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Old 05-13-2018, 03:13 PM   #1
Bandit130
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Tailgate Handle Assembly

Wanting to remove tailgate handle assembly to clean, lubricate and paint. Handle has about 1" free travel then moves rods to open latches. When closing it is the reverse operation and handle can be pushed up to stay. Handle does not fall back down while driving. Wondering if this is normal? Have searched forum and internet and have not located information on this. I would really like to see a video of the operation to see if it is normal.

TIA
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Old 05-13-2018, 03:18 PM   #2
gmachinz
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Re: Tailgate Handle Assembly

The spring loaded latches are probably dirty/gummed up. I’d say clean them and re-grease the latch assembly.
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Old 05-13-2018, 07:35 PM   #3
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Re: Tailgate Handle Assembly

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Originally Posted by gmachinz View Post
The spring loaded latches are probably dirty/gummed up. Id say clean them and re-grease the latch assembly.
So, I take it that it should have a spring for the free movement I have? I sort of thought it should/might but have not had one off before and I can't see very well inside to tell if it does not not. Going to remove soon and then get a better perspective if it. Thanks.
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Old 05-13-2018, 07:57 PM   #4
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Re: Tailgate Handle Assembly

Yeah-the tension spring is on the inside of each latch assembly-you’ll need to remove them from the tailgate to inspect them.
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:38 AM   #5
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Re: Tailgate Handle Assembly

Finally got it out. This was a BEAR to get out. Hardest part was removing left side rod.Also had to remove tailgate band for more room. Found the reason I had free play in the handle. Dirt and years of outside gremlins was binding at the handle and cam pivot point that both rods connect to. There is no spring on the handle itself which was my brain was thinking there was/should be. When working correctly, springs on latches will pull handle up correctly. This was the first one for me, so definitely a learning experience.

Now...on to the cleaning, lubricating, painting and hopefully re-assembling.

Will post pics before and after cleaning and painting when completed.
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:05 AM   #6
Jstock85
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Re: Tailgate Handle Assembly

Bandit I need to replace mine as well. You mind giving a quick run down of how you got it out? What you did or should have done.
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:59 AM   #7
Bandit130
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Re: Tailgate Handle Assembly

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Bandit I need to replace mine as well. You mind giving a quick run down of how you got it out? What you did or should have done.
I don't know your year, model. I removed 3 screws from inside tailgate, removed the right rod and clip. This is the only one you can easily see and get to. You need to raise handle slightly, turn to left then lower a little. Should be able to see and remove left rod and clip. Then it should slide out sideways. I had to remove tailgate band for more space. Takes time and a lot of patience. I'm going to use wire wheel brush to remove excess surface rust, ultrasonic cleaning, then painting. Then remove both latches, clean and lubricate. After I am finished if it does not work better, then I am going to replace all parts with new.

Hope this is somewhat helpful.
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:22 PM   #8
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Re: Tailgate Handle Assembly

Have been working on tailgate handle assembly this week. Found in the past, handle got bent causing binding and handle not going all the way up. Still working on it, not being in a hurry. Cleaning and painting. Got 1 day away from being finished, the other part-time driver went down today. 2001 Hyundai Elantra. Had to have it towed to shop.

So, I had to remove tailgate so I can drive to work. Still have handle and latches off waiting to be painted. I noticed taking tailgate off, right side has a lot of play between the trunion and gate. Is this normal or should it only have a little as the left side has? Trunion looks ok and left and right are the same part #. I was thinking it might need a spacer but not sure.
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