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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you look at the Escapes sold in Asia and Europe, you'll notice that those models have remote-control fuel doors, and they look like they'd fit the 2001-2007 US Escapes and Mariners. They do fit, but you'll need to order the fuel door from the UK. The rest of the parts are the same as the parts installed on Mazda Tributes until early in the 2006 model year. I made this mod on my 2005 Escape. This will work for all 2001-2007 North American Ford Escapes and all 2005-2007 Mercury Mariners, gasoline or Hybrid.

Before you try this:
a) If you own a Hybrid, you will need to disassemble much of the hardware inside the driver-side quarter panel. That might be a lot of work, so make sure you're confident enough to do that before ordering the parts.
b) Escapes and Mariners manufactured in the US after sometime in late 2004 may not have the two welded-in, threaded inserts that secure the remote lever assembly next to the driver seat. You may need to find a way to mount the lever securely if those holes aren't there. See step 2, below, to see if you have those holes there.

If everything's a go, here's a list of the part numbers you'll need to order. The prices shown are from one of the online Ford parts sites, as of this morning.

4177372 ... Fuel door (see description below, since this is a European Ford part number)
YL8Z-7828616-AA ... driver-side remote lever assembly ($19.21)
YL8Z-7840505-AAB ... remote lever handle ($4.49)
YL8Z-7840181-AA ... cable assembly ($17.12)
YL8Z-54405A24-AA ... fuel door release spring ($3.45)
5T2Z-7813209-AAA ... driver-side scuff plate, Medium Flint ($12.57) OR 5T2Z-7813209-AAB ... driver-side scuff plate, Pebble ($10.90)
N808944-S424 ... M6 x 1 x 15.75 screw/washer ($1.32, you'll need two if you have threaded inserts, see below)
YL8Z-78405A22-AB ... fuel door bumpers ($4.06 each, you'll need two, but only if you don't re-use the ones on your current door)

If you have a black interior, I'm not sure about a part number for the scuff plate, but a Mazda dealer could find one. Just ask for the driver-side scuff plate for a 2001 Tribute.

You'll need to order the fuel door from a UK or Asian Ford Dealer. The one I found was in England. I e-mailed Trevor Porter (PM me for his e-mail address) at FordPartsUK. Here's his reply (remember that the Escape was sold in 2001-2004 as the Maverick in the UK):

Thank you for your Enquiry.
The fuel filler door will come in a primed condition.
Here is the information requested:
Maverick-Fuel Filler Door
Part Number: 4177372 (405A26)
Retail Price: £30.20
You Pay: £27.18

Delivery
Royal Mail Airmail small packet service £9.52 (Delivery aim 5 days from despatch)

Total Cost: £36.70

If you wish to order the parts please do so via the secure link below.
https://miva.cedant.com/fordpartsuk/paymentinfo.htm
Alternatively if you would rather fax your order please do so:
Fax Number: 01722 415513
Phone: 01722 424254


I used the link shown with the reference number I received from Trevor. It took only five days to ship. Here's what they charged me in total, from my bank statement:

PURCHASE AT EDWARDS FORD-PARTS SALISBURY GB $69.57

Here's what the parts look like:

Fuel door, front


Fuel door, back


Fuel door package label


Fuel door spring and package


Cable and package


Lever and package


Handle and package


Scuff plate package


Original scuff plate (above), and the new scuff plate (below)


I don't have pics of the screw or bumper packages.

So, if you have the parts, here's what you need to do:

1) Have the fuel door painted by a Ford or L/M dealer in the color of your car if you want the best match. I painted mine myself. Here is the old door (right) and new door (left, after I painted it).


2) Remove the retainers from the front and rear driver-side scuff plates. These are two-piece retainers, and they'll pull out most easily if you can keep the inner piece in while pulling the pin out. Save both pieces of each retainer, and keep them in a safe place. You will re-use them! Now remove the scuff plates. You won't need to re-use the front scuff plate.


3) Take a look at the area under the scuff plate. Escapes manufactured after sometime in late in 2004 don't have the threaded lever holes already there. Mine did, and here's what it looked like with the new lever assembly sitting on the floor next to it. If you don't have holes there, you'll need to find some way to mount the lever securely.


