Rear hatch handle doesn't work. How do I fix?


Asked by Aug 15, 2010 at 05:17 PM about the 2003 Ford Explorer XLT V8

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

2003 Ford Expedition.  I was pulling the latch to open the rear hatch and something seemed to pop and the hatch didnt open.  I cant seem to find any way to remove the back panel to see what is wrong.  I cant open the hatch to give me access to the outside perimeter of the panel screws. How do I remedy?

13 Answers

you broke the handle on the inside,look for a pull handle on the inside to open,look in glove box for a push button to open it.

15 out of 15 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2000 Explorer with same problem. THERE IS NO PULL HANDLE. THERE IS NO BUTTON IN THE GLOVE BOX OR ANYWHERE ELSE. Moron engineers.

64 out of 64 people think this is helpful.

You have to pull the inner panel off the door. The latch linkage has a plastic connecting piece which has either broken or slipped off. I went to a junk yard and got this plastic piece and replaced it. It works fine now. But i'm sure it will break again because it is made of plastic.

31 out of 31 people think this is helpful.

I removed the pull handle on the tail gate by removing the two screws in it and then I was able to reach in and pull the linkage to open the door. The inner panel snaps in with clips and needs to be gently pried off.

28 out of 28 people think this is helpful.

2001 explorer ok, can i repair by removing the 'ford' sign thats above the back handle or do i have to remove the inside back panel

54 out of 54 people think this is helpful.

How do trove the back panel on my 200 ford explore to fix the resr latvh

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.

I'm not able to remove the 2 screws. The screws don't seem to be an ellen type of screw or any head that I'm familiar with. Any idea what type of driver that I would need? I was able to hook the latch cable with a clothes hanger, but not able to pull down far enough to un-latch the hatch.

35 out of 35 people think this is helpful.

I have same problem? Did you find A solution? Or know what size screws in the handle are? Does door panel pop off? If so will clips break?

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

1998 EXPLORER CANNOT remove the two little screws under pull handle... I think they are stripped...WHAT TO DO??

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
Phil Clayton

The screws under the pull handle are whats called a pin-in-hex-socket. This requires a special wrench to remove. I don't know the size, but trying to fix my own Ford Explorer, as mine just broke off also :(

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Phil Clayton

Anyone know the (Pin in hex socket) wrench size needed to remove the rear door hatch under the handle ??

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

1998 EXPLORER in attempt to remove the two little screws under pull-handle, ended up DRILLING HOLES=GROWL >"< HOW can I remove the back panel??? Seems my ONLY option is to CUT IT OFF or...???

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2005 Ford Explorer and tonight I had the same issue while at the drive-in. Finally after several tries of everything mentioned I asked another ford owner and all it took was turning the light switch all the way down. Smh I stood up for 2 hours and that's all it was

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