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Author Topic: tailgate stuck shut! please help!  (Read 6519 times)

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robbyfromli

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tailgate stuck shut! please help!
« on: 08/29/11 12:51 PM »

i closed my tailgate with the bed covers removed. tried to open it later in the day and it wouldnt open. investigated and it looks like the passenger side isnt latched. its sticking out a little bit, i can see that the latch isnt engaged. the drivers side is latched securely. made the mistake of trying to force it and pulled the handle a little too hard and broke it. so i know im going to have to replace it and there are several threads on that topic, no big deal. my bigger issue is that i cant figure out how to manually open the tailgate. i cant push it all the way shut on the passenger side, or budge the thing at all. please help!!! its a 2004 z71 1500 wbh, bed covers removed already.
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2004 Z71 Avalanche WBH, dual exhaust, 31x10.5x15 MTR's with kevlar lining, 15" alloy wheels

Troublemaker

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Re: tailgate stuck shut! please help!
« Reply #1 on: 08/29/11 01:12 PM »

Remove the two hex bolts holding the outside cover on, then remove the cover, and you should be able to reach in there to release the latch.
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robbyfromli

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Re: tailgate stuck shut! please help!
« Reply #2 on: 08/29/11 02:30 PM »

thanks for the quick and helpfull response troublemaker. i checked it out and i see what youre talking about, but im at work tonight and dont have a torx wrench. ill get into it tomorrow and let you know how it goes. thanks again!
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2004 Z71 Avalanche WBH, dual exhaust, 31x10.5x15 MTR's with kevlar lining, 15" alloy wheels

robbyfromli

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Re: tailgate stuck shut! please help!
« Reply #3 on: 09/03/11 09:29 AM »

so i just got done replacing the tailgate handle assembly. what happened was when i forced my tailgate closed with some tires in the bed, the drivers side latched and the passenger side didnt. this caused the tailgate to not open or close all the way. simple fix thanks to some members that gave a few pointers.
step 1: take off the plastic molding peice around the handle with the 2 smaller torx bolts(top is held on by the 2 aforementioned bolts, bottom is held in place by 2 plastic studs that pull straight off with some gentle force)
step 2: with a set of needle nose pliers, grasp and pull inwards the rod for whichever side is latched. the tailgate should now open.
step 3: remove the 3 larger torx bolts and the handle assembly will come free. i wrapped a piece of electrical tape around the rods and up over the top of the tailgate to keep them from falling when i undid the two blue clips. the clips pop open with a flat head screwdriver on the top side.
step 4: i have read a few different ways to go about this step of getting the handle assembly out. the problem is that theres about a 4 inch wide tab sticking up getting in the way of a smooth removal. what i did using the few tools i had with me at work was break it away piece by piece with a set of pliers (its fiberglass, so wear gloves to avoid those pesky splinters). trimed it down about an inch in all and that was perfect. remove latch assembly and install the new one in the same fashion.
step 5: re-attach the rods into the clips, and work backwards to put it all back together.
step 6: before replacing the plastic molding piece, test the whole setup to make sure the rods are adjusted properly. step 7: re-install the molding and youre done.

hope this helps someone, if there are any questions feel free to ask.
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2004 Z71 Avalanche WBH, dual exhaust, 31x10.5x15 MTR's with kevlar lining, 15" alloy wheels

Flint4x4

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Re: tailgate stuck shut! please help!
« Reply #4 on: 09/03/11 10:16 AM »

My locking mechanism sticks if you pull the handle while locked, I have to strategically poke a screwdriver in while turning the key or more often than not crawl thru and remove those two torx and then the outside bezel to release the lock. Slightly different problem but same fix applies if I ever bother to do it.

You think someone yanking on the handle when it was locked caused my problem ?
Mine works fine as long as nobody tries to open it while locked.

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BCmountaineer

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Re: tailgate stuck shut! please help!
« Reply #5 on: 09/04/11 01:14 AM »

You think someone yanking on the handle when it was locked caused my problem ?
Mine works fine as long as nobody tries to open it while locked.

If i pull on my handle while it is locked it moves to the open position but does not move any internals to actually unlock the tailgate.  My girlfriend has pulled quite hard on the locked tailgate with no negative results.

I have my own tailgate problem of course... where if i dont really slam it shut and I then lock it, it is damn near impossible to unlock again.
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Flint4x4

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Re: tailgate stuck shut! please help!
« Reply #6 on: 09/05/11 01:10 AM »

If i pull on my handle while it is locked it moves to the open position but does not move any internals to actually unlock the tailgate.  My girlfriend has pulled quite hard on the locked tailgate with no negative results.

I have my own tailgate problem of course... where if i dont really slam it shut and I then lock it, it is damn near impossible to unlock again.

