How to Fix a Chevrolet Silverado Tailgate

by Chris Moore
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Some problems on your Chevy Silverado's tailgate door can be pretty simple to fix. Issues like a messed-up alignment or a handle that doesn't seem to work can often be things that simply require adjustment or reconnection. In some cases, you will likely need to disconnect the tailgate form the truck to make such adjustments. If there are other more complicated problems, especially related to body damage, you might need to remove the tailgate and replace it.

Step 1

Open the truck's tailgate. Detach the retaining cables by lifting their spring retainers upward and sliding their cables off the pins. Remove the bolt at the tailgate's lower right hinge for a 2001 Silverado or later.

Step 2

Lower the tailgate to where its hinge pocket on the right side aligns with the hinge pin and can be disconnected. Lift the right side of the tailgate off the right hinge pin. Disconnect the left hinge pin, which is connected to the tailgate, by sliding the tailgate to the right to remove it from the truck; you'll need an extra person to support its weight.

Step 3

Adjust the position of the latch strikers on the rear frame if the tailgate's alignment is an issue. Loosen the strikers with a Torx bit to change their positions; make small adjustments at a time.

Step 4

Loosen and move the latches for the tailgate handle if needed. Pry off the handle bezel with a trim tool or flat screwdriver, remove the handle mounting bolts on the back end and detach the handle's control rods to reach the latch. Loosen the latch's mounting bolts to adjust its position and then reassemble the handle.

Step 5

Reconnect the control rods to the handle if you see that they have broken off--this is the leading cause of a handle no longer working. Use a sturdy wire to link the rod back with the handle--something as simple as a twist-tie can work.

Step 6

Install the old tailgate or a new one in the reverse order of removal. Slide the left-side hinge pin into the frame and position the right-side hinge pocket onto the body hinge pin. Reconnect the retaining cables to their pins.

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