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2015 Tailgate Won't Open- broken/disconnected latch

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by StevenL, Oct 26, 2022.

  1. Oct 26, 2022 at 5:39 PM
    #1
    StevenL

    StevenL [OP] New Member

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    First Name:
    Steve
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    Tacoma 2015 - 4-Door - Short Bed
    2015 PreRunner double cab - 5' bed

    Question
    Looking for Information on how to open tailgate when the handle is not working.

    Situation
    In 2016 I installed a Pop & Lock, locking handle with a backup camera (see photo). Fast-forward to 2022 and the handle decides to disengage from the rods (I assume since the handle moves with no resistance). The tailgate is currently in the upright latched position. I removed the torx screws holding the plastic liner but I cannot get it to budge.

    Things that I know or see
    • Removing the inner panel: Normally, you would have the tailgate laying flat and lift the plastic liner from the bottom and slide it toward the truck and lift to remove - this is not possible in this position. Note that the panel is lipped under the protective channel on top of the tailgate so you cannot just pull out.
    • Side Channels: I see two protruding channels (yellow sticker) attached to the side panels [one on each side (see photo)] adjacent to the tailgate with two exposed bolts (at the top) each. These look promising to get at the latch, but they look like they would have to slide toward the rear to come out and the tailgate is in the way because they are also lipped under the protective plastic attached to the top of the bed sides.
    Any insight would be greatly appreciated. We are moving in two weeks and I need my Truck!

    Thanks,
    Steve

    20221026_170821.jpg

    20221026_170809.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2022
  2. Oct 26, 2022 at 6:05 PM
    #2
    JaxJacket

    JaxJacket Well-Known Member

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    2013 same thing. It's been a while, but I'm pretty sure I managed to slide the inner panel out. Maybe just pull the top cover off and pry the liner out enough to get your hand in? Don't remember the details though.
     
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  3. Oct 26, 2022 at 6:56 PM
    #3
    TnShooter

    TnShooter The TacomaWorld Stray

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    StevenL[OP] likes this.
  4. Oct 26, 2022 at 7:29 PM
    #4
    Soul Surfer

    Soul Surfer Jimi Was Last Seen: Chillin’

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  5. Oct 27, 2022 at 7:47 AM
    #5
    StevenL

    StevenL [OP] New Member

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    Tacoma 2015 - 4-Door - Short Bed
    Thank you for the responses..... I have the truck in the garage to warm up before I try to pry off the plastic trim cap later today. In the meantime if anyone has other insights - please share.

    I'll document my efforts - good and bad.
     
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  6. Oct 27, 2022 at 1:00 PM
    #6
    StevenL

    StevenL [OP] New Member

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    Tacoma 2015 - 4-Door - Short Bed
    Thank you all.

    After watching the video, linked above, I was able to remove the top trim from the tailgate and force my gloved hand down inside and pull one of the locking rods to release the tailgate. The only advice that I can offer is the attached photo of the trim so that you can see how it is held on and that starting in the middle (rotating upwards from the outside) was key, because there is not as much room for rotational movement at the either end.

    After that it was simple... just spend $100 for a new PL5400 and wait for it to arrive. In the meantime I can open and close the tailgate to access truck bed again. Thank you all again for your assistance.
    20221027_125539.jpg
     
    Soul Surfer likes this.
  7. Oct 27, 2022 at 1:05 PM
    #7
    Soul Surfer

    Soul Surfer Jimi Was Last Seen: Chillin’

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    West Central Florida Coast
    Very good. I’ve read on TW Forums that some people have attached a piece of masonry line (string) to the latch mechanism and ran it down and put it out the lower portion of the tailgate through a drain hole. This way if you have a problem again being locked out, you can get it open.


    Hope all goes well! :cheers:
     

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