View Full Version : rear door jamed shut

October 16th, 2007, 08:54
Lately I have had difficulty opening the 5th door (Rear one) on my 2001 Cherokee.

Now the handle has failed completely and I cannot get the rear door open.

Do these handles fail often ?

How do I open the Door?

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY how do I replace the handle.


October 16th, 2007, 09:22
My dad's rear hatch also fails to open sometimes, the trick that I have found to work is if you push on the hatch as you are pulling on the lever. Try pushing on the trim above the licence plate thats usually what I do, sometimes it takes a good lean. I think its a pretty common problem, and I think I have read about a fix for it somewhere here but I haven't done it and dont remember what it involved.

October 16th, 2007, 09:23
I had the same problem on my 99 and like is mentioned above, just push in next to the handle as your pulling on it, it somehow disengages the linkage inside it and allows it to open easily.

October 16th, 2007, 10:11
My 98 does the same once in a while, bit of wd-40 on the latching mechanisms, all is good for a few more months.

October 16th, 2007, 10:22
The above mentioned "Fix" used to work but now it is jamed. Also I would like to replace it as someting must be worn out. How do I get the hatch open and how do I remove the mecanism


October 16th, 2007, 10:29
pull the interior panel and unlatch it manually and kick it open.

October 16th, 2007, 12:15
Click on this link for more info - http://fototime.com/FB863E3C732E833/orig.jpg

On the inderside of the cargo floor are 2 nuts (# 24) that hold the other side of the hatch latch (# 21). Look between the bumper and the gas tank. If you remove these 2 nuts the tailgate will open.

Mske sure (# 18) is connected and adjusted correctly. Clean and lubricate the locking and latching mechanisms. Use lithium grease.

October 16th, 2007, 14:44
Will try, thanks for the advice

October 16th, 2007, 16:23
had the same problem with my buddies '93 GC, got to a point where we were kicking the inside to get it to open, then we decided to just take the whole thing apart and dis engage the locking mechanism, then put some hinge locks on the outside like you do a tailgate with a busted latch. Redneck fix i know, but its easy if your just gonna trail rig it out like we do. but when we got inside we found that the handle mechanism had a screw on it that had jumped the threads, we took it off, and re- alligned it with the handle, now it doesn't
have any problem opening and shutting, now I dont know if the mechanism is the same or not but if it is you might give this a try.


Matthew Currie
October 16th, 2007, 16:28
there should be a few threads on this somewhere, but I don't know what the search criteria are, so let's do it again. There's a little threaded rod inside the mechanism, which goes out of adjustment as the mechanism wears. It starts out as having to push in on the hatch to get it to unlatch, and then one day you can't get it open at all. Check first that there's nothing in the cargo area pushing on the hatch. That can make it worse. If necessary, you may have to pull the inside panel and open it from within.

Once you have it open, take the panel off if you haven't already, and you will see the little rod. It's pretty obvious from trial and error what you need to do. I can't remember for sure, but I think you need to shorten it a little. Don't overdo it, or the latch won't latch properly. There's not a lot of leeway.