Sounds like the tension from the rods on the lock mechanism when you don't slam it tight. Different problem from mine but same result

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'94 Chevy S10 ext. cab. low miles, '09 GMC Acadia low miles
FWD + RWD = 4x4, loaded '04 AV totaled late 2016

highvelocity

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Re: tailgate stuck shut! please help!
« Reply #7 on: 09/15/11 01:30 AM »

I would strongly urge everyone to lubricate the locking/handle mechanism... mine got rusty and eventually the plastic gave way on the handle and it broke.  I guess it was getting harder and harder to open and bang it snapped.

So I ordered the whole new assemble from raockauto.com for 49 bucks.  You can rest assured I am going slather it with grease.  

One other tip, when you take off the pull rods from the handle mechanism the left side pull rod can slide down and be a pain to relocate....  I put a foot long tie wrap on it so I can pull it up if need be, then I will cut off after the new handle goes in.
  
      Ed
« Last Edit: 09/15/11 01:34 AM by highvelocity »
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jimmypsp700

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Re: tailgate stuck shut! please help!
« Reply #8 on: 11/07/11 11:10 AM »

If i pull on my handle while it is locked it moves to the open position but does not move any internals to actually unlock the tailgate.  My girlfriend has pulled quite hard on the locked tailgate with no negative results.

I have my own tailgate problem of course... where if i dont really slam it shut and I then lock it, it is damn near impossible to unlock again.

Same here. 

Lube hasn't helped me in the past but a linkage adjustment did.
Slam it shut tight and turn the key fast and firm to lock and unlock helps.
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highvelocity

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Re: tailgate stuck shut! please help!
« Reply #9 on: 01/05/12 06:28 AM »

Lube always helps me.  The salt in the air around here is horrible... 
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BCmountaineer

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Re: tailgate stuck shut! please help!
« Reply #10 on: 01/06/12 11:31 AM »

Same here. 

Lube hasn't helped me in the past but a linkage adjustment did.
Slam it shut tight and turn the key fast and firm to lock and unlock helps.

A linkage adjustment eh?  Ill have to pop the cover off and take a look, see if i can figure out what is going on in there.  Ive learned to live with it up to this point though, just slamming it nicely.
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Anthony45

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Re: tailgate stuck shut! please help!
« Reply #11 on: 02/27/12 10:27 AM »

While the handle and cover are still in place,  look up inside to see the tab on the end of the lock cylinder.  take note of how it engages the part that allows the handle to open when unlocked and not open when lock is set.  I had to tweek mine a bit with pliers to get a positive alignment.  You'll have to take it apart and put back together a couple times to make sure its right.  Don't forget to grease it all up at final assembly.
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RENORCR

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Re: tailgate stuck shut! please help!
« Reply #12 on: 02/29/12 12:48 PM »

You can adjust your linkage:

This is a simple test, so it might help.
To test latch I do this.
With tailgate down.
Use a screwdriver to push the latch into a locked position.
If it locks, unlock it with the tailgate handle. Nothing wrong.

If the latch says spring back to a open position, not latching.
It's just a rod adjustment. You can do this with the tailgate open.
Under the tailgate bezel. You should see a green plastic clip. Clamped around a threaded rod.
Open the plastic clip. Push the latch into a locked position. Re-close the plastic clip. Test with the handle. If everything works. Go ahead and close the tailgate and give a good tug.
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jimmypsp700

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Re: tailgate stuck shut! please help!
« Reply #13 on: 03/27/12 06:33 PM »

Same here. 

Lube hasn't helped me in the past but a linkage adjustment did.
Slam it shut tight and turn the key fast and firm to lock and unlock helps.

Well it finally happened to me where i had to crawl in thru the inside and remove the cover.
I couldn't get it open for nothing as it was binding and i had my beer (and gear) in there!
So i removed the 2 hex head bolts and cover and worked the latch with some quality cable lube and all is good to go at least for a while without the linkage being adjusted.  So keep em lubed!  :)
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'90 Chevy Vette L98 TPI
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highvelocity

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Re: tailgate stuck shut! please help!
« Reply #14 on: 03/29/12 07:20 AM »

Yeah, assuming the linkage is set correctly...  You have to keep that "Steel-Rust" mechanism slathered with grease...

BTW I think chevy may not have used good coating on the chasis steel, my truck looks 20 years old underneath...
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jimmypsp700

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Re: tailgate stuck shut! please help!
« Reply #15 on: 03/29/12 09:16 PM »

Mines not too bad underneath for 8 years old.  Wow, 8 already...
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'04 Chevy Av Z71 1500
'90 Chevy Vette L98 TPI
'10 Polaris Sportsman 850XP EPS
'00 Polaris Scrambler 400 2x4
'02 Triton SL8 ATV Trailer
'94 Sierra 32' TT
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