I will tell you how to overcome the 2008-2016 Dodge Ram Tailgate won’t open in this guide. A widespread problem with trucks is that the tailgate gets stuck in the closed position. Poor latch and dirty mechanisms are often responsible for this. At least there is a way you can do so that the tailgate can function normally again. First, you can replace the latch, and second, you can try using WD-40 liquid to clean the tailgate mechanism from rust and dirt.
How To Replace Tailgate Latch on Your Ram Truck
If you want to replace the tailgate handle on a Dodge Ram, you’ll need a new latch, a t30 Torx driver, and an 8-mm socket with a ratchet. If your tailgates are stuck open, you can remove the inner skin with the tailgate closed. Release the latch and replace it is reasonably straightforward. Then you can restore your tailgate to proper operating condition.
Anyway, follow these steps to replace your tailgate latch.
- Remove the eight Torx t30 screws on the inside of the tailgate. If your truck has a plastic tailgate cover, you will want to reach back and hold the steel against the inside of the tailgate as you remove the plastic and inner cover.
- The operation of the latch in the middle is that when it opens, it presses down and rotates the mechanism. But the latch itself can be broke, the tailgate mechanism can be snapped off, the plastic can break, and light rods can come out of their clips. It means you’re only releasing one side of the tailgate. In any case, you can either manually turn it in if your latch is broken. Also, you can pull in on the latch rods to release the tailgate and bring it down.
- Use an 8-mm socket and ratchet to remove the two 8-mm nuts on the back of the latch. Support the latch before removing the nuts entirely. Pull down on the bottom of the latch, slide it down, and you can remove it from the tailgate. Old parts that rot and break will not return to their position. That would make some tailgate functions awkward. In addition, the plastic can wear out because you open and close the tailgate many times. It was stressed and locked, which caused the tailgate to be stuck and closed. If your old latch is rusted and the snaps on the plastic are broken, the new part you bought will fit just like your original kit, and that will solve the tailgate problem.
- Put the handle back on the tailgate. Make sure the alignment pins on the latch handles are in the proper slots on both sides.
- Once the pins are aligned, adjust the latch to the studs on the back of the tailgate handle.
- Reinstall the two 8 mm nuts, tighten them with the socket and ratchet.
- Check the operation of the latch before closing the tailgate. Lock the latch closed on both sides, pull the handle, and make sure the latch is released on both sides. Now you know that you can open and close the tailgate properly.
- Now put the steel door back on the top of the tailgate.
- Start bolting it, attaching the plastic tailgate cover as well, and eight Torx t30 screws. But if your tailgate doesn’t have a plastic cover, then skip this step.
- Finally, close the tailgate and make sure the latch is working correctly.
Use WD-40 Fluid to fix A Stuck Dodge Ram Tailgate.
The Dodge Ram tailgate won’t open or stuck because the operating mechanism is dirty or full of rust, so it cannot move smoothly. To fix this, you’ll need to unscrew the Torx t27 or t30 on the tailgate first. Then spray the WD-40 liquid with the attached straw to reach all the problematic areas.
Do this on each part of the tailgate mechanism in the middle and left or right edges. After that, let the tailgate for a few minutes to remove all the dirt. Then try using the latch, and feel whether it feels smooth? If so, then you know if your truck’s tailgate is working normally again. However, if the tailgate problem persists, you will most likely have to inspect it more closely and replace the other damaged parts or not work correctly.
Ryan Daniel is a car enthusiast, and he has years of experience in the automotive field as an engineer. Now he is also active as an automobile blogger and member of the auto community.