I just changed mine and after trying to get the screws out and stripping them I finally read you have to take a hacksaw and saw them right past the O shaped thing at the top. Once you do that, you have to heat the screw for about 15-20 seconds and then take a 12mm bolt and unscrew it. Sounds crazy and I did everything but to try and get these off and nothing worked but this. Here is the link I just found, you might have to register to view it but it shows step by step with pics.
Removing the bolts that connect the ball joint and socket on the support arms are nearly impossible. I tried heating the bolts up to loosen the factory lock-tight on the threads. It didn't help and I nearly stripped the bolts anyway.
My solution costs more money, but hey, it worked:
I took the car to my favorite tire/brake/misc. repair shop. They said they could remove the bolts in about a half hour and charged me $44. In the end, they couldn't get the old bolts out either and were afraid to heat up the bolts with a propane torch as they were worried about paint damage. So they sawed the ball joint off of the old support arms, left the factory bolts in, and then I just installed the new support arms using the factory ball joints. Viola.
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The top bezel pops off. There are usually 2 screws to remove from the top of the bottom bezel on each side. start popping the bottom bezel off the hatch. It won't come out. Screws on the bottom. But you can get if off enough to reach down and grab the latch rod or latch to release the hatch. Yes the latch is at the bottom. And it has levers to move to open the hatch. Once open, remove the screws to remove the bezel, then replace the latch.
You can't. You have to get the hatch open. Pull the top trim off the hatch. Remove two screws , one on each side. Pull the bottom panel out and reach down and grab the rod or arm to open the hatch. Then you can access the screws to remove the rear lens. Fix the hatch since it is open.
The same thing happened to us. We have a 2000. The
fix is easy, sort of. From the inside of the van, remove the bolts
holding the handle and the pull ******** the hatch (inside). Then,
starting from the top of the window, remove the plastic molding. It just
snaps off. After you remove the top window plastic, then remove the
molding on either side of the window, and finally, the large piece
covering the inside of the hatch. Once you remove all the plastic, you
will see a cable leading to the hatch clasp at the bottom of the door.
Just pull the cable and the hatch will open.
Other comments tell us thet, if
you can remove the inner door panel you will see a maze of cables
running to the various locking points on the sliding door. If the cable
going to the front latch on the sliding door is broken (or in my case,
simply dislodged inside the door) the door acts as if it is frozen shut.
The front cable is short, and easily replaced even by a newbie mechanic. Keep us updated.
open the rear hatch. Between the tail light housing and the rear hatch opening there is a trim strip with two flush fitted flap doors. Insert a small straight blade screwdriver into the small slot on the tail light side of the flap. Pry gently inboard and the small flap will open (the hinge side of the flap is on the side of the rear hatch opening.) Now you can remove the screws that hold the tail lamp assembly in place. Finally, there is still a "spear point" clip that fits into a socket near the front outboard corner of the assembly. Gently pry with a tape wrapped screwdriver (avoids scratches) and force the assembly straight back. The clip should release and free the assembly so you can change the bulb(s).
get a replacement handle to install once you get it open, push hard against the bottom edge of the hatch right below the handle and then use the handle to open it, but once you get it open it is a pain in the **** to replace the handle
1. Straighten out a metal coat hanger and bend a small hook on one end.
2. Remove the top screws on the inner pannel.
3. Gently pull the top of the pannel open about an inch and shine a
flashlight inside the hatch. Mine has the pop up glass which makes this
a little easier.
4. Slide the hooked end of the coat hanger inside the hatch while a friend works the release handle up and down.
5. Inside the hatch, at the bottom of course, you will see the release
arm moving. Simply hook the arm with the coat hanger and pull up!
6. It may take a few tries, but the hatch will open easily.
you will able to open your hatch in less than 15 minutes by yourself not required 1 more single person. Once the
hatch opens, remove the remaining screws and you will see that the
release arm is adjustable. The arm is threaded and simply pops into a
metal clamp. Pop it out of the clamp, pull up on the arm to take up as
much slack as possible, and pop the arm back into the clamp. Replace
the inner pannel and your done.