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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
94 850 wagon, I get quite a bit of use out of the tailgate.
A couple weeks back the kids and I went for a bike outing, I packed a bike trailer and a few other things in the hatch and off we went. On the return trip the tailgate would no longer open from the outside.

I had been having this problem where just normal pulling on the tailgate handle wouldn't open it, but if you push down on the entire door, at the same time ya squeeze the handle, it would open. Now, even this trick didn't work its magic.

The tailgate would open though, via the inside handle.

Inspecting the latch showed quite a bit of play.
[attachmentid=600]

There are two plates riveted together, and they moved around quite a bit. Somehow the outside handle just wasn't able to activate the pushrod to trigger the latch. (labeled A or B in this diagram)
[attachmentid=601]

I ordered a used latch, thinking that would do it. Today I got the Torx40 driver and thought I would fiddle with the thing to see how to disassemble it. Well...

I took out the three T40 bolts and I get the idea to raise the latch just a bit, by shimming it with 1/4" washers. I wiggled them into place, between the latch and the tailgate inner body, then replaced the T40's.

Bam! the door opens and closes now. How about that?

The bumpers on the side of the tailgate are pretty worn, and the tailgate had some play in it, so I shimmed those too.

Shim, shim, shim.
 

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Thank you for sharing, cheeso.

It would sure help!

But may I know more about your faulty latch case. Do your central-locking work on all the 5 doors? (Inclusive of the tailgate?)

I know of someone who had trouble with the central-locking on all 5 doors. And in the end, all he did was just to CUT the wiring on the tailgate motor. However, in his case, the latch works fine. Only that the central-locking went kaput. (So, this part may not be relevant to you lah).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I didn't have a problem with the central locking, only the mechanicals.

here's a followup though.

After living with the shimmed tailgate latch for a while, the latch stopped working again!

I disassenbled the exterior handle and discovered it had corroded and cracked. This made for a sloppy linkage between it and the latch assembly, which is why I guess the tailgate was so hard to open. Now I have to replace the cracked handle.

-Cheeso
 

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Thanks for the update, cheeso.

Feel free to update us with photos on your next project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just a followup,
I rang up V-and-S auto dismantlers to get a replacement tailgate handle.

Though it is possible to get "just the handle", the dealer sells the entire assembly, the dark plastic thing that goes all the way across the back of the tailgate, and I guess that's how V and S also sell it. The dealer wanted, oh I don't know, something like $180 for the assembly. V and S sold it to me for $45.
+ $10 delivery.

Replacing it wasn't too bad;

- remove the interior panel on the tailgate. Mine was loose and floppy anyway, a common 850 problem, so this part was already half done.

- remove the window wiper motor assembly. you need to do this to get access to the retaining bolts on the tailgate handle. There are 3 bolts on the inside, and you will need to take off the exterior wiper arm also.

- get a nut driver and remove the 4 retaining bolts on the tailgate handle assembly.

- detach the latch mechanism from the tailgate handle . This involves just gently pulling the rod away from the tailgate handle itself. It is held in with a white plastic retaining clip, a little gentle pressure and it pops loose.

- detach the wiring clip on the right hand side - this is the wiring for the lights that shine on the license plate.

- at this point, from the outside, you can pull the tailgate handle assembly off. you may have to wiggle it. be careful with the wiring clip.

I lubed up the mechanism in the the new (used) tailgate handle assembly, and then installed it, following the steps in the reverse order.

on the last step, I did the tailgate-rattle remedy thing, and replaced the plastic retaining clips on the interior panel.

it just works.
 

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This is my problem!! I've been searching boards for some time now while I've had the kids crawl through the car to open the hatch. Do you think you could've done your second solution and avoided the first? Can you detail for me the parts you bought and the place you bought them from? Online part sites only sell tailgate clips and the dealer will sell everything but what I need.

Thanks,
KG
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry it has been so long since I've been on the board.
Surely this won't help you , but it might help someone else.

Yes, I think the second problem was the real problem. The latch release handle was corroded and failing. It wasn't reaching the latch itself.

The place I got the tailgate latch handle from was... V and S Auto Dismantlers. in California. They're pretty good, reasonable, fast.

But don't order on the web. Just call them. Tell em what you want. You'll get it pronto.

I have ordered stuff from them maybe 5-6 times. They're always fast, easy to deal with, and reliable.
most recently it was...a couple weeks ago.... ah.... hood hinges. (don't ask). They shipped 'em fast.
 
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