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Explorer, Sport Trac, Mountaineer & Aviator 1991-1994, 1995-2001, 2002-2005, 2006-2010 Ford Explorer

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Old 03-26-2012, 09:17 PM
bigbluetruck bigbluetruck is offline
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Hatch panel crack fix?

I'm looking to get this fixed soon. I see Ford has a new glue that is supposed to let the panel move freely. I'm thinking about just putting my new one on with 3M double sided tape.
I know this stuff is more than strong enough to hold the panel on. I imagine the foamy nature of the tape should let the panel have some movement and it's bound to be easier than messing with the glue and easier to replace if it happens again.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:22 PM
impish impish is offline
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LOTS OF 'EM CRACKED!

I've read at least a hundred posts in a dozen different forums about this. Everything imaginable has been mentioned. New plastic from Ford won't crack; new glue, no glue, warranty claims, lawsuits, etc. Replacement panels installed by both Ford and owner have cracked, some have not. SOME Explorers have never cracked at all!

So, I'm thinking about my own fix. Make a panel out of hardwood, contoured to match the real part. Seal it well, paint it to match, then put it on with rubber cement. Seal around the edge with silicone rubber. Lots of work, no guarantees, but seems liklier of success than the plastic part.

Whaddaya think? impish

PS: I got an '04, of course! Not cracked when I got it, at 6 years old, cracked within the next year. FWIW, I've seen the least cracked, I think, in silver color, gets less hot, maybe? WTH do I know?

NO IDEA WHY THIS DUPLICATED THE EARLIER THREAD.

Last edited by impish; 03-26-2012 at 10:26 PM. Reason: Read Above.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:55 PM
bigbluetruck bigbluetruck is offline
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I figure I'll try to make mine look like it's supposed to once. If that fails, I've already decided the next step is cutting a good panel down the middle and installing it with a 1/16" gap and filling it with seam sealer before painting. That will give it a place to flex and expand without being too noticeable.
The best solution is a panel that mounts with floating fasteners. You would think the aftermarket would come up with something, seeing how common this is.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:01 AM
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shorod shorod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impish View Post
PS: I got an '04, of course! Not cracked when I got it, at 6 years old, cracked within the next year. FWIW, I've seen the least cracked, I think, in silver color, gets less hot, maybe? WTH do I know?
There may be something to this. I had a 2004 Mountaineer in the pearl white tri-coat. It never cracked, even with the temperature swings here in Iowa. It still looked great when I traded it in a year ago on my 2004 Aviator in black which was cracked before I bought it. Fortunately the crack on the Aviator is down the middle so it nearly looks like it's supposed to be that way. I filled the crack with black RTV to try to keep moisture out.

-Rod
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:42 PM
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The original panel was glued on with a hard epoxy that does not flex. The metal base and plastic top cover expand at different rates if the temp changes fast. If your outside it normally is o.k. If you have the truck out in winter and its 20 degrees, then you pull into a warm garage or car wash and spray with 100 degree water.... it happens. The fix is a new panel and glue which gives more like RTV so it will expand and let the plastic move a little relative to the steel door.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:24 PM
impish impish is offline
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I believe that with the 4th. gen. Explorer, they simply did away with the plastic trim panel, and left the glass showing all the way down to it's lower edge. On 3rd. gen, if the plastic is removed, the two painted sides of the body which adjoined the panel, do not look very original.

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Old 03-27-2012, 10:24 PM
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2005, aviator, cover, crack, cracked, explorer, ford, hatch, lincoln, make, nice, panel, plastic, rear, repair, reviews, tailgate

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