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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You read it right, I have somehow managed to get the latch stuck closed, and the door is open. It's not locked and I've tried to pull on it with a bar as I pull the latch, no luck. Any other ideas out there??

Thanks,
DK
 

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Take the tail gate trim panel off, clean and lubricate the locking and latching mechanisms, and look for any detached parts. The operating rods sometime come loose and need to be reconnected. A small zip tie will lock them in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I should mention it's a '98. I pulled the trim pane off and nothing is accessible from the inside side of the door either. There are 3 torx screws, two on the bottom that face down when the door is close and one at the top. But it looks like if i undo these, i still wouldn't be able to pull the sheet metal out of the way. I'll post a pic if i can figure out how with this app...thanks again!
 

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Sit in the cargo area, pull the tail gate partially closed, look inside. The operating rod connects the outside handle to the latch mechanism. Push or pull the rod or whatever it is attached to and the latch will open. Clean and lubricate both mechanisms. Readjust the operating rod so the handle works correctly.

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Tim Is correct I recently had two of my XJs with similar problem pull the rear panel off and remove the rear latch make sure that you disconnect the poewr door lock rod and the handle operating rod and remove the one nut that holds the latch to the tail gate. Then clean all old dirt and grease with brake part cleaner. look to seee if the handle operatimg rod has slipped it is a threaded rod and adjest as you need. Do not replace trim untill you are certain that you have working correctly then apply a small coat of fresh grease and check that everything is working well using a screwdriver to lock the mechanisim and use the door latch opener to check for proper function.once you have made certain all is well replace the rear trim.
 
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