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Dave Nova
Dave Nova, Chevrolet Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 19450
Experience:  ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
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Chevrolet Z71(2005) tailgate latch wont open. ideas????

Customer Question

Chevrolet Z71(2005) tailgate latch won't open. ideas????
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.
Does the glass not open or the whole liftgate or neither?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No....there's no glass. The tailgate on back of my pick-up truck seems stuck and won't release so I can lower the tailgate......
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.

Okay, was thinking liftgate, not tailgate. The rod retainers break at the handle and the rods no longer release the latches. Follow instructions below to repair. The plastic retainers can be purchased at any parts store. Be careful when removing the bezel not to break the tabs that hold it in.


Object Number:(NNN) NNN-NNNN Size: SF


Component Name


Integral Adhesive Foam Blocks


  1. Release the adhesive blocks after the upper retaining tabs are released.
  2. Install the latch handle bezel with the endgate in the closed position.
  3. Clean the sheet metal at the right and left sides of the bezel opening with an alcohol wipe prior to the bezel installation.
  4. Peel the protective tape liner from the foam block on both sides.
  5. Seat the bezel at the bottom of the opening in the endgate.
  6. Roll the bezel forward seating and securing the upper integral locking tabs.
  7. Apply palm pressure to both outer edges of the bezel in order to wet out the adhesive foam blocks.


Integral Locking Tabs - Upper

Gently pry downward with a small flat-bladed tool at the two locations in order to release the upper retaining tabs.


Integral Retention Tabs - Lower


Pick Up Box Endgate Latch Handle Bezel Replacement

Once in position, gently wet out the adhesive foam blocks to the endgate panel.



Object Number: 347054  Size: SH

  • Disengage the linkage rods (1).
  • Customer: replied 7 years ago.
    Local auto parts store didn't have the endgate latch handle bezel replacement. ?Dealership?? How can I "jimmy" the endgate down. What can I do with a file or screwdriver to release the latch??
    Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.
    The parts store will not have bezel that will have to be aquired at dealer. The parts store will have the rod retainers. To open tailgate, with bezel removed, grasp rods and pull inward (toward center of tailgate).
    Customer: replied 7 years ago.
    I still don't understand how to open the tailgate and fix it. Too many mechanical terms that I just don't understand. Sorry Man......
    Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.

    In the illustration below, the rod #1 attaches to the handle at the center. There is another identical rod on the right side as well (not shown in the illustration). Make sure the rods are connected to the handle. The plastic retainers that attach the rods to the handle sometimes break.


    Customer: replied 7 years ago.
    OK.......I did understand that, but I can't get the handle out of the hole in the tailgate so I can grab the handles with my pliers...
    Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.

    Remove the bezel (black plastic piece around the handle). This will give you plenty of room to access the rods.


    The bezel is held in place with two clips #2 in picture below. You can release the clips with a thin screwdriver blade placed between the bezel and the tailgate. Tape the blade of the screwdriver to avoid scratching the paint on your tailgate.


    Customer: replied 7 years ago.
    OK......much better part identification. My bezel has no exposed clips, are they somehow behind the bezel(eg inside of the tailgate)????
    Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.
    The clips are not exposed. They are behind the bezel. Try Placing the blade of the screwdriver between the bezel and the tailgate above the handle and pushing down to release the clips.
    Customer: replied 7 years ago.
    Do the clips release, or could they "break" off. Can you send me a diagram/picture of where on the bezel I need to plant the screwdriver???
    Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.

    The clips could break off if you are not careful. The clips are at location #2 in the illustration below.


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