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Rear Hatch stuck. Can't open hatch.

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  #1  
Old 08-27-2006, 09:06 PM
ttutone1 ttutone1 is offline
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Default Rear Hatch stuck. Can't open hatch.

I just bought a used 2000 Grand Caravan. The back hatch opened when we bought the van but, now it won't open. It acts like the pull handle on the outside came unhooked from the release. I have tried to open it from the inside to work on it and I can't. I wish I had a picture of the guts. Does anyone know how to release the latch so I can get the back door/hatch open?

Thanks,
Tommy
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2006, 10:43 PM
ttutone1 ttutone1 is offline
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Default RE: Rear Hatch stuck. Can't open hatch.

Nevermind I figured it out. Take a straight screwdriver pop out the little round cover plug on the inside. Put the screwdriver in the hole and gently pry up the connector. It shouldn't take much preasure and it releases the catch. Then you can snap the connecting rod back in the little catch.
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  #3  
Old 08-28-2006, 05:01 PM
webbee webbee is offline
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Default RE: Rear Hatch stuck. Can't open hatch.

Thanks for posting the fix. I had no idea that was how you got to the catch. Good job!
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:20 PM
jairgee jairgee is offline
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Lightbulb How to fix the rear hatch lock on a 1996 Dodge Caravan

I had the same problem and fixed it using the following steps. I am not an expert or even very mechanically inclined, just desperate to get this fixed without spending any money. This was done on a 1996 Dodge Caravan. Similar steps should apply to a number of years of the Caravans and Voyagers.

Two people will make removing the panel easier. To do this, you'll need a phillips screwdriver, penetrating lubricant, and pliers.

First, if you cannot open the door at all: There is a small plastic disc plugging a hole just above the latch on the inside. Pop out that disk, and use a screwdriver to lift the latch mechanism. It should not take a great deal of force to move the latch. When the latch moves, push the door and it should open.

1. Remove the plastic panel on the inside of the van. You need to remove the handle and several screws on the perimeter of the door.
2. Disconnect the interior door lights by gently pulling the wiring harness (two of these).
3. Looking at the door from the interior, there is a small electronic plunger mechanism on the right side with an "accordion" (this is the electric lock). There is a rod that goes from the to the middle of the door, just above the lock mechanism. Another rod goes from the key lock to the latch. This rod, threaded on one end, snaps into a small bracket on the latch. It may need to be snapped back in. There may also be a rubbery/tar-like sticker near the locking mechanisms that can be removed (it can interfere with some of the moving parts).
4. Manually operate the plunger on the electric lock several times using pliers. Mine was extremely stiff. It should move the rod at least a full inch.
5. Spray lubricant on the latch, the back of the key lock, and the back of the exterior handle. Also spray lubricant into the key lock itself (where the key goes). Do NOT spray lubricant on the electronic lock mechanism or plunger.
6. Just above the latch, there is a small hole (only about 1/8" around). Carefully and liberally spray lubricant into that hole in every direction (this is where the rods from the key lock, electric lock, and latch meet). There is a white plastic post that comes out through another nearby hole. Spray lubricant liberally into that hole, too.
7. Again, manually operate the plunger on the electric lock several times using pliers. It should be considerably smoother to operate.
8. Put your key into the key lock and pull it out several times.
9. Spray lubricant into the key lock again, then carefully operate the lock with the key. If it didn't work or was stiff before, it should operate much more smoothly. Operate the electric locks several times.
10. When operating the lock, you should see the plunger on the electric lock move to its extents (at least an inch). Watch it when using a key and using the electric lock.
11. Check the movements of the rod and plunger when operating the lock, and the movements of the latch when operating the handle (when unlocked). If anything is still really stiff, use some more lubricant and operate the lock and handle again.
12. When reassembling the door panel, remember to plug in the two wiring harnesses for the interior lights.

I hope this helps!
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  #5  
Old 05-17-2009, 11:55 AM
Adamkess Adamkess is offline
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Default 97 Caravan Hatch help

Any suggestions for a hatch that was hit in a parking lot? We have the door taken apart and the metal rod that releases the latch does not seem to be moving when lifting the handle on the door. Is there a way to re-attach the metal rod that releases the catch to the plastic door handle?
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2010, 09:23 PM
DRG DRG is offline
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Lightbulb Rear Hatch Stuck

Rear hatch stuck shut on 2000 Grand Caravan. Turned out to be rust and dust freezing up the lock mechanism. Unable to remove the plastic nut that holds the handle in. Had to cut a whole in the body (from the inside of the hatch after the cover was removed) to get to the parts. Works ok for now with the key, but still not sliding well enough to allow the electric unlock to re-engage the door handle. Good Luck.
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:08 PM
Michelangelo Michelangelo is offline
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Thanks for the insight on this. I had the same problem with my rear latch not opening on my 2000 used caravan. Popped it open, took off the paneling and found that the rod as it connects right onto the door latch was off. It took a couple of tries to get it working right and the linkage was really gummed up with dirt and the rubber tar sealer they use on the plastic that covers the access hole. I summize it was the gummed up junk that caused the linkage to jam, thus causing the rod to pop out of it's connector when the actuator was activated. Either way it's working good now.

