I just fixed my passenger side door on my 2002 ranger 4 door XLT. The door handle would only lift up and would not open the door even when the door was unlocked. I could open the door from the inside, but if the door fell back to closed position I could not open it from the outside.
I followed the procedure from one of the remove door panel videos online. It was a lot simpler than I thought it would be. When I finally got to look at the inside of the door I noticed that the bar (part 22134) connected to the door handle (part 22404) was swinging around and not connected to anything on the other end. I checked out the opposite door to see how it was supposed to be hooked up. The lower end is supposed to go through the plastic bracket (part 4) and a hole in the door latch mechanism (part 21812). It was a little tricky because the plastic bracket had to be slipped over the hole first and then the bar slipped through both the plastic bracket and the door latch. Once the bar was through both, the plastic bracket was swung around and pressed/snapped onto the bar to keep the whole thing in place. Once the bar was securely in place the door handle work fine.
(see illustration at fordparts.com at this link: Buy 2002 Ford Ranger Parts | FordParts.com
) or search for Exterior Door Handle part 22404.
It is difficult to see what you are doing within the door space. Everything was done by feel. So it is imperative that you first check out the opposite door to see how the door Handle mechanism works and how the bar is connected to the latch.
The whole process took about two hours because I did know what to expect. But while I was doing this task, I noticed that the door lock switch on the driver side had rusty spring locks. So I wire brushed them and sprayed them with rustoleum rust converter to protect them in the future. I was able to do the same for the door latch brackets on the floor for each of the two rear doors.
Now if I can only figure out how to turn on the white light part of the third tail light on the roof of the cab so I can see in the bed in the dark.
Have fun and keep on trucking.