2006 XLT lift gate won't open | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2006 XLT lift gate won't open


October 20, 2019
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 Explorer 4.0 V6
I have an 06 XLT and the lift gate will not open. It was an intermittent problem for a bit, now there's no tension at all in the handle. The locking mechanism still works because I can hear it lock/unlock via the fob. I am guessing some cable snapped perhaps? Is it easier to sawzall the panel off vs trying to pry it off to get to the mechanism to open it?

I had the same problem on my 06 and thought something broke inside. Turned out the protective mat I had in the back had gotten jammed in the tailgate and would not allow it to open. Found this our AFTER taking everything apart. Had the same loss of tension in the handle you're describing and lock/unlock. Sometimes I could get it to open by opening the window first, then using the lock/unlock switch on the inside of the cargo area. But I think, when that worked, it was because I was leaning on the tailgate and may have gotten the mat loosened enough for the tailgate to open. The last time it happened, I couldn't get it to open at all. Been a few years ago so I don't recall how I got to the mechanism from inside. I believe you can pry off the plastic from inside carefully.

If you have something in the cargo area you might want to be sure it's not caught in the door before you pull out the sawzall. Maybe a helper can try pushing the tailgate open while you're activating the latch?

the plastic cover will just pop off using a plastic pry tool all around the edges

Yea, sheesh, sawzall to the rear panel?!? Egads, it pops off very easily and then you should be able to see what the issue is. Happened to me awhile back when the liftgate handle broke. An easy fix.