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Unread 02-01-2012, 11:21 AM   #1
MrKevinRosales
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Willimantic, CT
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98 ZJ rear hatch stuck closed

My aunt's ZJ's rear hatch handle is broken. It is still there but it won't open the hatch. tried locking/unlocking with the key and still doesn't open.
Any ideas on how i can get it open?

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Unread 02-01-2012, 11:26 AM   #2
E-rok
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does the handle feellike its locked or does it feel "stuck"

with mine, I have to hit unlock on the door a few times in a row and it frees up the hatch, then I have to push on the hatch while I pull the handle, if that makes any sense to you.

mine probably needs to be greased, its a common issue on ZJ's
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Unread 02-01-2012, 11:32 AM   #3
zander21510
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I have read that there is a hole behind the licence plate that allows you to open the latch...if you need to get it open
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1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee;
207,000 miles (2/6/14)

206k: 1/6/14;
205k: 12/21/13; 204k: 11/22/13; 203k: 10/8/13; 202k: 8/29/13; 201k: 7/15/13; 200k: 6/8/13; 199k: 5/10/13; 198k: 3/17/13; 197k: 2/22/13;
196k: 12/20/12; 195k: 10/26/12; 194k: 8/17/12; 193k: 5/29/12; 192k: 3/16/12; 191k: 2/18/12;
190k: 12/31/11

Current mods: 703 injectors(my howto), intake modification, 99+ intake manifold (my howto), Magnaflow hi-flow cat from Kolak & Cherry Bomb glasspack.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 11:34 AM   #4
E-rok
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zander21510 View Post
I have read that there is a hole behind the licence plate that allows you to open the latch...if you need to get it open
I sure as hell hope thats not true lol

I thought you had to pull the interior panel to access it.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 11:42 AM   #5
zander21510
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-rok View Post
I sure as hell hope thats not true lol

I thought you had to pull the interior panel to access it.
Lol I think there was a thread about someone got their jeep busted into or something along those lines...someone chimed in the hole behind the licence plate there is a bar you can lift or push or something to release the latch on the liftgate. I might try to see if its really true today

I guess I should just screw my licence plate in with some really weird foreign screw so you can't take it off without a special tool
__________________
1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee;
207,000 miles (2/6/14)

206k: 1/6/14;
205k: 12/21/13; 204k: 11/22/13; 203k: 10/8/13; 202k: 8/29/13; 201k: 7/15/13; 200k: 6/8/13; 199k: 5/10/13; 198k: 3/17/13; 197k: 2/22/13;
196k: 12/20/12; 195k: 10/26/12; 194k: 8/17/12; 193k: 5/29/12; 192k: 3/16/12; 191k: 2/18/12;
190k: 12/31/11

Current mods: 703 injectors(my howto), intake modification, 99+ intake manifold (my howto), Magnaflow hi-flow cat from Kolak & Cherry Bomb glasspack.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 11:44 AM   #6
gabrod72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-rok View Post
with mine, I have to hit unlock on the door a few times in a row and it frees up the hatch, then I have to push on the hatch while I pull the handle, if that makes any sense to you.
X2 until I fixed it. Had to adjust the latch, pin and adjust the door bumpstops. It works fine but rattles a bit now so next time I'll also adjust the door hinges.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 12:20 PM   #7
JesterKirby
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1998 ZJ 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-rok View Post
does the handle feellike its locked or does it feel "stuck"

with mine, I have to hit unlock on the door a few times in a row and it frees up the hatch, then I have to push on the hatch while I pull the handle, if that makes any sense to you.

mine probably needs to be greased, its a common issue on ZJ's
Mine has this same problem and I get it open the same way.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 01:10 PM   #8
MrKevinRosales
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zander21510 View Post
I have read that there is a hole behind the licence plate that allows you to open the latch...if you need to get it open
Yeah there is one there, but you have to have access to the inside of the hatch to be able to open it because there are 4 nuts that need to be removed from the inside.

so i've managed the get that hole open and part of the inside cover so i can pull on it to see inside, but i'm not yet seeing anything usefull
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Unread 02-01-2012, 01:57 PM   #9
ratmonkey
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The rod to the latch is held in place by a plastic clip.that slips and you can't open the hatch without pulling the panel and adjusting that clip., theres about 9000 threads on it here and at least 30 write ups.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 05:06 PM   #10
MrKevinRosales
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So i got it open. Turns out that the rod had slipped off
and i am missing that white piece.
went down to the dealer to see if i could get it, but i guess I'd have to buy the whole latch assembly
Any ideas on how to fix it?
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Unread 02-01-2012, 05:10 PM   #11
zander21510
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKevinRosales View Post
So i got it open. Turns out that the rod had slipped off
and i am missing that white piece.
went down to the dealer to see if i could get it, but i guess I'd have to buy the whole latch assembly
Any ideas on how to fix it?
Head over to the junkyard, get the part you need. Bet they won't even charge you if its a little clip
__________________
1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee;
207,000 miles (2/6/14)

206k: 1/6/14;
205k: 12/21/13; 204k: 11/22/13; 203k: 10/8/13; 202k: 8/29/13; 201k: 7/15/13; 200k: 6/8/13; 199k: 5/10/13; 198k: 3/17/13; 197k: 2/22/13;
196k: 12/20/12; 195k: 10/26/12; 194k: 8/17/12; 193k: 5/29/12; 192k: 3/16/12; 191k: 2/18/12;
190k: 12/31/11

Current mods: 703 injectors(my howto), intake modification, 99+ intake manifold (my howto), Magnaflow hi-flow cat from Kolak & Cherry Bomb glasspack.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 06:36 PM   #12
KoreaZJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKevinRosales View Post
...
and i am missing that white piece...
Which year? My '94 has a metal clip, not plastic.
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Unread 02-02-2012, 12:05 AM   #13
NWZJ
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mine has same problem as well, also it rattles alot. is that due to the same reason it gets stuck?
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Unread 02-02-2012, 12:12 AM   #14
KoreaZJ
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Originally Posted by NWZJ View Post
mine has same problem as well, also it rattles alot. is that due to the same reason it gets stuck?
Remove latch mechanism, remove dust/dirt, lube well with silicone spray grease while actuating, put it back together.... before it gets stuck, breaks the clip, and it won't come open.
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Unread 02-02-2012, 07:47 AM   #15
MrKevinRosales
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoreaZJ View Post
Which year? My '94 has a metal clip, not plastic.
it's a 98, right now it just has a little groove where the rod goes, but when you pull on the handle the groove moves up the rod freely
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