Tailgate (Hatchback and Estate models) - removal and refitting

Note: On Hatchback models made before 1990 with an integral heated rear window/radio aerial, note that the radio aerial lead is routed through different openings to that of other models in the rear bodywork and the tailgate. If a new, later-specification tailgate is to be fitted to an earlier vehicle, a new opening must be made in the bodywork for the aerial lead. Ideally, this work should be carried out by a Ford dealer, who will have the necessary template available to ensure that the opening is positioned accurately.

Removal
1 Disconnect the battery negative lead.

2 Open the tailgate and prise out the trim panel using a wide-bladed screwdriver.

3 Disconnect the wiring from the heated rear window, rear wash/wipe, interior light, lock solenoid and tailgate ajar sensor, as applicable. Disconnect the washer fluid hose where applicable; be prepared for fluid spillage.

4 Release the wiring loom/hose grommet(s) taking care not to lose it/them, then tie string to the wiring loom(s)/hose, and pull the loom(s)/hose through the tailgate. Leave the string(s) in position in the tailgate to aid refitting of the loom(s)/hose.

5 Have an assistant support the tailgate, then disconnect the support struts by prising out the retaining clips. Do not remove the clips completely, just raise them by a maximum of 4.0 mm (0.16 in) and then pull the struts off their mountings (see illustration).

11.5 Prising out a tailgate strut retaining clip
11.5 Prising out a tailgate strut retaining clip

6 Prise out the hinge fixing covers from the headlining, unscrew the hinge nuts and washers, and with the aid of the assistant, withdraw the tailgate from the vehicle (see illustration).

11.6 Tailgate hinge assembly - Hatchback and Estate models
11.6 Tailgate hinge assembly - Hatchback and Estate models

Refitting
7 Refitting is a reversal of removal, but do not fully tighten the hinge nuts until the tailgate is positioned centrally in its aperture. If necessary, adjust the position of the lock striker so that it engages fully in the lock.

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