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Old 04-24-2019, 03:33 PM   #1
shifty
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$0 tailgate rattle fix

Seems these trucks are notorious for being noisy while driving. I got rid of another noise today for free so I'm sharing.

For way too long I thought my bed was loose. Drive around, hit a bump, sounded like I had a bowling ball rolling around back there.

Realized today it's the tailgate latch letting the tailgate bounce around. Granted, I also see my right (PS) hinge (the open-end hinge) is a bit out of round, but that's another story.

Start fiddling with it and I notice this rubber bushing on the latch. If I nudge the tailgate, the bushing is allowing the whole tailgate to move around. It's supposed to be plump enough to offer resistance and keep the gate still.

I slid mine off, easy enough. As you can see, after 20 years of mostly-closed operation, the dang thing is permanently dented in from where the ears on the latch meet it. Not very effective for keeping it all tight-tight.

GM includes this part with a new latch assembly. But they don't show it on any exploded diagrams I could find. The replacement part number is GM 15531055 ("Latch Insulator") and is apparently damn hard to find. GM Parts Giant had some. Pic below.

(more on next reply)
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Old 04-24-2019, 03:38 PM   #2
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Re: $0 tailgate rattle fix

I went ahead and bought some, $17 shipped for a pair, but meanwhile I wanted a quieter ride.

For what it's worth, that's a better deal. Latch assembly (OEM) with the bushing was $80/ea and the strikers are just under $20. I don't have $200+ to throw at my truck right now, dunno about y'all.

I found you could just take these things, slide them out, flip them so the taller nubs are facing towards the front of the truck, and it effectively fixes the problem.

It's a little tough to get the rubber insulator around the initial 90 bend, once you do, pull the tailgate handle to remove the insulator, flip it over, and reinstall with the tall nubs facing towards the tailgate, lift the handle to open the latch, slide it in and around the 90 to the tall nubs point towards the front of the truck when closed.

Your tailgate may sit a couple of millimeters outside the body line, but ... it's tight, and doesn't sound like I have a bowling ball rolling around in my bed anymore when I'm on bumpy roads.

Night and day difference though. Wish I'd had done it sooner.
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Last edited by shifty; 04-24-2019 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 05-07-2019, 04:43 PM   #3
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Re: $0 tailgate rattle fix

Went ahead and spent the $14 shipped to replace the lower bumpers while I was at it. One was totally gone, the other was melted/mushroomed.

Tailgate is quiet as a mouse with a broken squeeker now!
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:27 PM   #4
1976gmc20
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Re: $0 tailgate rattle fix

I looked at the latch bumpers on mine and the rubber is completely flat on the back side.

So either some years are different, or mine have been replaced with a cheap version, although I can't imagine the previous owner replacing anything that didn't absolutely have to be done (worse than me, even!).
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