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How to Replace Tailgate Handle Latch Mechanism 98-12 Ford Ranger

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How to Replace Tailgate Handle Latch Mechanism 98-12 Ford Ranger

Created on: 2016-09-13

How to repair, install, fix, change or replace a broken or snapped off tailgate handle latch mechanism on 01 Ford Ranger

  1. step 1 :Lowering a Stuck Tailgate
    • 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 :Removing the Tailgate Latch
    • Pull the bed liner off the tailgate
    • Remove the two 10mm nuts from the tailgate latch
    • Pull off the tailgate handle
    • Unclip the tailgate latch rods
  3. step 3 :Installing the Tailgate Latch
    • Put the tailgate latch into place
    • Put the tailgate handle into place
    • Fasten the two 10mm nuts onto the latch
    • Clip the latch rods to the latch
    • Put the tailgate cover into place
    • Insert the eight T30 Torx bolts into the tailgate coverSnap on the bed liner
    • Close the tailgate

Tools needed for replacement

  • Ratchets & Related

    Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

    10mm Socket

  • 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 show you how to get your tailgate open if it's stuck up in this position and how to change out the mechanism that's a common failure for when these tailgates get stuck this way.

If you like this video click subscribe, we have a ton more information on this truck as well as many other makes and models. If you ever need 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. Sometimes this door handle breaks and it doesn't actuate these rods properly. These plastic clips can break or they just come out of adjustment with old age. They can stretch out or this plastic can wear out and allow them to slide and not unlock both sides evenly. If any of these components are broken you can simply grab both latch rods and pull them to the middle and lower your tailgate.

Again, if you don't have this plastic cover, you don't have to worry about it but since we do, you simply push back and remove it once the tailgate is in the down position. Remove these two 10 millimeter bolts with a socket and ratchet. When removing the second one, be sure to support the latch from the bottom. Now rotate the latch and remove it from the vehicle.

Once the tailgate handle is out, hold the mechanism down and pop up the tabs for the rods. Now you can remove the rods from the mechanism and remove the mechanism from the vehicle.

Reinstall the mechanism. Reinstall the handle. Make sure that the mechanism is below the arms on the handle. You may have to squeeze it together here at the bottom to make sure of that. Line up the studs and reinstall your two 10 millimeter nuts.

Pull the latch rods until they get to the point where they're just starting to take spring tension at the end. Right at that balance point, we'll press them down into the plastic clips and snap the lock tab back over. This will ensure that when we pull our handle it starts opening those latches right away.

Reinstall the cover and all eight of your T30 screws. Tighten these down with the T-30 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

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 10mm Socket

  • Star Drivers & Sockets

  • T30 Bit


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