Tip & How-To about Jeep Cherokee

How to fix Jeep Cherokee XJ hatch Lift gate ball stud problem

I decided to finish what I started. My liftgate was starting to have issues on the passenger side because the ball stud was pushing the sheet metal out of whack and starting to face the front of my XJ.
I drilled several holes next to the stud, next to the gap that was created by the ball stud bending the metal. I was able to get a screw driver in there and I was able to pry out the stud and nut. I hammered the metal flat and in to allow clearance for the nut when I reinstalled it. I also painted the exposed metal for protection.
I bought some medium thick flat strap from Home Depot and cut a 3.5 inch piece off of it. The old ball stud is fairly soft metal. Use a Torx bit or put Vise Grips on the stud shoulder that butts up against the mounting metal face. I then drilled a hole for the stud and bolted it into the new piece and painted it.
I stuck it up where I wanted it and marked where I wanted the Rivet holes. You really only need holes on the edge that faces the lifgate because there is always forward preasure on the plate. Drilled the holes in the plate off of the XJ on top of a piece of wood, then held the plate back up where I wanted to mount it and drilled a hole into my XJ's sheet metal, popped in a rivet and it held it in place while did the other 2 holes. I did the drivers side plate 4 years ago and it is still solid as a rock and is also when I replaced the struts I bought at Autozone. They are very good quality, they have held up in temps of -30 to temps of +118. It raises all by itself and actually has a lot of tension on it when you close it, they are very strong struts.

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