I realize that these postings are several months old but if anyone is in search of replacement parts for the door cable on a Ford Econoline, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
In most cases it is not the cable itself that breaks, but the plastic retainer tips at the end of the cable that deteriorates over time. We have both plastic and aluminum versions of these tips that can be purchased and attached to your door cables.
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Either the cable is stretched or the holder for the cable (inside the rear plastic cover at the bottom of the back door) has come loose. Another unlikely possibility: The latch may be closed with the door open. In that case, insert screwdriver into hole in the latch and pull open. That only works if your door won't latch at all. Check the "pull" handle... make sure the cable is still attached. If this is an electric model then you must see a licensed mechanic for replacement or repair of the solenoid.
this problem is caused by one or more of the 6 door ajar switches (one at each side door and two at tailgate) sticking in one or more of the doors, the tiny switches are attached to the door latch assembly inside the door, to ID which switch(s) is the problem a Ford dealer can scan the module that these switches send there signal to, this can quickly ID which switch is the problem, to guess would require every door come apart and each switch tested, this would be an all day job as the door panels and rear galss run channel must be removeds to get at the switchs
I suspect the link came off the door latch. They are plastic and break. Rate as fixya if this helps.
Rear Door Latch Push Button Rod
Rear Door Latch Bellcrank Link
Rear Door Latch Assembly
Screw (3 Req'd Each Side)
Rear Door Latch Actuator
Rear Door Latch Remote Control Link
Front Door Latch Remote Control and Link
Rear Door Latch Bellcrank Assembly
Screw (2 Req'd Each Side)
Remove door trim panel and watershield. Refer to Section 01-05 .
Check all connections of remote control links and cables. Service as necessary.
Remove remote control assembly.
Remove door latch remote control assembly from latch assembly.
Drill out rivet at bellcrank and link (264B14).
Remove three screws attaching latch assembly to door.
Drill out rivet that attaches actuator motor to door.
Remove latch assembly with actuator motor and door latch control rod lever link assembly.
Install new bushings and clip onto latch assembly.
Install latch with links and power lock actuator into door cavity.
Position latch assembly to door, aligning screw holes in latch and door. Install three screws. Tighten to 10-13 Nm (89-115 lb-in).
Attach door latch actuator motor to door with a new rivet.
Install bellcrank and link to door using a new rivet.
Install inside door handle and remote control assembly to door.
Open and close door to check latch assembly operation.
Install watershield and door trim panel. Refer to Section 01-05 .
Door Handle to Door Latch Actuating Cable
Rear Door Control Rod Retainer
Rear Door Latch
Door Outside Handle Tension Spring
Outside Door Handle Anti Rattle Pivot (2 Req'd)
Front Door Outside Handle Spacer (2 Req'd)
Rear Door Actuating Rod
Outside Door Handle Anti-Rattle Bumper
Outside Door Handle Large Pad
Nut (2 Req'd)
Screw (3 Req'd)
Rear Door Electric Latch Actuator (RH)
Rear Door Latch Striker Assembly
Door Lock Striker Plate (Part of Door Shell Assy)
Rivet (2 Req'd)
Bellcrank and Link (RH)
Rear Door Latch Control Rod Link
Rivet (2 Req'd)
RR Door Latch (Inside)
RR Door Latch Push Button Rod
Door Latch Rear Striker Assembly
Screw (2 Req'd)
Rear Door Catch
Truss Head Bolt (2 Req'd)
Rear Door Latch Actuator Retainer
Rear Door Latch Control Escutcheon
Tighten to 21-29 Nm (16-21 Lb-Ft)
Tighten to 10-13 Nm (89-115 Lb-In)
Tighten to 7-8 Nm (62-70 Lb-In)
Tighten to 26-34 Nm (20-25 Lb-Ft)
Tighten to 3-4 Nm (27-35 Lb-In)
You will have to open it from the inside-Yes, I have done it and it takes about 15 min. or so.-I have also posted about 40 images, after I opened the door-In an effort to contribute a little to all the lost souls with the Curse of the F150 3rd Door issue. Hope this helps-BTW I just did this on 12/04/2011-found my particular issue-I will need a new cable, so I'll have to go to the dealer tomorrow and buy one. Also included images of the tools needed-Good Luck! Link to the images are here>>>http://s289.photobucket.com/albums/ll220/techdispatch/F150%203rd%20door%20curse/?start=all
Pull the panel off starting at the top, you can just pry the window control apart, you don't need to unscrew that part. I sprayed white grease (lubriplate) all around the door latch inside there, and it unlatched easy.
After I put it back together, the knob still doesn't rise as high as the other side. I think the linkage is binding, and the connecting rod is bent. At least if the door won't unlock with the button you can do it by hand.