4) Mount the lever assembly using the two screws. The lever should be facing the front of the car.


5) Starting from the rear door, thread the front of the remote cable (the side with a black plastic, not metal, clip) under the B-pillar trim piece toward the front of the car, and right next to the main wire harness.


6) Pull the front of the cable out from under the B-pillar trim, making sure that it's still next to the main harness.


7) Clip the front of the cable onto the lower part of the lever assembly's lever, then snap the cable's collar onto the rear side of the lever assembly.


8) Install the new scuff plate using two of the retainers you saved from step 2, then snap the black plastic handle onto the front of the lever assembly. Make sure the that cable is right next to the main wire harness, that it isn't being pinched, and that the handle lifts easily. You're now done with the driver's front door area.


9) Remove the headrests and fold down the rear seat (on the driver's side only if you have the 60/40 seat). Remove the seatback latch cover on the driver's side (just the cover, not the latch).


10) Open the liftgate, remove the cargo area cover (if you have one), pull away the liftgate weatherstripping from the rear inside panel cover, then grasp the top of the cover (directly below the rear side window) and pull it away. The entire cover should unsnap easily.


11) Starting from the rear door area again, guide the cable along the side of the main harness toward the back of the car. Use the white clips on the main harness, if you have them (mine did). If there are no clips, use polyethylene zip ties, but don't pull them too tight, since that will interfere with the cable's operation.




12) For now, leave the rear end of the cable looped inside the large, rectangular opening.


13) From the outside, open the existing fuel door. Remove the two hex-head bolts inside the opening near the hinge. Carefully guide the door's hinge out of the opening. Remove the two rubber bumpers, install those bumpers on your new fuel door, and install the new fuel door.


14) From the outside, carefully remove the latch retention nut while holding onto the latch assembly from the inside. You should be able to reach it from both sides. Don't let the latch assembly fall into the cavity inside, and don't lose the latch retention nut.


15) Once you have the latch assembly, install the rear end of the cable onto it, then snap the third ring of the cable's collar onto the back of the latch assembly.


16) From inside, guide the latch assembly back into the hole inside the fuel door opening. Note that the cable has a large rubber sleeve where it meets the metal opening.


17) While holding the latch from the inside, slide the new latch spring over the threaded part of the latch assembly on the outside, so that the hole in the top of the spring is over the dimple already in the fuel door opening. Install the latch retention nut, and carefully tighten it.


18) Before you try to close the door, make sure the lever assembly moves freely, and that the black pin inside the latch assembly moves with the lever. Now close the door, and try to open it a few times.


19) If everything works, reinstall the rear panel cover, the liftgate weatherstripping, the rear seat latch cover, the rear door scuff plate, and the cargo area cover.

In my experience, it's a good idea to put a little dab of white lithium grease on the black rubber part of the spring, and on the latch pin. Do this about once a month, and your fuel door will never stick shut or wear away the rubber part of the spring.

That's it!
 

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Excellent writeup JP! One of the most thorough writeups I have seen!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

Are you going to try it?
 

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I might be. First thing will be the grill then the LED Tail lights. After that we will see if I still have my job so I can afford to do anything else :p
 

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i like that mod. does any one remember who did the mod on their door to hold their gas cap?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nope...but I know it involved a small plastic clip with adhesive backing (the kind of utility hangers you can find at Home Depot). It's a great idea, and it keeps the filler cap from dangling over the quarter panel.

Ford actually has a clip stamped into the newer fuel doors. Our Edge and Fusion both have them, and I think I saw one on the 2008 E/M/T as well.

Ford's 2009 models will have the capless filler system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I thought I'd give this thread a :bump: with fuel prices they way they are.

I had a great time doing this mod on my Escape, especially since I was using factory parts, and things snapped and fit together like... er... factory parts.

PS...I still have the Pebble driver's door scuff plate that's designed to be used with the remote fuel door lever. It literally looks brand-new. $15 shipped, Paypal. PM or e-mail me if you're interested in it.
 

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Still a great mod that I would love to do in the near future!!
 

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A+ on the write-up, JP! :thumb: :) :rockon:
 

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that is pretty cool.
 

