I took the tailgate apart and removed the center latch cover off ( broke it) and can move the side latchs with my hand but it doesnt work by moving the handle. sprayed wd 40 on it still not working.also sprayed end springs .
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I had a similar problem. Rust can be a pain in the ***! It might be best to hit the junkyards for a replacement ! Then spray the hell out of it with rust inhibitor. The one you have probably has bent control rods, broken springs and bent or cracked latches. I had the '95 F150 with extended cab...it rusted so badly it was dropping parts all over the road just before I dumped it last year.
My "Release Rod" clips came apart on my truck in the center, and it was a relatively easy fix. Just remember to put the clip in the hole, then put the release rod in and then clip it. When the clip came apart out by where the latch is at the side of the tailgate, this was a little tricky. I got lucky and was able to snag the latch using the release rod as a tool held with a small set of vice grips. When I took the thing apart, I realized the latch can be sprung from the outside with a long slim screw driver. If you look at the latch in the where it holds onto the lug, you'll see a little crack when looking down from the inside out under where the lug is held by the latch. This crack is a tripper holding the latch closed, if you jam your screw driver into that crack and separate it, it will unlatch the tailgate thus allowing you to remove it and replace the plastic part that holds the release rod in the latch release. You can buy the clips for $3 at any auto parts store. No need to buy the whole handle thingy ma bob.
If you are saying the latch mechanism has been removed then use a coat hanger with a small "U" bent on one end. Insert the hanger into the tailgate (where the latch was) to one side and fish for the rod which normally connects to the latch mechanism. After you find one side retain it with a string or the like and find the rod on the other side. Once you have both pull them both toward the center of the tailgate and the tailgate will open.
You have a fuse box under the hood behind the battery and another
located under the dash on the left side of the vehicle access is gained
by snapping off the plastic cover. Later models also have a small fuse
box located behind the glove box.
If you haven't already done so check fuses and all the obvious stuff first.
The switch inside the truck and the key switch on the tailgate work
from a ground source. That ground can be interrupted by 2 safety
switches relating to the tailgate window operation. 1 safety switch is
the top removal switch which is depressed when a specific bold that
holds the fiberglass top is installed. It is located behind the drivers
side trim panel in the cargo area about half way back from the rear
seat. When you take that bolt out and take the top off you cant roll
the window up. This is however most likely not the problem.
The second switch is actually inside the drivers side tailgate
latch. This was the culprit when I had the same problem and seems to be
a likely point of failure. First off, remove the switch for the window
from the center consol and check the connector for ground on the common
contact (usually center but check them all). If there is no continuity
to ground then this is a sure sign that one of those safety switches is
faulty (assuming no broken wires). You can check the first switch but
is most likely a waste of time.
To remove the tailgate latch you first need to get the tailgate open
and if your window doesn't work it needs to be rolled down first. Using
any small gauge wire attach one end to a ground source and touch the
other end to the connector contacts for the window switch you removed.
One of the contacts to ground will roll the window down, the other up,
and the third will do nothing that you will notice.
After the window is down, lower the tailgate and remove trim panel and
everything else necessary to get to the drivers tailgate latch and
remove it. It has a 2 wire connector attached to it. After it is
removed place a jumper in the 2 wire connector and test your console
switch for ground, if it has a ground then that was your problem.
I cant remember if the glass was in the way but if it is you can roll
it up with the tailgate down with the jumper method above just have a
friend lift the glass as it comes out so it doesn't damage or scratch
it and have it braced with a table or something. Don't let the glass
out with the tailgate down without helping it, it isn't designed to do
so and could damage stuff.
When I pulled the latch and took it apart it was full of mud, I even
removed the very tiny switch from it and took the switch apart to clean
it. That part was very difficult because the parts were very small and
not meant to be pulled apart very easily. The little contact was no
larger in daimeter then a #2 pencil lead and only a 1/4" long and
spring loaded when you open the switch. I cleaned everything, put it
back together and it worked great.
That is until now, 2 years later it started doing the same thing again.
I took great lengths in sealing everything to keep mud out and
everthing and it only lasted 2 years, oh well. In short, it may be
expensive but a new latch assembly might be a good idea. I have to do
this job soon myself... again.
I would check for this problem before looking at the relay control
because the relay control is a little more difficult to get to.
·Open the tailgate and remove the tailgate liner. ·Remove the ten bolts(5) that secure the tailgate cover(4) to the inside of the tailgate and remove the cover. ·Using a pencil,mark the actuator rod(3) at the control(2) for the latch(1) being serviced. ·Disconnect the actuator rod from the control ·Remove the two bolts(7 and 8) that secure the latch(5) to the tailgate(4) and position the tailgate check cable(6) out of the way. ·Remove the latch and actuator rod from the tailgate as an assembly. · If required,remove the actuator rod from the latch. You will have to remove the tailgate cover. The cover will most likely be held on by some of the tailgate metal access cover.
Remove the molding ring from around the handle. Becareful not to break the taps that lock it in. After removing the molding you should see the handle mechanism. There is a rod coming in from each side (each one runs out the the actual latch). Make sure each rod is connected into the handle assembly. If it is not put the rod into the hole and find the retainer clip to keep it in place.
I had the same problem. I figure that dirt/rust may have accumulated inside the latching mechanism. I was able to fix it using the following steps.
1 - Remove the plastic cap that covers the top of the gate.
2 - Remove as many of the remaining torx bolts from the inside cover (you will need to do this to get inside the gate).
3 - Next, try and get some WD40 on/in the latch mechanism.
4 - Using a large screwdriver, you will need to pry the lever attached to the cable in order to release the latch.
Not a pretty process but it seemed to work. I give the latches a good lubrication frequently now, until I get around to replacing them.
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!