Dreaded rear hatch actuator issue!

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ryanjl

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You can buy the cheapo switch off amazon that I linked in that thread and plug it in to see if that fixes it. Two things about that switch, though:

1. It does not accommodate the backup camera, and I'm guessing you have one. So if you use it, you'll have to splice wires or otherwise integrate the backup camera portion of your existing harness. But this probably should not matter because...

2. I would not recommend the cheapo amazon unit as a permanent solution because, surprise surprise, the cheapo wiring harness is really cheap. The liftgate actuator felt really fragile and like it would break apart within a year.

So, what you can use it for (and what I used it for) was to diagnose the problem. If you plug it in and the liftgate switch works all the time then the problem is either your switch or the wiring from the connectors to the switch.
 

Mozambique

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Useful thought process thanks!
I had a look at the actuator. Physically nothing looks amiss, but if solenoid issue then would not be visible.

I took the lift gate switch out as per Powerfuluk vid. As per their vid, also snapped one of the tabs. Seems there's no way to avoid doing that as cannot access the tabs from behind the switch to depress them first. Anyhow, took the rubber cover off and the paddle and switch assembly cleanish, so nothing physically affecting switch operation. Couple of blobs of hot glue and switch back in place at least for now. Can replace with one from powerfuluk if needed I guess (yes have reverse cams).

Next I looked at removing the whole switch assembly unit as you did to see if any switch wiring loom wires broken. Its only held in place by three large head torx 27 bolts right? Obvs mine are quite corroded and will not undo. LARGE DIA BOLT HEAD AND TORX IS GUARENTEED PROBLEM IF RUSTED!!!!! Just like brake rotor retaining screws :( dosed liberally with WD40, gave them a sharp tap with a hammer. Will leave overnight and try again later.

Probably have to use an impact wrench, but problematic as liftgate raised and will flex when I whack the wrench...... and working above head height. Wont be accessible from inside when liftgate closed. Can't use heat as will melt the switch holder assembly. Could grind them off but they are an odd bolt to replace. May have to resort to bolt extractor. 2 deg C and snowing here. Enthusiasm waning (vehicle outside)...............
 

Mozambique

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So an update for the record.
I figure I have a broken wire in the loom which powers the liftgate switch as per Ryanjl, so need to remove tailgate handle to investigate. Both rear license plate bulbs blown which supports a wiring issue diagnosis. Obvs never that simple!
4 torx bolts that hold the liftgate handle on are rusted solid, so have to drill and remove heads, drill out and re-tap.
In the interim I replaced the operating actuator as I figured it was on borrowed time.
20230221_093921.jpg

Now, the new actuator whirrs when using fob, but tailgate does not open, even an inch. If I pull on the cable it releases fine. Have not replaced latch. I feel that the cable length may need adjusting (too long?), but there is no way to adjust it?
Thoughts anyone?
Quentin
 

D_Walt

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@Mozambique you commented on my thread about replacing the rear third brake light! I have the same issue with my tailgate release. It only works when I hold the button and use the key fob at the same time. I suspected wiring/connection corrosion from water ingress into the upper tailgate through the cracked brake light assembly. This confirms it!
 

djkaosone

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Mozambique

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@Mozambique you commented on my thread about replacing the rear third brake light! I have the same issue with my tailgate release. It only works when I hold the button and use the key fob at the same time. I suspected wiring/connection corrosion from water ingress into the upper tailgate through the cracked brake light assembly. This confirms it!
I found the culprit!
Turns out it wasn't the wiring per se. I checked the voltage going to the liftgate switch located in the handle. 12V. Big relief! I then connected a jumper lead to bridge the switch and the actuator whirred. The switch was therfore the issue. Ordered a $25 non-OEM switch which should arrive today. Three snapped bolts drilled out and re-tapped (pain to clamp the handle unit when drilling). I even went as far as touching up the paint on the handle as there were a few chips. Hoping to have it back on this weekend so the dogs can finally go to the beach again!

The LHS rear tail lamp was out and fuse #25 was blown. Replaced fuse and will fit new rear license plate lights bulbs (both blown). Fingers crossed the fuse doesn't blow again, or I have short on that circuit.
 

ryanjl

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That $25 amazon switch is really cheap. I would't trust it to last more than a year. The one that powerfuluk sells is much better.
 

Mozambique

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Thanks for the tip. Didn't get it off Amazon, but agree longevity may be an issue. I am in Canada so needed it urgently. May order powerfuluk switch in the event the new one fails prematurely. The OEM one doesn't look like a quality item either :(
 

Mozambique

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But the powefuluk switch needs cutting and splicing, right and at GBP 67 costs the same as the correct switch from Land Rover
 

ryanjl

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Yes, it needs cutting and splicing. I'm unaware of any ability to just buy the switch from Land Rover. I only ever saw the switch and the whole loom and it was pricey.
 

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