Re: tail gate wont stay closed -latches not catching
I had this problem with my 2004 for the past year. Then this past week end it stopped latching all together. I found on mine the handle mechinism froze up. All the wd40 I tried did not help. I had to replace the handle. one thing I saw that could be a problem if it has happened since owning is if the connecting rods that go from the handle to the side latches are not adjusted right. they clip into the handle mechanism and if they were cannected with latch down they may not move enough to allow latch to lock completely.
Re: tail gate wont stay closed -latches not catching
I have a 2004 GMC SERIA. The tailgate was hard to close and would fall open at times. i too did what everyone else was doing and lubricating, the assy, and the 2 end latches. After failing and removing everything 2 and 3 times, it looked like the assy arms would not allow the latches to roll over and catch the strickers. So i removed the handle(be careful w/bezel, tindences to break the stubs). i put the assy in my vice w/arms facing away from me; i then took a punch and ball peen hammer and struck the rivette head where arms pivot. this freed up the binding on the arms release mechanism. Tailgate wrks beautiful.
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on the tailgate there is 3 screws that covers the handle and the left and right rod for the latch to unlock the tail gate get some WD40 and spray each out side latch they do stick on Chevy alot then try to use the handle and look inside an see if the rod moves right or the clip may be broke at the handle good luck..
lower tail gate then remove tailgate access cover either handle broken or look inside tail gate for latch rods that the handle moves latch rod either damaged or look for loose or missing latch rods nuts.
TO REPLACE TAIL GATE LATCH. TAKE A SMALL SCREW DRIVER OR USE A TRIM TOOL PRY OFF THE HANDLE ESCUTCHEON. ONCE BOTTOM PRIED OUT PULL THE ESCUTCHEON DOWN AND AWAY FROM THE TAIL GATE.IF YOU USE SCREW DRIVER COVER TIP WITH ELECTRICAL TAPE TO KEEP FROM DAMAGING PAINT SURFACE.FROM THE BED SIDE OF THE TAIL GATE REMOVE THE HANDLE MOUNTING BOLTS ROTATE THE PLASTIC RETAINING CLIPS OFF THE CONTROL RODS AND REMOVE THE RODS AWAY FROM HANDLE.REMOVE THE BOLTS AND WITHDRAW THE LATCH FROM THE END OF THE TAILGATE.
REMOVE TAIL GATE HANDLE YOU USE A TRIM TOOL OR FLAT SCREW DRIVER PRY OFF THE HANDLE ESCUTCHEON DOWN AND AWAY FROM THE TAILGATE IF SCREW DRIVER IS USED COVER THE TIP WITH ELECRICAL TAPE TO PREVENT DAMAGING PAINT SURFACE.FROM THE BED SIDE OF THE TAILGATE REMOVE THE HANDLE MOUNTING BOLTS.ROTATE THE PLASTIC RETAINING CLIPS OFF THE CONTROL RODS AND DETACH THE RODS FROM THE HANDLE. REMOVE THE BOLTS AND WITHDRAW THE LATCH FROM THE END OF THE TAILGATE.PUT EVERY THING BACK VISA VERSA.
Your best bet is to check your area salvage yards. The handle has two holes in the the back which break out over time mainly due to lack of lubrication. Make sure you get the retaining clips that secure the rods to the handle and lubricate all associated linkage and latches first with WD-40 then with grease such as wheel bearing grease that will stay in place.
Remove the molding ring from around the handle. Becareful not to break the taps that lock it in. After removing the molding you should see the handle mechanism. There is a rod coming in from each side (each one runs out the the actual latch). Make sure each rod is connected into the handle assembly. If it is not put the rod into the hole and find the retainer clip to keep it in place.
Look around to see if there's anything impeding the movement of the gate. If there's nothing impeding the movement, slowly close the gate until the latches closes up against the latch anchor points (one on each side of the gate). One of these latches may be stuck in the closed position or partially closed causing them to not allow you to shut your gate. Or the could be stuck open and the ratchet teeth (the bumps on the inside of the latch that are suppose to snag when closed) may be worn or broken. If that's the case, you'll need to remove the panels for your gate in order to get into and behind the latch. Also try spraying some lithium grease into the latch to see if that helps. Don't use WD-40
there are little metal rods that connect to the handle of the tailgate, just like the rods that connect your door handles to the door hinges and lock mechanism. just pop off the plastic cover over the tailgate handle and check and see if the rods are still connected to the handle.
I have the solution to every one out there with tailgate lock problems......I had the very same problem but wasnt interested in getting a power lock.......Here goes.....it costs you some wd40 or liquid wrench.....nothing else......open the tail gate.....you will see the screws that hold the handle in place.....take off the two outer screws only....then pop off the handle cover....yes it does come off without breaking.....you will see something shaped like a "C".....it should move back and forth.....with the tailgate closed you should be able to move that "C" back and forth...it swivels on a pivot you can see in the opening above the tailgate handle.......this is the lock mechanism.....mine was seized up.....anyways......with the tailgate still closed squirt some wd40 or liquid wrench in the area directly above the tailgate handle........that "C" thing will move again and your problem is over...email me if you figured it out........
I was delighted with the fix.....and it's so easy to do.....then put everything back in its place......tell everyone you know....