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Liftgate Trim Removal - Help?

SprintGT

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Wondering if anyone has removed the liftgate trim piece spanning the tail lights (I think Ford calls it the "license lamp shield"; part 13B482), and could offer a bit of advice on the process.

I'm replacing the black version of this part on my '13 Sport with the chrome version (gladly discuss the motivation behind this in a separate thread:)). I have the new part, so ideally I should be able to figure out how to remove the old one from looking at the new one.

There are a total of twelve mounting points. Moving from the center of the trim piece to either outer edge, there are two bolts, followed by two clips. Those are all easy to deal with. The last two "fasteners", though, consist of a a post (for alignment, perhaps?) and something that looks like a bolt with two heads.

It's these last two I'm struggling with. It looks like the bolt is fastened to the vehicle and the trim piece slides downward (window to bumper direction) between the two heads of the bolt. To accomplish that, however, it would seem necessary to bend the trim piece way out so that the post clears whatever hole it's sitting in.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
 

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peterk9

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Wondering if anyone has removed the liftgate trim piece spanning the tail lights (I think Ford calls it the "license lamp shield"; part 13B482), and could offer a bit of advice on the process.

I'm replacing the black version of this part on my '13 Sport with the chrome version (gladly discuss the motivation behind this in a separate thread:)). I have the new part, so ideally I should be able to figure out how to remove the old one from looking at the new one.

There are a total of twelve mounting points. Moving from the center of the trim piece to either outer edge, there are two bolts, followed by two clips. Those are all easy to deal with. The last two "fasteners", though, consist of a a post (for alignment, perhaps?) and something that looks like a bolt with two heads.

It's these last two I'm struggling with. It looks like the bolt is fastened to the vehicle and the trim piece slides downward (window to bumper direction) between the two heads of the bolt. To accomplish that, however, it would seem necessary to bend the trim piece way out so that the post clears whatever hole it's sitting in.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Welcome to the Forum SprintGT.:wavey:
Congratulations on your new Sport. I don't recall seeing any kind of post on this over the 2+ years I've been on here. Perhaps you could also post this in the Modified 2011 + Explorer Discussion thread;
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=175

I tried searching through the fordparts.com site and could not find anything helpful. Perhaps if your dealer has a local bodyshop you could drop by there and see if they can advise.

Good luck.

Peter
 
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cnsheets

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You'll obviously need to remove the inner plastic trim moulding of the liftgate. I believe the handle has a couple bolts, then the rest are just clips. Once that is off, you'll be able to see the interior of the liftgate and see exactly how that trim piece is removed and re-installed. Its done from the inside.
 
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SprintGT

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Thanks to both of you for your thoughts. I also searched through the modified section of the forum, hoping one of the plastidippers had documented removal of the trim piece as an alternative to masking the surrounding body (and therein, identified some magic that avoids interior panel removal). Closest thing I found was a simplified diagram showing where the piece mounts to the vehicle - a nugget of information I've pretty much conquered.

I suspect you're right, cnsheets, that I'll need to spend some quality time prying clips on the inner trim panel. There's likely a nut holding the threaded end of that double-headed bolt on each end of the exterior trim to the door frame. It's the only thing that makes sense to me. Both the post on the trim piece itself and the channel in the door which the entire piece fits into preclude any upward motion that could otherwise separate the trim from the bolt.

If I go through the exercise, I'll do my best to document it.
 
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cnsheets

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The top smaller piece of the interior trim is just held by clips. Pull that first. The larger interior piece you must first pull the cover off the handle, there will be two bolts. I circled that area in red. Remove the bolts, then everything else is clips. Just pull. Here are some pics so you know where the clips are and bolts. From there, you should be able to look within the interior of the liftgate and see the nuts holding the edge of the outer trim you want to remove.

I dont have a wider shot of the liftgate, sorry.


IMG_2191_zpseead9c73.jpg

IMG_2190_zps98e3f38e.jpg

IMG_2189_zpse6664894.jpg
 
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txaggie

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Perhaps they have changed the trim strip? On my 2013 Limited I took the strip off to see how hard it would be to replace. The nuts that screwed onto the end of the strip were actually outside the interior trim pieces, very close to the ends of the pistons that hold up the lift gate. Removing the 4 screws and then the 2 nuts meant all I had to do was "pop" it off where the clips held it on (maybe 4 or 5 points along the length of the trim strip).

I didn't completely take it off as there were a lot of electrical connections with the camera and license plate lights. What are you doing with your old black strip?
 
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SprintGT

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Thanks much for all the excellent pics, cnsheets. That's enormously helpful.

txaggie - I'll take another look for access outside the interior trim panel. Assuming I'm successful by either means, I'll probably be putting the original black trim in the classified section of the forum. One step at a time, though.
 
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cnsheets

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Perhaps they have changed the trim strip? On my 2013 Limited I took the strip off to see how hard it would be to replace. The nuts that screwed onto the end of the strip were actually outside the interior trim pieces, very close to the ends of the pistons that hold up the lift gate. Removing the 4 screws and then the 2 nuts meant all I had to do was "pop" it off where the clips held it on (maybe 4 or 5 points along the length of the trim strip).

I didn't completely take it off as there were a lot of electrical connections with the camera and license plate lights. What are you doing with your old black strip?

I think that tx is right on this one.....
 
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SprintGT

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The eye exam I have scheduled for next week is turning out to be rather timely. Txaggie, you're entirely correct. There were two plain-as-day 11mm acorn nuts next to the mounting point of the liftgate strut.

I'm adding photos here that run through the steps I took. Hopefully I'll get these in order. Looks like I'll need to split this into a couple of posts to get all 8 photos in the mix.

