hella off road lights.
1996BLKBauer is online now   Reply With Quote
( Join the Elite Explorers )

Join the Elite Explorers for only $20 a year. Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose and fix problems yourself, and learn which modifications really work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members can change the forum "styles" to eliminate most ads, including blue underlined links, and no ads on photos. Other benefits include the ability to store 1000 Private Messages, upload photo attachments directly to your posts and to our Photo Gallery and more. Join the Elite Explorers today.


Old 06-18-2012, 05:43 PM   #2
Rick
Admin
Pumpkin Pilot
Wayoutin, Aridzona
 
Rick's Avatar
'93 XL Pumpkin Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Posts: 29,840

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 293 Post(s)




__________________
Rick Horwitz, AB7FH "Serious Exploration's" Admin
Rick's '93/'98 Explorer "The Great Pumpkin"
Dodge Dart 512 Resto/Race 10.29 @ 129
2004 Mustang Mach 1
1960 Dodge Dart Seneca
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2012, 03:34 PM   #3
Turb
Columbus, Ohio
2001 Sport Trac
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 8

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
SO I had this problem as well and look my door apart and of course this was the problem. When I figured out what was wrong I immediately started searching on here to find out what people have done about it.

Here's the problem, it doesn't look like anyone has come up with anything yet? This seems like a common enough problem and the answer is always to just replace them. But they will just fail again and again.

So, here are pictures so we can hopefully come together and come up with a cheap and easy fix for this. Hopefully people look at this thread so we can all put our minds together.

Maybe the best answer is just new from dealer (haven't looked at costs yet) but I hope there is something else we can come up with.

the red circle is where the pieces break off.

Turb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 12:55 PM   #4
1996BLKBauer
Elite Explorer
McHenry, IL
 
1996BLKBauer's Avatar
1996 Eddie Bauer AWD V8
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,511

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turb View Post
SO I had this problem as well and look my door apart and of course this was the problem. When I figured out what was wrong I immediately started searching on here to find out what people have done about it.

Here's the problem, it doesn't look like anyone has come up with anything yet? This seems like a common enough problem and the answer is always to just replace them. But they will just fail again and again.

So, here are pictures so we can hopefully come together and come up with a cheap and easy fix for this. Hopefully people look at this thread so we can all put our minds together.

Maybe the best answer is just new from dealer (haven't looked at costs yet) but I hope there is something else we can come up with.

the red circle is where the pieces break off.

Perfect photos. To be honest I don't think there is a quick fix for this issue, I live maybe 20 minutes away from a junk yard, so that was my solution. there is at any one time 10-30 Explorers there, so that will be my solution for a while, but still, I have not had any problems again with the handles.




__________________
Martha, My 1996 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition
-Alpine stereo, with Alpine Type S Doorspeakers and Alpine Type E Subwoofers in a dual chamber sealed box.
-15x7 Cragar Soft 8's, On Goodyear Wrangler Authority 31x10.50x15 Tires
-Midland 1001 LWX, with Firestick 4ft. whips on taillight mounts.
-Torsion Twist, and Warrior Shackles.. Safari Rack, and 6 Hella off road lights.
1996BLKBauer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 04:24 PM   #5
koda2000
Elite Explorer
Georgia
 
koda2000's Avatar
2001 Explorer EB 5.0L
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,215

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 720 Post(s)
is this the same problem as when the interior handle sticks out and the door won't open from the inside? i have one rear door handle like this, but haven't gotten around to fixing it yet. it's a little hard for me to understand what's missing from your photo (especially as i haven't taken mine apart yet and don't know what it's supposed to look like) but if there's supposed to be a bump or plastic tab piece where the "white line" is, would it be possible to make a new piece out of a piece of flat stock, heat it up and melt it into the plastic? or is there not enough material to work with.




__________________
I reject your reality & substitute my own...
2001 Explorer Eddie Bauer 5.0L V8 2WD
2000 Mountaineer 5.0L 2WD/2000 Expl XLT 5.0L 2WD
2000 Mountaineer 5.0L V8 AWD
2001 Explorer XLT 4.0L SOHC V6 auto 2WD (RIP 5/13)
1997 Explorer Sport 4.0L SOHC V6 auto 2WD
koda2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 08:01 PM   #6
Backwoods "X"
Mt. Sterling, Ky
94 XLT
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 223

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Koda, for the work and the frustration involved, you'd be ahead to simply replace the handle, even though all we can get are the same pieces. The design is faulty from the beginning. My 11 year old son has gotten to be "really" good at changing them out....
Backwoods "X" is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 09:34 PM   #7
koda2000
Elite Explorer
Georgia
 
koda2000's Avatar
2001 Explorer EB 5.0L
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,215

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 720 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backwoods "X" View Post
Koda, for the work and the frustration involved, you'd be ahead to simply replace the handle, even though all we can get are the same pieces. The design is faulty from the beginning. My 11 year old son has gotten to be "really" good at changing them out....
aw com'on, what's the fun in that...




