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2001 Town & Country Liftgate Jammed With a Buckle

Old 09-07-2009, 12:27 PM
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Default 2001 Town & Country Liftgate Jammed With a Buckle

Hello All,

Got a 2002 T&C (sorry, I typo'd the heading of this post) with a non-power liftgate but power locks. If I understand correctly when I squeeze the outside handle it cycles a servo and doesn't actually connect to the latch?

Looks like my wife inadvertently closed the thing on the buckle of a baby backpack and while it latched, I haven't been able to open it since. Squeezing the release causes a clunk but no release. I've tried pressing the hatch back down while I cycle it, tried throwing my shoulder into it right at the "clunk," tried backing it up to a wall so I could brace against it and lean into it as hard as I can. No luck.

Anyone got any ideas? My next guess (other than jumping on it some more just in case it pops open) is to take the seats out and work from the inside. Can I get to the latch without the door being open? Can I remove that latch while it's closed? Maybe get better force on it directly than the servo is capable of?

Hope to hear from you...
Old 09-07-2009, 06:22 PM
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Default Solved it

Took the inside panel off and sure enough, that latch is strictly electrical, there's a link rod to the key cylinder but even that looks like it goes to a switch that then tells the van's brain it's OK to cycle the latch servo if the release is squeezed.

I must be getting grumpy in my old age, that bugs me. A door latch that has two separate single points of failure, both electrical. Bad design.

Anyway. With the trim off I could get a big screwdriver under the flange that houses the whole latch business. Had an accomplice cycle the latch from outside and pried it loose. The latch popped loose and I was able to pull the stuck belt out. All is well.
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