Factory Tonneau Cover Inop | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Factory Tonneau Cover Inop


Elite Explorer
July 25, 2013
Reaction score
City, State
Radford, VA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Explorer Sport Trac
The rear half of the factory hard cover will not open. Key spins 'round and 'round. Lowered tailgate and inspected lock and cable assembly. Lock and actuator rod check out OK. Looks like the cable set is stripped at the center junction.

Is there an easy way to unlatch both sides so I can get the back half open? I'll need to do so to replace the cable assembly.

Any hints, tips or suggestions are welcome.

Also, if anyone near southwest VA wants to buy the factory hard cover from me, or trade for something lighter, I'm open to offers.

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I don't have any experience with the factory cover so I'm no help there. However, for a lighter option, check out the Advantage Hard Hat trip-fold. I've had mine for 5 years now and I really like it. Easy to take on and off and easy to get into. It looks like a vinyl cover, but has an aluminum skin underneath that keeps the bed secure. Currently my bed is my spare tire carrier along with a hitch and a tow strap, so things I like to keep hidden.


IF you open the tailgate and look inside, you can see where the cable unlatches each side. Manually pull the cable there and it should release. I did that lots of times on my Gen 1 rather than use the key to open the top.

While I've never done it, the latches don't seem to actually lock, so I would think you should be able to crawl in there with a screw driver and push the jaws open.

My cable/lock is broken on the cab side of my bed cover. I have to crawl in and use my finger to click back the latches to release if I ever need to open it for the time being until I can buy a new cable and lock assembly. Theres a special spot that if you push in it should release, but its almost impossible for me to describe even with pictures. I can try though if you think you need a better explanation haha.

Also: Bookmarked this a while back, you might get some use out of it.. If we are in the same boat. Has part #s for both front and back assemblies.


Thanks for the link. I also have a bad foward lock on my factory cover. Dave P.

Replacement cables inbound. Will hit them wth motorcycle cable lube prior to installation.

My rear cover lock was inop today. Would not turn. Just stuck. Filled it with WD 40. Put key in and it turned like new. Go figure. Maybe I should stop reading this forum. Dave P.