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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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2,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have to remove the rear hatch interior panel on my '96 legacy wagon. Obviously pretty easy when you can open the hatch, but unfortunately on mine the problem is that the latch is broken, meaning that I cannot open it! Trying to figure out some way of operating the latch itself so that I can get the damned thing open and fix it.

Have all of the lower retaining plugs removed and can pull the bottom portion of the panel forward enough to see the latch and the rod that usually operates it, but operating the rod does not rotate the latch.

Am I correct ( after looking at the mechanism on my '01s) that the latch rotates clockwise looking at it from the rear - same as the '01?

I suppose that I could destroy the interior panel for easier access, but I'd rather not!

Anyone go through this problem before?
 

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Premium Member
'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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2,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Never mind!

Finally found that the upper portion of the trim just snaps into place - a couple good (and careful) yanks and it came right off.

Now to figure out why the damned latch doesn't work - starting the rust work tomorrow and need to be able to get back in and out through the rear hatch tomorrow.
 

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1999 30th Anniversary Legacy Outback DOHC 2.5L 4EAT, 2008 Impreza WRX 2.5L 5MT, 2008 Impreza Wagon 2.5L 4EAT
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1,224 Posts
The problem with the hatch not opening is usually rust on the plate that attaches the handle to the door. There is a good thread somewhere that explains it all but I can't seem to find it right now

Link
 

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Premium Member
'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
Joined
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2,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The handle itself is sticking in what ever position it is moved to - most likely rust at the pivots - so that is one item to fix.

The non-operation of the latch itself seems to have been caused by a problem in the lock mechanism - turning the key to "unlock" would not engage the latch to the actuator handle. I finally just moved the rod between the lock and the latch mechanism to where it finally would work. Haven't looked at it any further once I was able to open the hatch - will have to sort out the "why" later after I get the rust fixed, and since it is going to rain tomorrow, I can see that this is a job that is going to go rather late into this evening!
 
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