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Replace tailgate handle?

I have bought the new hardware but am having problems on geting started with this little project. I have never done this before. My truck is a 2004 gmc 2500. Any feedback would be great. Thanks

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  • saladboy67 Nov 23, 2008

    I just need to know how to replace the handle on my tailgate.

  • goldendogmax Jan 23, 2009

    where do i go to find the parts to replace the handle on the tailgate

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Remove the bezel( trim peice around handle) flat screwdriver,pry carfully from bottom,as these bezels are easy to break. once this is removed,you;ll be able to see the rods connected to the handle. It also helps to remove the 2 screws on each side of the tailgate,and remove the latches. Hope this helps.

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

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3 Answers

How do I replace tailgate handle


I just finished replacing mine. It took about an hour. Here's my step by step.
1. take off the two outside bolts on the inside of the tailgate behind the handle.
2. Now gently pull off the cladding around the latch. It is still held on by two christmas tree style holders.
3. Tie some long ropes to each of the two rods that the handle pulls together. You don't want them getting away from you.
4. Now free the rods from the plastic clamps. This is the point of no return. Mine would not go back together. A small screw driver shoved in from the end along the seam will pop them easily.
5. Now remove the remaining 3 T40 bolts on the back of the tailgate.
6. The handle assembly is now free to come out. Hold on to it as you lift the tailgate back up. Don't shut the tailgate all the way.
7. Work the old handle out. I did not take any of the cladding off. It took about five minutes of gentle manipulations to get it out. I did have to pull on the metal tongue that comes up right in front of it.
8. Pop the replacement plastic clamps into their corrent places in the new handle. Hinge side down. Don't fasten them.
9. Put the new handle in the same way you took the old one out.
10. Attach with the 3 T40 bolts. Dont fully tighten, just snug. I would recommend some blue loctite as well.
11. Now shut the tailgate so that it latches. Place the pull rods in the plastic clamps and fasten them. Don't pull on the rods, just put them in the clamps.
12. Your door should work now. Try it a couple of times. Pull on both sides of the tailgate to make sure each is held tight. If so, tighten up all the bolts, put the cladding on, and your done.
13. If your door won't latch, the rods are being pulled together too much. Undue the plastic clamps, push the rods apart and reset them in the clamps.

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