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Tailgate latch will not pull the rods far enough to open the tailgate?

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It most likely seems to be the handle bracket the rods are attached to are froze. a lot of penetrating oil such as PB blaster needs to be applied. work the handle several times. it may take several applications to get it free enough to open if you have access to the back side of the handle channel lock the two brackets till it opens remove the handle and work it free. In most cases the repair wont last too long. I get a lot of tailgate handles I have to replace because of the oxidation between the two metal brackets joined togather

Posted on Jun 26, 2009

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1993 4.3L blazer. No tailgate latch mechanism and unable to open. Is there a way to open tailgate?


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I have a 2003 chevy 1500 and I cant get the tailgate to open. I took the cover off of the latch and saw two metal rods going to either side of the tailgate and they were both connected to the latch. When...


You have one rod that is bent it is common after the tail gate gets old. you nrrd to ope the fail gate up and look at he ends. If one stichs out farther than the other disconnet the plastic holder and screw it in to make it pull n that rod more. Also Lube the gate pulling mechinisam and it will help some. if onr rod is bent it will cause a problem and you will have to straighten out the rod.

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Broken handle on tailgate


Hello. Yes that is exactly what you need to do. Once the screws are out you can pull the handle assembly out just enough to disconnect it from the latch release rods. Not too far, you don't want to bend the rods.Those little connectors you see just unsnap from the rods, then they swing away so you can pull the rod out of where it connects to the handle mechanism. Have a piece of wire handy to hook the rod so it doesn't fall out of reach, but even if it does it won't go far. I'm enclosing a picture of a typical "swing away" connector so you can see how it unsnaps from the rod. I think yours will be green and blue, so remember which is which, one goes on the right and one on the left84cc4fe.jpg

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1 Answer

My 2001 Chevrolet Sliverado Z71 Sportside TAILGATE will not unlatch. (It seems like the drivers side is, but the passenger side is not moving at all.)


There are two rods inside the tailgate.One for the driver's side latch and the other for the passenger's side latch. They are connected to the handle with "swing away" plastic connectors. If you lift the handle and look under it you should see the driver's side rod still hooked to your handle, and nothing on the passenger's side. If both rods are still connected to the handle, the repair is going to be much harder. Let's hope only one is connected. Unbolt the handle and pull it out far enough to disconnect the rod/rods, ( you might want to tie a string to it so it doesn't fall out of reach before you disconnect it ). Now grab both rods with needle nose pliers and pull them toward the center, if the passenger's side is still connected to the latch, this should open your tailgate. If the passengers side is not connected, try getting a long stiff wire with a hook on the end to activate the latch, it may take several tries, but just be patient and careful and persistent. If this doesn't work, hopefully someone else has a solution,about all I have left is cutting the strike bolt on the passenger's side, ( going to be very hard to do ), or breaking the tail light lens and trying to remove the strike bolt, ( last resort before destroying the tailgate ). I'm posting a picture of a typical swing away connector to help, they are color coded and this isn't the proper color, but it will give you an idea of what it looks like and how it attaches the rod to the handle. 6c6b2fa.jpg
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Jan 07, 2010 | 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

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Tailgate is jammed.


Take the center latch out and pull each rod from the center of the tail gate inwards to open the gate....you may find the center latch is bent or broken and not pulling one of the rods on one side.

Aug 12, 2009 | 1999 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

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Remove the paneling from inside. Than you can use a flathead screwdriver to pry the latch rod and latch enough to pop open the door.

May 23, 2009 | 1996 Chevrolet Blazer

1 Answer

2003 Ford Explorer back door latch will not open


Mine just did the exact same thing. The latch may be moving freely because it is not hooked to the latching mechanism anymore. In my case, the handle had broken where the handle hooks to the rod that operates the mechanism. Go to the Ford dealer and buy a new handle. Here in S.C. it was $24. You can't get this at the parts houses. Start by removing the plastic "Ford" cover that is over the liscense plate lights. You then have to remove the aluminum rivets that hold the handle to the tailgate from the outside and remove the broken latch. Remove the pull handle loop on the interior side of the tailgate (2 screws), unsnap the inside plastic tailgate interior panel, and pull down the black plastic sheeting that is underneath the panel to make access to the mechanism inside of the tailgate. There is also a hard plastic cover that you will see that needs to be pulled loose to open another access hole. Install the new tailgate latch handle by sliding back into the mounting holes and attach with two 10-32 screws and nuts. The new handle will come with a new yellow rod attachment piece on the handle. You will see inside of the tailgate a small rod hanging down, most likeky it will have the same rod attachment piece as the one on the new handle. Note the position of the yellow piece on the rod, as you will connect the new piece in the same place. Once the rod is hooked up, relubricate the metal mechanism with a light machine oil, replace the black plastic cover, replace the black plastic sheeting, (secure with a small amount of duct tape), replace the tailgate interior panel, replace the pull handle loop, shut tailgate, replace "Ford" cover over lights, and you're done!

Mar 23, 2009 | 2003 Ford Explorer Sport

2 Answers

96 jeep Grand Cherokee tailgate will not open


This is kind of tricky. OK let's start, you have to crawl into the rear hatch area from the inside of the car. You'll have to pull the rear panel off the hatch, a screwdriver between the panel and hatch near the window will work. There might be 2 screws on the panel you could take out. The trick is to pull the panel far away enough to stick your arm down towards the latch and release it by hand. We did this at the dealer all the time.

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Very common problem. Usually the rods get bent form pulling ******* the handle to open it. If you look behing the handle you will see the two rods running towards the left and right side of the tailgate. If you can use a pliers and squeeze the towards each other you can open it. When you get it open, use some penetrating oil on the latches on the right and left side. Usually just have some dirt in them and they stick.

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