AMC Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1975-1988 Repair Information

Liftgate

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION Sportabout



  1. Open the liftgate fully.
  2.  
  3. Remove the anti-rattle pin.
  4.  
  5. Remove the upper trim molding and disconnect the defroster grid wires. Tape the ends to the glass.
  6.  
  7. Unbolt the supports and fold them downward.
  8.  


WARNING
Never unbolt the supports unless the liftgate is fully opened. In any other position, the supports are under tension.

  1. Close the liftgate in the locked position.
  2.  
  3. From inside, remove the liftgate-to-hinge screws.
  4.  
  5. Unlock the liftgate and remove it.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Position the liftgate in the opening and lock it.
  2.  
  3. If removed, place the rubber gaskets on the hinges and insert the hinges boss into the gate.
  4.  
  5. Install the hinge-to-gate screws about 3 / 4 of the way.
  6.  
  7. From outside, unlock and fully open the liftgate. Allow it to slide down on the hinges.
  8.  
  9. Tighten the hinge screws to 11 ft.lbs.
  10.  
  11. Connect the defroster grid wires.
  12.  
  13. Install the molding.
  14.  
  15. Install the supports.
  16.  
  17. Install and adjust the anti-rattle pin.
  18.  
  19. Adjust the liftgate fit as described earlier.
  20.  

Gremlin See Figures 1 and 2

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Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of the Gremlin liftgate components1975-77 models



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Fig. Fig. 2: Liftgate component locations1978 Gremlin models

  1. Remove the upper center and corner finish moldings.
  2.  
  3. Open the liftgate fully.
  4.  
  5. Unbolt the supports and fold them downward.
  6.  


WARNING
Never unbolt the supports unless the liftgate is fully opened. In any other position, the supports are under tension.

  1. Close the liftgate in the locked position.
  2.  
  3. Lower the headliner and remove the nut from the hinge studs.
  4.  
  5. Remove the hinge reinforcements.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the defroster grid wires. Tape the ends to the glass.
  8.  
  9. Unlock the liftgate and remove it.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Position the liftgate in the opening and lock it.
  2.  
  3. If removed, place the rubber gaskets on the hinges and insert the studs into the gate.
  4.  
  5. Install the hinge reinforcements onto the studs.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the hinge nuts to 11 ft. lbs.
  8.  
  9. Connect the defroster grid wires.
  10.  
  11. Install the headliner.
  12.  
  13. Install the supports.
  14.  

Pacer Sedan See Figure 3

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Fig. Fig. 3: Exploded view of the liftgate assemblyPacer models

  1. Open the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear upper finish molding.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the rear window defogger and tape the wire ends to the glass.
  6.  
  7. Remove the right and left headliner upper rear finish moldings.
  8.  
  9. Remove the liftgate trim panel.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the wires from the wiper motor.
  12.  
  13. Tie a length of string to the motor wiring and pull the wiring from the liftgate.
  14.  

You'll use the string to guide the wiring into position during installation.

  1. Disconnect the washer hose from the nozzle tube.
  2.  
  3. Remove the retainer clips from the ball stud sockets on the liftgate.
  4.  
  5. With the liftgate fully open, pull the supports off of the ball studs. Swing the supports down and out of the way.
  6.  


WARNING
Never attempt to remove the supports with the lift gate closed or partially closed! Closing the liftgate puts the supports under tremendous pressure!

  1. Close the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the hinge-to-body nuts. Keep track of the shim pack for each hinge.
  4.  
  5. Unlatch the tailgate and remove it.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Installation is the reverse of removal. Torque the hinge nuts to 12 ft. lbs. Don't lose the shims. Make sure they are placed under their respective hinges.
  2.  
  3. Adjust the liftgate as necessary.
  4.  

Pacer Wagon See Figure 4

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Fig. Fig. 4: Pacer wagon liftgate component locations

  1. Open the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear upper finish molding.
  4.  
  5. Remove the right and left headliner upper rear finish moldings.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the rear window defogger and tape the wire ends to the glass.
  8.  
  9. Carefully pull down the rear edge of the headliner and disconnect the liftgate harness from the body harness.
  10.  
  11. Remove the nuts attaching the liftgate harness tube to the body.
  12.  
  13. Remove the liftgate harness.
  14.  
  15. Disconnect the washer hose from the nozzle tube.
  16.  
  17. Remove the retainer clips from the ball stud sockets on the liftgate.
  18.  
  19. With the liftgate fully open, pull the supports off of the ball studs. Swing the supports down and out of the way.
  20.  


WARNING
Never attempt to remove the supports with the lift gate closed or partially closed! Closing the liftgate puts the supports under tremendous pressure!

