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Rear hatch doesn't open

91rangerdanger

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Ford Ranger
Just recently got 2000 explorer xlt. Everything seems to be fine and dandy except that the rear hatch doesn't open. I have tried unlocking multiple times, with fob and key. What is best way to go about rear hatch door to open??
 



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What typically happens is that a small yellow plastic clip that connects the handle to the rods that open the latches pops open/breaks. Then the exterior handle is no longer connected to anything. IMO this happens due to lack of lubrication of the many moving parts in the hatch.

To fix it, you need to get into the hatch from the inside, removing the interior trim panel. To do that, you need to get the hatch open. I can tell you how I manged to do this on one of my 2000 Mountaineers when I bought it.
 






What typically happens is that a small yellow plastic clip that connects the handle to the rods that open the latches pops open/breaks. Then the exterior handle is no longer connected to anything. IMO this happens due to lack of lubrication of the many moving parts in the hatch.

To fix it, you need to get into the hatch from the inside, removing the interior trim panel. To do that, you need to get the hatch open. I can tell you how I manged to do this on one of my 2000 Mountaineers when I bought it.
If you could explain that would be great
 






If you could explain that would be great

Okay, here we go... I'm assuming you can get the rear window open.
There are 2 plastic covers/plugs on the top of interior trim panel. Pop them out and there may be a single screw under one of the plugs. I don't recall which one. If found, remove the screw.

There are 2 screws that hold the pull down strap to the trim panel. Remove them and remove the strap.

This is where things get a bit more complicated... In the center of the trim panel is where the latch for the window is located. You need to get the plastic trim panel to come up over the latch (without breaking the plastic) to be able to see down inside the hatch. Once you've done this, use a good flashlight to look straight down into the hatch right in the center. You should see two rods going out to the left and right. These rods connect to the left and right hatch latches.

Using a long screw driver, or similar tool, you need to press down on the point where the two rods are connected to a swivel point. IIRC you need to press down on the driver's side of the swivel point. It should move down and it pull on the rods, which will release the latches. When the latches release you need to have someone to be lifting the hatch from the outside. Then it's opened and you can set about removing the interior panel next.

To remove the trim panel you need to pop out 6-7 clips that attach the top part of the panel around the rear window. A trim removal tool or a stiff putty knife works well. Insert your tool near the bottom of the glass and slide it upward to locate the clips and lever them out. IIRC there are 2 clips on each side and 3-4 along the top.

Once you've released all the clips, the lower portion of the trim panel just lifts off the hatch. It's held on by a bunch of hooks which are molded into the back of the trim panel.

There should be a plastic weather barrier glued to the hatch. Pull it away and you will see large access holes in the hatch.

If/when you get this far, let me know and I'll tell you what your'er looking for.
 






In my 01, you did in fact push down on the driver's side of the latch swivel point, if it hasn't been opened in a while, it will be more than slightly stiff, experience talking.
 






In my 01, you did in fact push down on the driver's side of the latch swivel point, if it hasn't been opened in a while, it will be more than slightly stiff, experience talking.

The 2000 mechanism would be the same as the '99. Mine was not particularly stiff. For me the tricky part was trying to get the hatch opened while I was pushing down on the swivel. If I had a helper it would have been easier.
 






Well mine hadn't been opened since 2008, and the actuator was what was installed then, and I had to completely readjust the entire hatch to get it to open and close correctly, and a ton of lock lube later, it works correctly.
 






Okay, here we go... I'm assuming you can get the rear window open.
There are 2 plastic covers/plugs on the top of interior trim panel. Pop them out and there may be a single screw under one of the plugs. I don't recall which one. If found, remove the screw.

There are 2 screws that hold the pull down strap to the trim panel. Remove them and remove the strap.

This is where things get a bit more complicated... In the center of the trim panel is where the latch for the window is located. You need to get the plastic trim panel to come up over the latch (without breaking the plastic) to be able to see down inside the hatch. Once you've done this, use a good flashlight to look straight down into the hatch right in the center. You should see two rods going out to the left and right. These rods connect to the left and right hatch latches.

Using a long screw driver, or similar tool, you need to press down on the point where the two rods are connected to a swivel point. IIRC you need to press down on the driver's side of the swivel point. It should move down and it pull on the rods, which will release the latches. When the latches release you need to have someone to be lifting the hatch from the outside. Then it's opened and you can set about removing the interior panel next.

To remove the trim panel you need to pop out 6-7 clips that attach the top part of the panel around the rear window. A trim removal tool or a stiff putty knife works well. Insert your tool near the bottom of the glass and slide it upward to locate the clips and lever them out. IIRC there are 2 clips on each side and 3-4 along the top.

Once you've released all the clips, the lower portion of the trim panel just lifts off the hatch. It's held on by a bunch of hooks which are molded into the back of the trim panel.

There should be a plastic weather barrier glued to the hatch. Pull it away and you will see large access holes in the hatch.

If/when you get this far, let me know and I'll tell you what your'er looking for.
Also unable to open rear window...
 






Also unable to open rear window...

If that's the case, your lock is not turning the small plastic peg that needs to rotate with either the key, or via the lock actuator. The "locking mechanism" is kind of a joke. I don't know how to advise you further. Something has become unattached in your hatch. You'll have to get in there to see what.

I'll find a picture of the lock and add it to this post.

Edit:
Here's a picture of the lock. Note the plastic peg that I've colored orange. When the key is inserted and turned the peg rotates and allows the window and hatch to open.

111_0056_zps6f0kduxd.jpg
 












When mine would not open. I popped off the entire inner plastic shield from the inside of the hatch while it was closed. Then I found the two bars inside that operate the latches on both sides of the liftgate. If you have ever had a tailgate with a broken handle its the same process. Just push the two bars in and the lifegate should pop open.
 






When mine would not open. I popped off the entire inner plastic shield from the inside of the hatch while it was closed. Then I found the two bars inside that operate the latches on both sides of the liftgate. If you have ever had a tailgate with a broken handle its the same process. Just push the two bars in and the lifegate should pop open.
I'll have to give it a try tomorrow. Thanks!
 






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