How to fix your tonneau cover cables with epoxy | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How to fix your tonneau cover cables with epoxy

Paul Fithian

Elite Explorer
October 12, 2016
Reaction score
City, State
Long Beach, IN
Year, Model & Trim Level
2007 Job 1 RWD V8 Limited
I recently installed a used tonneau and the the keys on both ends would not actuate the cables for the latches. The cables were intact and not damaged at the end mating into the latch. I found a very easy way to fix this with epoxy.

Here is what the inside of the cable actuator case looks like:

Case internals.jpg

It is easy to disassemble the top from the case, it is held together by 4 pins that are mushroomed over:

Case with welded pins.jpg

You can slice off these pins and open the case so you can see what is shown in the first picture.

Slicing welded pin.jpg

There are two discs, an outer one actuating the cable, and an inner one that the key inserts into. There is a tab on the inner disc that breaks, preventing rotation of the outer disc.

Rotating keyway inside.jpg

The solution is to epoxy these two discs together so that the keyway actuates the cables. Keep the inner disc keyway orientation in reference to the cable pockets as shown here

Rotating keyway outside.jpg

You can then reassemble the case, using epoxy "buttons" to weld it together like it was originally made. You may have to shave the pins a bit or open up the top holes with a drill to get them to fit back together.

Epoxy buttons on case.jpg

Works much better now, it only takes about a 1/4 turn of the key to release the latches.

Here's a PDF of the repair.


  • How to Fix your Broken Tonneau Cover Cable Key Actuator with Epoxy.pdf
    408.6 KB · Views: 602

This worked great until recently, needs more than epoxy to hold it together. A bit of archery serving and some scrap PVC pipe are a big improvement, see attached.

Tonneau Serving Mod 1.jpg

Tonneau Serving Mod 2.jpg

Tonneau Serving Mod 3.jpg

Tonneau Serving Mod 4.jpg

Mine is damaged too. But, the someone had removed all the latching hardware from the bed, so I may just try fixing the lock and finding the hardware somewhere later. I use heavy duty bungie cords to hold the rear section of my 2-piece cover down. It does create a small issue with closing the tail gate, but I am working on a fix.