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How to Replace Tailgate Handle 2004 - 2008 Ford F150

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How to Replace Tailgate Handle 2004 - 2008 Ford F150

Created on: 2020-07-28

This video shows you how to install a new tailgate handle on your 2004-08 Ford F-150.

One of the first things we need to do to start doing the tailgate handle is, of course, if your tailgate still had the plastic cover over this, you would want to remove it. To do that, you're going to find bolts coming across right along this area, towards the outer portion of your tailgate. We're going to remove all eight of those and then we'll get the plastic off and then we'll get this plate out of the way. Once you have your plastic and everything out of the way, you can just try to get underneath here, lift this up, and we'll get this out of the way as well. Now that we have that plate out of the way, you have a nice, clear view of the inside area here. If you look right here and right there, you're going to see two nuts. I like to spray those down with some penetrant, so I'm just going to do that real quick, just like that. Now we're going to use our 10-millimeter socket and remove them both.

There's one. I'm going to hold the handle, remove the second one. Now, I can just pull that handle right down and out of here, just like this. There it is, friends. So, now that we have the handle out of here, we want to make sure we get the lock out of here as well. This is going to be fairly simple. If you look at it, you're going to see two little ears right along this area. If you pull out on them and then push them this way, it should come right off. At this point, you can turn this over, press on the lock and it should come right out. Now it's going to be time to get our new handle onto the vehicle. I'm just going to turn this over real quick, and then I'm going to take my lock and I'm going to insert it.

When you do the lock, what you're going to notice is the lock has a thick bevel here, and then it has a thinner one right there. When you go to put this into the handle, you're going to see it has a thick area down there and then a thin one here. So, it makes it very easy to line this up. Just kind of place it where it needs to be, give it a nice press, you're going to notice the clip goes out and then it comes right back in, and then I'm going to give it a nice tug just to make sure it's 100% secured. Continuing on the backside of this, what you're going to notice is you have a nice little gasket. First, what I'm going to do is I'm going to get this plastic off of here because we don't need the plastic on there. Once I get the plastic off of here, I'm going to get the gasket on there. Just put this right over here.

You're going to see there's a little piton and a hole. Line the two up, do the same on the other side, the piton with the hole, that's perfect. Let's get this underneath the vehicle and then we're going to come on up, and when we come up, we're going to try to slide these little hooky-dos up underneath the area of the tailgate itself. So, I'm going to come in like this and then bring it up like that. Just like this, and then I'm going to try to twist it as I come up. Okay. Now I'm going to try to line up the holes that are on our mechanism here with the pitons or the studs that are on the handle itself. I'll just try to this up and in here. There we are. Start on both of our nuts and then we're just going to snug them up.

Make sure those are nice and snug. At this point, I want to test it before I put this all back together. So, I'm going to clean up my mess and we'll give it a test. If for some reason you happen to notice the tailgate did not want to open when you were pulling on the handle. You can see that everything's moving as it should be, but it just isn't releasing those two latches that are on either side of the tailgate. You want to, of course, pay attention to which latch may or may not be working because there's an adjustment that needs to be made with these rods. To do that, take your small pocket screwdriver and come right like this along the green tab. We're going to lift this up and then that exposes this. You can lift this right up and out of here, do the same for the other side. Of course, you want to be careful not to break these because then if you were to break it, you would probably need a whole new mechanism.

Pop that up. Awesome. I'm just going to give myself a little bit of slack here. Now when I do this, I'm going to try to give this a tug until it's at the point where it's just barely tugging on that latch over there. I don't want to put very much pressure on it at all because I don't want it to not work, I just want to make sure it's at its maximum amount of throw. I'll close that. We'll do the same thing for this one. Just give it a tug until it's at its very last area right there, close that. Now I'm going to give it a try again.

Perfect. So that worked fine. Double-check to make sure that your locks are down and double-check to make sure that you tighten both of your nuts. If you wanted to test the latches without actually closing the tailgate first, you could take a barlett like this or even a screwdriver, press down on this area till it locks in. Do the same to the other side if you want it to, and then go ahead and grab your handle and make sure it functions. Now it's going to be time to get our metal plate back on here. We're just going to line this back up where it goes, and you should be able to tell it's lined up by just the fact that all the bolt holes are lined up as they should be. This looks great. If you have the plastic cover that's supposed to go over it as well, go ahead and put that on and line it up as well. Once you've done all that, we're going to take our bolts and we're going to start them all in, and then, of course, we'll snug them up. Now, these bolts are shank so you're going to notice that as I tighten them up, they're not actually going to bottom out completely because they do have the shanked area that does not have any threads. We don't have the plastic cover, so you're just going to have to imagine it's there.

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