dodge 1999 caravan liftgate

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  #1  
Old 11-06-03, 05:51 PM
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Angry dodge 1999 caravan liftgate

My liftgate is shut and wants to stay that way. It's NOT a power liftgate. It's shut and and can't be unlocked with the key or the power lock. Makes a noise like the power lock motor is straining (Brrrrr etc.) when the power lock is activated. Looks like removing the inside trim panel to access the mechanism requires an open liftgate to reach the screws(?)

Anybody have experience with one of these?

Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 11-06-03, 11:13 PM
mike from nj
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power liftgates didn't come out until 2001. i would try pushing closed on the door while someone actuates the power lock, maybe the less pressure on the mechanism will be enough to let it unlatch.

you should be able to pull the bottom of the door panel off from inside, i don't remember there being too many screws holding this on, mostly 'push' clips whick always seem to break.

if you can wait a day, i'll check one in work and see exactly what's holding it on.
 
  #3  
Old 11-07-03, 06:12 AM
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access

Thanks for checking one at work.


There is an upper panel just below the window, if that's what you mean ( the one between the lights). I think that one will come off but will only help if I can reach down far enough to reach the lock mechanism.
 
  #4  
Old 11-07-03, 06:45 AM
Joe_F
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Sounds like something is jamming the latch. Can you disconnect the power/fuse to the door and then try the key?

Sounds like the electric locks are fighting the latch and keeping it closed . (like the actuator).
 
  #5  
Old 11-07-03, 07:44 AM
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The powerlock isn't actuated all the time. I can hear that when I operate the electric lock. Seems the latch is mechanically jammed in the locked position and niether key or electric can overcome the jam.
 
  #6  
Old 11-07-03, 08:55 PM
mike from nj
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i looked at a 97 today with power locks (96-2000 are the same)

you might be in luck.

on the inside, there is a quarter sized access plug right at the bottom of the door. if you stick your finger into the hole, there is a rubber guide to guide your finger. you can feel some linkage, and the power lock actuator. you'll need a friend to hit the power 'unlocks' switch, and try to move the rod ever so further. you can also feel the inside of the outside latch rod, if your same helper tries to open it from the outside handle, you can feel something moving and try to move it a little more to pop the latch.

i can't describe it any more than that, as i wasn't about to take a customer's trim panel off and chance breaking some clips. the entire trim panel comes off with some screws that are on the outer perimeter, which means inaccessible with the door closed.

you should probably take the back seat out, as you will be working in an awkward position and will need some leverage to push things

the panel you mention is part of the whole panel i think, and it looked to be fastened from the inside.

you might want to glance at the owner's manual, there might be a mention in there.
 
  #7  
Old 11-09-03, 04:31 PM
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Lightbulb Part of that was right, now......

I removed the access plug. The "rubber guide" is a water/debris sheild that covers the mechanism. You have to tear this to access the latch rod. Of course the latch rod won't move because the door is locked. The lock prevents the latch rod from moving,so you have to disconnect the latch rod from the spring clip. Once that's done you can actuate the latch with the push of a screw diver. The problem with the lock can be addressed after the trim panel is removed (screws accessable with door open only). With the screws removed i now have encountered the retaining "clips" or whatever you call them. I don't know how these work. They appear to be tighter than any I'm familiar with. Do these require a special tool or handling? I don't want to beak one.


Thanks
 
  #8  
Old 11-09-03, 04:53 PM
mike from nj
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wow, you got all those screws out, and with the door closed. that was the hard part. simply pull the panel and the clips should come out(or break) they're not absolutely necessary, i've let one or two cars go with a broken clip or two. any parts dept will have a hundred in stock, just bring the old one to match it up as there are a few different designs. i don't think they're much more than a buck.

let me know how it turns out
 
  #9  
Old 11-09-03, 04:57 PM
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Yoy miss understood

I acttuated the latch as described with a screw driver to get the liftgate open. Then I took out the screws.
 
  #10  
Old 11-09-03, 05:38 PM
mike from nj
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oh
 
  #11  
Old 11-10-03, 06:21 AM
Joe_F
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Find or fix the problem?
 
  #12  
Old 11-10-03, 07:57 AM
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Not yet

I want to be sure that those stuborn panel fasteners are really suppose to pop off without a special tool. They are a little hard to reach. I put substaintial pressure on one and it wouldn't give, so I stopped. They are difficult to see. It's hard to find any advise from someone who has actually taken one of these panels off!
 
  #13  
Old 11-10-03, 08:52 AM
Joe_F
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What's the shop manual have to say?

Can't see the fasteners being more than a buck each if you waste them in the process of getting the panel off.
 
  #14  
Old 11-10-03, 09:50 AM
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I don't have a Chrysler manual

Only Chiltons and Haynes. As is typical with these, they say, "remove the panel", that's it. yet they spend 2 pages on how to change wiper blades. Duh!
 
  #15  
Old 11-10-03, 09:51 AM
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Anybody out there

Have a Chrysler manual?
 
  #16  
Old 11-10-03, 10:25 AM
Joe_F
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Throw out the Chilton and Haynes, both are completely useless for any serious repairs.

I have seen (and bought) various shop manuals on Ebay for half of what they cost new. I would suggest you pick one up for future repairs.

Necessity if you're going to do your own work.
 
  #17  
Old 11-10-03, 02:48 PM
mike from nj
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straight from detroit

LIFTGATE TRIM PANEL

REMOVAL
1. Remove liftgate upper frame molding.
2. Remove upper frame side moldings.
3. Remove screws holding assist handle to liftgate and fasteners around the perimeter of the lower trim panel.
4. If equipped, using a trim stick (C-4755), pry courtesy lamps from liftgate trim.
5. Disconnect wire connector from lamp.
6. Remove CHMSL cover and fasteners holding the trim panel.
7. Disengage hidden clips holding trim panel to liftgate from around perimeter or liftgate Liftgate Trim
8. Remove liftgate trim panel from vehicle

INSTALLATION
1. Place liftgate trim panel in position on vehicle.
2. Engage hidden clips to hold trim panel to liftgate and fasteners around perimeter of liftgate Liftgate Trim
3. Install fasteners into trim brackets and install CHMSL cover.
4. Connect wire connector into lamp.
5. Install courtesy lamps into liftgate trim.
6. Install screws to hold assist handle to liftgate.
7. Install upper frame side moldings.
8. Install liftgate upper frame molding.


it sure sounds familiar, the picture don't help either, (couldn't copy and past them though)
CHMSL=third brake light

fyi, the clips used to be an easy removal kind, but a lot of people complained of rattles and noises, now those are gone, but now people are complaining the clips are too hard to remove, but no rattle complaints. which would you rather have?
 
  #18  
Old 11-10-03, 02:58 PM
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If you would feel better about it you could try using a trim tool. You should be able to find one at any parts store or maybe even Sears. Like Mike said those trim fasteners are quite tight and I believe I have broken more than I have saved.
Billy
 
  #19  
Old 11-10-03, 08:43 PM
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Smile Thanks

Thanks Mike, for spelling it out for me.
I'll let you know how this turns out.
 
  #20  
Old 11-11-03, 06:37 AM
Joe_F
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Also, I know any parts store has the trim tool Billy is talking about as well.

(As well as Sears).
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 01-05-04 at 05:52 AM.
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