How do I Open a Ford F150 Tailgate With a Broken Latch?

by Gregory Crews
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The tailgate on a Ford F-150 works from a rod that is attached to the handle. When the rod gets detached or warped, the handle fails to operate correctly. The workings of the handle can be replaced, but the tailgate needs to be lowered to make it easier to replace. The tailgate has a panel that is removable with a socket wrench and it should only take a few minutes to gain access to the back of the latch.

Step 1

Climb in the truck bed to access the back of the tail gate. The tailgate has a panel that can be unscrewed to manually release the tailgate.

Step 2

Unscrew the eight bolts at the top and back of the tailgate with a socket wrench. Pull the panel from the tailgate.

Step 3

Locate the latch assembly in the center of the tailgate. Pull the rod that is attached to the latch with a pair of channel locks. This releases the tailgate.

Step 4

Hold the tailgate with the other hand. Push out as the rod is pulled back. Allow the tailgate to slowly lower.

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