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Old 12-31-2011, 12:56 PM
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Tailgate won't open--need new latch mechanism

Hey guys,

My tailgate won't always open when I pull the handle on it. It locks and unlocks fine. I took the inner panel off and the mechanism appears to be worn out and doesn't open fully when you pull the handle. I've been looking on line but I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. Does anyone know where I can find the latch mechanism so I can replace it and fix my tailgate? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:04 PM
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Re: Tailgate won't open--need new latch mechanism

If I remember correctly isn't there a nut on the linkage rod you can adjust to take the slop out? I seem to remember having trouble with mine and doing something with a nut.I think it was plastic and slipping.
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:05 PM
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Re: Tailgate won't open--need new latch mechanism

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Originally Posted by cheapjeep View Post
If I remember correctly isn't there a nut on the linkage rod you can adjust to take the slop out?
I'll take another look at it tomorrow. I didn't see one, but that doesn't mean I didn't miss it. It's just really annoying to go shopping, only to have to climb over the back seat and both car seats to get the groceries in.
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:08 PM
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Re: Tailgate won't open--need new latch mechanism

Yeah take a pic if you can. Maybe it will jog my memory.
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OK, fine...I'll admit...some amber lamps are good, and necessary.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:58 PM
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Re: Tailgate won't open--need new latch mechanism

I will take a look tomorrow. It's almost 8pm here england now and we are headed out to a new years party.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:43 PM
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Re: Tailgate won't open--need new latch mechanism

Pam & I had the same problem with the ZG. Hitting the tailgate near the latch at the same time as pulling the latch seemed to work until it was adjusted. A bit like 'The Fonze's' jukebox.....This worked, along with throwing the groceries onto the back seat. Saved a lot of gymnastics on shopping days. Also we found that the smallest item getting entangled in the latch point would make it a bugger to open.....( can I say that?) Even hay etc. when carrying horse feed was a problem. So cleanliness is next to accessiness.
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:44 AM
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Re: Tailgate won't open--need new latch mechanism

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Originally Posted by Warren View Post
Pam & I had the same problem with the ZG. Hitting the tailgate near the latch at the same time as pulling the latch seemed to work until it was adjusted. A bit like 'The Fonze's' jukebox.....This worked, along with throwing the groceries onto the back seat. Saved a lot of gymnastics on shopping days. Also we found that the smallest item getting entangled in the latch point would make it a bugger to open.....( can I say that?) Even hay etc. when carrying horse feed was a problem. So cleanliness is next to accessiness.
How did you adjust it? Will I be able to see it readily or will I have to mess with it quite a bit to get it to where I want it?
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:12 AM
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Re: Tailgate won't open--need new latch mechanism

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Old 01-02-2012, 06:15 AM
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Re: Tailgate won't open--need new latch mechanism

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Originally Posted by Milous View Post
That...is a thing of beauty! lol Thanks! I'll just have to play with it using a screw driver or something to mimic the latch with the door open. Which direction do I go to "tighten up" the latch mechanism? Do you know?
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:32 AM
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Re: Tailgate won't open--need new latch mechanism

Screwdriver? Just pull the outside latch manually by hand and see what's happening/not happening inside.

IF the problem is related to being out of adjustment (vs something broken):

Latch adjustment

(1) With the liftgate closed, slowly open the liftgate using the outside handle.

(2) Determine if excessive handle travel is required to unlatch the liftgate. If so, adjustment to the latch rod may be required.

(3) Open the plastic latch rod retention clip on the outside handle and disconnect the latch rod from the outside handle.

(4) Verify that the latch control assembly is in its fully returned position.

NOTE: Do not pre-load the latch rod when attaching.

(5) Attach the threaded end of the latch rod to the open retention clip. Make sure all excess play has been removed between the outside liftgate handle and the latch assembly.

(6) Fully close the plastic retention clip.

(7) Cycle the outside handle and verify smooth operation.


Cable adjustment:

(1) Determine if one of more of the following occurs:

- Excessive handle travel is required to unlatch the liftgate.
- Only one side of the liftgate will unlatch.
- As one side of the liftgate unlatches, more than 2 mm (0.08 in.) of additional outside handle travel is required to unlatch the other side (latches are not synchronized/timed).

NOTE: Do not close the liftgate during the adjustment procedure.

(2) To adjust the latch cables, open the liftgate.

(3) Open the plastic latch rod retention clip on the outside handle and disconnect the latch rod from the outside handle.

(4) Open both latch cable retention clips and remove the threaded end of the cable from each clip.