__________________
I reject your reality & substitute my own...
2001 Explorer Eddie Bauer 5.0L V8 2WD
2000 Mountaineer 5.0L 2WD/2000 Expl XLT 5.0L 2WD
2000 Mountaineer 5.0L V8 AWD
2001 Explorer XLT 4.0L SOHC V6 auto 2WD (RIP 5/13)
1997 Explorer Sport 4.0L SOHC V6 auto 2WD
koda2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 12:14 PM   #8
1996BLKBauer
Elite Explorer
McHenry, IL
 
1996BLKBauer's Avatar
1996 Eddie Bauer AWD V8
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,511

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backwoods "X" View Post
Koda, for the work and the frustration involved, you'd be ahead to simply replace the handle, even though all we can get are the same pieces. The design is faulty from the beginning. My 11 year old son has gotten to be "really" good at changing them out....
considering the amount of candy, and stickers in the back of my truck when I first got it, I would not be surprised if that was the reason that both of my rear door handles did not function.




__________________
Martha, My 1996 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition
-Alpine stereo, with Alpine Type S Doorspeakers and Alpine Type E Subwoofers in a dual chamber sealed box.
-15x7 Cragar Soft 8's, On Goodyear Wrangler Authority 31x10.50x15 Tires
-Midland 1001 LWX, with Firestick 4ft. whips on taillight mounts.
-Torsion Twist, and Warrior Shackles.. Safari Rack, and 6 Hella off road lights.
1996BLKBauer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2015, 04:44 PM   #9
Jim_WY
Wyoming
'96 XLT, 91
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 15

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Root cause of door handles breaking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by koda2000 View Post
is this the same problem as when the interior handle sticks out and the door won't open from the inside? i have one rear door handle like this, but haven't gotten around to fixing it yet. it's a little hard for me to understand what's missing from your photo (especially as i haven't taken mine apart yet and don't know what it's supposed to look like) but if there's supposed to be a bump or plastic tab piece where the "white line" is, would it be possible to make a new piece out of a piece of flat stock, heat it up and melt it into the plastic? or is there not enough material to work with.
Yes. This is the exact same problem.

A tooth on what amounts to a sort-of gear breaks off, and then, the gears don't mesh, and the rod that unlatches the door can't be pushed back as you pull out on the lever.

Once you have the faulty handle assembly out and in your hands, you can play with it all and see exactly what's going wrong.

For what it's worth, I first bought replacement handles from a seller on EBAY. I replaced the driver's door handle, and all was OK for about six months until it failed in exactly the same manner as the OEM unit.

This time, I went to a local car parts store and bought one simply because it saved me driving all the way across town to my house where my stash of the EBAY units is. The Autozone price for their version was a bit under ten bucks. It looks different than the ones I'd bought off of EBAY, but I don't have any reason to believe that it'll be any stronger.

It's just kind of a silly design, relying on a small plastic gear tooth to apply all of the force necessary to unlatch a car door. If the relevant parts were made of machined steel, it'd probably last forever. But then again, you couldn't get one at the car parts store for ten bucks, either!

This time, I also bought a can of spray lube with white lithium grease in it. So I thoroughly doused the door latch inside and out, and while I was at it, hosed down the door lock/unlock mechanism as well as the scissors mechanism that raises and lowers the power window.

I'd read horror stories about the electric door lock mechanism on here while searching for a thread about the door latch, and, since I've been lowering the window so I could reach outside and open the door with the outside door handle for a month, while it's been about 20 below around here, I could tell by the sound that the window mechanism needed a little TLC, too.

The door unlatches MUCH easier now! And high friction while unlatching the door is almost certainly a huge contributing factor in the failure of these door latch handles. So I highly recommend that if you're going to go to the trouble of replacing the door latch handle, you should also lubricate the door latch and door lock mechanisms while you've got things apart. And why not hit up the window mechanism, too?

I'm hoping this replacement handle will last a lot longer since the door unlatches so much easier now. I'll have to keep an eye on things and try to lube the door latch periodically in the future, too.

