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Hatch panel crack fix?

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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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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.

imp
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:04 AM
Motsiball Motsiball is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impish View Post
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.

imp
With that said, how important is that panel? I'm just thinking of taking mine off and leaving it off. Is it just for looks? Or does it have some type of purpose? If all that is below it is glass then why put another back on? Remove the cracked one and be done with it. Am I missing something?
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:07 AM
IIGood IIGood is offline
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It seems to be mostly for looks. Check out this video...you'll see the process of removing the old and applying the new, and you'll see what's underneath the plastic panel. Looks to be nothing more than the framing for the panel:

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Old 02-01-2015, 12:16 AM
Chugalug Chugalug is offline
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I got behind a white 03 today and it did not have a crack.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:26 AM
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When I bought my 04 back this past December, it had a crack. It now has three cracks.
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:00 PM
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our 04 had it fairly early in its life. I always wanted to make a laser cut panel to adhere over the old one made of diamond plate with a cutout for the oval. It would be just wide enough to cover the crack and cut at slight angles on the sides. Sold the truck to my in laws before that could happen though. Seems if someone made a tasteful overlay panel they would sell a few.
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