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Author Topic: tailgate won't close properly  (Read 6552 times)

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loach

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tailgate won't close properly
« on: 12/18/06 01:08 PM »

I have a 2002 Chevy Avalanche and the tailgate won't close properly in the winter. I close it, and it will stay closed until I give it a good yank and then it just pops open. It does not do this in the summer, only in the winter. The problem is if I hit a bump or accelerate too hard it will pop open on the road.

Anybody seen this before, or have a suggestion for how to fix it?

Thanks. :cool:
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RENORCR

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Re: tailgate won't close properly
« Reply #1 on: 12/18/06 02:15 PM »

This happen to me, but only one side did not latch.

Sounds like the rods are not adjusted correctly.
When you close the tailgate. do they even latch?
If not the rods are adjusted - short.
You can remove the tailgate handle bezel. Looking at the latch. You will see two rods. They are clamped to the moving parts of the latch by green clam-closing clamp. You can pop these open and re-adjust the length.

What I did on mine was to, with the gate open. Work one latch at a time.
To test if latch is latching.
With a screwdriver, close the locking latch on the of the tailgate. Has if you had closed the gate.
You should hear a click. If not, the rod is short. (Mine just spring back into the open position)
If that's the case, (under the handle) open the green clamp, allowing the rod to be loose.
Close the latch again with the screwdriver. You should hear or feel the click.
Now put the rod back into the green clamp, and close clamp.
Now lift the gate handle, and latch should unlock.
Repeat for otherside.
« Last Edit: 12/21/06 10:59 PM by RENORCR »
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orionfree

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Re: tailgate won't close properly
« Reply #2 on: 12/19/06 02:56 AM »

I agree with RENORCR....sounds like your latches aren't working.  It also could be they are frozen and need sprayed with a good lubricating oil then worked until the spring is operational.  I have a post called Stuck Latch fix that shows a photo of the latch (although it's about a different subject).  You can actuate the latch with a screwdriver then release the latch by pushing the top plate in again with the screwdriver.  The latch should noticeably spring back.  If not keep working and spraying the lubricating oil until it does.  I've had this problem with my tailgate.

Hope this helps.
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2007CSI

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Re: tailgate won't close properly
« Reply #3 on: 12/19/06 07:42 AM »

Mine used to pop open every now and then. It sounded like I had been rear ended! Mine got better once we just slammed it shut each time. It came open when it was shut more gently.
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Sourmash

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Re: tailgate won't close properly
« Reply #4 on: 12/19/06 08:03 AM »

Another member had a similar problem. Try this: Open the tailgate all the way and lower it. Then raise the tailgate almost all the way, but not to the latch point. Then press down on the top lip of the tailgate. If you feel it give about 1/4" or more, then the passenger side hinge has spread. This is the one that has an opening in it that allows you to remove the tailgate. That opening makes it less strong than the one on the driver's side. If you frequently place a lot of weight on the tailgate, that will cause it to spread. Before it gets too spread out, latching will be intermittent (which could possibly explain the difference between cold and warm weather.

The fix: Get a new hinge GM p/n 15080226, remove the old hinge & replace it. There is no special alignment required, just a few bolts. The hinge costs about $21 or so.  I now keep a spare in my parts supply.

RB

loach

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Re: tailgate won't close properly
« Reply #5 on: 12/19/06 08:33 AM »

Sounds like it could be the hinge. The problem is more pronounced on the passenger side of the vehicle, and I know the previous owner hauled his snowmobile in the back (presumably with the tailgate down), and that would be a fair bit of weight on the tailgate. I will check for that 1/4 inch play in the gate.

Thanks for your advice, Sourmash, and everybody else who contributed. This site has helped me diagnose several problems, and proves to be an enormous resource!

I'll let folks know if the hinge was the right fix in a few days (when it warms up here...current temperature is -20 degrees celsius!).

 :wave:
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yoopers

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Re: tailgate won't close properly
« Reply #6 on: 12/21/06 08:21 PM »

Used to have this problem on my '02.  I had it to the dealer under warranty for several replaced parts and part alignment.  I believe there is a technical service bulletin on the problem.
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loach

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Re: tailgate won't close properly
« Reply #7 on: 12/22/06 06:56 AM »

Used to have this problem on my '02.  I had it to the dealer under warranty for several replaced parts and part alignment.  I believe there is a technical service bulletin on the problem.

You don't happen to know the tsb number on that do you? Or a way to find the tsb number?

tx
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Sarge E5, USMC

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Re: tailgate won't close properly
« Reply #8 on: 01/10/07 05:08 PM »

ya I had this prob too. I got the WD40 out and LUBED the latches on both sides, helping them along with a pair of needlenose to free them up. I also took off the bezel and lubed up everything I could see there, incliding the lock.

Now it latches on both sides.
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