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Really bad idea. This will cost you lower fuel mileage, danger of cargo loss. Mythbusters have run tests proving that the aero effects with the tailgate up form a cushion of air in the bed which reduces drag. None of my business I know.
My "Release Rod" clips came apart on my truck in the center, and it was a relatively easy fix. Just remember to put the clip in the hole, then put the release rod in and then clip it. When the clip came apart out by where the latch is at the side of the tailgate, this was a little tricky. I got lucky and was able to snag the latch using the release rod as a tool held with a small set of vice grips. When I took the thing apart, I realized the latch can be sprung from the outside with a long slim screw driver. If you look at the latch in the where it holds onto the lug, you'll see a little crack when looking down from the inside out under where the lug is held by the latch. This crack is a tripper holding the latch closed, if you jam your screw driver into that crack and separate it, it will unlatch the tailgate thus allowing you to remove it and replace the plastic part that holds the release rod in the latch release. You can buy the clips for $3 at any auto parts store. No need to buy the whole handle thingy ma bob.
you have to make sure the strikers are lined up to the latch. The latches get dirt in them and dont move easily. You may have to remove the latches and clean them and grease them up make sure the action is working. There is a spring on the latch if it is broken you will have to replace the latch. Make sure as you before you shut the tailgate the the latches on the tailgate are open and not latched closed. You can put a screw driver in the latch and pull the handle and that should release the latch in the position ready to accept the striker when you close it Next make sure the plastic clip retainers are not broken on the handle
You either have a rusted latch assembly, or a seized latch release cable, which connects to the release handle. Either can be the cause, this is a very common failure., Try some WD-40 on the latch, and see if you can work it with a screwdriver. If that does not help, you will need to replace the release cable.
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.
I had the same problem. I figure that dirt/rust may have accumulated inside the latching mechanism. I was able to fix it using the following steps.
1 - Remove the plastic cap that covers the top of the gate.
2 - Remove as many of the remaining torx bolts from the inside cover (you will need to do this to get inside the gate).
3 - Next, try and get some WD40 on/in the latch mechanism.
4 - Using a large screwdriver, you will need to pry the lever attached to the cable in order to release the latch.
Not a pretty process but it seemed to work. I give the latches a good lubrication frequently now, until I get around to replacing them.
Sounds like you have a bar disconnected inside the hatch. You may also need a latch itself. Does it lock and unlock? If it does, most likely a bar off issue. Will be a pain to get the cover off with the door closed, but you will need to remove it to inspect.
I have the same problem, I pull on the cable, the metal piece moves on the lock acuator but tailgate does not open. Seems like the ACUATOR is stuck in LOCK position and pulling on the cable does not help. Any way to manually force the ACUATOR to open? I can replace the ACUATOR if I can lift the tailgate up but I can't.
I have a 2002 Chevy 3500 and the same thing happened to me. It turns out the latching mechanism on the left side would not release when I pulled on the latch handle. I stuck a small screwdriver in there to release the latch handle (as I pulled on the latch handle) and it popped open. I then squirted some WD-40 on that latch mechanism because it was hung up. I didn't have any problems after that.