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1968-2013 Full Size Vans Econolines. E150, E250, E350, E450 and E550

Van rear door won't open!

 
  #1  
Old 08-22-2004, 12:34 PM
bill5.4l
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Van rear door won't open!

Hi, I have a 97 Club Wagon that the rear door will not open. The outside handle feels like it's locked, but it isn't. From the inside, everything works fine. Any suggestions? How and what do I remove to look inside the door to see whats going on. I don't just want to yank on the panel and break the plastic clips. Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 08-23-2004, 09:18 PM
ken9009
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Rear Door Handle

I just replaced one tonight.There easy to change, you must remove the inner door panel to access the bolts that hold the door handle,acually what you need is the whole lic. plate door handle assy. from dealer adout $100.00.once you have to inner panel off there are four small bolts torx or 7mm I think remove thoes and your lic. plate push assy. out of door remove the light,the door latch cable(cable housing pushes out of metal holder then fish out cable end,a small ball.)Then twist around assy.to remove rod for the lock.Once its out transfer the lock cylinder by pulling out the retaining clip,just note its position and stick it in the new assy.Thats it reassemble the lock rod then the door latch cable(It may have curled up in the door so you may half to fish around for it but you will find it).Dont forget the light. Good luck.
 
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:28 PM
Yondering
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Here is my cheap and easy fix to bad latch cable ends

Once you get the panel open, you'll probably find a broken cable end, this is a cheap and easy fix for the end... once you get the cables out of the door that is

 
  #4  
Old 09-28-2013, 06:19 AM
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This is quite an old thread, OP has probably already sold or scrapped that van!
 
  #5  
Old 06-05-2014, 05:37 AM
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Jeffie while I personally appreciate your being helpful posting the same video link to long ago dead threads is a bit much. Looking at the date of last reply before your own its easy to see this issue of failing door latch cables isn't a recurring thing.

Granted there are/were a few years where this was a problem but its extremely rare these days. Even at that there are many affordable replacement service parts available, easily refitted without a lot of tinkering just to save a very few dollars.

Thanks for the diligence but do consider the last date of reply when a thread was active before updating it.
 
  #6  
Old 06-06-2014, 05:46 AM
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Your enthusiasm to help is greatly appreciated---its what makes this a great forum after all!

Yes, eBay probably has sold 100's of these pieces but that's not the whole story. Did such fixes really fix the problem or was something else discovered to be at fault and that just not a part of eBay's feedback system? We don't know...

Also because I'm in the auto/truck glass business and owned three post-1997 E250's I've so far never seen any issues with these door latches. On those rare occasions I visit a DIY scrap yard I also never seen any problems with those vans either.

That's not saying when/if it happens to us its not a huge hassle but as I've observed its still a rare problem.

Looking forward to your participation here Jeffie!
 
  #7  
Old 12-12-2014, 09:01 AM
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Glad I found this thread. My rear door won't open all of a sudden. It worked the last time I closed it, now won't open at all. Same symptoms as the OP. I know it's old but the prescribed fixes seem very helpful and I'm glad I found it. JWA I understand your 'waking the dead' angle and surely the OP is long gone, but this kind of thing, no matter how rare, is what helps makes forums like this so great. Saved me from having to start a new thread. Answer already contained on the forum.
 
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Old 12-12-2014, 09:44 AM
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No arguments from me Warren how helpful FTE's forums are----preaching to the choir!

My point mostly was not wasting time to repair something so easily replaceable. While the repair might be cheap its still not reliable, will need to be repaired again and again.

Also because these door issues are so rare anyway to me it makes far more sense replacing failed parts with known good parts, even if they're from a later year and gently used.

That's just my opinion and experience with these vans, some don't agree and because its not my van that's quite alright with me.
 
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Old 12-12-2014, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by JWA View Post
No arguments from me Warren how helpful FTE's forums are----preaching to the choir!

My point mostly was not wasting time to repair something so easily replaceable. While the repair might be cheap its still not reliable, will need to be repaired again and again.

Also because these door issues are so rare anyway to me it makes far more sense replacing failed parts with known good parts, even if they're from a later year and gently used.

That's just my opinion and experience with these vans, some don't agree and because its not my van that's quite alright with me.
Yep, agreed. I was referencing the existence of both the thread itself and the fixes and replacement suggestions contained within. Just pointing out my gratitude for a thread that already exists that speaks directly to my current problem. I'll be going the 'replacement' route, personally. I plan on a long term relationship with the van and I'm not a fan of multiple repairs of the same failed part.
 
  #10  
Old 12-12-2014, 09:56 AM
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We have consensus Warren---its a good day indeed!
 
  #11  
Old 01-07-2015, 08:53 AM
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So, the problem with mine was the cables broke. Not the steel part, the plastic retaining part. $20 for new cables, and a cleaned up latch assembly later and it's back in business. Pretty easy fix, but a little tight trying to get the door panel and plate well off with from the inside because the doors were stuck closed. After that, just a matter of minutes to replace the cables and grease up the latch.
 
  #12  
Old 01-16-2015, 07:28 AM
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Jeffie, for what it's worth my van is almost 19 years old, so it does happen. It's a cheap and easy fix and I stand to get another 18 years out of these, and one of us will be dead by then so I'm not going to go beat down Ford's door demanding a recall.
 
  #13  
Old 01-16-2015, 07:37 AM
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I do understand. I wasn't saying buying a new cable was wrong way to go. I was saying the metal is stronger than the plastic. The point of the post. The problem seems to be a bigger than stated earlier. I myself have had issues with the cable ends in 2 fords I have had. I was also just pointing out that earlier posts seem to down play the problem, when in fact it seems to be a much bigger problem. I used the ebay site numbers to show that it is a problem with Fords.
 
  #14  
Old 01-16-2015, 08:41 AM
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I have experienced the dreaded cable failure also on a couple vans. I used them for work and was in and out of the doors multiple times a day. My most recent purchase had a broken door handle and cable issues. When I went to the salvage yard to get a handle, I went through several vans and almost every one had broken cable ends. Yes you can replace the cable, but with the same crappy plastic ends. The cable itself never seems to go bad. I don't know who came up with the design first, but this guy has a better design that you don't have to bend the lock to get the end in. http://www.ebay.com/itm/ford-door-lock-cable-repair-kit-Econoline-LEFT-cargo-door-side-rear-1992-2007-/221416278066?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item338d704832&vxp=mtr
 
  #15  
Old 01-16-2015, 09:02 AM
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True, the cables on mine were just fine. I'm sure they see no need to redesign anything, but it is too bad they used the plastic ends. A plastic or rubber coated metal retainer would make more sense, but then I guess it didn't make sense to the bean counters. Gotta keep those aftermarket repair parts supply joints open, I guess!
 

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