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How to open hatch?

Old 05-02-2019, 09:09 AM
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Default How to open hatch?

About 3 or 4 days ago my hatch stopped working. I got this 97 xj about a month ago. During that time it would occasionally stick but I was able to open it after 2 or 3 pulls. Now it won't open at all. I tried pushing at all the spots that people say to push on to open it. Is there any other option other than cutting a hole in the trim to access the latch to adjust it?
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:30 AM
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Underneath there are 2 nuts that hold the bottom latch to the body. Take them off and the whole assembly should come out.

Probably.

Maybe.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:31 AM
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I would test it on mine but mine's not stuck.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:56 AM
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You should be able to remove the inside plastic on the hatch enough to reach down in there and grab the rod to open her up.
I was able to do that in the boneyard on a '97 and up that I needed to.
Of course since it was a boneyard vehicle I was not gentle.
Don't think I busted anything though.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:58 AM
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by CSpeade51 View Post
I'm not able to open it at all so that method wont work
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Djbtraxxas View Post
I'm not able to open it at all so that method wont work
That is the method to fix what is most likely wrong with it once you get it open from the inside.
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:48 PM
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Pull the trim off the hatch from the inside while it is closed??
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by CSpeade51 View Post
Pull the trim off the hatch from the inside while it is closed??
'99? All you need to do is unscrew the 4 screws at the top of the plastic. Where I drew circles. Pardon my spacing of them.
Where I drew squares are screws you can not get at.
So once you remove the screws at the top you will gently pull on the plastic at the bottom of the window in the center.
All you are doing is popping out those white body plugs you see in the picture.
Chances are the rod fell off the handle.
So you will reach down in there feel for the rod and pull it up I believe. Could be press down on it though. Can't remember. Make sure the hatch is unlocked. LOL.

That should pop the hatch.

Last edited by Ralph77; 05-02-2019 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:11 PM
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That's how I got into mine (2000) but the rod was still attached. The plastic adjustment nut on the rod had worked it's way up on the rod too far to allow the handle to pull it far enough to unlatch.
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:23 PM
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Sorry, I had to log off for a family situation.

Anyhow, I reached into the opening behind the panel with a coathanger and pulled up on the rod under the nut and it opened. Then I ran the nut down about 1/4" and tried it. It opened then so I put a 10-32 jab nut on top of the plastic nut so it wouldn't happen ever again.
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:02 PM
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I posted about this before. There is a way to open it from the outside that I discovered when mine was stuck. I’ll try to find it and post a link.
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:06 PM
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:27 PM
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Once at a JY I needed a hatch opened on pre 91. Was actually op on-top of another car. The worker there climbed up and in and in seconds opened it. He just pulled the inner panel free enough to get his hand in there and reach the latch. Not sure on the details but on that I think the bottom of the inside panel just attaches like a door panel and the top has a "grab", lip that won't come free until you raise the whole panel. I think he just popped the bottom free, loose enough to get his hand in there.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:51 PM
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It is possible to pop the bottom of the panel out but it’s very tight and requires an awkward twisting of the hand. Not to mention that it may break or deform the panel. I’ve done it that way before but the last time around I thought there must be another way.
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