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Tailgate / Liftgate Alignment

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by Andy011X, July 14, 2011.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





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  1. Fordacopia

    Fordacopia New Member

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    Misaligned Tailgate Experience

    CDNexp -

    As over six months have passed since your last post, perhaps you've already proceeded with the re-alignment. Nonetheless, I'll share my experience. In two words: "NOT GOOD." I originally purchased in November '11 and noticed the tailgate misalignment in Feb 2012. One side appeared flush with the body, the other side was inset about 3/4 inch. My service rep commented that they've seen a few misaligned tailgates from the factory and would contact the Ford rep to take a look. Long story short, one month later I received my Explorer back with a brand new tailgate. Despite attempts to realign and adjust, ultimately the decision was made by Ford that a new tailgate was the only solution. While I was very unhappy with the delay and poor communication, it was great to have my vehicle back (despite a second trip to the dealership to fix a new rattle in the tailgate that was caused by a wiper arm that was not properly reconnected).

    Wouldn't it be great if the story ended there? Approximately two months later, the tailgate issue started all over again. I first noticed a problem when I walked out of my grocery store to find my Explorer in the parking lot with the tailgate wide open. Seemed very strange as I'm quite the consciousness person and not one to just leave a tailgate open and walk away. Thankfully nothing was taken. I shrugged it off until two days later (while visiting family) I looked out the window of their home and noticed the tailgate was again open. My brother was heading outside so I asked him to close it. This is when I realized there was again a problem, as he pushed the button several times, the door would attempt to close, hit the metal catch and then re-open. The inability to close the tailgate seemed worse on unlevel surfaces. Another trip to the Ford dealership and another week in the shop resulted in replacement of the catch mechanism and another realignment. All good.

    Or so I wish. Two weeks ago, just before departing on a road trip with my family and a fully packed car, I pushed the button to close the power liftgate. The gate came down, made a grinding noise and wouldn't close, returned to the fully open position (despite having set a lower opening height) obtaining a nice deep scratch in the paint upon striking the open garage door. Frustrated, I tried pushing the button a few more times, all unsuccessfully, finally resorting to manually and forcefully having to close the liftgate in order to drive away. Once closed, I noticed that the tailgate was once again misaligned.

    I called my service rep and explained that I've had enough and either Ford needs to make this right and fix it once and for all, or replace the vehicle. It's now become an unpredictable nuisance and security and safety issue, as the tailgate is closed but there is a large gap between the gate and the body and I'm positive it is not closed tightly. Perhaps having it pop open on the road would get Ford's attention. My service manager called me back and wanted to get with the Ford Expert Technician to see what they could do. That was a week ago and I've heard nothing back. I'll give it another week and then perhaps I should resort to sharing my story with youtube videos and tweets of the tailgate repeatedly failing close.

    Thanks for reading my story. Hope this helps a bit. In short, be wary of getting that tailgate realigned.

    Adam
     
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  3. zed512

    zed512 New Member

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    Adam, don't get me started... Once I have enough energy I will officially reply to this thread. Basically ford have no clue how to fix this issue. The result is your car will be gone for weeks, new hatch fitted and it may look worse than you started with. Everyone... Check the gate, if it looks bad don't buy the car.

    Now I look at every car in front of me and think how did ford mess up so bad... In terms of misaligned tailgates. To me it's shocking. In my old job I was taught ford fmea's... Total joke now
     
  4. CDNexp

    CDNexp Member

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    Hi Adam, thanks for sharing... after first attempt to re-align going bad. They had to replace the Latch mechanisim And I decided to just live with it. The dealer has no clue how to fix it so till Ford figure it out I will not let them touch it again.
     
  5. uniquename

    uniquename Active Member

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    I just had a 2013 rental that had parts lined up worse than my 2011...I don't think it's going to go away.

    My dash to door transition is off, but evenly off so it looks right. The 2013 had one perfect and one way off...I'll take my flaws that appear normal :)
     
  6. maliboo74

    maliboo74 New Member

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    Rear hatchback alignment problem

    I noticed recently on my 2013 Limited that the body panels on teh drivers side do not line up properly between the hatchback and the rear quarter panel. The passenger side is flawless. I went to the dealer and they state this is within specifications. I walked though their lot and found lots of Explorers with similar conditions.

    I picked up the car in May. My guess is that this has developed slowly over the past 3 months since I didn't notice it before. Anyone else seen or reported this?

    Thank you

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. VinceL

    VinceL Well-Known Member

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    A lot of Explorers exhibit this condition. I know ours does. As a matter of fact, I haven't inspected a single Explorer that didn't have this to some degree. Some owners here have gone back and had it fixed with good results, but I am leery of having it repaired only to cause some other issue. It doesn't affect the operation of the vehicle, so I am going to leave it be. Am I happy that it is like this? Nope, but I'm not ready to trust the local dealerships to fix it correctly.
     
