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Tailgate Handle

 Shop Tailgate Handle

It's easy to underestimate the importance of something as simple as a tailgate handle. Usually installed at near the top edge of your truck or SUV's tailgate, this handle provides you with the easiest way to pull the tailgate down. Without the use of a functional tailgate handle, you can't properly unlock the tailgate. And we all know how much more effort it takes when you have to load cargo into the vehicle with the tailgate closed. This is why you need to keep your vehicle's tailgate handle in perfect shape. When the tailgate handle fails to lock the tailgate in place or unlock and release the tailgate, replacing the handle mechanism remains the most practical and effective solution. And speaking of replacement, Carparts offers topnotch tailgate handles from reputable manufacturers in the industry. Check our tailgate handle catalogs now!

• Ensures easy opening and locking of a truck or SUV's tailgate

• Designed to fit a wide variety of trucks and SUVs

• Can be custom-painted to match your vehicle's appearance

Tailgate Handle Articles

  • Tailgate Handles: Dorman and Replacement Go Head-to-Head

    Tailgate handles aren't really parts to brag or write home about, but ask any pickup truck driver, and they'll tell you that these are nonetheless invaluable. Unless you particularly enjoy lifting everything out of your cab, a handle is a must. There are many brands out there, and sometimes it's difficult to pick out the best one. We make it so much easier for you by picking two very popular brands. Does name-brand Dorman rule the market with its top-notch handles? Or is Replacement a viable alternative? Read on and find out as these two go head-to-head.

    Overall quality

    This might seem like a no-brainer. After all, Dorman is indeed a highly-respected and renowned German brand that has years of positive reviews going for it. But that's really just one end of the spectrum here. The thing you need to ask yourself is just how much quality do you need. Replacement might not have a super premium feel, but it isn't likely to simply break down on you with constant use. Still based on excellent workmanship and quality materials used, it's a clear-cut result.

    WINNER: Dorman

    Price point

    Balancing out the stakes, Replacement is at an advantage here. All of the premium branding and workmanship that goes into Dorman products necessarily means a higher price point. Replacement succeeds by having some of the most affordable price points anywhere in the auto parts market. There are some cases where you can get two of the same type of tailgate handle from Replacement for the price of one from Dorman.

    WINNER: Replacement

    Catalog choices

    Surprisingly enough, Replacement sorts a greater variety when it comes to choice for a tailgate handle. The designs range from basic plastic to even chrome-layered plastic. This displays a surprising diversity in the brand's portfolio and could be a game changer in the market. Dorman focuses on meeting OE-standards for their handles-closely matching the original as much as possible. So, if a new design is up your alley, then you will certainly agree that there is but one winner.

    WINNER: Replacement


    Replacement is a clear winner when it comes to value and diversity of choice-a perfect replacement on the fly. Dorman, however, is the go-to brand if you want quality and do not mind at all spending a little more for it.

  • How to Install a Tailgate Handle in Six Steps

    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.

  • How to Install a New Tailgate Handle

    Your truck or pickup's tailgate handle is usually integrated into the tailgate latch assembly. This handle allows you to open and close the tailgate, making it easier for you to load and unload cargo into the truck or pickup's bed. But when rust begins to corrode the steel supports connecting the handle to the latch, the handle may break, leaving you with a useless truck bed. Installing a new tailgate handle will take you about 30 minutes and here's a guide to help you out.

    Required skill level: Novice

    Needed tool and materials:

    1. Needle-nose pliers
    2. Penetrating lubricant
    3. 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
    4. A new replacement tailgate handle

    Preparing for the task

    Using your hands, remove the bezel around the tailgate handle. Remember that truck or pickup tailgate handles are installed differently depending on your vehicle's make and model. On the opposite side of your truck's tailgate handle, inspect the tailgate and check the nut or nuts securing the old handle.

    Removing the old tailgate handle

    Use a 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set to unfasten the old tailgate handle from your vehicle's tailgate. If you are having a hard time removing the securing bolt, spray a little penetrating lubricant around the bolt and let it sit for a while. The bolt might have rusted out and the lubricant will help you loosen it a bit. Again, use the ratchet and socket set to remove the bolt securing the tail gate handle. Pull the old handle from the truck's tailgate and set it aside.

    Installing a new tailgate handle

    Since the old tailgate handle has been removed, inspect the latching mechanism inside the truck or pickup's sheet metal. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove all the clips holding the handle to the tailgate latching linkage. Carefully lift the tailgate away from the truck. Install the tailgate latching linkage to the new tailgate handle. Insert the new replacement tailgate handle into position in the tailgate's frame. Apply pressure when pushing the new handle into the truck or pickup's tailgate. Use a 3/8-inch ratchet and socket to secure the new handle into place. Push the tailgate's bezel back and lock into place. Open and close the tailgate to test if the new handle is closing properly.