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Tailgate Won't Open


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#1 timrob

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 02:03 PM

On my 2003 Silverado, the tailgate won't open. Took off the handle and found that the linking rod came loose on the left side at the latch(part closest to the taillamp). I tried jamming screwdrivers to open, but couldn't. I just greased both sides and the handle 6 months before because the tailgate was having trouble staying closed. I can get the right side to open, but not the left.

I have a pen sized camera. I'lll try to fish a coat hanger and pull on plastic piece on the inside.

Any ideas other than cut and replace the stud?

#2 b00001

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 02:39 PM

On my 2003 Silverado, the tailgate won't open. Took off the handle and found that the linking rod came loose on the left side at the latch(part closest to the taillamp). I tried jamming screwdrivers to open, but couldn't. I just greased both sides and the handle 6 months before because the tailgate was having trouble staying closed. I can get the right side to open, but not the left.

I have a pen sized camera. I'lll try to fish a coat hanger and pull on plastic piece on the inside.

Any ideas other than cut and replace the stud?


I just used a couple zip ties to tie the rod back to the plastic. Worked for a couple years before I sold the truck.

#3 timrob

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 03:40 PM

On my 2003 Silverado, the tailgate won't open. Took off the handle and found that the linking rod came loose on the left side at the latch(part closest to the taillamp). I tried jamming screwdrivers to open, but couldn't. I just greased both sides and the handle 6 months before because the tailgate was having trouble staying closed. I can get the right side to open, but not the left.

I have a pen sized camera. I'lll try to fish a coat hanger and pull on plastic piece on the inside.

Any ideas other than cut and replace the stud?


I just used a couple zip ties to tie the rod back to the plastic. Worked for a couple years before I sold the truck.

The rod came loose at the latch, not the handle. There's no way to reach in and zip tie it.

I was able to unlatch it. I taped the pen camera to the loose rod, about 6" from the end. The plastic clip was removed from the rod end. I focused the camera on the rod end. Put the whole assembly inside the tailgate and was able to hook the rod in the hole where it's supposed to go. A slight tug and the tailgate opened. This is the second use of this camera. Well worth the $130.

If you didn't have the camera, I imagine with enough time you could fish the rod and hook it in the whole and get the tailgate open.

I'm going to replace all of the plastic clips. Some how it came loose.

Edited by timrob, 06 June 2010 - 05:13 PM.





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