Anyone know how to release a stuck tailgate? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
47
Location
Arlington, VA
Stupidly I slammed the tailgate s*** a little too hard and the rod that goes from the tailgate release handle fell off the lock mechanism. Unfortunately this happened on the drivers side and the access panel won’t fit anything other than an infants hand. I tried fishing a wire unsuccessfully for 2 hours then threw in the towel.

anyone here have this issue before? Any idea on how to release the latch so I can fix the issue?
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
31
Location
Fairbanks, Alaska
Sorry man, I've got nothing. I know I'd stuff my phone in while recording video and have a good hard look at everything. I haven't looked inside mine real well, but one tool that comes to mind is a 12" set of pliers with a slight angle on the tip.

Since it's drivable you could probably have someone fab a tool that would get ahold of that latch...

I doubt there is any way to access the hinges at the bottom of the gate with it closed, but if you can replace them easily, destruction might be an option.
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
47
Location
Arlington, VA
Thanks guys.

I was hoping to not have to cut into a perfect tailgate but that may be my only option. Will report back once it is open.
 

g-man

SILVER Star
Joined
Sep 5, 2006
Messages
3,035
Location
Charlottesville VA
I too think an extra long curved needle nose plier might work to grab the linkage. But a small automotive repair mirror on a swivel and extension and a flashlight might help to see what you're doing.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2021
Messages
3
Location
86001
I fixed this exact issue in my new to me 62 about 2 weeks ago with a 3 dollar Dorman clip. Don’t cut the tailgate it’s an easy fix. You may need to recruit someone with a smaller hand. I’m 6’1” 220 lbs and I was able to wedge my hand in there and about mid way up my forearm to reach. My father in law is bit bigger than me and couldn’t get in there.

- remove the back dash pad/carpet
- Remove both metal plates
- wedge your hand in the smaller hole by the lock assembly
- reach all the way around the lock assembly to the far end and there will be a lever to squeeze and it will drop the tailgate
- unscrew the lock assembly and pull it out to examine that clip
- I put my phone light upside down in the small hole and maneuvered the rod from the larger hole in the center to insert the rod into the plastic clip (this was the hardest part I used a large flathead screwdriver for it to fully engage back in
- close everything up it should work

Let me know if you have any questions. I could send you pictures or a video but I’m leaving for Mexico in 2 hours and get back next Sunday. The entire fix took me 15 minutes once I had the clip.
Dorman clip - autozone part 45451

Cheers

RT
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
47
Location
Arlington, VA
Thanks RT, I'll try again or see if my daughter can fit her in there. The opening on the passenger side is large enough to fit my hand but the drivers side opening (the problem side) is quite a bit smaller.

Thanks for the part #. Will report back
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2021
Messages
3
Location
86001
Thanks RT, I'll try again or see if my daughter can fit her in there. The opening on the passenger side is large enough to fit my hand but the drivers side opening (the problem side) is quite a bit smaller.

Thanks for the part #. Will report back
My apologies, I should have read your post closer! Good luck man!
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
47
Location
Arlington, VA
Switched from a coat hanger to a welding filler rod because it was a bit straighter and stronger. 45mins later I was able to fish it open

image.jpg
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
47
Location
Arlington, VA
Switched from a coat hanger to a welding filler rod because it was a bit straighter and stronger. 45mins later I was able to fish it open

5F44ABED-CB22-4853-816F-60B015866EAC.jpeg
 

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