  1. Close the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the hinge-to-body nuts. Keep track of the shim pack for each hinge.
  4.  
  5. Unlatch the tailgate and remove it.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Installation is the reverse of removal. Torque the hinge nuts to 12 ft. lbs. Don't lose the shims. Make sure they are placed under their respective hinges.
  2.  
  3. Adjust the liftgate as necessary.
  4.  

Spirit, Eagle SX/4 and AMX See Figures 5 and 6

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Fig. Fig. 5: Exploded view of the liftgate assemblySpirit and AMX models



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Fig. Fig. 6: Liftgate component locationsSpirit models

  1. Open the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear upper finish molding.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the rear window defogger and tape the wire ends to the glass.
  6.  
  7. Remove the retainer clips from the ball stud sockets on the liftgate.
  8.  
  9. With the liftgate fully open, pull the supports off of the ball studs. Swing the supports down and out of the way.
  10.  


WARNING
Never attempt to remove the supports with the lift gate closed or partially closed! Closing the liftgate puts the supports under tremendous pressure!

  1. Close the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the hinge-to-body nuts. Keep track of the shim pack for each hinge.
  4.  
  5. Unlatch the tailgate and remove it.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Installation is the reverse of removal. Torque the hinge nuts to 12 ft. lbs. Don't lose the shims. Make sure they are placed under their respective hinges.
  2.  
  3. Adjust the liftgate as necessary.
  4.  

Concord and Eagle Hatchback See Figure 7

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: Exploded view of the liftgate componentsHornet and Concord hatchback models

  1. Open the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear upper finish molding.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the rear window defogger and tape the wire ends to the glass.
  6.  
  7. Remove the retainer clips from the ball stud sockets on the liftgate.
  8.  
  9. With the liftgate fully open, pull the supports off of the ball studs. Swing the supports down and out of the way.
  10.  


WARNING
Never attempt to remove the supports with the lift gate closed or partially closed! Closing the liftgate puts the supports under tremendous pressure!

  1. Close the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the hinge-to-body nuts. Keep track of the shim pack for each hinge.
  4.  
  5. Unlatch the tailgate and remove it.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Installation is the reverse of removal. Torque the hinge nuts to 12 ft. lbs. Don't lose the shims. Make sure they are placed under their respective hinges.
  2.  
  3. Adjust the liftgate as necessary.
  4.  

Concord and Eagle Wagon See Figure 8

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: Hornet and Concord hatchback station wagon liftgate components

  1. Open the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear upper finish molding.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the rear window defogger and tape the wire ends to the glass.
  6.  
  7. Remove the retainer clips from the ball stud sockets on the liftgate.
  8.  
  9. With the liftgate fully open, pull the supports off of the ball studs. Swing the supports down and out of the way.
  10.  


WARNING
Never attempt to remove the supports with the lift gate closed or partially closed! Closing the liftgate puts the supports under tremendous pressure!

  1. Close the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the hinge-to-body nuts. Keep track of the shim pack for each hinge.
  4.  
  5. Unlatch the tailgate and remove it.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Installation is the reverse of removal. Torque the hinge nuts to 12 ft. lbs. Don't lose the shims. Make sure they are placed under their respective hinges.
  2.  
  3. Adjust the anti-rattle pin for proper fit. Adjust the liftgate as necessary.
  4.  

ALIGNMENT - Sportabout



  1. Remove the anti-rattle pin and striker.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear finish moldings.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the hinge-to-body nuts.
  6.  
  7. Move the liftgate to obtain the proper fit.
  8.  
  9. Tighten the nuts to 11 ft. lbs.
  10.  
  11. Install the moldings, striker and anti-rattle pin.
  12.  

Pacer Sedan

FRONT SURFACE ADJUSTMENT
  1. Open the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear upper finish molding.
  4.  
  5. Remove the right and left headliner upper rear finish moldings.
  6.  
  7. Remove the retainer clips from the ball stud sockets on the liftgate.
  8.  
  9. With the liftgate fully open, pull the supports off of the ball studs. Swing the supports down and out of the way.
  10.  


WARNING
Never attempt to remove the supports with the lift gate closed or partially closed! Closing the liftgate puts the supports under tremendous pressure!

  1. Close the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the hinge-to-body nuts. Keep track of the shim pack for each hinge.
  4.  
  5. Unlatch the tailgate and lift it at the leading edge, supporting it with wood blocks.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the hinge-to-liftgate screws.
  8.  
  9. Install or remove shims as required, between the hinge and liftgate, to obtain the desired gap.
  10.  
  11. Tighten the screws to 12 ft. lbs.
  12.  
  13. Remove the blocks and position the liftgate in its opening.
  14.  
  15. Position the hinge-to-body shim packs and install the nuts. Torque the nuts to 12 ft. lbs.
  16.  
  17. Install the rear upper finish molding.
  18.  
  19. Open the liftgate and install the supports and clips.
  20.  
  21. Adjust the striker and tighten the bolts to 52 ft. lbs.
  22.  