  8. suzook

    suzook Active Member

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    Mine is perfect. To say everyone has it to some degree?:eek:
     
  9. VinceL

    VinceL Well-Known Member

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    suzook, I invite you to actually read my post. I was very specific to indicate that all of the Explorer's I personally inspected were affected to some degree. At no point did I suggest that ALL Explorers were affected, and I congratulate you on the fact that yours is not :rolleyes:
     
  10. davlee88

    davlee88 Member

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    My has the same problem, also my right front quarter panel is also slightly off. Anyway, I'm too lazy to take it into the dealership and get even more disappointed. If you take an even more closer look. For example your dash and the door panel, they are misalign too. Very surprising from a $46,000 automobile. The fit and finish is not as good as my wife's hyundai veracruz which is $10,000 cheaper.

    Anyway, the explorer is still pretty good. With some flaws.
     
  11. bnh1971

    bnh1971 Member

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    Misalignment

    Mine has a similar alignment issue with the liftgate but doesn't appear as bad as your. The back edge of my front passenger door at the bottom stuck out 3/8". I took a chance and had my dealer adjust it and they did a pretty nice job. I may have them give the liftgate a shot at some point. They really need to do a better inspection/alignment job at the plant before shipping these.......
     
  12. new to ford

    new to ford Active Member

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    this is a common misalignment problem, just like the misalignment between the dash a door panels
     
  13. maliboo74

    maliboo74 New Member

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    I have it in writing that this is within specifications so I'll pursue it at a later time. As of now it's not interfering with the operation of the hatch.

    Thanks for the feedback.
     
  14. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    My hatch has a slighly wider gap on one side than the other. I wouldn't have even noticed if it wasn't for another post that mentioned it. No big deal here. I think that you will find things like that on many North American vehicles.
    I'm quite sure that most of us have owned previous vehicles with the same issue but it wasn't noticed because there wasn't a Forum like this to draw attention to it.

    http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=322657&highlight=rear+hatch

    Peter
     
  15. FordService

    FordService Official Ford Rep

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    Hey guys,

    I’m available to help by escalating this up to your regional Customer Service Managers. For me to lend a hand, please PM me your credentials (VIN, contact information, dealer name/state, and approximate mileage).

    I like seeing the community weighing in like this; thanks, everyone.

    Cory
     
  16. Joe Dirt

    Joe Dirt Explorer Addict

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    I always remembered my Dad saying years ago how he could tell the build quality vs. NA vehicles, when you would look at an import and the exhaust pipe was centered exactly in the middle of the cutout of the rear fascia.

    Sure, there were exceptions, and damned if every time I consciously looked, even to this day, they were in the center. We're getting much better, but it still makes me laugh... :)
     
  17. mayher

    mayher Member

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    What I find most amazing about all this is that Ford and all of the other domestic companies constantly tell us how much their initial quality has improved, and that they are equal or better than the imports. If this is the case how does this issue along with the dashboard alignment and several other panel fit issues outlined in the forum ever make it out of the factory and past the supposedly watchful eyes of the robots and QC?

    Saw a documentary several months ago concerning the assemble line where the F150's are built. Based on what I saw and the constant reassurances that quality is of the utmost priority can't imagine how this could make it out of the factory.

    Mine is definitely not aligned properly, and I find myself looking at other ex's on the street. Would def. have to say most suffer from this same issue.

    Haven't taken mine back to the dealer for fear it will come back worse, or they will damage the tailgate in the process of trying to align it. Plus I can't be without the car for a day, and don't feel like popping for a rental.
     
    Last edited: September 10, 2012
  18. VinceL

    VinceL Well-Known Member

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    What is even more distressing is that Ford made a big deal out of their laser guided assembly robots that would ensure small, even panel gaps, and consistent quality. Oops, looks like they screwed the pooch on that one. I can only guess the robots have nothing to do the rear hatch assembly, and maybe that is the problem. Or maybe the case is the robots have everything to do with the rear hatch assembly and that is the problem. Who knows.... no really, does anybody know?
     
  19. mayher

    mayher Member

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    Do they really care??

    The bigger question is " Do they really care "? This has been an ongoing issue since this body style was introduced and yet Ford and their QC people watch these units roll down the line and out the door everyday. This are the type of issues that almost drove the domestic auto mfg's out of business and should have been addressed long ago. I would challenge anyone to walk through a Toyota or Honda new car lot and find panel alignment issues as shown in this thread.

    Love my Exp, but issues like this, the dash alignment, and the MFT, drive all of us crazy.
     
    Last edited: September 11, 2012
  20. foxtemple

    foxtemple Active Member

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    Has anyone noticed damage to their striker plate [or whatever you call the part that the lift gate attaches to when closed] caused by the lift gate being misaligned? The left side of my striker plate is no longer black. You can see the bare metal.
     
  21. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Here is what mine looked like a year ago. It looks the same today. I'm not at all concerned about it after all it is metal hitting metal. The black is just a paint as far as I know.

    Peter
     

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