Ford Ranger How-to: Troubleshooting the Tailgate Handle
Can things get any more frustrating when after carrying dozens of bags and boxes from your house to your car, you can't seem to open the tailgate? How are you supposed to load all of your stuff now? You're also running late for all the fun things you and your kids are going to do for camping today! We understand the frustration; for a guy as busy as you, there is just no way to justify the tailgate handle ruining your much deserved break with the family. Worry no more; this troubleshooting article is designed to help you out and get you right on the road in a jiffy. Read on.
Working around the plastic encasing from the inside panel of the tailgate
The tailgate handle may be jammed because of some minor issues inside the mechanism. To remedy this, pry the plastic housing of the handle from the interior side of the rear door panel. Check the rod running from the handle to the side latches of the tailgate and remove any dirt that may be causing the blockage. Replace the handle and the plastic encasing, and try pulling the tailgate handle again to open it.
Dismantling the side latches of the tailgate
If the model of your Ford Ranger is of early origin, the side latches should be clearly visible to the naked eye. Pry the latches open with a flathead screwdriver, until it gives way and opens the tailgate. You will need another set of hands to do this, since both side latches should be released simultaneously for this troubleshooting method to work. If your Ford Ranger is fairly new, detach the plastic encasing that covers the latches. You should see it screwed unto the side panels of the truck; it is also a bit elevated to meet the height of the tailgate. After you unscrewed the encasing, proceed to doing the same steps mentioned earlier. Fair warning, though; you should only pull on the latches with controlled strength, just enough to pry it open. Extreme force will cause the latch to totally come unwound, causing you worse troubles locking the tailgate back.