If the door is sagging, or otherwise out of adjustment, that might also contribute to the latch being hard to operate. And anything that makes the latch hard to operate will put more force on the fragile gear tooth, encouraging it to snap off.
Jim_WY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2015, 05:58 PM   #10
koda2000
Elite Explorer
Georgia
 
koda2000's Avatar
2001 Explorer EB 5.0L
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,215

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 720 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backwoods "X" View Post
Koda, for the work and the frustration involved, you'd be ahead to simply replace the handle, even though all we can get are the same pieces. The design is faulty from the beginning. My 11 year old son has gotten to be "really" good at changing them out....
FYI, I ended up replacing the truck and never did fix it, lol.




__________________
I reject your reality & substitute my own...
2001 Explorer Eddie Bauer 5.0L V8 2WD
2000 Mountaineer 5.0L 2WD/2000 Expl XLT 5.0L 2WD
2000 Mountaineer 5.0L V8 AWD
2001 Explorer XLT 4.0L SOHC V6 auto 2WD (RIP 5/13)
1997 Explorer Sport 4.0L SOHC V6 auto 2WD
koda2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 03:46 PM   #11
Jim_WY
Wyoming
'96 XLT, 91
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 15

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by koda2000 View Post
FYI, I ended up replacing the truck and never did fix it, lol.
Hah!

I thought I'd post some photos showing a new (non-broken) latch as well as the old (broken) one in case seeing them both helps someone understand what it is that breaks off.


This is the new one. Note the gear tooth is present.



This is the broken one. Note that the tooth is missing, leaving a lighter-colored area in the plastic exposed where it snapped off.


Here's an animated GIF showing how the unbroken latch handle should work:
Jim_WY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 05:33 PM   #12
Flash
Brisbane Australia
1997 Limited
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 880

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
The offending part could be removed and a cast could be taken off it, then a mould made of clay or plaster and poured with pot metal.

Should last forever.
Flash is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 05:38 PM   #13
Flash
Brisbane Australia
1997 Limited
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 880

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)


This is one of the worst door handles I've seen, it's from an Australian 1979 Falcon.
That little shiny bit is made of cheese and continuously snaps off.
Flash is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 11:54 PM   #14
morbid81
Keller,TX
1998 5.0L AWD Eddie Bauer
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 105

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
wondering if this could be my issue on my 98. The handle pulls on the bar ever so slightly but the door won't open. But if I pull on the bar it opens right up. It opens fine from the outside as well.




__________________
1998 EX EB AWD 5.0. 156k. Tinted Windows. MAC Cold Air Intake. Clear Tails,Ford Steering Wheel Cover, HID"S, Anzo Smoked Headlights, LED Interior and Exterior Bulbs,LED Reverse Lights, HID Fogs,Seat Covers, Ford Logo Heavy Duty Floor mats (31's and Black Rims, Window Visors,Flowmaster Exhaust and Headers Coming soon.)
morbid81 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2015, 12:25 PM   #15
MarkZ28
Grant AL
 
MarkZ28's Avatar
01 Sport 2WD SOHC
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 12

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I bet molten aluminum could make a good strong gear. Wont have to get so hot to melt. My wife was taking art classes and in her jewelry making classes they make castings using a centrifuge that spun the mold causing the molten metal to be denser. Step above just die casting which would be just fine for this. Theres got to be a harder type plastic that can be used also. Or, if someone here has access to a 3D CNC machine, be even better. Billet gears that will never break.
MarkZ28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Suggest this thread to friends:

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2011 + Explorer TSB's JDraper Stock 2011 - 2016 Ford Explorer Discussion 17 03-05-2015 06:24 PM
Top search phrases for this site Rick Suggestion Box - Forum Feedback 11 09-12-2011 10:22 AM
Stumped by a Transfer Case Engagement Problem- Please Help. 2Explorers Explorer & Ranger Transmissions, Transfer Cases, & Differentials 30 02-27-2011 09:15 AM
1996 explorer xlt a/c problem migz444 Under the Hood 3 12-29-2006 10:59 PM



Join the "Elite Explorers" Today!



Search Explorer Forum


Top of Page

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:59 AM.



US Flag
We Support Our Troops!

Explore the site!


Copyright 2015 - 1996 Rick Horwitz Photography



Ford Motor Company is not involved in the management of this site in any way.



All tips on this site are for use at your own risk and discretion.

Modifying the suspension on any vehicle will cause changes to its handling characteristics.



Vendor Tools vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.