REAR SURFACE ADJUSTMENT
  1. Remove the striker.
  2.  
  3. Move the liftgate rear surface downward by placing a wood block on top of the body opening drain trough and carefully hammering the trough downward.
  4.  
  5. Move the liftgate rear surface up by placing a wood block under the drain trough and carefully hammering the trough upward.
  6.  
  7. Install the striker and adjust it for proper latching and alignment. Tighten the striker bolts to 52 ft. lbs.
  8.  

Pacer Wagon

GAP ADJUSTMENT
  1. Open the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear upper finish molding.
  4.  
  5. Remove the right and left headliner upper rear finish moldings.
  6.  
  7. Remove the retainer clips from the ball stud sockets on the liftgate.
  8.  
  9. With the liftgate fully open, pull the supports off of the ball studs. Swing the supports down and out of the way.
  10.  


WARNING
Never attempt to remove the supports with the lift gate closed or partially closed! Closing the liftgate puts the supports under tremendous pressure!

  1. Close the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the hinge-to-body nuts. Keep track of the shim pack for each hinge.
  4.  
  5. Install or remove shims as required, between the hinge and body, to obtain the desired gap.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the screws to 12 ft. lbs.
  8.  
  9. Tighten the nuts to 12 ft. lbs.
  10.  
  11. Install the rear upper finish molding.
  12.  
  13. Open the liftgate and install the supports and clips.
  14.  
  15. Adjust the striker and tighten the bolts to 52 ft. lbs.
  16.  

FRONT SURFACE ADJUSTMENT
  1. Open the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear upper finish molding.
  4.  
  5. Remove the retainer clips from the ball stud sockets on the liftgate.
  6.  
  7. With the liftgate fully open, pull the supports off of the ball studs. Swing the supports down and out of the way.
  8.  


WARNING
Never attempt to remove the supports with the lift gate closed or partially closed! Closing the liftgate puts the supports under tremendous pressure!

  1. Close the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the hinge-to-body nuts, keeping track of the shim packs for each hinge.
  4.  
  5. Open the liftgate at the leading edge and support it with wood blocks.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the hinge-to-liftgate screws. Keep track of the shim pack for each hinge.
  8.  
  9. Install or remove shims as required, between the hinge and liftgate, to obtain the desired gap.
  10.  
  11. Tighten the screws to 12 ft. lbs.
  12.  
  13. Tighten the nuts to 12 ft. lbs.
  14.  
  15. Install the rear upper finish molding.
  16.  
  17. Open the liftgate and install the supports and clips.
  18.  
  19. Adjust the striker and tighten the bolts to 52 ft. lbs.
  20.  

Spirit, Eagle SX/4 and AMX

SIDE GAP ADJUSTMENT
  1. Remove the anti-rattle pin and striker.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear upper finish molding.
  4.  
  5. Remove the retainer clips from the ball stud sockets on the liftgate.
  6.  
  7. With the liftgate fully open, pull the supports off of the ball studs. Swing the supports down and out of the way.
  8.  


WARNING
Never attempt to remove the supports with the lift gate closed or partially closed! Closing the liftgate puts the supports under tremendous pressure!

  1. Close the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the hinge-to-body nuts. Keep track of the shim pack for each hinge.
  4.  
  5. Install or remove shims as required, between the hinge and body, to obtain the desired gap.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the screws to 12 ft. lbs.
  8.  
  9. Tighten the nuts to 12 ft. lbs.
  10.  
  11. Install the rear upper finish molding.
  12.  
  13. Open the liftgate and install the supports and clips.
  14.  
  15. Install the anti-rattle pin. Adjust the striker and tighten the bolts to 52 ft. lbs.
  16.  

FRONT GAP ADJUSTMENT
  1. Open the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear upper finish molding.
  4.  
  5. Remove the retainer clips from the ball stud sockets on the liftgate.
  6.  
  7. With the liftgate fully open, pull the supports off of the ball studs. Swing the supports down and out of the way.
  8.  


WARNING
Never attempt to remove the supports with the lift gate closed or partially closed! Closing the liftgate puts the supports under tremendous pressure!

