Intro: How to Repair Broken Ford Door Latch and Cables on Ford F-Series Truck, E-Series Van, Ranger, Excursion, Expedition and Navigator
I've been a mechanic for many years and I've had hundreds of customers come into my shop complaining about broken Ford door cables and latches. What happens is the door cables in Ford Trucks (F-150, F-250, F-350, Ranger) and Ford Vans (F-150, F-250, F-350) have plastic ends that keep the cables fastened in the door cable latches, and these ends corrode and break over time. When a person goes to open the door, they will lift up on the door handle and the door won't open because the plastic cable end is broken. If you take this issue to a Ford Dealership they will tell you that you need to spend $400 on replacement door cable latches and cables which is ridiculous!
I got on the internet and I found that someone had made a Ford Door Cable Repair Kit that can be used to repair the door cables in a door, hatch, suicide door, third door, etc, without having to replace or remove the door latches. The kit is pretty affordable too! Much cheaper than the latches or cables from Ford. (The one that I always use for all my repairs can be found here: FGT Motorsport Ford Door Cable Repair Kit).
I put together this Guide to help everyone and to show how easy these kits are to install on most ford Vehicles!
IMPORTANT: These instructions act as a general guide only, all vehicles are not the same and some steps may be slightly different.
The following tools are recommended: torx wrenches, pliers, screwdriver, hammer, drill, punch, file, utility knife, sandpaper, and hacksaw.
Step 1: Instructions for Center Latch and Lower Latch (Side and Rear Doors)
1) Remove cable assembly from door. Removal methods differ by vehicle make/year, see a repair manual for specific instructions.
2) Remove the cable from the latch mechanism.
3) Remove broken plastic cable ferrule. Use pliers or a utility knife, making sure to not cut into the black rubber sleeve on the cable.
4) With the cable ferrule off, inspect the steel cable for broken or frayed ends. If cable is damaged a new cable is recommended.
Step 2: Instructions for Center Latch and Lower Latch (Side and Rear Doors, Continued)
5) Slide the steel cable into the slot in the new aluminum cable ferrule, feeding the cable into the small diameter side first. Next push the black rubber sleeve of the cable into the ferrule, pushing it all the way in until it stops. You can check that it is in all the way by looking through the slot in the ferrule.
If you are having trouble sliding the cable into the slot on the ferrule, you can use a flat blade screw driver and hammer to gently tap the cable into the connector. Oil and grease based lubricants can also be used to aid with insertion. If still having trouble you can gently widen the slot with a flat blade screwdriver and hammer
6) Repeat the process for the other end. If cable ferrule is too long to fit on, use a hacksaw to shorten it, removing length from the small diameter end.
7) Re-install the new connector ends into the latch mechanism. Use pliers if needed. Gently squeeze the new end into the slot. You may need to file the slot opening to achieve a perfect fit between the bracket slot and the cable end.
8) Oil and/or grease cable and latch mechanism as necessary. Reassemble parts into the door.
Step 3: Instructions for Upper Latch (Side and Rear Doors)
1) Follow steps 1, 3, and 4 on opposite side.
2) The ‘cam’ shaped end fits into the latch mechanism superbly
3) Slide the cable into the slot in the aluminum cable ferrule, feeding it into the small diameter hole first. After the cable is completely in the cable ferrule, push the black rubber sleeve into the ferrule as far as it will go. Insert the cable ferrule into the latch mechanism and rotate 90 degrees with pliers to lock it in place
4) Before re-installing the latch assembly, attach the other end of the cable to the handle, and test that the latch works properly.
5) Reinstall the completed latch assembly into the door