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Unread 06-19-2013, 11:32 AM   #1
markcorpus
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: corpus christi, texas
Posts: 66
Is this Liftgate salvageable?

Hello. I am usually at the ZJ forum but have recently acquired a 99 XJ so I'm new to the XJ forum. The new XJ was backed into and the tailgate caved in. I have not attempted to open the gate yet until I have some possible alternatives in the event it doesn't go well. The previous owner did not attempt to open it either.

I am looking for suggestions on what to do next. Try to push the dents out from the inside? Consider it a loss and buy a replacement? Either way I need to get the thing open to remove it. What would be the best approach without busting the glass? Thanks to anyone with some experience/insight on this.

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Unread 06-19-2013, 11:56 AM   #2
MOBBiN
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Location: Palmer, Alaska
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Pull the plastic panel from the inside?

A big flathead and pull the handle out?

BFH
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Unread 06-19-2013, 04:28 PM   #3
Kettles
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You say did not attempt to open it, do you mean other than grabbing the handle like normally? Or not even that? Because if it is the latter, my advice would be to grab the handle and lift.

I think you would have a very hard time getting the plastic off the inside with it closed. But I would be inclined to kick on it from the inside while someone was lifting the handle.

Cutoff wheel will work for sure
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"Dee", a Patriot Blue 2001 Cherokee Sport 4.0L High-Output Pictures Build Thread
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perfect depends on how far away you are when you look at it:D
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It's a 4.0 ... as long as there's something in the crank case that isn't coolant I'm sure it will still run forever.
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Unread 06-20-2013, 10:59 AM   #4
markcorpus
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Location: corpus christi, texas
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Thanks guys. Yes Kettles I did attempt to open it by grabbing the handle normally. I have not tried adding any force to it yet. I wanted to get some ideas first and see if anyone else had this challenge. I think I will end up attempting what you mentioned and push it out from the inside with my feet. May have to dissect the plastic too.
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Unread 06-21-2013, 05:47 AM   #5
Kettles
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Good luck! My guess is you will have to sacrifice something to get it open. Either cutting up the inside panel or trying to remove the handle itself, probably destroying it too.

Keep us updated.
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"Dee", a Patriot Blue 2001 Cherokee Sport 4.0L High-Output Pictures Build Thread
The Rocket Sheep
"Live Free Or Die; Death Is Not The Worst of Evils." -General John Stark
Quote:
Originally Posted by speedbucket View Post
perfect depends on how far away you are when you look at it:D
Quote:
Originally Posted by Millermagic View Post
It's a 4.0 ... as long as there's something in the crank case that isn't coolant I'm sure it will still run forever.
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Unread 06-21-2013, 11:52 PM   #6
CherokeeHybrid
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I modified my hatch to open from the inside by cutting a opening in the plastic.That way i can lift the bar up and it pops the hatch open. i dont think you can take the panel off while the door is still closed.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 01:46 PM   #7
markcorpus
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Location: corpus christi, texas
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Thanks guys. I removed the screws at the top of the plastic panel. This gave me enough wiggle room to get my hand in and pull up the door latch with pliers. I was able to pop the gate open. I managed to repair the mechanism so it opens and closes now. Its still not pretty but it functions. I did some pushing and pulling on it and reduced the severity of the dents a bit. Need to work on it some more to see if I can get it to be something I can live with.
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