2004 Mercury Monterey Minivan - Retrofit automatic tailgate?

We happily own the above, but my wife's back condition makes it hard for her to open and close the tailgate. The motorized tailgate was an option on the 2004 model (standard in 2005, I believe). Can it be
retrofit easily? My local dealer never heard of doing it, and their estimates ran from $1000 to $3000, because he admitted they'd be improvising.
Anyone know about this?
Thanks!
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Jerry Springer wrote:

I can understand the need for a power gate on the minivan. I grunt lifting them myself sometimes. My former wifes back was a train wreck and she had a hard time opening the trunk lid on her Taurus. She couldn't have managed a minivan. I would say the dealers broad estimate is about right. Some options can be basically plug and play, while others require major changes. The power tailgate strikes me as a major install, although I've never actually considered it on a vehicle that wasn't equipped. Have you thought about contacting companies that install Accessability Equipment like hand controls, wheel chair lifts, etc?. I'm sure they do things like this and if it's a bolt on installation with OEM parts they would likely tell you. They may let you know what's involved and what's needed. I've worked with a few of these companies (it's been about 8 years) on related issues and most seem to be accomodating to people with inquiries. They seem to understand the needs of people that maybe can't afford to be customers. The company that comes immediately to mind, of course I don't remember their name, made a line of Accessability equipment. I'm thinking Auto Mobility, or some variation of that name. It was operated and staffed entirely by folks with varying degrees of disability. This was before power loading doors and tailgates. I'm sure they've gotten into those areas by now. They were great folks to deal with.
            Tom
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Three thoughts come to mind:
1) the work probably won't be covered by the warranty and will be more prone to failure than one that came originally with the van .
2) You may be better off selling the van and getting a new one with an motorized tailgate, especially now that Ford is offering employee discounts and rebates. It is expensive, but it might be worth it.
3) There are companies that install car alarms and such. They may be able to install the motorized thing.
Jeff
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