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How to: Remove and replace door latch assembly


dmontigny

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This was a huge help! Install too 10 minutes tops!
 


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skw1rl

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1994 Explorer Eddie Bauer
Unable to open my two back doors...

Would this work with my '94? My two back passenger doors for a while they could only be opened from the outside, than one gave out and couldn't be opened at all :eek: and I thought okay at least one of the back doors opens and than the other day the last one just gave out too. So, now i have no back doors at all. Oh and on top of that the front passenger door doesn't open from the outside either. I know, I know I had been putting it off for too long.

Hey, it runs, even though it does stall once in a while. I notice that if when you start it, you rev it up a lot it doesn't stall but that's for a different section of the forum, right now...

I got a couple of estimates from two body shops to fix my doors. One wants to charge me approx. $340 with OEM parts and the another one said he might be able to do it for $200.... :scratch:

I do love my Explorer, I love driving it. It handles very well and is a lot of fun.
:rangergreen:
 




J_C

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skw1rl, a '94 4-door seems to use the same latch part #s (but check this yourself, I saw conflicting info) so yes this should work for yours too.
 
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skw1rl

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Thank you, JC

:salute: I appreciate it.
 




AP9

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2000 XLT 4WD, 4.0L OHV V6
I'm doing my rear-right door and am having the hardest time getting the rod disconnected that connects to the power lock actuator. Am I just going to have to break that off? Been trying for about an hour now to wiggle it every which way, and I don't see it coming off without something breaking or getting bent.

edit: Never mind, I was able to get it off by cutting up the plastic clip on the old latch. OP, thank you very much for this write-up -- resulted in this task going from impossible to moderately-difficult for me (big clumsy hands don't do too well in that tight space).

I'll also go ahead and contribute these points that I don't think have been directly addressed:
  • On step 6, make sure you use a size 3 Phillips screwdriver. Anything smaller and you're likely to strip the heads. I almost stripped mine using a size 1 and thought I'd have to use vise grips, but I got a hold of a size 3 and they came off with no problem.
  • I didn't notice my new latch didn't include the little standoff clip for the ground wire until I had already installed it and didn't have a place to plug the ground wire into. Perhaps it changed for some model year? I have a late-2000 and this was the right-rear latch. But so far I haven't noticed any issues.
 
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Kellman

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1998 Explorer Sport
Great write-up! After fiddling with my broken lock for a bit to figure what was going on, I searched and came up with this. I've found so much other great info on this site I knew I simply should have come here first. Like the above poster, getting the latch twisted and off of the power actuator was one of the more difficult parts. I ended up spraying a spot of lube on it and that helped me rotate and slide it of the power actuator hook.

Also, if it's just the small spring inside that's broken, don't spend $50 to buy a whole new latch, just go to a proper hardware store and buy a new spring. I found one that was a very close match, but with much thicker wire (so it will never break again!) that was slightly bigger around and it still worked perfectly. So, out of pocket for this fix was $3.00. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 




J_C

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^ I've looked at local hardware stores and found nothing similar to the spring(s) that broke on mine.
 




manousos

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Great write up!:thumbsup:

I pulled a latch off a 4door (front driver) to install into my 2 door. The 2 door is definitely harder to work on - smaller clearances and openings. A lot of cuts and cussing for someone with bigger hands

Also, if you are changing the exterior handle, driver and passenger sides are interchangeable. I visited my local pick n pull and found every 2nd gen driver's side handle removed, lol
 




DirtJunky

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:ttiwwp:
 




snakeman

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It worked

Thanks for the help, Much appreciated.

John:usa:
 




J_C

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Also, if it's just the small spring inside that's broken, don't spend $50 to buy a whole new latch, just go to a proper hardware store and buy a new spring. I found one that was a very close match, but with much thicker wire (so it will never break again!) that was slightly bigger around and it still worked perfectly. So, out of pocket for this fix was $3.00. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
Can you give us more information about which hardware store, and possibly even a part #, that you found which worked?

Thanks!
 




Kellman

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Can you give us more information about which hardware store, and possibly even a part #, that you found which worked?

Thanks!
The hardware store was a True Value. They have an assortment of springs and I just picked the one closest to what I pulled out of the latch. I have to go back to get some 2 cycle carb parts so I'll see if I can find a manufacturer and part #. It's probably readily available online if I can find that info.

