Dilemma Re Replacing a Tonneau Cover Lock | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Dilemma Re Replacing a Tonneau Cover Lock


New Member
January 9, 2021
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Explorer Sport Trac
I posted this on the Sport Trac forum but no response yet. Thought I would see if anyone here has any thoughts.

Before I take my '02 ST back to the locksmith I wanted to run a couple of things by members of this forum. The rear lock on my factory tonneau cover is broken. The key will not go down all the way. My locksmith played with it for awhile but had no luck. This was back in November of 2021. His suggestion was to find a good lock and then he could take care of it by keying it match the other locks. I was on the hunt when I discovered that the original lock assembly was available again through a few Ford parts sources. I ordered one which I now have (Part# 1L5Z-3543262-BB). Here's my dilemma. There was a single post on the Explorer Forum stating that the plastic lock actuator housing that slips over the lock cylinder can be removed without damaging the tabs on the inside. Has anyone here found this to be true? The factory shop manual states to "twist and pull" the housing to release it. It's also stated that "the tonneau cover release cables are not re-useable". I'm leery of having a new lock installed but not being able to reuse the cable assembly because of broken internal parts. I know there is a way to use epoxy for repairing the housing but I'm hoping to avoid that. My second question is probably better addressed to the locksmith but I'll mention it here anyway. Can the lock be serviced from the top without removing the outer housing that the plastic lock actuator housing slides over? That would make things a whole lot easier all the way around. I'm just looking for some feedback before I take it to the locksmith. Maybe there are some options here that I could share with him. Thanks very much for your time.

Craig R.