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jpark - great install guide, super detailed!! It looks like my existing fuel door has the tab where the latch secures the door but there is no "D" shaped hole. In theory, if I lined everything up correctly, and machined my own hole for the mechanism, it would work the same, no? Obviously it would not be a flush door, as it would still have the "outdent" where you would manually pull open the door. Additionally, if I were handy enough with a dremel, I wouldn't need a new floor fascia would I? I could easily cut out the shape needed.

I have to admit this feature that was not included was disappointing to me. When I first got into my escape while it was still on the lot, the first thing I noticed was the blank panel where the fuel door latch typically is....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, you could drill a hole through the tab that currently holds the door in place, but unless the hole is then lined with something smooth (like a nylon grommet or a very smooth, glassy finish), the rough hole will eventually wear away the plastic latch pin. Also, that tab on the remote door is closer to the latch, and the non-latching door's finger may not be close enough to the latch pin to keep it shut, even if there is a hole in it. Finally, there's no finger on the non-remote door to contact the remote door's spring that allows the door to pop open, so that even if you pull the release, the door may not move, and it will still be latched when you get out to try to pull the door open.

The best feature of the remote door is the heavier metal, and the fact that the metal is formed almost 1/8" deep all the way around. The lack of the external pull tab also prevents someone from at least trying to pull the door open, not to mention the cleaner looks.

I guess you can try it, though, as long as the hole is very smooth inside, with smooth edges on both sides of the hole, but I'll bet you'd be happier with the factory remote door and spring. On my Escape, it worked like a mechanism that you'd expect to find on a Lexus.

As for the scuff plate, I guess you could use a Dremel tool to cut a slotted opening. Externally, there wouldn't be any difference in the appearance. Internally, though, the factory scuff plate for the remote has extra ribbing to prevent the slotted area from being squeezed shut too easily. I still have the Pebble remote-control scuff plate that I used on my Escape, BTW. I sold the other parts, though.
 

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I get it I get it... I figured that the hole would have to be smooth, but if it's not springing open then it's not worth doing. Thanks for the input, I definitely see the value in doing it the correct way :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No problem!

If you decide to do this, let me know if you need any help!
 

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Just found this thread while searching around and thought it is a good idea. This covers the 01-07 model years but what about the 08? I would like to add this to my Mariner. would I have to just get the proper door from Europe? or???

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Unfortunately, we're out of luck here.

The '08 North American Escape/Mariner/Tribute doesn't share sheetmetal with other Escapes, and there's no remote fuel door option for it. The only country outside the North American Market that receives our Escape is South Korea, and there's no remote fuel door on that model.

You might be able to swap the capless fuel system from an '09 model onto an '08, though.
 

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Jpark I have a 2004 Escape and it is Oxford White I have some left over color matched paint from my spoiler that I painted($26.00 BASF put into a aerosol can) which is awesome stuff. I have two questions when i got the OEM ford spoiler it was primed with light grey primer, does the British version have light grey primer or is it black like its pictured. Also I have the dark grey interior (two tone dark and light grey leather if that helps). I think its Medium Dark Flint? Does that sound right? Also what color does that cross over to from the Mazda's interior colors? or will I have to purchase the scuff plate from the UK too? I was also thinking that i could just cut out the area by myself seeing that there is a faint line where the cut out is supposed to be. I'll show pictures. Also are the fuel doors still available? Please give me some imput. thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The remote fuel door that I received was painted with a semi-glossy black primer. But like your spoiler, all of the sheet metal on my Escape was primed with light gray primer, so I put a coat of that on the fuel door first. Since I was using metallic paint (which is transparent paint with metal flakes), I thought that it would look different (and darker) if I just sprayed the color coat over the black primer.

You could run into the same situation with white, but that paint isn't transparent, so you might be OK with it. Just make sure you prep the surface, because the black primer did seem too glossy to hold paint.

AFAIK, the fuel doors are still available. Ford still uses them for all Asian and Australian Escapes. E-mail Trevor at the address shown on the first post. He was very friendly, even after my first thread created a flood of orders for him.

:lol:

I'll take a pic of the inside of the scuff plate and post it here tomorrow. I'm not sure about the color crossovers with the Mazda parts, but I'll try to find out about it and get back here tomorrow.

:thumb:
 
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