How to Repair a Jeep Cherokee Liftgate

Written by jeanene s. valentine
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How to Repair a Jeep Cherokee Liftgate
(Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

After years of constantly being opened and closed, the liftgate on a Jeep Cherokee will begin to wear out. The liftgate is supported by two hydraulic arms to keep the door in the air when opened. Occasionally these will begin to wear out causing the door to fall down. The locking mechanism on liftgates will often "dry out" and becoming stuck, preventing you from opening and closing the door. Both repairs should be done at the same time to ensure proper opening, closing and locking of the liftgate for years to come.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Two Jeep support arms (not sold in pairs)
  • Slotted and Phillips screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Aerosol lubricant
  • Shop towels

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  1. 1

    Pull the rear seat release straps and move the rear seat forward. Climb inside of the rear cargo area. Using a screwdriver, remove the retaining screws from the lock assembly moulding located at the bottom of the liftgate.

  2. 2

    Lift the threaded latching bolt -- it has a green plastic tab located on its base -- by using a set of pliers. Pull until you hear the liftgate pop open. Slide the green plastic tab to the left, and it will snap off the latching bolt. Adjust the latching bolt to the position needed to freely open and close the liftgate. Replace the green plastic tab back onto the bolt. Spray all moving parts of the lock and latch assembly with the aerosol lubricant. Wipe clean with a shop towel. Replace the liftgate trim, and tighten bolts with screwdriver.

  3. 3

    Open and fully extend the liftgate with a friend supporting it in the air. Using a screwdriver, remove the old support bolts from the liftgate and vehicle until the support arm comes free. Place the new support arm where the old support arm was removed from and insert support arm bolts to keep it in place. Use the screwdriver to tighten all support arm bolts. Lower the liftgate to ensure alignment, and adjust if needed.

Tips and warnings

  • Replacement support arms must be Chrysler or Jeep manufactured or they will not fit. These parts are vehicle make specific.
  • Support arms must be replaced with the liftgate open or the parts will not align properly.

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