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Registered
2001 Forester
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, total n00b to Subarus and I'm having an issue with the tailgate on my 01 Forester. I found the thread that specifies to pop the access plug out from inside and toggle the latch from there, but that dosn't seem to be working for me.

I can move the lock acuator back and forth but reguardless of what position it is in the outside handle does nothing. It almost feels like the handle is not attached to anything at all.

I also tried getting it to pop from the inside but can't seems to find any movement other than the lock. Does anyone have a diagram of the mechinism inside the door, I'm just fumbling around in there because I don't know how it works.

Thanks in advance for helping another n00b!
 

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Registered
2001 Forester
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
That does help, thanks!

I guess my next question is whether there is any way to remove the interior plastic panel that covers the whole assembly without breaking it while the door is closed?
 

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03 Forester
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1 Posts
Hi,
Just started having the same problem. First happened about a week ago, now happened each of the last 3 days. It does seem to get worse if my car's been left in the sun for a while. The last 3 days the lock has been ok first thing in the morning, but wouldn't open after a few hours in the sun. (maybe totally unrelated.)

I've removed the trim panel so I can now see what the latch is doing when I unlock the car. When it's working, the latch can clearly be seen moving up about an inch. When it fails, it only moves a bit. When this happens, it's not possible to move it up by hand.
The lock mechanism seems fine on ot's own, no stiffness and still well greased. I'm tending to think it's the actuator mechanism that sometimes fails, but this needs to be confirmed.

akorcovelos,
On my 03, it's not possible to remove the trim with the rear hatch closed.

Regards,
Richard
 

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Registered
2003 Forester 2.5XS
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9 Posts
Just bought my MY03 yesterday and having same issue. At the dealership, I loaded my mountain bike and headed out to meet friends at a local single track only to find my hatch wouldn't open to let me get my bike out! Grrr....With a friend helping, we figured it out. It was the rear hatch handle sticking part way. This won't allow the lock the actuate.

You know when your passenger attempts to open the door at the same time you are unlocking it and it causes the lock to not actuate? They have to let go of the handle and you have hit unlock again?

Same thing is happening here. Your hatch handle mechanism is getting stuck half open. (probably rust) Before you attempt to unlock your hatch/tailgate, push the handle for the rear hatch inward with your fingers before unlocking and your hatch will unlock. I removed the entire interior panel and couldn't manually actuate the lock until my buddy jiggled the handle and it suddenly went. Dumb luck the first time, but eventually we figured out what was going on.

I noticed this was the only place on my Forester showing signs of rust. I will either remove the hatch handle and attempt to 'restore' or purchase a new handle mechanism.

Let me know if this works for you guys too, perhaps it will earn a spot as a sticky...
 

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2003 Forrester
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4 Posts
Rear Door Latch sticking

I had a door latch that was sticking open and/or closed. If I pushed in handle the last 1/8" I could get it to work each time. But that was nuts so I tried to fix it. I removed the lower portion of rear panel (push pins and handle screws). Removed nuts on wiper, didn't remove wiper, just removed nuts so I could move assy around to get to nuts holding trim on. Then removed all the nuts (about 9-10). Disconnected wiring to light. Removed trim panel. Then I disconnected the door latch cable from door latch, like a bicycle brake handle. I found the latch was binding because the metal had corroded and stopped the latch from returning to normal position. Took me an hour of spraying with WD40 and using dental floss to remove the rust and corrosion. Latch know works as designed. Reinstalled....wife is happy....life is good!!!

2003 2.5X forester
 
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