I have a 97 F150 and the tailgate will not open from the handle. I opened the panel on the back and open it and everything looks fine. I am looking at the lock mechanism. In one posistion, the handle moves but the rods do not. In the other position. The handle tries to move but is too hard. I assume the 2nd position is the locked position, so why does my handle not open? Does anyone have a diagram? I do better with pictures... Thanks, Brian
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I had a clip break when I tried to open my tailgate. I had to remove my inside hatch panel and find my way to the handle assembly. A little plastic clip (shaped like a T) had finally worn out, which wouldn't hold the locking arms, and I had to go to a Ford dealership for a $3 part; tailgate has worked fine since then!
Either ,something is binding inside the tailgate, or broken.
You can get to the mechanism from the inside panel of the tailgate-- by
removing the screws that down the inside panel.
Once you remove the panel you should be able to open the tailgate by
pulling on the thin cable to unlatch the latches from both ends of the tailgate and a good look at the handle mechanism will tell you what wrong.
There is a tendancy for the Triggers from the handle to Disengage internally to the Latch due to Wear and Tear, or sometimes Stressing the Mechanism when the Tailgate is Locked and someone forgot.
Gently unfasten the trim panels around the Tailgate, from the INSIDE, and if you THINK about the project, you will be able to release enough of this All in One piece enough to trip the triggers by hand, and open the Tailgate. Continue to unfasten the moulded grips, and remove the whole panel. This will then give you the access to fix the Release mechanism, mounted on the Tailgate inner body.
Mine just did the exact same thing. The latch may be moving freely because it is not hooked to the latching mechanism anymore. In my case, the handle had broken where the handle hooks to the rod that operates the mechanism. Go to the Ford dealer and buy a new handle. Here in S.C. it was $24. You can't get this at the parts houses. Start by removing the plastic "Ford" cover that is over the liscense plate lights. You then have to remove the aluminum rivets that hold the handle to the tailgate from the outside and remove the broken latch. Remove the pull handle loop on the interior side of the tailgate (2 screws), unsnap the inside plastic tailgate interior panel, and pull down the black plastic sheeting that is underneath the panel to make access to the mechanism inside of the tailgate. There is also a hard plastic cover that you will see that needs to be pulled loose to open another access hole. Install the new tailgate latch handle by sliding back into the mounting holes and attach with two 10-32 screws and nuts. The new handle will come with a new yellow rod attachment piece on the handle. You will see inside of the tailgate a small rod hanging down, most likeky it will have the same rod attachment piece as the one on the new handle. Note the position of the yellow piece on the rod, as you will connect the new piece in the same place. Once the rod is hooked up, relubricate the metal mechanism with a light machine oil, replace the black plastic cover, replace the black plastic sheeting, (secure with a small amount of duct tape), replace the tailgate interior panel, replace the pull handle loop, shut tailgate, replace "Ford" cover over lights, and you're done!
Sounds like one of the control rods has come off in side the tailgate that pulls on the latches to release the tailgate. Here is what you need to do to fix this. Look on the inside of the tailgate and you will see a rectangular plate that you can remove. Take this plate off and it will give you access to the inside of the tailgate. Then you will see which rod has dropped out of it's retaining hole. You may need to get a new plastic clip from Ford to keep the rod in place. Don't worry though. These plastic clips are cheap and easy to replace. Good luck. This plastic part will only be available from Ford.
if you take off interior panel.....push out the dent with a bar....then try button if no work go back inside and you should see bars going down from handle to latch area...pull up on it and should pop the trunk