Cracked Tailgate Panel... Not the one you think. | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Cracked Tailgate Panel... Not the one you think.


August 11, 2006
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City, State
Los Angeles
Year, Model & Trim Level
'03 XLS and '06 XLT
I have an '03 Explorer XLS. The plastic panel just above the license plate, covering the rear liftgate handle, is starting to fall apart. It seems like, when you pull the handle to open the tailgate, its putting to much pressure on the plastic panel and it has started to crack. I'd like to replace this part, but I can't find it anywhere. No diagrams or parts lists seem to have it listed. A lot of them are painted to match the exterior color, but mine is just black like the bumper. Does anyone know what part this is?

Also, do you think I have a problem with the handle too? I would think that the handle should not be making contact with this plastic piece, so I'm not sure if the handle is malfunctioning as well. Any feedback is much appreciated. Please note, I am not referring to the panel just below the window that is prone to cracking. The part I am referring to is a little lower...

I would check some salvage yards before I payed for a brand new one...