There are tailgate panels in certain brands of auto wagons manufactured from the 1980s and 1990s that easily break off from the tailgate at the top of the glass after they've been used or abused sufficiently.
This tendency is more due to age and design flaws than from wear and tear, although the latter is also a factor thanks to the tailgate being always vulnerable to slamming and contact with the trunk. This then results in the mounting clips to get torn off. With that in mind, let's talk about how to replace your tailgate panel and how to avail of replacement parts.
It's also better to get a whole repair kit is better than simply getting the panel because it includes extras such as improved mounting brackets, screws, retention clips, and repair tools to fix any broken holes up. These kits have all the necessary hardware and installation instructions included in their package.
Tips to Get the Right Tailgate Repair Kit
- Complete Tailgate Replacement versus Tailgate Panel Replacement: It's obviously more expensive to buy a whole tailgate assembly replacement than simply getting replacement panels for panels that have broken or fallen off of your tailgate. Cross your fingers and hope that you only need to repair the upper portion of your damaged tailgate with a requisite tailgate repair kit.
- Replacing Your Tailgate or Tailgate Panel: Usually, you only need to snap back the tailgate panel unto your tailgate with the right clips or fasteners, tailgate bar, or retainer mounts, and you're good to go. With a tailgate itself, it gets harder. First you need to remove the tailgate liner and remaining access panels. Some of them use Torx bolts to ensure hard removal of the liner, so get a Torx driver for the job.
- Removing the Tailgate Handle Itself: After you've removed the tailgate panel, which should be easy because the Torx bolts are also the fasteners keeping it on, you should then remove the nuts holding the tailgate itself in place with a socket and ratchet. These nuts can be the 10 millimeter variety, but this can vary from vehicle to vehicle. Pull the handle out. Tailgates are replaceable car parts that tend to break because the inside mechanism gets frozen or stuck.
- Installing the New Tailgate: Before going through tailgate installation, you must first spray oil unto the mechanism and the latches on either side until it penetrates through them. Apply white grease on them as well for good measure. The lube ensures everything is moving freely. Afterwards, just put the new tailgate on the area with the two nuts you removed earlier with the same socket and ratchet. Also reinstall the panel and liner you removed as well with the appropriate tools.