I just solved this problem from inside the back storage area. Dirt in the mechanism and all along the rubber seal where the door closes against the back of my 1993 Cherokee was the problem and cleaning out the dirt and spraying with WD40 was the solution once I got the liftgate open.
1. remove the upper left and right screws holding the carpeted plastic inner lifthatch cover/pannel exposing the mechanism.
2. To do this I pried the small open area upward until the pannel broke free. Two plastic screws broke in the process but I wasn't concerned with it.
3.at the bottom center of the latch mechanism you will see the stud sticking up that the latching mechanism "U"piece grabs and locks to when it swings left to lock the liftgate/hatchback. The "U" opening faces the the stud when opened.
basically the white plastic rectagular cup swings toward you when the button is pushed from the outside and a cast metal peice pushes it. Then the "U" shaped peice can swing and allow the door to open with a push or pull if it doesn't pop open..
4. There was a mechanism to the right that had to be moved so the white plastic could swing and allow the "u"shape to pivot and the liftgate to open.
5. After spraying, work these mechanisms until they move freely and the springs can reset them. Then open and close the lift gate repeatedly.
6. There was an electric locking mechanism to the upper left of the mechanism but mine wasn't engaged so it wasn't an issue.Answerso the lock works and when you pull the handle it doesn't fully unlatch? i had that problem so to fix it i removed the door panel(lift gate) and that will expose the whole latch mechanism. you can then watch what the latch does when you pull it and chances are you will find that the clamp that is attached to the pin has moved up whicth then prevents it from fully unlatching. you then unsnap the clip and move it down on the pin, i also suggest you secure in in that spot i used a small 2-bolt cable clamp and have not had any problems since (8-months) . Answermy jeep has that problem right now. i just lean on the door and then pull the handle then let go of the door and it work s fine. good luck.
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