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2002 Cougar 2.5L V6
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The actuator motor for the remote hatch release mechanism went out long ago on my car, so I removed it. This means I could open the rear hatch by using the key or the emergency pull cable actuator. Well, yesterday, I loaded groceries into the trunk and when I got home, the key would not open the hatch. The key turned to the right as it should but there is little resistance and the over center pop when it releases the latch is absent. Fortunately, one of the rear seatbacks was folded down, so I could access the items in the trunk and pull them out. Using the emergency pull cable will not pop the latch and actually caused the key's action to be impeded, so that is a small clue. Has anyone experienced this or can anyone offer a solution? For example, without delving into it too deeply yet, I am now wondering if I can remove some of the trunk trim panels, gain access to the latch and jury rig a release cable of my own? Remember, at this time I cannot open the hatch so any work would need to be done lying down while inside the trunk.
 

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1999 3.0 SilFro
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If you remove the tail light, you can take the tumbler out. It’s held in by a couple of small bolts that are accessible with the tail light removed. That could help.
 

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2002 Cougar 2.5L V6
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you remove the tail light, you can take the tumbler out. It’s held in by a couple of small bolts that are accessible with the tail light removed. That could help.
They key will still turn the keyway to what I think is its limit, so I don't think the tumbler is the problem if I understand you correctly. There must be some linkage between the tumbler and the latch, and that seems likely where the problem lies. I just can't remember how it is designed and configured. Getting access to it seems like it will be really tough with the hatch locked in the closed position though.
 

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1999 3.0 SilFro
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Gotcha.

Well there is just a cable that connects the tumbler to the latch mechanism. Maybe it's stretched or frayed?
 

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2002 Cougar 2.5L V6
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
After finally devising a way and gaining access to the latch from inside the trunk, I found that the swaged fitting had slipped out of its slot on the latch's release lever. I put things back together as they should be and used a nylon tie wrap to act as a loose-fitting keeper. There is spare hole in the release lever, so I tied some nylon cord on it as a new, duplicate interior latch release pull cord, since the built-in one relies on a connection between the cable, swaged fitting, and release lever arm.
 

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I made a similar fix to the cable in my drivers seat many years ago. The zip tie should outlive the rest of the car.
 
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