My tailgate release assembly broke today & was wondering if Jeff's Bronco Graveyard would be about the best place to buy @ $35.00?
Hey hope you are well and I have a question m I seem to be having issues with my gate and idk what exactly is wrong. I just replaced the latch assembly with a brand spanking new one. My handle still sticks out like so:ok... first thing. In the future, when you see the handle no longer sits flush with the gate but sticks out... the handle has been used when the "window down" safety wasn't fully engaged. The more it gets tugged on, the more the bracket bends. Forcing the handle down level with the gate by hand only exacerbates the original problem. I've had to fix this problem with nearly every Bronco I've owned, first thing. Of course... now that you've pulled yours apart and surveyed the situation, you probably already figured that out.
Yes... if you remove the same L shaped bracket I show separated from my assembly (thereby eliminating the connected "window catch rod" as well), it easily and effectively removes the "window down" safety function from the tailgate handle. The tailgate handle will open the tailgate easily and with no more resistance, regardless of the location of the window.
I found the easiest and cleanest way to remove the safety lever was to flip the bracket around while it's not mounted and grind the rivet holding the L arm lever to the plate. Quick, easy, clean. :thumbup
WARNING: Dropping a tailgate without the window completely lowered WILL usually shatter a rear window and can possibly hurt someone in the process. This is not something for the casual or family Bronco owner to do and I wouldn't recommend it if you plan to ever sell your Bronco. Imagine a child in the back, able to pull the handle and open/drop the gate with the window up or mostly up... probably worst case scenario.
Lowering the gate with the window extended should never happen. If you need to work on the window or tailgate internals, lower the window into the gate, open the gate, flip the gate latch trigger (driver side) and use the now active key switch to extend the window with the gate down. You should consider supporting the window while it's extending with your other hand... to avoid scratching the glass, if your window rubber isn't fresh or new.
Sorry for the disclaimer stuff, but you never know who's reading these things and this modification should be done with complete awareness that you are eliminating an OEM safety feature. I have no children around to be concerned about, my storage area isn't "open" or easily accessible and I've owned many Bronco's over many years.