  1. Disconnect the rear defogger wires and tape the wire ends to the glass.
  2.  
  3. Close the liftgate.
  4.  
  5. Remove the hinge-to-body nuts, keeping track of the shim packs for each hinge.
  6.  
  7. Open the liftgate at the leading edge and support it with wood blocks.
  8.  
  9. Loosen the hinge-to-liftgate screws. Keep track of the shim pack for each hinge.
  10.  
  11. Install or remove shims as required, between the hinge and liftgate, to obtain the desired gap.
  12.  
  13. Tighten the screws to 12 ft. lbs.
  14.  
  15. Tighten the nuts to 12 ft. lbs.
  16.  
  17. Install the rear upper finish molding.
  18.  
  19. Open the liftgate and install the supports and clips.
  20.  
  21. Connect the rear defogger wires.
  22.  
  23. Adjust the anti-rattle pin for proper fit. Tighten the screws to 25 in. lbs. Adjust the striker and tighten the bolts to 52 ft. lbs.
  24.  

Concord and Eagle Hatchback

SIDE GAP ADJUSTMENT
  1. Remove the anti-rattle pin and striker.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear upper finish molding.
  4.  
  5. Remove the retainer clips from the ball stud sockets on the liftgate.
  6.  
  7. With the liftgate fully open, pull the supports off of the ball studs. Swing the supports down and out of the way.
  8.  


WARNING
Never attempt to remove the supports with the lift gate closed or partially closed! Closing the liftgate puts the supports under tremendous pressure!

  1. Close the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the hinge-to-body nuts. Keep track of the shim pack for each hinge.
  4.  
  5. Install or remove shims as required, between the hinge and body, to obtain the desired gap.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the screws to 12 ft. lbs.
  8.  
  9. Tighten the nuts to 12 ft. lbs.
  10.  
  11. Install the rear upper finish molding.
  12.  
  13. Open the liftgate and install the supports and clips.
  14.  
  15. Install the anti-rattle pin. Adjust the striker and tighten the bolts to 52 ft. lbs.
  16.  

FRONT GAP ADJUSTMENT
  1. Open the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear upper finish molding.
  4.  
  5. Remove the retainer clips from the ball stud sockets on the liftgate.
  6.  
  7. With the liftgate fully open, pull the supports off of the ball studs. Swing the supports down and out of the way.
  8.  


WARNING
Never attempt to remove the supports with the lift gate closed or partially closed! Closing the liftgate puts the supports under tremendous pressure!

  1. Disconnect the rear defogger wires and tape the wire ends to the glass.
  2.  
  3. Close the liftgate.
  4.  
  5. Remove the hinge-to-body nuts, keeping track of the shim packs for each hinge.
  6.  
  7. Open the liftgate at the leading edge and support it with wood blocks.
  8.  
  9. Loosen the hinge-to-liftgate screws. Keep track of the shim pack for each hinge.
  10.  
  11. Install or remove shims as required, between the hinge and liftgate, to obtain the desired gap.
  12.  
  13. Tighten the screws to 12 ft. lbs.
  14.  
  15. Tighten the nuts to 12 ft. lbs.
  16.  
  17. Install the rear upper finish molding.
  18.  
  19. Open the liftgate and install the supports and clips.
  20.  
  21. Connect the rear defogger wires.
  22.  
  23. Adjust the anti-rattle pin for proper fit. Tighten the screws to 25 in.lb. Adjust the striker and tighten the bolts to 52 ft. lbs.
  24.  

Concord and Eagle Wagon

GAP ADJUSTMENT
  1. Remove the anti-rattle pin and striker.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear upper finish molding.
  4.  
  5. Remove the retainer clips from the ball stud sockets on the liftgate.
  6.  
  7. With the liftgate fully open, pull the supports off of the ball studs. Swing the supports down and out of the way.
  8.  


WARNING
Never attempt to remove the supports with the lift gate closed or partially closed! Closing the liftgate puts the supports under tremendous pressure!

  1. Close the liftgate.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the hinge-to-body nuts. Keep track of the shim pack for each hinge.
  4.  
  5. Install or remove shims as required, between the hinge and body, to obtain the desired gap.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the screws to 12 ft. lbs.
  8.  
  9. Tighten the nuts to 12 ft. lbs.
  10.  
  11. Install the rear upper finish molding.
  12.  
  13. Open the liftgate and install the supports and clips.
  14.  
  15. Install the anti-rattle pin. Adjust the striker and tighten the bolts to 52 ft. lbs.
  16.  

REAR SURFACE ADJUSTMENT
  1. Remove the striker.
  2.  
  3. Move the liftgate rear surface downward by placing a wood block on top of the body opening drain trough and carefully hammering the trough downward.
  4.  
  5. Move the liftgate rear surface up by placing a wood block under the drain trough and carefully hammering the trough upward.
  6.  
  7. Install the striker and adjust it for proper latching and alignment. Tighten the striker bolts to 10 ft. lbs.
  8.  

 
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