I'm not able to get the door opened with my key but with the electric lock on the front doors it'll unlock and I can manually open it. So it's much better than before.
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  #8  
Old 09-03-2010, 09:09 PM
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Ole Goat Ole Goat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jairgee View Post
I had the same problem and fixed it using the following steps. I am not an expert or even very mechanically inclined, just desperate to get this fixed without spending any money. This was done on a 1996 Dodge Caravan. Similar steps should apply to a number of years of the Caravans and Voyagers.

Two people will make removing the panel easier. To do this, you'll need a phillips screwdriver, penetrating lubricant, and pliers.

First, if you cannot open the door at all: There is a small plastic disc plugging a hole just above the latch on the inside. Pop out that disk, and use a screwdriver to lift the latch mechanism. It should not take a great deal of force to move the latch. When the latch moves, push the door and it should open.

1. Remove the plastic panel on the inside of the van. You need to remove the handle and several screws on the perimeter of the door.
2. Disconnect the interior door lights by gently pulling the wiring harness (two of these).
3. Looking at the door from the interior, there is a small electronic plunger mechanism on the right side with an "accordion" (this is the electric lock). There is a rod that goes from the to the middle of the door, just above the lock mechanism. Another rod goes from the key lock to the latch. This rod, threaded on one end, snaps into a small bracket on the latch. It may need to be snapped back in. There may also be a rubbery/tar-like sticker near the locking mechanisms that can be removed (it can interfere with some of the moving parts).
4. Manually operate the plunger on the electric lock several times using pliers. Mine was extremely stiff. It should move the rod at least a full inch.
5. Spray lubricant on the latch, the back of the key lock, and the back of the exterior handle. Also spray lubricant into the key lock itself (where the key goes). Do NOT spray lubricant on the electronic lock mechanism or plunger.
6. Just above the latch, there is a small hole (only about 1/8" around). Carefully and liberally spray lubricant into that hole in every direction (this is where the rods from the key lock, electric lock, and latch meet). There is a white plastic post that comes out through another nearby hole. Spray lubricant liberally into that hole, too.
7. Again, manually operate the plunger on the electric lock several times using pliers. It should be considerably smoother to operate.
8. Put your key into the key lock and pull it out several times.
9. Spray lubricant into the key lock again, then carefully operate the lock with the key. If it didn't work or was stiff before, it should operate much more smoothly. Operate the electric locks several times.
10. When operating the lock, you should see the plunger on the electric lock move to its extents (at least an inch). Watch it when using a key and using the electric lock.
11. Check the movements of the rod and plunger when operating the lock, and the movements of the latch when operating the handle (when unlocked). If anything is still really stiff, use some more lubricant and operate the lock and handle again.
12. When reassembling the door panel, remember to plug in the two wiring harnesses for the interior lights.

I hope this helps!
Jairgee, just read your above posting, and find it very detailed. I have just packed it in for the night after about 2 hours of trying to get my rear hatch open. I finally did and it was quite a chore in doing so.
Anyway back to the Actuator releases the Hatch lock. I have a question if you wouldn't mind.
Do you some how take off the rod from the Actuator, and then move it back and foward as you mentioned, If so how is this done?
I got the panel off and everything is open as far as whats there to open. I did spray penetraing oil into the lock and on the mechanism, but the rod your referinf to only moves about 1/2 inch at most in one direction.
Sure would appreciate it if you could direct me on the how to as to removing this rod, and where to do so.
Look foward to your reply again thanks for the detailed information.
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:46 PM
Michelangelo Michelangelo is offline
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I wish I could help. UPdate: after I got it fixed, or so I thought-it went back to not working. We can get it to open if my wife clicks the power locks off and on, off and on, off and on...wiht me pulling on the rear hatch handle. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I know the actuator arm is still on, but I think something else is jacked. I've given up and just climb in the side door now.
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:15 PM
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Ole Goat Ole Goat is offline
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Default Rear Hatch

Thats exactly what was happening to our Van, then all of a sudden it quit working.
Now that I have it all apart and what "Jairgee" went into detail on it gives me a better perspective on what to look for.

Its the removing of the rod that I am not sire on how to go about it. Its probably a somple fix but knowning the know how is what I would like to figure out, rather than break it.

I wonder what engineer figured this aparatus out, he sure as hell didn't firgure in the person having to repair one. I would hate to think of the labor cost at the Goat Dealer, let alone any parts.

I'll get back at it tomorrow, and hope it works out okay.
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:15 PM
 
 
 
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Tags
2000, calibre, caravan, dodge, door, durango, grand, hatch, latch, magnum, open, rear, sport, stuck, wony

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