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Broken tailgate window hinges- help!

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by shagr15, August 20, 2014.

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    1. shagr15

      shagr15 Active Member

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      Hey Guys,

      So the other day I opened up the window on the back of my 99 explorer and when I went to close it, the window hinge at the top had broken off. It looked like the screw fell into the hole that it was originally attached to. The hinge is still on the window but nothing attached to the metal on top of it. THere is a guy who actually has a set on craigslist near me and it looks like the screw is in each one... does anyone know, if I bought these, would I be able to basically just stick them in the pre-drilled hole above the glass? Or is there more to it? here is a link to the craiglist ad so you can see the screw on it that I am talking about... that screw is no longer on my hinge and it is just hanging on the back window. Thanks!!

      http://columbus.craigslist.org/pts/4609316116.html
       
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    3. TomCat_Ford

      TomCat_Ford Active Member

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      There's a nut that holds the hinge to the tailgate. If you cannot get your old one, you'll need to pick one up.
       
      Last edited: August 22, 2014
    4. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      there's a small stud which screws into the hinge body. a nut screws onto the stud to hold the hinge to the tail gate. if the hinge didn't break/strip when the stud unscrewed itself it will be inside the tail gate. if you look at the rear side of the tail gate behind the hinge there's a rubber plug which hides the nut. there should also be a rubber washer on the back side of the hinge where it makes contact with the tailgate. it may have fallen off. it keeps water out and prevents metal-to-metal contact between the hinge and the tail gate. the hinge is very easy to install. getting your old stud out of the tail gate could be a bit of a pain, but is probably doable. if you're really lucky you may find it when you remove the rubber plug, but odds are it has now fallen into the bottom of the tail gate. to get to it you'll have to remove the plastic interior trim panel. on the plus side, the repair may not cost you any money, just some of your time. in the link below, note the stud at the top of the hinge.

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/98-99-00-01...99|Model:Explorer&hash=item2ed556023f&vxp=mtr
       
      Last edited: August 20, 2014
    5. shagr15

      shagr15 Active Member

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      got it! THanks guys! I will be trying to remove that interior plastic piece to see if I can find it inside the tailgate. I have the rubber washer that came out but the stud fell into the back so I will be seeing if I can figure that out this weekend! Thank you!
       
    6. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      if you need directions on how to remove the trim panel:

      1. remove the 2 screws that hold the interior pull handle on and remove it.

      2. up near the window latch, there are 2 plastic filler plugs. remove the one to the left and there should be a single screw (sometimes missing). remove it.

      3. there about 6-8 push clips that hold the trim panel to the lift-gate. older models (like my '97) used x-mass tree push plugs. in either case, a panel removal tool works best to release the clips (cheap at any auto parts store) or you can use a stiff putty knife, or screwdriver. insert the tool between the plastic and the metal part of the lift-gate starting at the bottom of the window opening and slide it upward until you encounter the first push clip. pop it loose and work you way around the window.

      4. once all the clips are released, there are 10, or so, plastic hooks molded into the back of the plastic trim panel. simply slide the panel upward to release them and the panel will come off.

      5. to get inside the lift-gate, peel back the plastic weather shield. you can use some masking take to re-attache it later if necessary.

      note: be careful, as there are sharp edges around the holes in the lift-gate. while you're in there it's a good time to lube the latches and pivot points for the lift-gate handle.
       
    7. shagr15

      shagr15 Active Member

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      Thanks Koda! Much appreciated!!!
       
    8. shagr15

      shagr15 Active Member

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      OK... so, Thank you guys for the advice! I got everything taken off and found the piece in the tailgate. I put the screw back into the hinge and got the nut back on and screwed it back in place... and the hinge is stripped! So I need a new hinge, which isn't a big deal. But now, I need help on how to remove the current hinge from the window and reinstall the new one. Any help would be extremely appreciated! Or is it a better idea to just take it into someone and have them do it? Thanks everyone!
       
    9. jimmyznutz

      jimmyznutz Active Member

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      The torx screw in the window portion is a T30. That and a 10mm for the other nut and your golden. I also have this problem. Seems like a flaw in the design since the stud and screw are both steel and the hinge is cast aluminum. Over time using the window flexes the metal slightly and the hinges end up stripping out. I snagged 3 sets from my local jy and every one had the same issue. Either the torx screw end was stripped or the stud side was stripped. I'm just going to JBweld that sh*t and be done.
       
    10. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      fill the stripped hole with JB Weld, insert the stud and wait at least 12 hours for it to dry. it'll probably be stronger than new. i've repaired all kinds of things with this stuff, it's fairly amazing how strong it is. the worst part about it is that it's really runny before it starts to set up, but that shouldn't be a problem for this repair.
       
    11. Turdle

      Turdle I bake stuff Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      If the above fails, I think I have a set I can powdercoat to look like new. If you are interested send me a PM.
       
    12. grandfunk

      grandfunk Elite Explorer

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      Just replaced my hinges this weekend. Broke down and bought new one's, and had to drill out the holes in the frame and get the new nuts to go with it since they made the bolt's bigger after the 2000 model I think. I figure after 14 years it's time to just get new ones.
       
    13. shagr15

      shagr15 Active Member

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      thanks guys! I am picking up a new set from the junkyard today ($10) and going to see how they work out. If for some reason they don't work out as is, I will try JB Weld or hit you up Turdle! I appreciate the help!
       
    14. shagr15

      shagr15 Active Member

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      so I used the set from the junkyard which were in surprisingly great condition and worked perfectly! Thank you guys for your help and making it super easy to follow each step!
       
    15. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      congrats!
       
    16. BustedKnuckles24

      BustedKnuckles24 Member

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      I'm late to the party, as always. I had the same problem, but instead of buying new hinges, I drilled through the stripped holes of my existing hinges clean through the outer surface and got some stainless steel bolts, nylon lock nuts, and washers. I have exposed bolt heads, but the hinges will not come loose ever again. I love it when you can fix something like this for less than $5.
       
    17. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      not a pretty solution, but effective. :)
       
    18. lorraine1

      lorraine1 Active Member

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      i used a flexible magnetic pick up tool to get the nuts out,but i did mine while i had the hatch up.a little tougher this way.
       
    19. DR98FL

      DR98FL New Member

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      I went this route. You can drill into the hinge so the bolt sits flush with the top of the hinge. A touch up of black paint and your good to go.

      DR98
       

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