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How to Adjust Tailgate Latch Rods 98-12 Ford Ranger

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How to Adjust Tailgate Latch Rods 98-12 Ford Ranger

Created on: 2021-01-16

How to fix or adjust a tailgate latch rod on 01 Ford Ranger

  1. step 1 :Accessing the Tailgate Latch
    • Pull the bed liner lip from the tailgate
    • Wedge a screwdriver between the tailgate and the bed liner
    • Remove the eight T30 Torx bolts from the tailgate cover panel
    • Pull the latch rods toward the middle
    • Lower the tailgate
  2. step 2 :Adjusting the Latch Rods
    • Unclip the safety tabs with a flat blade screwdriver
    • Pull one latch rod until you can feel the spring tension
    • Clip the latch rod to the latch mechanism
    • Pull the second latch rod until you can feel the spring tension
    • Clip the latch rod to the latch mechanism
  3. step 3 :Reinstalling the Tailgate Cover
    • Put the tailgate cover into place
    • Insert the eight T30 Torx bolts into the tailgate cover
    • Snap on the bed liner
    • Close the tailgate
    • Test the tailgate handle

Tools needed for replacement

  • Ratchets & Related

    Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Star Drivers & Sockets

    T30 Bit

Installation Video
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Hi, I'm Mike from 1A Auto. I hope this how-to video helps you out, and next time you need parts for your vehicle, think of 1AAuto.com. Thanks.

In this video, we're going to be working with our ‘01 Ford Ranger. We're going to show you how to remove the rear tailgate cover so you can get inside and adjust the latch rods, which if they come out of adjustment will cause your tailgate to get stuck in the up position like this. If you like this video, please click 'subscribe'. We have a ton more information on this truck as well as many other makes and models. If you need any parts for your vehicle, follow the link in the description over to 1AAuto.com. Here are the items you'll need for this repair.

Our truck has a bed liner, if yours doesn't you can skip this step but we'll have to push up on the top lip here. Slide our cover back. I'm going to take a flat blade screwdriver and just kind of wedge it in there to keep it back and give me a little more room to work. Then we're going to take a T30 Torx bit and a ratchet and remove these eight T30 Torx bolts here on the inside cover.

The other reason I have this screwdriver here is to keep this plate up. If you don't have this cover or you don't have the screwdriver wedged the way we do here, you're going to have to support this when you take the last bolt out. We'll remove our screwdriver and the back cover.

Here, you can see our latch rods. You can simply grab both latch rods and pull them to the middle. Lower your tailgate. Again, if you don't have this plastic cover, you don't have to worry about it. Since we do, you simply push back, and remove it once the tailgate is in the down position.

Sometimes, these latch rods come out of adjustment, or these clips can pop open and the rod falls out which will prevent that side from opening. If they just wear out and come out of adjustment, you can see that there's a lot of slop between me grabbing the handle, and the handle actually actuating the arms. These are easy to adjust, or to pop the rods back in. Take a flat-blade screwdriver and pop up the safety tabs.

If they've popped out, you'd simply pop them back in. In our case, where they're so far out of adjustment, pull until you can feel the rod taking some of the spring tension. Here, on the actual latch, and right at that balance point before it starts taking any tension, we'll press it back in, snap the tab back on, and do the same thing on the opposite side. Now, the minute we pull our handle, we begin to release the latches.

Reinstall the cover and all eight of your T30 screws. Tighten these down with the T30 Torx socket and a ratchet. If you have the plastic tailgate cover, insert the bottom first. Make sure that it hooks over the bottom of the gate. Line it up to the center. Push the top over. Close your tailgate and ensure that everything still functions properly. You're good to go.

Thanks for tuning in. We hope this video helps you out. Brought to you by www.1AAuto.com, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet. Please feel free to call us toll-free, 888-844-3393. We're the company that's here for you on the Internet and in person.

Tools needed for replacement:

    Ratchets & Related

  • Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Star Drivers & Sockets

  • T30 Bit


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