How do I replace the latch assemby on the rear liftgate on my 2002 Explorer I have this problem. The handle just dangles loosely from its hinges and performs no function. The pin that connected it to the latch mechanism is broken. I can reach under the interior panel into the liftgate and manually push the latch open by pushing the rods to release the latches, but it's only a temporary solution. I don't know where to find the interior parts for the handle/latch connection, especially because I'm not sure of the name of the part.
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The issue you are having is with the power latch assembly. This system has multiple items and sensors related to its operation and even has its own control module (computer) that will set codes if there is a problem such as what you are having. The only way to be 100% sure is to check the power liftgate control module with a scanner capable of accessing it. What I have found to be the most common problem is the power rear latch in the lift gate that actually closes the rear hatch in the last few inches on movement and it issues that it it latched in place. You will need to replace the power liftgate latch assembly.
This solution applies to models: 2002-2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer, Trailblazer EXT and Trailblazer SS 2004-2007 Buick Rainier 2002-2007 GMC Envoy, Envoy XL, and Envoy Denali 2002-2004 Oldsmobile Bravada 2005-2007 Saab 9-7x
Condition/Concern: Rear liftgate glass will not lock when using the key fob or door switch unless the lock button is pressed a second time. All other doors will lock normally. This could be the result of the liftgate glass lock rod not adjusted correctly. This lock rod travels from the liftgate lock actuator to the glass release push-button cylinder.
Recommendation/Instructions: Remove the inside rear liftgate trim panel. Disconnect the threaded lock rod clip at the end of the push-button glass release and rotate this clip 1 complete turn at a time making the lock rod longer. This will be the only threaded lock rod visible when the trim panel is removed and the liftgate is raised. Note: For the rear glass to release, the rear liftgate latch must be in the closed position. For test purposes only, this latch can be made closed to make this lock rod adjustment.
Please follow this diagnostic or repair process thoroughly and complete each step. If the condition exhibited is resolved without completing every step, the remaining steps do not need to be performed.
I'm not sure where' the screws are but basically You need to remove the panel on the rear door, then once the panel (interior trim) has been removed you should see a lock mechanism which will be screwed/bolted in place. Easier and cheaper then buying a brand new lock mechanism (unless you want to buy brand new) is going to a wreckers and finding your car model and get it that way (yes it's used but it'll probably save you tons of money vs the dealership) Best Regards.
The liftgate consists of the following components:
liftgate door lock actuator
liftgate lock cylinder (if equipped)
liftgate window glass
liftgate window latch/ajar switch
liftgate window glass release handle
liftgate latch remote control which consists of the following component:
liftgate release handle
liftgate latch, which consist of the following component:
liftgate latch door ajar switch
Liftgate Latch Actuator
Removal and Installation
Remove the liftgate latch remote control. For additional information, refer to Liftgate Latch Remote Control in this section.
SECTION 501-14: Handles, Locks, Latches and Entry Systems
2001 Escape Workshop Manual
REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION
Removal and Installation
Remove the liftgate trim panel.
Disconnect the liftgate ajar switch electrical connector.
Disconnect the liftgate latch actuating rod.
Open the clip.
Disconnect the actuating rod.
Remove and discard the liftgate latch bolts.
Remove the liftgate latch.
NOTE: Make sure the liftgate latch release rod is not preloading the latch. It should be clipped in a relaxed state with no slack. NOTE: Position the liftgate latch release rod by pushing outboard to remove the slack.
The easy part is you just need the latch for the liftgate. The hard part is getting to it and opening the liftgate to replace the latch. You should be able to pull the liftgate trim off most of the way with the gate closed and try to manually actuate the latch to open the gate. You may have to go so far as breaking the latch from the inside to open the gate and then replace your latch.
Probably a issue with your actuator... there is a recall due to the "latching system does not meet the inertia load requirement" might want to check with the dealership to see if your vehicle is with this group, hope this helps :)
Recall 04V602000: Liftgate Latch Release Rod Replacement
Certain 2004-2005 sport utility vehicles and certain 2001-2003 sport utiity vehicles having rear liftgate components serviced with 2004 equivalent components fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 206, "Door Locks and Door Retention Components." The rear liftgate latching system does not meet the inertia load requirement in one direction.