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Guest Message by DevFuse

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'98 Outback Tailgate Stuck

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8 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_3Putter_*

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 11:09 AM

Can't open my tailgate. It's moody. Some days it works, others, it doesn't. Another Subaru friend has the same exact problem with the same exact car. I'm sure we're not alone. Solutions?

#2 Guest_Commuter_*

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 03:53 PM

I haven't encountered any problem like this on my 97 OB.

However, it's very easy to take the lower cover off the inside of the hatch.

Pull the 6 little plastic pins across the bottom. Don't lose the grommet "thingy" that they push in to. Best to remove them too before popping the panel off.

The top of the panel is held on by 6 snaps. You can see the outside ones if you open the little flaps to get at the bulbs. Just push (from inside) or pull (from outside) straight out from the hatch and they will snap out fairly easily.

Now you can at least see the linkages, etc. Perhaps you'll discover your problem.


(PS - I just had all this apart (including the pillars and top interior pieces) a couple of weeks ago. I installed a top mounted rear window washer sprayer. :D )

#3 Guest_3Putter_*

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 08:01 PM

Thanks, I'll give it a try.
Meantime, I called my dealership to see if it has been a recurring problem. Of course, I got the "no, never heard of it before" response. I find it quite interesting that another friend has the same exact problem, but this is all new to Subaru.
My friend actually brought his car to a mechanic and had it all cleaned out. The mechanic told him that he found some moisture in there that may have caused the problem.

#4 Guest_rcoaster_*

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 05:40 AM

Also check to see if your tailgate handle that opens it from the outside is sticking. On my 96 Outback, the plate on the outside is rusting badly. It will cause the handle to stick, and not return back to its home position. Give the handle a push to make sure it's all the way down, lock and unlock the tailgate and try again. After doing that, the tailgate opens with no problem.

#5 Guest_lesbaru_*

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 07:14 PM

I had the exact same problem and fixed it from a thread on this board.

It's pretty common with our years wagons. From what I've gathered its due to the exhaust blowing back and rusting the untreated metal parts. (check the left side strut brackets and cushioned posts. mine are yucky)

I've a printout of the archieved thread. The title is "Rear latch bracket rusted" and it was posted by PAezb on 5/2/02. Hopefully that's enough info to find it in the archieves.

You'll want to replace the bracket and the handle. It's pretty easy to do. Parts # 84927AC020 and 62150AA211. I got mine for $18 and $12 from 1stsubaruparts.com

I've looked at other mid-late 90's wagons, and most of them have some rust at the handle and bracket, too.

Anyway, follow the instructions Commuter gave in the thread and you'll be doing just fine. :D

#6 Guest_3Putter_*

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 06:02 PM

Thanks so much for the advice. I tried the jamming of the handle into the home position, monkeying with the lock a few times, and Voila! it opened. Great! Now that I know the source of my problem, hopefully, my frustrating days are over.

#7 Guest_Chip_*

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 05:28 AM

"The top of the panel is held on by 6 snaps. You can see the outside ones if you open the little flaps to get at the bulbs. Just push (from inside) or pull (from outside) straight out from the hatch and they will snap out fairly easily."

OK...maybe I'm braindead...:rolleyes: I spent a whole Saturday staring at those top snaps and I can't figure them out. From the inside,(looking at them thru the little flap), the look like phillips head screws.
Let's say the hatch is open and I'm standing under it. Which way do I pull,or push ?

#8 Guest_Commuter_*

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 11:09 AM

Since this was the second time that I'd had the panel off on the car, I didn't even really look at them too closely. Yes, they have some sort of "head" that clips into the plastic panel part. The rest of the snap pushes into a hole in the steel (or mounting point).

You pull the panel straight out from the steel. Put another way, these snaps go in (and come out) on the <strong>same axis</strong> as the lower pins. (Well, parallel axis to be proper.) Follow?

If you have the hatch open and you are under it, the panel will be essentially horizontal. You will be pulling it straight down toward the ground.

There is <strong>no</strong> sliding the panel up, or down, or sideways... Just straight "out".

Good luck.


#9 Guest_lesbaru_*

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 08:52 PM

I think I used a flat-head screwdriver to pull the pins out. My fingernails weren't enough. The little sleeve thingies stayed in the panel.

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