(5) Verify that the latch control assembly is in its fully returned position.

(6) Verify that both latch cables slide smoothly and do not bind.

NOTE: The latches must be in their fully closed position to properly adjust the latch cables. The following step is necessary to remove excess cable play at the latch end of the cable.

(7) Using a suitable tool, fully latch (close) both liftgate latches.

(8) Gently pull on the latch cable threaded end to remove any excess play in the cable.

(9) Remove the excess play from the other latch cable and seat both cable threaded ends into their respective opened retention clips.

NOTE: Apply a small bead of RTV to both open cable retention clips and threaded cable ends to prevent the threaded ends from rotating within the retention clips.

(10) Close both cable retention clips. Verify complete clip closure.

(11) Adjust the outside handle rod (see above section).

(12) While the liftgate is open and the latch control assembly is still uncovered, slowly open the outside latch handle to unlatch both side latches. Verify both latches unlatch.

(13) Cycle the liftgate closed and open to verify correct operation of the liftgate latch system.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:48 AM
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Re: Tailgate won't open--need new latch mechanism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milous View Post
Screwdriver? Just pull the outside latch manually by hand and see what's happening/not happening inside.

IF the problem is related to being out of adjustment (vs something broken):

Latch adjustment

(1) With the liftgate closed, slowly open the liftgate using the outside handle.

(2) Determine if excessive handle travel is required to unlatch the liftgate. If so, adjustment to the latch rod may be required.

(3) Open the plastic latch rod retention clip on the outside handle and disconnect the latch rod from the outside handle.

(4) Verify that the latch control assembly is in its fully returned position.

NOTE: Do not pre-load the latch rod when attaching.

(5) Attach the threaded end of the latch rod to the open retention clip. Make sure all excess play has been removed between the outside liftgate handle and the latch assembly.

(6) Fully close the plastic retention clip.

(7) Cycle the outside handle and verify smooth operation.


Cable adjustment:

(1) Determine if one of more of the following occurs:

- Excessive handle travel is required to unlatch the liftgate.
- Only one side of the liftgate will unlatch.
- As one side of the liftgate unlatches, more than 2 mm (0.08 in.) of additional outside handle travel is required to unlatch the other side (latches are not synchronized/timed).

NOTE: Do not close the liftgate during the adjustment procedure.

(2) To adjust the latch cables, open the liftgate.

(3) Open the plastic latch rod retention clip on the outside handle and disconnect the latch rod from the outside handle.

(4) Open both latch cable retention clips and remove the threaded end of the cable from each clip.

(5) Verify that the latch control assembly is in its fully returned position.

(6) Verify that both latch cables slide smoothly and do not bind.

NOTE: The latches must be in their fully closed position to properly adjust the latch cables. The following step is necessary to remove excess cable play at the latch end of the cable.

(7) Using a suitable tool, fully latch (close) both liftgate latches.

(8) Gently pull on the latch cable threaded end to remove any excess play in the cable.

(9) Remove the excess play from the other latch cable and seat both cable threaded ends into their respective opened retention clips.

NOTE: Apply a small bead of RTV to both open cable retention clips and threaded cable ends to prevent the threaded ends from rotating within the retention clips.

(10) Close both cable retention clips. Verify complete clip closure.

(11) Adjust the outside handle rod (see above section).

(12) While the liftgate is open and the latch control assembly is still uncovered, slowly open the outside latch handle to unlatch both side latches. Verify both latches unlatch.

(13) Cycle the liftgate closed and open to verify correct operation of the liftgate latch system.

Thanks! Part of my fear is that once I close the lift gate, it won't open. Is there a way to open it from the inside if the handle doens't work on the outside? I'll leave it open when I do the adjustments, what I was referring to with the screw driver is I can manually "close" the latch with the gate open and use a screw driver to simulate the piece it hooks onto. That's all.
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2589724"]My 84 Trans Am[/URL]
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[I]Freedom Is Never Free!
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:56 AM
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Re: Tailgate won't open--need new latch mechanism

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Originally Posted by Ozz1967 View Post
Thanks! Part of my fear is that once I close the lift gate, it won't open. Is there a way to open it from the inside if the handle doensn't work on the outside? I'll leave it open when I do the adjustments, what I was referring to with the screw driver is I can manually "close" the latch with the gate open and use a screw driver to simulate the piece it hooks onto. That's all.
You would know before you close it if everything works ok, by operating the latch mechanism from the handle and watching the side latches. If for some reason it didn't open after being closed you could pull on the cables with some pliers to release the side latches or rotate the cable assembly.
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