How to Fix a Rear Lift Gate That Will Not Open on a 2003 Ford Explorer

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If the rear lift gate on your 2003 Ford Explorer is not opening, then there is an issue with either the handle or the locking mechanism. Replacing either is fairly simple and takes only half an hour to perform. The handle and locking mechanism are secured to the lift gate through a few bolts and screws. Once you have removed them, you can easily pull out the broken component and replace it with a new one.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Slotted screwdriver
  • Remove the four screws securing the handle and locking mechanism to the lift gate.

  • Use a slotted screwdriver to pry out the handle/locking mechanism assembly from the lift gate.

  • If the locking cylinder on the locking mechanism is jammed, simply lift it from the jam to fix the problem. If the lock or handle are broken, you will need to replace the entire assembly.

  • Install a replacement assembly by snapping it onto the lift gate. Reinstall the screws to secure the lift gate to the Explorer.

References

  • "Ford Pick-Up and Expeditions Total Car Care Repair Manual"; Haynes; 2007
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