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03 tacoma tail gate latch

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Red rocket22, Aug 6, 2022 at 12:22 AM.

  1. Aug 6, 2022 at 12:22 AM
    #1
    Red rocket22

    Red rocket22 [OP] Member

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    My 03 Tacoma’s tailgate has a hard time closing. I can not get it to latch just by closing the tail gate normally. Only way I can close it is if I open the handle then let go once it is in place. How can u fix this?
     
  2. Aug 6, 2022 at 3:16 AM
    #2
    Madjik_Man

    Madjik_Man The Rembrandt of Rattle Can

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    Lube up all the moving parts specifically the latch.
     
    Red rocket22 [OP] and nagorb like this.
  3. Aug 6, 2022 at 7:26 AM
    #3
    CrippledOldMan

    CrippledOldMan Well-Known Member

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    I had to take mine apart after my brother slammed it shut. A plastic piece got knocked out of place. Since then I only close by holding the handle and letting it go gently. I haven't had any problems after the fix. Same goes for the glove box, hold the handle to close it, when you let go give it a gentle push until it clicks. Slamming it shut will only shorten its life span.
     
    Red rocket22 [OP] likes this.
  4. Aug 6, 2022 at 7:48 AM
    #4
    4xdog

    4xdog Well-Known Member

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    The tailgate on my 2003 is, I think, a little sprung out-of-square from lawn & garden stuff hauled by its previous owner. I have to push extra hard on the passenger side to get it to latch.

    The alignment of my gate could probably be improved, and the the closing too. I haven't fooled with it. Just not that big a deal right now.

    But maybe you could check that your tailgate is closing "square"?
     
    Red rocket22 [OP] likes this.
  5. Aug 6, 2022 at 11:28 AM
    #5
    Bivouac

    Bivouac Well-Known Member

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    That is how I always close my tail gate keeps from breaking things.

    On every pick up I have ever had or used.

    Also things get lubed every oil change or when I walk past with the spray lube in hand.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022 at 11:37 AM
    Red rocket22 [OP] and Oldman808 like this.
  6. Aug 7, 2022 at 3:12 PM
    #6
    zero4

    zero4 Metal Cutter

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    Yup, mine got like that eventually, had to pull up on the handle to get it to close. I greased the latches (not the handle), both sides. Closes fine now just like it used to.
     
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  7. Aug 7, 2022 at 4:02 PM
    #7
    glwood6

    glwood6 Well-Known Member

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    Mine was exactly the same a while ago. I removed the plate on the inside of the tailgate, lubed everything up, including the latches, and now it closes with very little effort.
     
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  8. Aug 7, 2022 at 9:36 PM
    #8
    tacotres

    tacotres New Member

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    One of the tailgate cables broke at some point on mine before I owned it and the owner didn't bother replacing it, so the tailgate is a little out of square. I have to be gentle with the latch and push harder on the side that didn't have a cable to close or open it. Same thing happened to my grandma's. I replaced it but that's not gonna fix how much it's tweaked already :notsure:
     
    Red rocket22 [OP] likes this.

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