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Thread: Tailgate inoperable - need advice and guidance

  1. #1
    V8 addict and rescuer of unsaleable Full Sizes
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    Default Tailgate inoperable - need advice and guidance

    As mentioned in another thread my tailgate doesnīt do what it should do. Please help with any advice and/or comment you may have:

    Tailgate lock:
    The key locks and unlocks the tailgate ok manually. The power door lock, however, doesnīt work when I hit the switch in the armrest. Should the key also operate the pwr lock system on the whole vehicle? The actuator moves freely when the rod is pulled up or pushed down by hand. Do I need a new actuator or should I perform other tests beforehand to make sure I exclude any other sorces of trouble?

    Power window:
    The pwr window doesnīt roll down. I removed the motor, which was COMPLETELY gummed up, wet inside, pretty bad corroded and covered with buildup.



    Took it apart, cleaned it thouroghly, used sand paper on the armature (pretty much corroded, too), lubed the bearing, put it back together: nothing. Damn! I hoped to be able to simply rebuild that thang. The brushes are there and have about 1/4" of life left, maybe a little less. I am no expert on this, is there anything else I could do to make the motor work?

    When I turn the key to the left I get power on one of the wires, turn to the right I donīt. When I hit the switch in the dash I get power on either wire, so basically it should work with a new motor.

    Tailgate:
    Swings to the left but doesnīt swing down. Upper right latch seems to latch. Canīt move the unlocking mechanism from inside with appropriate force, scared to break the lever. May work once I replaced the window motor and manage to roll down the window.
    Regards, Alex


  2. #2
    Fastest Box In South Jersey 86VickyLX's Avatar
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    The tailgate won't go down until the window goes down.
    The window won't go down if the latch isn't engaged fully. There's a switch on one of the latches that completes the circuit for the window motor if I remember correctly.

    The door lock not working might just be a matter of a bad actuator. Turning the key does not activate the power door locks.
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  3. #3
    V8 addict and rescuer of unsaleable Full Sizes
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    Ok, thanks.

    Am I correct in assuming that the actuators for all 4 doors plus the tailgate are identical?

    Furthermore, which window motor do I need for the tailgate, front left/rear right? The pic on RA are confusing, either mixed up or I have been drinking. My part number C5AB-6223419-A doesnīt refer to anything that RA mentions.
    Regards, Alex


  4. #4
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    window needs to be all the way down to allow the tail gate to drop.

  5. #5
    Fastest Box In South Jersey 86VickyLX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colonel328 View Post
    Ok, thanks.

    Am I correct in assuming that the actuators for all 4 doors plus the tailgate are identical?

    Furthermore, which window motor do I need for the tailgate, front left/rear right? The pic on RA are confusing, either mixed up or I have been drinking. My part number C5AB-6223419-A doesnīt refer to anything that RA mentions.
    The listings are messed up. And to be honest with you I don't know which would be the correct window motor. The door lock actuators themselves are the same. The rod may be different however. The rod can be swapped by disassembling the actuator.
    "Vicky" 1986 Ford LTD Crown Victoria LX ..................................."Blue" 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis LS

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  6. #6
    Member a_d_a_m's Avatar
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    I have the intermittent window not rolling down problem on my tailgate.
    I keep wanting to tear it apart and jump the circuit to bypass the 'safety' on it...but I haven't worked up the nerve.
    Oh well, another unfinished project.
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  7. #7
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    12V Power and ground to the lock actuator should make it turn one way or another. Check the two wires while someone pushes the armrest button.

    My tailgate motor was also a victim of moisture and beyond reasonable repair. At that time, you could buy them from Motorcraft. The tailgate was a different part number from the others. That may have been an issue of wire length or maybe an actual difference in fit. But IIRC there were only a few of those basic window designs from 65-89ish. Maybe it can be swapped with the same geometry door window motor. Get your window working and the tailgate will likely cooperate once the window is down.
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  8. #8
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    try powering the motor directly and see if it runs. that will take all of the control stuff out of the equation. If the motor works when powered directly, then its a controls issue. If the motor doesn't work, well you have your answer.

    I'd be looking for some new weatherstrip if it was that wet inside. There should also be some drain holes in the bottom of the gate. Those are probably plugged up as well.

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  9. #9
    Domestic Tourist Lincolnmania's Avatar
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    that motor looks like it has been getting wet for a long time.
    power it direct and it it does not go replace the motor and go from there.
    check continuity of the switches in the gate. while you have it apart.
    the lock actuators are usually dead. try to find an oem replacement and carefully swap the rod.

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  10. #10
    V8 addict and rescuer of unsaleable Full Sizes
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    Done! Tailgate works! Thanks to everbody who helped!

    I got the new motor from RA the other day. Thought it was a good idea to bench test it before installation. Nothing! Plugged it into the harness on the wagon real quick: works like a charme! Plugged in the old motor I cleaned up: works as well, but sloooowly and intermittendly only. Ok, I need to check my power source on the bench...

    Anyways, I installed the motor on the vehicle, tried turning the key and the window slides up and down as it should. Same with the switch on the dash. Great!

    Tried to swing the tailgate down with the window down: opens like 2", the gets stuck on the upper lefthand hinge.




    The window doesnīt go down ALL the way, about 1" maybe keeps sticking out. Is this normal? The window runs into some kind of sleeved wire loop inside the tailgate, which looks pretty factory. The wire seems to be connected to the lock/opening mechanism somehow.



    First I thought that was the reason why the tailgate doesnīt open. Then I forced it open and it swings down. Upon further investigation it appears the hinge is worn a bit and the tailgate sagged about 1/2". I lubed the hinge mechanism up real good and now can open and close the tailgate ok. Not great but ok.




    I also changed the power door lock actuator in the tailgate. Was a bit tricky to get the old one out as I didnīt want to drill out the rivet. Tried prying after I unhooked the rod but ended up hammering the old actuator out of itīs bracket by using a screwdriver and a hammer. The clip from the connector on the bottom broke when I took of the cables. I notice a crack in the plastic tab before, now itīs off. Can you say brittle.

    The new actuator rods are different than the old ones! The old ones are 90°, the new ones that come with the set from RA are Z-shaped or U-shaped.



    I picked the one with the correct length and straightend out the short leg in a vice. (no, this is not the final result)



    Pretty stiff metal. I ended up breaking the vice....





    I should have shorted the short leg about 1/8 of an inch to match the original length but I didnīt. The modified rod, however, works ok in itīs new environment. I bent the tabs on the little plastic sleeve on the actuator rod when I snapped it back into place. Hope it will hold up. Does anybody know what the other plastic clip to right is for?



    Oh, and since the new actuators are said to fail when water gets inside I came up with this mod. Weīll see how long it will work.



    I can now lock and unlock the tailgate (together with the other doors) from the driverīs armrest.

    Also, the inside of the tailgate is bone dry, rust free and solid as a rock. The openings in the bottom were clean and free from debris and soil.
    Regards, Alex


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