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2001 Escape rear hatch won't open

05-29-2011, 03:51 PM
I've run into this issue about a dozen times now, where I'll go to open the back hatch and nothing happens. The window will do the same thing, pull the handle, and if feels like nothings "catching". I cycle the lock/ unlock button a few times, and a few times that has helped, but I usually have to just drive around and it'll be fine. I've gone through two sets of front door latch parts, so I'm sure the rear latch is a piece of junk also.
Anyway, I'd like to remove the backdoor cover to get to the latch to look at it. Can anyone give me some ideas on how to get this thing apart.

05-29-2011, 08:42 PM
Try to trigger the unlock button at the same time pulling up the hatch.
It sounds like the catch is too tight, and needs tobe adjusted.

05-31-2011, 07:38 PM
I have a 2001 Escape with no key release in the hatch. The Liftgate Actuator (ELECTRIC LOCK -OPENER ) goes bad on the rear hatches.
I purchased one from ebay seller for $55.00 + $3 S&H. Works great. Ford dealer will not sell ju st the actuator, you have to buy the entire handle/actuator / and rods for about $160.00

You can carefully pop the inside panel at the top side of the tailgate after you climb into the back............then you can see the lever mechanism and pull the rod with your hand and open the rear hatch/tailgate.
Then you can remove the four screws on the bottom of the panel with the liftgate up. There are about four places in the middleof the hatch panel that secure into metal clips. Just be gentle about it all so you don't break the plastic.

The actuator I purchased fits perfect. You will have to splice the wires as the connector for power is not factory. If the hook up shuts the tailgate lock when the door locks open you have hooked the wires up backwards. There are only two wires so you will get it right on the second try.

Good luck. Ford dealer told me that this was a common problem. It only took me about 45 minutes to install.

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