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Name that door latch issue - 2001 ST

esromj

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Madison, WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer Sport Trac
I have a job 1 Sport Trac. Both of my front doors are hard to open from the outside. You have to lift up really high/hard on the handle and even then the door doesn't really unlatch very convincingly. This problem caused me to recently break the driver's door handle, which I have just finished replacing.

I have read about the spring fix but I can't tell if that is for the same problem. My door handles have spring tension and feel fairly normal, they just don't seem to engage the latch mechanism. Does this indicate an issue with the latch mechanism or is the spring fix the thing to do?

The door locks and unlocks fine and opens fine from the inside.

Should I try moving the yellow clips farther down on the rod connected to the door handle?
 


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swshawaii

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'05 Sport Trac XLS (RWD)
Make sure the latches are lubricated and the mechanisms are moving freely.

Also check the door strikers. Worn striker bushings can often cause issues.

If neither helps, remove the door panels and window channels to diagnose.
 




bdmaash

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YYC
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'07, '01 sport trac
Make sure the latches are lubricated and the mechanisms are moving freely.

Also check the door strikers. Worn striker bushings can often cause issues.

If neither helps, remove the door panels and window channels to diagnose.

yes, do the above, spray down whole latch assembly through opening where it contacts striker with WD40/or similar light lube.
If everything is set up right after lubing, door will work great. (adjust linkage after lubing, because the adjustment may seem to work the first time, then not after a bit if done before lubing)
 








esromj

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2001 Explorer Sport Trac
From the OP of "door latch problem solved - temporarily maybe??" that has almost 98,000 views and counting.
Thanks again, your post has helped MANY people. Now you need to design better door latches and actuators. ;)

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=207373

Are you saying that thread is the same issue as mine? I have read that thread. It does mention multiple issues but it doesn't seem to be the same problem. My doors lock and unlock easily, I just have a hard time getting the door to unlatch.

I know a lot of people have trouble with Explorer doors. I haven't seen many describing the same symptoms as mine and I'm having a hard time figuring out what people do to fix it. The spring fix is very popular it seems, but is it for this problem? I can't tell.
 




swshawaii

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Did you flush out and lube the latches? Door striker bushings worn? Only way of diagnosing is to remove the panels and inspecting.
 




esromj

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2001 Explorer Sport Trac
I was skeptical but white lithium grease seems to have done the trick. I had already taken the door panel off when I replaced the exterior door handle and didn't see anything wrong or broken at that time.

I sprayed white lithium grease on the latch (without removing the door panel or the latch mechanism) and on the door striker. Immediately, the door unlatched and opened with ease.

Thank you -- it seems not all door latch issues require the spring trick.
 




swshawaii

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Good to hear, highly recommend servicing all of them. Cleaning and lubricating latches should be considered preventative and
routine maintenance. Binding latch mechanisms causes added strain on everything connected to them, including actuators, handles, and lock cylinders. White lithium spray is very effective and the heaviest spray lube available. Wish there was a clear formula, I would use it more often if it weren't so messy. Just be aware that most of the residual spray ends up in the bottom of the door sills, and can seep through the plastic drain plugs staining anything it touches, including clothing.
 




Kjhadfield

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02 sport trac 4wd
This is the same issue I have had in the past-6 months ago, causing a broken handle. I fixed it (the handle) and the rivet that broke leaving the actuator just hanging (w/a bolt n nut). Didn't notice a broken spring so I didn't add 1. I did spray it with something but can't remember now and everything worked fine… until just this past week. I broke the new handle but got a replacement with the warranty. Installed it and still haven't put the panel back ok because I can't pinpoint the root.

So far I replaced the handle and sprayed latches with penetrating oil/spray can. Can said for locks and latches, was this sufficient? I thoroughly inspected to find that damn spring everyone is talking about. And I noticed a spring intact inside the actual latch. I kept looking in the area by where people add the replacement spring. This is the spring, right? Maybe mines is just intact but loose? I bought springs to give that a try but have yet to install. My main concern is after I lubed the latches the 2nd day my handle wouldn't open the door, pulling on it high and in fear of breakage. Should I adjust the yellow clip as well? I thought you were to split the play and clip in the middle, is that wrong? Or should I have the rod down and clip high. The bushing you refer to is what the latch contacts on truck body. How does a worn bushing look worn and can they easily be replaced
 




Kjhadfield

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02 sport trac 4wd
Updated to my previous post

I may have found my issue. I watched a video by 1auto, I think, and when you have to clip the yellow clip back on the rod it said to lift rod up and down and split difference and clip. I looked at it again and if I split difference of rod up and down that did nothing but leave slack in the rod where it connects to the exterior handle. The lever "thing" that the yellow clip is attached has play, so I pushed down on the lever clip and with the rod down clipped rod and yellow clip… perfect! It was the up and down motion in that piece of the latch (that the yellow clip is attached). I took photos and will attached soon
 




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