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Range Rover Rear Hatch Operating Probe Modification...

Opening my rear glass upper hatch was getting very difficult, the play in the thumb button to open the latch was so great it left very little travel to actually depress the mechanism which opens the hatch.

After someone on the rover-list posted their solution, I went after mine, and here's how I modified my operating probe (as it's called in parts books) so I could adjust the free play by lengthening the rod. I now have an adjustable length probe. This is the same method that Brad Harris used on www.rangie.com  except I used copper tubing instead of a long nut.

I bought 2 new probes from Rovers North for $2.50 US each (one to ruin, one to get it right...).  I ran a 1/4-20 Die over the plastic probe about 3/8" up from the end.   The O.D. of the probe rod was perfect for threading, I didn't need to mount the die in the T-handle, just held the die in my hand.

I took a short length of 5/16" OD copper tubing, as thick walled as I could find, and with a 1/4-20 tap, I threaded the inside of the tubing.  This makes a great sleeve.  If you need more travel, just make your sleeve longer, and screw the newly-threaded sleeve over the end of the probe after reinstalling it in the lock mechanism.  You could even epoxy it all together when you get the adjustment perfect.  The probes are cheap if you ever need to make another.

John P.
'92 RR

Tips on adjusting the rear linkage from Michael Slade:


Adjusting the upper tailgate latches:

Alright, since you asked...

The two rods that extend out from the central handle mechanism are the secret.

Don't mess with the locating pins on the body, they are where they're supposed to be (remember they worked perfectly at one time, right?).

There is an adjustment mechanism at each end of the rods that is threaded, one is a loooooong hex bolt with a tiny nut next to it. Back off the tiny nut, mess with the long bolt adjusting it in or out. I can't remember which way does what, but you'll figure it out quickly.

Once you get the one side to shut and stay shut, tighten up that lock nut and move to the other side. Repeat procedure. Now, go back and re-adjust the first side (it'll probably need it).

BTW, the two adjusting rods are underneath the cover plate that's held on with the phillips sheet metal screws.

Also, the plastic plunger will sometimes crack and fail and you won't be able to open your rear tailgate. I have not found anyone that will sell just that piece alone (dealer wants to sell you the whole handle), so a wrecking yard to get the entire handle would be the best bet.

Good luck!