The OEM chrome trim I ordered comes with license plate lights terminating in a connector that mates with a harness inside the liftgate frame (photo 1).
- Pop the license plate light cases through the exterior of the liftgate trim. There's a tab on one side of the light case.
- A 1/4 turn of the bulb housing will allow the light case to be completely removed

The light wires are simply tucked behind tabs and easily pulled out (photo 2), except for one small zip tie (mine was blue). Cut the tie, and all wires (with bulbs connected) can be completely removed from the liftgate trim.

My pictures don't show the plate covering the camera hole, as I had already removed it. Just a couple of tabs; one on either side of the plate.

Next I pulled off the original black lifgate trim.
- Open the liftgate and remove the 11mm acorn nuts near the liftgate strut mounting point (photos 3 and 4).
- Removed the four 10mm bolts; one on each side of both the left and right license plate lights (photo 5).
- Pull the trim piece outward to free the four clips (photo 6).

At this point the black liftgate trim is just hanging by its wire harness. My approach was to leave this connected in the door and remove the trim from the wires.
- Pop out the license plate light cases and twist out the bulbs.
- The camera sits inside a housing that mounts at three points (photo 7). There is a torx screw holding a small plastic plate. That plate holds the back of the camera in place, and the torx screw is attached to a threaded post in the camera housing. Take the screw out first. You can then push the clips on either side of the housing toward each other (in the photo, the clip on the right is tucked behind the trim frame and hard to see).
- Pull the wires out from the points in the trim where they've been tucked, and clip the zip tie. The liftgate trim can now be completely removed (photo 8).

Getting the chrome trim mounted was just a matter of reversing these steps.
- Holding the liftgate trim with its exterior facing the ground, push the camera housing tabs up into the exterior of the liftgate trim, drop the camera down into the housing (it only fits one way) then slide the plastic plate in place. Took a little nudging, as there are tabs on the plate that "weave" both under and over the liftgate trim frame. Insert the torx screw, but don't tighten it all the way.
- Drop the license plate bulbs through their respective holes in the liftgate trim frame, insert them into their cases, then push the cases back into the trim frame. These cases have to be pushed from the "outside" of the trim to the "inside", which is why you have to thread the light bulb through the trim frame first. Also, contrary to what might seem more instinctive the tabs on the light bulb cases both face the same direction on the vehicle (passenger side).
- Tuck the wires into place. I didn't fully tighten the torx screw above because the wires need to fit behind a tab in the camera mounting plate. Push the wires behind that tab, and the torx screw can be fully tightened.
- I attached the chrom trim to the liftgate from the center-outward. There is an alignment tab behind the backup camera that fits in a small hole in the liftgate body. Start with that, then insert the four 10mm bolts. Push in the clips, raise the liftgate and attach the 11mm acorn nuts to finish the job.

Altogether, pretty simple stuff. If you're like me, though, wear your good glasses before you start. Helps in all manner of ways, like distingushing the front of the vehicle from the back, finding one's tool box... Thanks again to cnsheets and txaggie for all the help!

01LiftgateTrimLightRemoval_01.jpg


02LiftgateTrimLightsRemoved_02.jpg


03LiftgateTrim11mm_01.jpg


04LiftgateTrim11mm_02.jpg
 
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SprintGT

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Here are the rest of the photos.
05LiftgateTrim10mm.jpg


06LiftgateTrimPartialRemoved.jpg


07LiftgateTrimCameraRemoval.jpg


08LiftgateTrimLightsCameraRemoved.jpg
 
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SprintGT

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Somebody really needs to wash this vehicle.
 

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cnsheets

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I'll wash it for ya in trade for that ugly old red car sitting next to it :D
 
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SprintGT

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Nah, you wouldn't want that old thing. Traction control is nonexistent, the nav is folded up in the glove box, and the climate control system relies on WD40 for peak performance.
 
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txaggie

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Glad I could help, and glad that it wasn't more difficult for you. Let me know when you get ready to post it for sale.
 
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cnsheets

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Nah, you wouldn't want that old thing. Traction control is nonexistent, the nav is folded up in the glove box, and the climate control system relies on WD40 for peak performance.

Yeah I think you are right....shoot me your address and I'll come tow it to my garage...I mean the junk yard for ya so that you don't have that eye sore hanging around either... :D
 
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dora51032

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removal of chrome part off the tailgate

how do I remove the chrome bar off the tailgate, the one that has "explorer on it" i want to paint it with black. i manage to remove some screws, two on both end and four above the license plate. but it seem there are still bolt or clip holding it and i don't want to force it. is there anyone manage to remove this part. thanks
 
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jmr061

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Have you considered plasti-dip? I think it just pops off but if you plasti-dip just tape off the edges and a bit more and just do it while its on the vehicle.
 
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peterk9

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how do I remove the chrome bar off the tailgate, the one that has "explorer on it" i want to paint it with black. i manage to remove some screws, two on both end and four above the license plate. but it seem there are still bolt or clip holding it and i don't want to force it. is there anyone manage to remove this part. thanks
Using the Forum's 'Search' program, I found this existing thread and merged yours with it. Hope it helps.

Peter
 
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dora51032

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Have you considered plasti-dip? I think it just pops off but if you plasti-dip just tape off the edges and a bit more and just do it while its on the vehicle.

i'll try once more to pop it lil bit. if doesn't cooperate will consider plasti-dip. thank you :thumbsup:

thanks Peter for merging my post to this thread :thumbsup:
 
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dora51032

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i'll try once more to pop it lil bit. if doesn't cooperate will consider plasti-dip. thank you :thumbsup:

thanks Peter for merging my post to this thread :thumbsup:

i ended up with plasti-dip. great product.
its looks great though i want i metallic finish. will see how long it last! thanks again for the advise :thumbsup:

2015-09-23%2018.41.13.jpg
 
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