Hatch just sticks shut? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Hatch just sticks shut?


Explorer Addict
March 26, 2015
Reaction score
City, State
South Carolina
Year, Model & Trim Level
00 5.0, 01 4.0.
So, my 2000 Explorer has a used hatch off a 2001 XLT, don't know much about the hatch except it's not rusty. I got it used to replace a blue hatch on a white truck. Anyhow, it's been opening and closing just fine, up until a couple days ago I pulled the handle and it broke the clip in half, so I open the glass and go to open the hatch using the mechanism inside, and it'll barely move, like it's locked or something. It's unlocked, left latch works fine when you unclip the arm, right latch is VERY stiff, and hatch is still shut. Ideas?

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I replaced the hatch on my now parts Mounty. It had a junker hatch that sat quite awhile. I had to soak the one side in PB Blaster a few times over a few days. I think it didn’t have any grease in it and the rust build up in the actually latch itself was putting a lot of drag on it. I soaked it, and worked it out, and it was better, but was always a little stiff.

I've given serious thought to paying to have the blue one painted and putting it back on, but then the hatch would look amazing and the truck meh at best, plus that'd probably be several hundred dollars. Meanwhile though I'm going to await a solution to getting this one open since you can pop the arm for the right latch out and push with both arms to no avail.

I painted mine. It was red, and I painted it Pacific Green. We used single stage acrylic enamel. My buddy that painted it also buffed it for me. You buff it to bring out the luster and gloss. He just buffed it until it looked like the rest of the truck and stopped. I think the total, including the gun was around $80.

That's not too bad sounding, I might look into painting the blue one.

It’s not as hard as you might think.

So, undertook this today, since I don't have an interior panel in the truck ATM, and again established the problem to be the latch on the right side, and with someone pulling the hatch and snatching the release, I got it open, and THEN it wouldn't close. So, I went to the parts Mountaineer to pull a latch, and decided to just take this one out and sit down with it and find why it bound. Apparently, the arms inside the latch can literally cross each other and bind on each other, and the one for the "left" side of the latch crossed over. With it in my hand the issue was obvious.

So, I took it, and managed with some kind persuasion with a screwdriver, it's fixed. hatch opens smooth and easier than ever. Even opens with it's own handle now, what a bonus. How this happens? No idea, seems fine now though. Now just to put the hatch interior panel for this blasted truck in it.