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RRC Upper Tailgate Repair


Shackleton
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My upper tail gate has given up. Structurally its perfect - no rust, but the latches are dead. They just don't hold it closed for any length of time. The first bump I go over and the NS one pops and the OS is never far behind. It's opening of its own accord and I'm getting gassed every time I drive it. Now I can't use the boot cause I've had to tie the upper gate down from the inside.

Thing is I've tried to figure out how the hell you remove old ones and put new ones on. The mechanism seems to have been put together by some magical force. It doesn't seem possible to actually take it apart without breaking/cutting one or more bits of it.

Has anyone actually replaced the locking mechanism on an upper RRC tailgate without replacing the whole frame/glass?

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The keeps on the body are very adjustable as well, i would start tinkering with these bits rather than looking at the complex and costly task of replacing stuff...

Have adjusted the little tabs every which way over the course of a few months but never considered that the latches were adjustable. Figured that they were just worn and that was that. I suppose giving them more slack is the way to go?

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Don't forget that the latches have return springs fitted.

When they get worn the end of the 'hook' wears down and this is what holds the latch against the lock pins - try moving the pins up or down so that they engage further into the hook shape on the catch.

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True enough the latches are not expensive new, (Bought mine from Island 4x4). However ease of changing has a lot to do with how rusty your tailgate is in that area.

When I replaced mine I was able to remove the upper screw with the nut, but the lower screw is tapped into the bottom rail of the frame. Combined with a cross-headed screw they are not easy to extract when rusted up. I ended up drilling the head of this screw to remove the latch body.

If you are lucky, you may be able to work the remaining stud free with help from a few gallons of WD40 and mole grips.

I was not this lucky, I ended up drilling down the middle of the screw and retapping it M6. This was a real a45e of a job. Make sure you have an assistant to hold the tailgate steady while drilling.

There's some advice on latch adjustment here.

Patience and persistence is the key to this job, and it is a job worth doing. I hate seeing slide bolts screwed to the corner pillars to keep the tailgate shut.

Sounds like you won't be having this much grief as you have a rust free frame :)

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