Rear hatch wont latch

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Oct 1, 2014
bozeman MT
95 fzj80 rear hatch won't latch. I replaced the latch with a new oem unit. The plastic piece on the old latch was missing, I assumed that was the problem.
Can the striker go bad? It's just a metal hoop, I have a hard time believing that's it. I've read about bent lower tailgates , could that somehow mess up the allignment of the latch and Striker? I pretty dumbfounded as to why it won't latch.
Make sure its in the open position. They can be closed with your hatch open. Should be able to test it with the side of a screwdriver.

I worked on a vw beatle(newer) and hood would NOT latch. Replaced it, same problem. Front end wasn’t messed up or anything. You’re not alone.
It is in the open position. I even took the striker off and tested it's function in the new latch. Works fine disconnected.
Is your catch(loop side) bent? They could theoretically get bent if the hatch closed on it often or once kinda hard where the latch was in the closed position. Take a pic of all the things and post em.
Do you mean the rear hatch lock motor actuator is not operating? There are several threads on that topic, the common problem being that the plastic gear on the metal lock actuator motor shaft cracks over time and spins freely. So that the lock actuator motor is fine, and often a bit of well placed epoxy on the plastic gear solves the problem. If that's not what you're experiencing sorry for the serendipity.

Top pic is the old latch, you can see it's missing the plastic around the "jaws". I replaced it with a new one, bottom pic.
Middle pic is the striker. Neither latch will engage the striker. It looks like it lines up, but won't trigger the latch. The hatch won't latch.
There’s something inside the hatch that, if it dies or disconnects, prevents the hatch from unlocking. Maybe it can also prevent it from locking?

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