Tailgate latch stuck

Jaywalter

New member
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Western Australia
Hi,
First time post but been reading the forums for a few months now as I try to get more familiar with my Bronco.
Encountered my first problem.
I’ve had the rear window down, and opened the tailgate. I’ve then gone to close the tailgate and found the drivers side of the tailgate sticking out.
opening the tailgate, I’ve then tried to close it again to find the same problem when I close it.
Looking at it more closely, I’ve seen the latch isn’t sitting right any more with one side closed, the other side half open. I’ve used a set of multi grips and a flat head screwdriver along with some WD-40 and grease but had no luck getting it right again.
I now can’t close my tailgate properly and don’t know what to do.
Anyone encountered this before?
Pics below.
I couldn’t find anything like this in my research.
811F9D1D-633D-4F2C-A840-A985067863BC.jpeg
 

miesk5

96 Bronco 5.0
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
7,863
Location
Coronado, CA
Yo Jay,
Welcome!

You probably just need to rinse it out with Liquid Wrench (not WD-40; too much wax) or some other penetrating oil. If it still won't latch, put the glass up ; pull the access panel. Inspect the operating rod that runs from the center mechanism to that latch to make sure it's not bent, keeping the latch released. If the rod is SLIGHTLY slack and the latch is clean & lubed, but won't catch, replace the latch.


If it latches with the t/g open but not EVERY time that you close it, trace a circle around the big washer (for reference) and then shift the strike post rearward ~1/32" at a time until it latches or you've gone 1/4". If it still won't latch, then you need to move the post up or down to align it.

http://www.superford.org/getfile.php?id=71412&toggle=fullsize&f=Mechanism Inside.JPG

'83-96 looks just like an '80-86 door strike bolt."
Is striker bolt loose or needs adjustment?
Striker Bolt/Bushing Parts Break-Out Diagram;
wmtailgate-torsion-8396.jpg
"...The strike bolt is the only thing in this diagram specific to '83-96. Everything else applies to '78-96..." by Steve

TG internal handle stuck up, not flat by BilePepe' @ https://www.fullsizebronco.com/threads/tailgate-latch-and-handle-just-jump-in.506476/



Also, what year do you have mate?
Al
 

Jaywalter

New member
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Western Australia
Yo Jay,
Welcome!

You probably just need to rinse it out with Liquid Wrench (not WD-40; too much wax) or some other penetrating oil. If it still won't latch, put the glass up ; pull the access panel. Inspect the operating rod that runs from the center mechanism to that latch to make sure it's not bent, keeping the latch released. If the rod is SLIGHTLY slack and the latch is clean & lubed, but won't catch, replace the latch.


If it latches with the t/g open but not EVERY time that you close it, trace a circle around the big washer (for reference) and then shift the strike post rearward ~1/32" at a time until it latches or you've gone 1/4". If it still won't latch, then you need to move the post up or down to align it.

http://www.superford.org/getfile.php?id=71412&toggle=fullsize&f=Mechanism Inside.JPG

'83-96 looks just like an '80-86 door strike bolt."
Is striker bolt loose or needs adjustment?
Striker Bolt/Bushing Parts Break-Out Diagram;
View attachment 21566
"...The strike bolt is the only thing in this diagram specific to '83-96. Everything else applies to '78-96..." by Steve

TG internal handle stuck up, not flat by BilePepe' @ https://www.fullsizebronco.com/threads/tailgate-latch-and-handle-just-jump-in.506476/



Also, what year do you have mate?
Al
Hi,
I have a 1987 Bronco.
It's the actual latch on the drivers side that latches the tailgate to the body when up. It's completely jammed in. Tried soaking it and cleaning it up and despite loosening a couple of bits up, it hasn't freed up that one side of the hinge. Other than pulling it completely apart and rebuilding it which doesn't look likely, i'm on the hunt for one out of a wreck.
Living in Western Australia - there's not too many Bronco's in these parts!
 

AzCritter

New member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Glendale, Az
Hi,
First time post but been reading the forums for a few months now as I try to get more familiar with my Bronco.
Encountered my first problem.
I’ve had the rear window down, and opened the tailgate. I’ve then gone to close the tailgate and found the drivers side of the tailgate sticking out.
opening the tailgate, I’ve then tried to close it again to find the same problem when I close it.
Looking at it more closely, I’ve seen the latch isn’t sitting right any more with one side closed, the other side half open. I’ve used a set of multi grips and a flat head screwdriver along with some WD-40 and grease but had no luck getting it right again.
I now can’t close my tailgate properly and don’t know what to do.
Anyone encountered this before?
Pics below.
I couldn’t find anything like this in my research.
View attachment 21560
Hey Jay, I was removing tint from my rear window. In order to get window up you have to pull the jaws of the latch like they are engaged. Unfortunately mine looks exactly like the picture of your latch. I tried pulling on the linkage arm that operates the latch itself. But unless its unhooked from the handle assembly it wont move enough to unlock the latch. Did you have any luck getting yours to work? No amount of lube will help.
 

AzCritter

New member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Glendale, Az
Hey there Jay, just an update. On my 96 Bronco to resolve the problem we were both experiencing. I removed the rear trim panel on tailgate, then removed the access panel to window and motor. The linkage to each side of tailgate is easy to locate. I unhooked the end of the linkage at the handle. Grabbed the linkage rod with pliers and pulled on it while at same time using a prybar in between the stuck jaw. Pull on the rod and put some muscle into lifting the jaw that is stuck down in the closed position. This worked for me after rehooking end of linkage into back of handle. I have not had any problems with it since. Hope this helps?
 

miesk5

96 Bronco 5.0
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
7,863
Location
Coronado, CA
Yo,
Here's a better diagram;
tailgate-latch-8396.jpg
83-96 Bronco Tailgate Latches

ERRORS: there are several 6s & 7s...

1 - Tailgate Latch Remote Control
2 - Screw
3 - Tailgate Latch Release Handle
4 - Plug Button
5 - Rod Guide Clip
6 - Remote-to-Latch Link Rod
7 - Screw and Washer; tighten to 3-8 N-m (2-6 Lb-Ft)
8 - Tailgate Latch Bracket
9 - Interlock Rod
10 - Screw and Washer; tighten to 8-14 N-m (6-11 Lb-Ft)
11 - Rod Retainer Clip
12 - Guide Clip
13 - Bushing

78-82 tailgate latches are significantly different from '83-96. Because they mount differently in the tailgate, neither the latches nor the t/g skins will interchange across those years. This is the only significant difference on '78-96 Bronco tailgates.

.

Read much MORE @ https://www.supermotors.net/registry/2742/12689-2
 
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