Sorry, I can't help with that. Sometimes latches appear to stick when there is no pressure pushing the door or gate open, so when you also have a linkage-related problem, the latch won't pop open when you work it by hand. I'm guessing you already tried tugging on it while working the latches. That opening pressure comes from the two rubber bumpers in the corners and from the squished up weatherstrip. As a point of interest, you might try pushing the gate in tighter while pulling the latch. If the striker pins are adjusted in too far, you will have to really slam the gate to close it and very often the excessive pressure on the latch will prevent it from opening.
If there is a lock button on the gate, there could be something lock-related broken on one of the latches. Also, on some vehicles the gate won't open unless the window is rolled down, so even though it is down, the mechanism that tells that to the latch could be not working. Unfortunately even factory service manuals don't address things like that. They will tell you how to replace a latch but not how it works. You would have better luck asking someone at a body shop, or better yet, a Ford body shop.
You might also consider removing a latch from a salvage yard vehicle and doing an autopsy on it to see how it works.
Thursday, November 25th, 2010 AT 11:23 PM