The tailgate handle is one of the most used components in a truck as you have to open and close it many times when loading and unloading your cargo. So, when your vehicle's old handle gets broken, you need to fix or replace it as soon as possible. The good news is, installing a new tailgate handle is pretty easy and straightforward.
Required skill level: Intermediate
Needed tools and materials
Set of 3/8 drive torx bit sockets
10 mm socket
Opening the tailgate
Lower your truck's tailgate. If this is not possible because of the damage that the old tailgate handle has taken, use the appropriate torx head and remove all the screws located on the inside of the tailgate. Grab the two rods running from the center out to the outboard hinges and pull them at the same time-this will finally open the tailgate.
Removing the tailgate rods
Remove the two rods attached to the brake handle crank on the inside of the tailgate. Just use a screwdriver to push down on the plastic locks that are attached to the lock handle. Once you have opened the locks, pull the rods up and off the old tailgate handle.
Removing the old tailgate handle
Remove the old tailgate handle using a 10 mm socket and ratchet to take out the nuts holding it on the tailgate. Lift the component out of the front of the tailgate and discard it.
Installing the new tailgate handle
Place the new tailgate handle in front of the gate. Then, attach the hold-down nuts and tighten them securely.
Reattaching the tailgate rods
Place one rod at a time. Position the first rod to snap it into the handle. Pull on the rod just until you can feel the spring tension; pulling it down further will open the tailgate. Once you have felt the spring tension, push the rod down in to the lock on the handle and push the snap back on to hold it in place. Then, do the same thing to the other rod.
Testing the new tailgate handle
Try the new tailgate handle a couple of times to see if you have adjusted it correctly. If there's something wrong with it, open the lock on the rods and tighten them a little. Finally, reinstall the inner cover on the tailgate with the torx screws.