The tailgate handle on a Ford Ranger is integrated into the entire tailgate lock. If one of the two steel brackets that connect the handle to the bolt begins to rust, the handle can break and then render inoperative the tailgate. Fortunately, replacing the tailgate handle / lock on a Ford Ranger is well within the mechanical capabilities of most vehicle owners. You just need a few simple tools and an hour or two.
Things you need
wooden blocks or wheel chocks
Removing the tailgate handle
Apply the parking brake or block the wheels and rear tires, using wooden blocks or wheel chocks.
Lower the tailgate. Using your hand, pull open the tailgate handle and lower the tailgate horizontal.
Remove the screws that secure the tailgate access panel to the frame of the tailgate, using a Phillips screwdriver. The access panel is located on the inside of the tailgate.
Locate the driver side tailgate latch link. It will be fixed on the bolt by a plastic retainer. Rotate clip up and then pull the link near the tailgate latch, using needlenose pliers.
Locate the passenger side link tailgate latch. It will be fixed on the bolt by a plastic retainer. Rotate clip up and then pull the link near the tailgate latch, using needlenose pliers.
Remove the two screws that secure the tailgate lock to frame the tailgate, using a socket.
Pull the latch of the tailgate frame and remove the vehicle.
Installing a tailgate handle
Insert the new liftgate lock / handle in position under the tailgate.
Screw the two screws that secure the chassis to lock the tailgate, using a socket.
Insert the passenger side tailgate latch link in the keyhole. Turn the plastic clip on the release link.
Insert the driver's side tailgate latch link in the keyhole. Turn the plastic clip on the release link.
Slide the cover of the access panel over the hole in the tailgate. Tighten the screws that secure the access panel to the chassis of the tailgate.
Lift the tailgate.
Tips & Warnings
Auto salvage yards are a good place to locate hard to find body parts.
If the handle breaks while the tailgate is in the closed position and then use a flat-blade screwdriver to manually open the latches at each end of the tailgate.
Cargo must be properly secured in the bed of your pickupâ € ™ before driving the vehicle. Not doing so could cause an accident.