Yeah, I got it open. Way easier than I thought at first, like you said, once you can see a little of what you're dealing with it becomes much easier. As stated,tailgate was stuck closed so couldn't get interior panel off completely until getting tailgate open as panel is screwed to gate along bottom and on sides, no access in closed position. But I did manage to release enough of the panel from the top on down a ways, so that finally,and yes, with a good flashlight, could see just where that beauty plugged hole in panel was trying to direct you. There's a white plastic hex shaft protruding from inside the gate but no movement, pushing or rotating, not the release, and actually, not really lined up well with the access hole.Activated remote lock a few times to see all movement possible, Then ran screwdriver thru access hole while looking down behind panel, and low and behold, it appeared as though it landed in a spot that just might move something, from what I could see, adjusted screwdriver around connecting rods in latch mechanism, pushed, prodded, and leveraged a bit, carefully so as not to damage anything, and hit the sweet spot, and the latch released. Then, and only then was it possible to remove the interior tailgate panel. From there I could finally see what was visible of the mechanism, didn't really find anything apparently broken or damaged. So got out good old silicon spray and "washed down" the latch area, and it ran muddy. Years of tailgate dust from country roads clogged up the pivoting parts till the "hasp" would not release. Guess mud was packed in tighter than the spring could pull hasp open. Haven't buttoned up gate yet. Some of the plastic sheet w/rubber sheet stuck over openings in gate, behind panel, kinda crumbled in process, and want to find out purpose, and acceptable substitute, or replacement , before resorting to duct tape. Thanks for the reply, and hope this can help someone down the road
Got pictures, first is lift-gate after opening and removing panel, interior lights hanging, and of course, latch area bottom center. Next pix shows latch close up. Vertical rod on right connects to lock servo, activates horizontally to lock/unlock lift-gate. Horizontal piece which connects to vert. rod, pivots on left end. Upward motion on this bar, on the right/rod connecting side, releases latch. And its great alignment to run a screwdriver, or even tire iron in a pinch, and if you knew fairly close to where you are headed with screwdriver, one could release latch from within without removing panel. Hope you can interpret my explanation, and that the pictures help, or even show up, (still learning my way around a computer) and that this might save someone some time, labor, and headache down the road .
Saturday, June 5th, 2010 AT 10:39 AM