Question about 1992 Ford Explorer

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92 EXPLORER rear hatch/glass handle/latch not working.

Has outside handle only. To open glass only, turn it CCW; to open entire hatch, turn it CW. But when I accidentally opened glass instead of hatch, I hastily pushed the glass shut at the same time that I was reversing the handle turn direction to CW, and got the mechanism jammed or off it's track. Now, handle is stuck turned in CW position, with hatch/glass firmly closed.

Doesn't seem the interior panel can be removed without opening hatch. Only ready 'access' to hatch innards is via removing a roughly 1" x 3" plastic plug centered a the bottom of the glass. This plug - probably for lubricating lock -allows visual and limited physical access to the 'claw' mechanism of the glass latch, but nothing more.

Using screwdriver, am unable to force the 'claw' to release, and I'm afraid outting too much muscle behind it may only cause further damage, leaving me with the glass flapping in the wind, and the hatch still stuck shut.

Will forcing the mechanism cause damage?

Any way, short of cutting or breaking, to remove interior hatch panel while hatch is closed?

Am in the midst of moving, so I can't do without use of the rear hatch.

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SOURCE: The rear latch/handle on our

Here's how I repaired mine. Go inside and remove the plastic 2" square plastic cover. By pushing on the lever inside this area, the latch will release. Push on the door at the same time, when the latch is pushed. With the door open, remove all four screws from the plastic panel. Now pry carefully the big plastic panel off the door. There are plastic snaps holding this on, all around the edges. Now there is another metal cover over the latch mechanism under this panel. Remove this. You now can see into the latch area and put the handle back into the slot where it came out of. You'll see that the ends of the handle can be put back on the round bar, but to hold them in place, I attached 2 nylon ties on one end. You can also purchase a metal push on retainer from the local hardware store. Mine has been repaired for 8 months and had no trouble. Ford used no retainer on these handles and after prolonged use, they bend and the handle can be pulled off. A twenty minute job. Your wife can even do it.
Fred C

Posted on Jan 03, 2011

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