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Bigplanz 11-21-2012 07:27 PM

1995 mercury villager tailgate latch
38 Attachment(s)
Latch broke. How do you get tailgate open? Can you get to the mechanism with the rear gate closed? Thanks.

cjm94 11-21-2012 07:48 PM

You can its a big pain in the butt And you may damage the inside trim panel getting it off. You need to get it pulled loose enough to use a long screw driver to actuate the latch mechanism

Bigplanz 12-07-2012 11:41 AM

38 Attachment(s)
Follow-up: I got the rear hatch open. The rear trim panel has a pair of access points. I took one of the access covers off, cut through the plastic water barrier and reached in and popped the latch. Skinny arms helped.

Once open, the trim cover came off easily. Take the handle off (2 screws) and it pried off. I took the water barrier off and can see the latch but can't figure out if it comes out from the inside or if I have to take the body trim panel off. Anybody ever taken one of these out? I can't find a diagram anywhere.

Bigplanz 12-28-2012 12:22 PM

38 Attachment(s)
For the knowlege base:
The rear latch is actually part of the license plate holder. This is little more than a plastic plate with a spring loaded hinge (gate latch) on the back. Attached to the latch is a metal rod that attaches to gate latch mechanism. Pull up on the latch, the rod pivots on the hinge, the hatch opens, the spring retracts the rod.

To get it out you remove the inner hatch trim cover. Remove the ten bolts or so that hold the reflector panels on the back of the van. Be careful nor to break them off. Remove the reflectors. Then unbolt the license plate cover and detach the rod from the latch mechanism. Take it out, put the new one in and reassemble.

I learned all this through trial and error tearing up a salvage villager at Pull a Part yesterday. Tear up THEIR junker, not your vehicle. :)

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