- Kellman
 




Kellman

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The hardware store was a True Value. They have an assortment of springs and I just picked the one closest to what I pulled out of the latch. I have to go back to get some 2 cycle carb parts so I'll see if I can find a manufacturer and part #. It's probably readily available online if I can find that info.

- Kellman
OK, I went and looked at the spring again. The brand is Servalite, spring #102 . I tried looking up the UPC and part number, 08236-12490 and 540305 respectively, but couldn't find anything online. I'll post some pics tomorrow after I set up a Photobucket.
 




crystalcatrades

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1997 ford explorer
frame rust

I have a 97 ford explorer.Ive put alot of money into it since I got it a yr ago.I just found out i have alot of frame rust,but I guess it's pretty bad around where my leaf spring is on the drivers side.I am gonna have a welder look at it and see what he can do.Then spray the dark undercoating for rust after to try to cover it.I would appreciate any suggestions if anyone has one.Thank you
 




J_C

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I have a 97 ford explorer.Ive put alot of money into it since I got it a yr ago.I just found out i have alot of frame rust,but I guess it's pretty bad around where my leaf spring is on the drivers side.I am gonna have a welder look at it and see what he can do.Then spray the dark undercoating for rust after to try to cover it.I would appreciate any suggestions if anyone has one.Thank you
Your post is a little off topic in this thread. You might want to have a moderator move it or start a new topic.

Briefly the solution is what you'd expect, the rusted areas get cut out and new panels welded on and painted, and undercoating on the back. If you post a new topic then people who have done it will more likely see your post and can better advise on a good source for whichever panels you need.
 




Patentmike

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I had the spring issue as well. However, I noticed that if you lift the arm that goes to the handle up a bit, the problem goes away. I assume that the spring takes care of that normally. I tested my theory with a rubber band, all good. So for about $3.50 I bought a spring at Lows and installed that.

So far it works well. I had to bend the spring ends a bit and add a loop of wire but likely ACE or Dale Hardware would have had a better spring selection.

The handle has two places for the rod attachment but only one is used since it goes on both sides of the car. I attached a spring to the unused side. The other side goes to the bottom of the rod where the plastic connector is. Just make a loop of metal to go around it and hook the spring. It only took about 5 minutes to install. Just make sure to get a light duty spring.

Cheers
This!

I had the same experience. The door was more likely to unlock when I gave the key a firm flick. I could see the little broken spring in the latch. I hooked up a spring where the lock/unlock rod connects to the latch, the other end to the door sheet metal so the latch is biased "up" by the spring. $2.64 fix.
1999spring1_zpse82f698c.jpg
(I didn't need the little retainers after all.)

1999spring2_zps730f0d66.jpg


1999spring3_zpsbce09ce3.jpg
Moving the top of spring right or left had an effect on how well it worked. Make a groove when you find where you want it.
 
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Larry2C

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2001 Explorer
This!

I had the same experience. The door was more likely to unlock when I gave the key a firm flick. I could see the little broken spring in the latch. I hooked up a spring where the lock/unlock rod connects to the latch, the other end to the door sheet metal so the latch is biased "up" by the spring. $2.64 fix.
Moving the top of spring right or left had an effect on how well it worked. Make a groove when you find where you want it.
Can you tell me how long that spring was or what the part number (and where you got it) is for that spring?
 




BrianRest

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Got similar issue a couple of months ago. However I let the experts handle my problem by giving them a call. Days later, the door is working great and my car is good to go again.
 




JB3

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question-

New member and this thread is a great resource, helped me identify the driver door problem for my wifes 99 explorer sport. The door not opening reliably prevented if from passing inspection.

anyway, my question is one of part availability. I have a ford dealer a few miles from me, and I went down there to buy the latch assembly, part number FMC6L5Z7821813C, and I was told "You can't get that anymore". The guy said the same thing for replacement wheel studs, which I was able to buy down the street from him at an advance auto parts.

Is this ford parts guy feeding me BS, or is the latch assembly actually not available anymore from ford since the start of the thread? Have not been to a new dealership yet to double check the local parts guy
 


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Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.








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