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Tailgate won't shut right


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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 24

March 28th, 2008, 12:15 AM   #1  
Tailgate won't shut right

I have an 02 z71 silverado 1500. my tailgate began fall down when i would hit a big bump while driving. ifi dont SLAM the hell out of the tailgate then it will fall down. it clearly isnt shutting right. i just replaced the right tailgate latch because it looked as if there was a left latch on the right side of the tailgate just it was flipped around so i ordered the right side latch from my local dealer. 65 bucks and one new latch later, the damn thing still doesnt shut right and u still need to slam the hell out of it for it to stay shut. does anybody have any knowledge on these tailgates? im starting to get really annoyed with the thing and i look like an idiot when my tailgate fallsas imdriving down the main road in my town. HELPPPPPP PLEASEEEE []

 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 302
illinois

March 28th, 2008, 1:43 AM   #2  
CF Senior Member
RE: Tailgate won't shut right

okedoke... i have had the same problem on my 98... although... it wasnt the wrong latches or anything... it was they siezed... see i looked like an idiot when id get a screw driver to pop the latches back out. heres what i did... i took the handle out. latches out and sprayed them with pb blaster and a little liquid wrench. took my time and did it all slowly. im thinking that your latches are getting hung up and the vibrations from you slamming it loosen them an spring into place. so try that. an... try it with teh origional parts... if it works with origional then take that other one back...

 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 24

March 28th, 2008, 11:15 AM   #3  
RE: Tailgate won't shut right

yeah i tried spraying down the latches with WD-40 while the problem just began to start and nothing changed. ill try PB blaster i hear that stuff works magic. but since i just put a brand new latch on one side wouldnt that solve half of the problem? or i guess all it takes is for one latch so be seized for it to screw the whole tailgate up.

 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 37

March 28th, 2008, 11:30 AM   #4  
CF Junior Member
RE: Tailgate won't shut right

It's quite possible that the striker bolts are too far forward.

I used to have to slam the tailgate shut until someone showed me how to adjust them.
When you loosen them, you can move them.

You'll need to adjust the rubber stoppers too so that your tailgate doesn't rattle.

best o' luck

 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 302
illinois

March 28th, 2008, 4:35 PM   #5  
CF Senior Member
RE: Tailgate won't shut right

yea try that too... but wd-40 i found doesnt work all that well... it looked like someone before me used some really thick grease an it looked like tooth paste. it made it worse... but try pb blaster or liquid wrench. an see if the striker bolts are also mis aligned too...

 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 11

March 29th, 2008, 9:46 PM   #6  
RE: Tailgate won't shut right

i guys a couple yrs ago my 2000 was doing the same thing and I tried the spray it help for a while but in the end i took the center latch right out of the tail gate and i tapped the rivet and that loosen the part that was siezing up and I havnt had a problem since

 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1

June 28th, 2014, 2:52 PM   #7  
CF Beginner
On 2003 whose tailgate won't latch closed, before you adjust strikers or mess with the latches (or start slamming the gate like I did), make sure that the tailgate pull handle is working properly, i.e. make sure that the two levers articulated by the pull handle are moving freely. Pry off the plastic bezel with a thin blade from the top (very easy), and you can see the two levers that pull the two rods connected to the latches. On mine the levers were rusty and would not spring back when the pull handle was released, thus not allowing the latches to close. It is a little hard to lube them; I did by squirting WD40 up under the handle to wet the pin on which the levers rotate. It seems that this mechanism is not well shielded from the elements, no gasket on the bezel and water could easily get in.

 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 3

January 19th, 2016, 5:35 PM   #8  
Hi, I am currently experiencing the same issue. I have changed the left and right tell you h. That it was not the issue. Then I drop down to the lower tailgate hinge which seems to be suffering some abuse. The stopped at the body shop to find out if they can get the replacement socket for the hinge. After some further checking with the mechanic has decided the issue is is my release handle on the tailgate itself is not allowing the hinges to release properly so when I go to close tailgate they're not in the opening right position to grab onto the striker plate properly. Cross our fingers let's hope this works.

 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 3

January 19th, 2016, 5:38 PM   #9  
kolandj  On 2003 whose tailgate won't latch closed, before you adjust strikers or mess with the latches (or start slamming the gate like I did), make sure that the tailgate pull handle is working properly, i.e. make sure that the two levers articulated by the pull handle are moving freely. Pry off the plastic bezel with a thin blade from the top (very easy), and you can see the two levers that pull the two rods connected to the latches. On mine the levers were rusty and would not spring back when the pull handle was released, thus not allowing the latches to close. It is a little hard to lube them; I did by squirting WD40 up under the handle to wet the pin on which the levers rotate. It seems that this mechanism is not well shielded from the elements, no gasket on the bezel and water could easily get in.
Yup, that is just what mine is doing. The body shop mechanic seems to think there is a spring missing.

 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 3

January 19th, 2016, 5:42 PM   #10  
Hi, I am currently experiencing the same issue. I have changed the left and right latch. That was not the issue. Then I drop down to the lower tailgate right side hinge which seems to be suffering some abuse. Cannot find parts anywhere, I stopped at the body shop to find out if they can get the replacement socket for the hinge. After some further checking the mechanic has decided the issue is is my release handle on the tailgate itself is not allowing the hinges to release properly so when I go to close tailgate they're not in the opening bite
position to grab onto the striker plate properly. Cross our fingers let's hope this works.

 
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