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1999 Chevrolet Silverado body / paint problems: tailgate won't open

Tailgate Won't Open

6.0

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
$1.00
Average Mileage:
115,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replace brocken plastic connector with a zip-tie (1 reports)
1999 Chevrolet Silverado body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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1999 Chevrolet Silverado Owner Comments

problem #2

Sep 092008

Silverado V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

click to see larger images

tailgate won't open tailgate won't open tailgate won't open

The tailgate handle would not release the latches of the tailgate, and the action of the handle felt strange. After removing the handle trim - I noticed that the levers of the handle were joined to the rods that actuated the latches (at the sides of the tailgate) by a red (driver side) and green (passenger side) plastic connector. The green one had cracked, and it would not pull the right rod properly to release the right latch. I used two zip ties (with eyelets) to hold the plastic connector to the rod and handle lever. It works like new.

The handle trim is held in place by molded-in (built on to the trim) compression snaps. I broke the snaps removing mine, and I haven't bothered replacing it or finding a work around. I think it is difficult to remove it without this happening; because, I have begun to notice allot of other Chevy trucks on the road with the same handle trim missing. I believe it is only a cosmetic issue, but it might cause future problems due to increased moisture buildup in the tailgate. I don't have water sloshing around in my tailgate; so, I'm not concerned.

I believe I also had to remove my tailgate bed liner to remove bolts that drop out the handle-lever assembly. You might only have to remove the two bolts that are accessible on the inside-center of the tailgate - without messing with the bed liner. I don't recall.

I was frustrated that I had to go through the trouble of fixing a cheap plastic snap when Chevy should have used more durable connectors, but the problem was thankfully quick, easy, and cheap to fix (less than $1 for some zip-ties I had around).

This might not be the reason your tailgate isn't opening. It could also have been a jammed or broken handle (probably noticeable by the way the handle reacts when you try to lift it), broken connector where one of the rods meets its latch (I don't know how the rods attach to the latches, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some more cheap plastic being used), a broken latch (a broken spring or buildup in the latch track could take one out), or something as simple as the exact-right-size piece of whatever you were hauling jammed in the space between the bed and bottom of the tailgate (this would more than likely keep you from closing the tailgate before it stopped you from being able to open it). I guess it could also be bent metal on the tailgate or hinge are where the tailgate connects, but you would have most likely noticed this due to the required force to cause it (a collision or someone being careless with a loader bucket).

- , Montevallo, AL, USA

problem #1

Mar 162007

(reported on)

Silverado LS 4.3

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

My wife needs to lift a large, heavy bag out of the rear of the truck several times a week, and this is making it very difficult for her. Plus, it's damned annoying not to be able to open it.

The handle seems to have become disconnected from the latching mechanism. I can't find any information about how to fix the problem, and the dealerships want up to $250 to fix it.

We've owned this truck since new, and this is the first real problem it's given us.

- , Claremore, OK, USA

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