Question about 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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Can't get the tailgate open on my 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee

I recently bought a 1998 Grand Cherokee. The tailgate and back window do not open from the outside latches. There was a huge amount of dust in the rear of the vehicle, very fine, and it seems to have affected most of the latches on the back doors and tailgate. I have been able to get the back doors to work satisfactorily, but can only open the back lift window by reaching into the inside tailgate panel and releasing the catch. I have reached down to try and do this to the tailgate, to no avail., tried spraying with WD-40 etc. I cannot get the inside panel off. I have removed the screws, but can't get it completely free and past the shocks for the window without most likely destroying it. I am not sure how to remove the shocks and get the panel off without causing damage. I already have a crack in the panel from reaching down and trying to release the tailgate. I am stuck here. I either need to get the tailgate to open to free the panel to work on the locks and linkage, or need to remove the shocks and panel to get to the locks and linkage. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  • wjburger Feb 26, 2009

    Thanks for your info. tx, I did remove a C clip off of one of the shocks and did not have any luck actually getting it to come free. Don't know if I wasn't following through correctly after removing the clip, but even though I tried to pry it loose after taking off the clip it wouldn't budge, and it just seemed that I was doing more harm than good trying to pry it free.

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I had the same problem. I was able to get the back window open.
I took the the 4 screws off that are on top of the inside of the door (where the tailgate window latch is).
Got a metal coat hanger. straightened it and made a hook at one end.
carefully pushed the plastic part of the tailgate towards the inside
slid the coat hanger straight down (to the level of the tailgate key/handle) to catch the door latch from the inside and pulled up.
that will get the tailgate open.
then you need to take the rest of the screws out of the lower part of the tailgate to get at the latch assembly. Carefully take the plastic off.
(you will need to take the nice black insulation stuff off the metal part of the door carefully so you can replace it and tape it up if necessary after fixing the latch.)
peel the insulation off the metal part of the door, you will see the assembly rod has come off the latch and will need putting back in place and a little sqweeze to stay on.
really bad design I guess, but since I fixed it at 140000, I haven't had any trouble with it at 166000.

Posted on Apr 05, 2009

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A pillow case was in the way of the latch when it closed. Had to tear the pillow case and a piece of fabric became stuck which jammed the latch. We took off the screws to the panel as suggested above. We were able to get a hand down to the latch and remove the lodged fabric. A little WD-40 and we are back in business!

Posted on Mar 28, 2010

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Sound like you are not having any fun, most shocks have a C clip that when removed will then allow the shock to come off of the ball pivot it is attached to.
Some but very few this is not true and the entire pivtot has to be unbolted. I hope the first part helps

Posted on Feb 26, 2009

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