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1976 Chevy Van
What is a Tailgate Handle and where is it Located?
A tailgate handle is the object that you lift up on when you want to release the tailgate from the rest of the truck bed at the rear of the vehicle. It may be constructed from metal or plastic, and is often faced with a harsh life, especially on a work truck. Sometimes these handles have a plastic bezel surrounding them that makes them look like the rest of the truck’s trim package. The tailgate handle and tailgate bezel often come in smooth or textured finishes. For most vehicles they come black in color, but the smooth versions are paintable if needed. Another option that comes on some trucks is a locking tailgate handle. Like just like the exterior door handles on the vehicle, a locking tailgate handle includes a lock cylinder where a key is inserted to lock and unlock the tailgate in the up and down positions. This is great if you have a cap or a bed cover, because you don't have to worry about people taking your prized possesions. However, a locking tailgate handle on a truck without a cap or bed cover is quite pointless, because evildoers can just reach in and take your belongings.
How Does a Tailgate Handle Work?
The tailgate handle is a very simple mechanism. When a person lifts the tailgate handle, the handle pulls on some rods (or levers) that live inside the tailgate. These rods control the tailgate latches on each end of the tailgate. As the handle is lifted, the latches retract. This then allows the tailgate to be lowered to the horizontal position.
When is a Replacement Tailgate Handle Needed?
When a tailgate handle replacement is necessary, it is obvious. In most cases, the handle completely breaks off, and leaves an open hole in the tailgate where bees begin to gather. If you are lucky, you can still work the rods inside the tailgate to make it open and close with the missing handle. If not, there is often an access panel on the inside of the tailgate which allows you to access the bees, along with the broken tailgate handle and bezel parts.
Replacing a Tailgate Handle
Replacing a tailgate handle is usually very do-it-yourself friendly, assuming the aforementioned bee scenario hasn’t taken place yet. Typically, replacing a handle involves no more effort than removing a couple of screws and unclipping the tailgate handle linkage from the back of the broken handle. As always, a service manual or installation video is a terrific guide for any automotive repair.
Need a New Tailgate Handle?
If you are in need of a new tailgate handle replacement, you have come to the right place. At 1A Auto, you will find a large selection of aftermarket tailgate handles for many makes and models. If your truck came with a locking tailgate handle, our handles will also have the provision for that. We also carry a small selection of tailgate handle and lock assemblies for certain older makes and models as well.
We not only know everything that there is to know about tailgate handles, but we stock the highest quality, best fitting handles available. 1A Auto's aftermarket handles are strengthened in failure-prone areas, so that you won’t have to do the repair twice. We use these tailgate handles on our own trucks, and we have absolute confidence in the fit, finish, and quality.
At 1A Auto, shopping for replacement tailgate handle for your vehicle is easy - we're here to help you select the right one! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about the product, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online right here at 1AAuto.com.
Written By: Jeremy Nutt
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We employ USA based, knowledgeable support technicians. They'll help you through your project. We always make sure you get the right part. And we boast the industry's most generous returns policy. You won't find a company more passionate about auto parts than 1A Auto.