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Great writeup! I went through this whole exercise yesterday except I also removed my handle because the spring on it had snapped and it wouldn't return to closed position.

In my case, the latch wouldn't click shut when the hatch was closed. There's a metal, spring-loaded tumbler that's supposed to slide over the latching mechanism when closed to prevent it from opening unless someone lifts the handle. It's movement was restricted because my brother had recently shattered my rear glass and bits of it got into the latch assembly. I shook out the glass, blew some compressed air in there and gave it plenty of lube. Problem fixed.

For the handle, I harvested the spring from a small pinch clamp I had lying around to replace the broken OEM spring. After bending it into shape and cleaning the rust off the other parts it worked perfectly. Getting the hinge pin out required some hammering and a bit of grinding though.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Wow, your case seems like a whole new project... great job on getting and aftermarket spring to work properly on the factory latch!
 

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OK! Finally..I got my 05 Murano Hatch fixed. I manage to open the hatch by using a pry bar from the inside and openning it about half an inch and use a screw driver to move the lock that holds the hook or kicker. It was rotten with rust. It was so bad that one of the contacts in the sensor got stuck with the connector. I had to buy a new Lock $169 CAN which is about $150 US. Plus $40 on new connector. I showed it to the Parts guy and said that Yeah it was rotten and it should have been lubed. I told him that while my car was under warranty it was serviced in that dealer, then why it wasn't recommended then; He just looked at me and shut his mouth. I pointed at my 2001 Honda Civic with 312K and said "I should be driving my Murano to buy parts for that car not the other way around.
 

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Opened mine today. Turns out it wasn't the latch mechanism on mine that caused the problem of the sticky latch - it was actually the release handle. Thanks to the great instructions here, I was able to remove the mechanism and inspect it. Looked pristine! I mean, there wasn't a spec of rust or corrosion and all the parts moved freely. I sprayed with PB Blaster and greased the parts anyway for peace of mind.

I then looked at the latch handle itself. That's the mechanism underneath and below the NISSAN badge on the hatch. Its held on by two nuts locking onto two bolts mounted on the latch release handle from inside the car. I was able to remove the nuts, but the way its mounted with the protruding arm for the cable, I was not able to remove it entirely. I could angle once side down at a time to see some amazing corrosion inside! I sprayed both sides liberally with PB Blaster and then remounted it. I think worked the handle back and forth constantly to get the lube in there and work out some of the rust. Using the straw mount on the spray, I got more lube in there until the handle moved back and forth freely.

After buttoning up everything, the latch works great again. Just thought I'd post in case folks have the same experience. Funny how the problem I was experiencing was the same as others faced, but it was on the other side of the latch system!
 
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