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OUT OF BUSINESS / M.I.A.
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Discussion Starter #1
Lot of people have tailgates that open hard, need to adjust the handle, or already have adjusted the handle.

What they have been doing is un-bolting the latch mechanism from the center of the tailgate and lowering it for more pull force at the hinges.

BAD IDEA

I too did this a long time ago, but a month later it still opened hard. I had to really pull up on the handle to get the hinges to pop free.

so when I replaced my rusty Tailgate:
I found that my hinges were bent, each time I adjusted my handle it bent the hinges worse. I suspect lots of people have bent hinges, and don't even know.
Enough talk look at the pictures:

What I took out...



After I bent them back...



I'm thinking this is partly bad design. So I plan on having some small braces welded to the hinge to keep them from ever bending agian. Now you all know what I know, moving the center latch mechanism donw just makes things worse. :(
 

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Banned
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Another common fault that produces this result is bending of the center mechanisms from trying to open the t/g when the glass ISN'T all the way down. I used to have some REALLY good pics of it, but I guess SFO lost them. This one shows, but you have to REALLY look: the rod that comes from the far right comes from the t/g handle. The bellcrank that it passes through (in one of the white plastic clips) is bent downward, making the handle stick up from the t/g. That's what I usually find in tailgates that are hard to open. The fix is to just bend that bellcrank straight again and NEVER try to pull the handle unless the glass is FULLY down.

 

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316 Posts
not to change the subject...

my lefthand tailgate latch doesnt opperate properly, it doesnt stay latched and so the left side of the tailgate is loose sometimes,

anyone else rebuild one of these, or should i just order anotherone off broncograveyard?
 

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OUT OF BUSINESS / M.I.A.
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Discussion Starter #7
Sounds like there is too much tension on that latch.
I have a spare latch if you need
 

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scrounger extrordinaire
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4,775 Posts
are the latch mechanisms all the same for 79 thru 96? maybe not the handles, but are the internals all the same?
 

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Gamble Til We Die
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518 Posts
my lefthand tailgate latch doesnt opperate properly, it doesnt stay latched and so the left side of the tailgate is loose sometimes,

thats exactly what mine does. i got a new latch from a member here. anyone know the easiest way to change the latch? looks like the whole window and everything needs to come out.
 

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OUT OF BUSINESS / M.I.A.
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Discussion Starter #10
fordman7795 said:
i got a new latch from a member here. anyone know the easiest way to change the latch? looks like the whole window and everything needs to come out.
I think you need to roll the window out, with the tailgate down. Suport the window, I've rolled mine all the way out and it held ok, but it's still a great risk.

Loosen the top window track bolt, and remove the bottom bolt. The track will now move with the window out. I'm not sure if it will move enough, but there is a good chance it will.
 

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OUT OF BUSINESS / M.I.A.
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Discussion Starter #11
axaviere said:
are the latch mechanisms all the same for 79 thru 96? maybe not the handles, but are the internals all the same?
The 1978-86 are the same part numbers.
 

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i would love to buy a tailgate latch from someone on here, maybe ill do both at the same time..

yes you just roll up the window and support it with a carpeted sawhorse and then take the latch out,

i took my latch to see if i could repair it or clean it, but it is just worn out...

i am going to buy them off broncograveyard if noone else wants my money ;) as long as they are in good condition im game.
 

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Gamble Til We Die
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518 Posts
i rolled my window up all the way with the gate down and the latch wont come up because the track is in the way. are you leaving a step out knarf or are they different?
 

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The '78-82 latches are different from '83-96.

If the latch doesn't lock, try to get it to latch with the t/g down and use a screwdriver (or something slightly smaller than the strike post) to close the jaws. You probably just need to rinse it out with Liquid Wrench (not WD-40; too much wax) or some other penetrating oil. If it still won't latch, put the glass up & pull the access panel. Inspect the operating rod that runs from the center mechanism to that latch to make sure it's not bent, keeping the latch released. If the rod is SLIGHTLY slack and the latch is clean & lubed, but won't catch, replace the latch.

If it latches with the t/g open but not EVERY time that you close it, trace a circle around the big washer (for reference) and then shift the strike post rearward ~1/32" at a time until it latches or you've gone 1/4". If it still won't latch, then you need to move the post up or down to align it.

This is the strike bolt for '78-82. '83-96 looks just like an '80-86 door strike bolt.
 

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Screw the Jeep Thing
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4,522 Posts
Interesting when mine didn't open easy I took it apart and soaked everything in WD40 and works like new now.
 

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mine just wont stay latched, feels like the ratcheting mechanism is either stuck open or worn out, i will check on the rod being bent though,

fordman: i think with the window about 3/4 of the way up i was able to get in there... if you cant i think you can take the window off its track and then lower the track back down, big PITA.
 
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