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How to Fix Stuck Tailgate 02-08 Dodge Ram

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  1. step : Releasing the Tailgate (0:55)
    • Remove the eight T-30 screws on the inside of the tailgate
    • Pull off the plastic tailgate cover
    • Remove the inner cover
    • Pull in on the latch rods to release the tailgate
  2. step : Removing the Tailgate (2:08)
    • Remove the two 8mm nuts on the back of the latch
    • Pull down on the bottom of the latch
    • Slide the latch down
    • Remove the latch from the tailgate
  3. step : Installing the Tailgate (3:21)
    • Insert the handle into place
    • Insert the latch into place
    • Tighten the 8mm nuts with a socket and ratchet
    • Lock the latches closed on either side
    • Pull the handle to release the latches
    • Reinstall the cover(s)
    • Tighten the eight T-30 Torx screws

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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 show you to replace the tail gate handle on a Dodge Ram. This one is a 2008, but the procedure is pretty much the same for a 2002-2008. You'll need a new handle from 1AAuto.com, T-30 Torx driver, and an 8mm socket with a ratchet.

One very common problem with trucks is the tailgate being stuck in a closed position. The tail gate latch is often responsible for this. If your tail gate's stuck open, you can remove the inner skin. With the tail gate closed, release the latch and replace this fairly simply and restore your tail gate to proper operating conditions.

Remove the eight, T-30 Torx screws on the inside of the tail gate. We have a plastic tail gate cover. If your truck has one as well, you want to reach behind and pull the steel on the inner piece of the tailgate while you remove your plastic. Then remove the inner cover. The latch mechanism in the center here is operated when the latch is open. You press this down, it rotates this mechanism to pull the latch rod on either side and release the latches.

The latch itself can be broken. This mechanism can be snapped off. The plastic here can break or these latch rods can come out of their clips, meaning that you're only releasing one side of the tail gate. In any case, you can either manually turn this if your latch is broken, or you can pull in on the latch rods to release the tail gate and bring it down. Use an 8mm socket and ratchet to remove the two 8mm nuts on the back of the latch. Support the latch before releasing the nut fully. With the nuts removed, pull down on the bottom of the latch, slide it down, move it from the tailgate.

See our old part and our new part are exactly the same. The same size handle, the same size outer trim here. We have the same latch rod, same release mechanism there, this piece of plastic, new studs to mount into our latch in the actual tail gate.

See the old part's rotting out here. It will finish rotting out and breaking, wouldn't snap back into position, make for some awkward function of the tail gate or this piece of plastic here can get worn out from opening and closing the tailgate so many times, it stresses and snaps causing your tailgate to be stuck closed. If your old latch is rusted out and snapped and plastic is broken, this new part from 1AAuto is going to go in direct fit just like your original equipment and fix you up right.

Reinstall the handle into the tail gate. Be sure that the alignment pins on the latch handle are in their proper slots on either side. Once the pins are aligned, set your latch onto the studs to the back of your handle.

Reinstall the two 8mm nuts, tighten them down with a socket and ratchet. To check operation of your latch before closing the tail gate, lock the latches closed on either side. Pull the handle and make sure the latches have released on both sides. Now we know that we can open and close our tail gate properly.

Reinstall the steel cover on the top of the tail gate. If you don't have a plastic cover, you can skip this next step and just start bolting it down. Since we have one, we'll install our plastic tail gate cover and our eight T-30 Torx screws.

Close your tail gate. Make sure that the latch works properly.

Thanks for tuning in. We hope this video helped you out. Next time you need parts for your car, please visit 1AAuto.com. Also check out our other helpful how-to and diagnosis videos.

Tools needed for replacement:

    Ratchets & Related

  • Ratchet

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 8mm Socket

  • Star Drivers & Sockets

  • T30 Driver

2003 - 2009  Dodge  Ram 3500 Truck
2003 - 2009  Dodge  Ram 2500 Truck
2002 - 2008  Dodge  Ram 1500 Truck

2002-07 Dodge Ram Pickup Tailgate Handle Black

Dodge Ram 1500 2500 3500 Tailgate Handle TRQ DHA64589

This part replaces:

  • Partslink CH1915110
  • OE # 55276237AA

Part Details

  • Color: Black
  • Finish: Textured
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