1997 Chrysler Town and Country Tailgate

Tiny
MOUSEKW72
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 135,000 MILES
Key, and key-less entry activates mechanism, can be heard, sounds same as always, but pulling handle out, and up, does not release latch. Can't get tailgate to open. Tried to get to mechanism by removing interior panel of tailgate, haven't gotten completely removed, but see no access to mechanism.
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Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 AT 10:57 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Did you ever get hepanel off to see if you could get in that way? If not look up from under to see if the striker adjustment bolts are accessible from under to unbolt it so the door will open. Also use a bright light to look in around the handle to see if you can see anything from there, like possibly the release for the latch. These are difficult, no manual tells you how to get in and without seeing what we are dealing with it makes it a little tougher
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Friday, June 4th, 2010 AT 8:25 AM
Tiny
MOUSEKW72
  • MEMBER
Yeah, I got it open. Way easier than I thought at first, like you said, once you can see a little of what you're dealing with it becomes much easier. As stated,tailgate was stuck closed so couldn't get interior panel off completely until getting tailgate open as panel is screwed to gate along bottom and on sides, no access in closed position. But I did manage to release enough of the panel from the top on down a ways, so that finally,and yes, with a good flashlight, could see just where that beauty plugged hole in panel was trying to direct you. There's a white plastic hex shaft protruding from inside the gate but no movement, pushing or rotating, not the release, and actually, not really lined up well with the access hole.Activated remote lock a few times to see all movement possible, Then ran screwdriver thru access hole while looking down behind panel, and low and behold, it appeared as though it landed in a spot that just might move something, from what I could see, adjusted screwdriver around connecting rods in latch mechanism, pushed, prodded, and leveraged a bit, carefully so as not to damage anything, and hit the sweet spot, and the latch released. Then, and only then was it possible to remove the interior tailgate panel. From there I could finally see what was visible of the mechanism, didn't really find anything apparently broken or damaged. So got out good old silicon spray and "washed down" the latch area, and it ran muddy. Years of tailgate dust from country roads clogged up the pivoting parts till the "hasp" would not release. Guess mud was packed in tighter than the spring could pull hasp open. Haven't buttoned up gate yet. Some of the plastic sheet w/rubber sheet stuck over openings in gate, behind panel, kinda crumbled in process, and want to find out purpose, and acceptable substitute, or replacement , before resorting to duct tape. Thanks for the reply, and hope this can help someone down the road
Got pictures, first is lift-gate after opening and removing panel, interior lights hanging, and of course, latch area bottom center. Next pix shows latch close up. Vertical rod on right connects to lock servo, activates horizontally to lock/unlock lift-gate. Horizontal piece which connects to vert. rod, pivots on left end. Upward motion on this bar, on the right/rod connecting side, releases latch. And its great alignment to run a screwdriver, or even tire iron in a pinch, and if you knew fairly close to where you are headed with screwdriver, one could release latch from within without removing panel. Hope you can interpret my explanation, and that the pictures help, or even show up, (still learning my way around a computer) and that this might save someone some time, labor, and headache down the road .


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/528413_060400_111200_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/528413_060400_111400_1.jpg

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Saturday, June 5th, 2010 AT 10:39 AM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Thanks, that will help in the future. The plastic is to help insulate noise/exhaust/wind. You could use just about anything you want (duct tape included) to fix it
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Sunday, June 6th, 2010 AT 8:59 AM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Yes, I told you that becuse Chrysler/Jeep attach some strikers from underneath for just such an occasion, besides the fact you claimed you couldnt see anything regarding the latch assembly. Fixing vehicles without seeing what is going on is a little harder than you think. Thanks for using 2Carpros. Com
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Sunday, June 6th, 2010 AT 9:31 AM

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