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Tailgate out of whack

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by kpanza, Nov 6, 2001.

  1. kpanza

    kpanza 1/2 ton status

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    Ok guys, hopefully someone can help me out here. Last weekend we did a run up to the Arrowhead area and I had a little problem come up with my tailgate. The ONE time I let my friend drive, well, we were spotting him over a little rockpile, and instead of coming off the last rock slowly like I said, well, he sort of launched right off of it and the trailer hitch and large rock made some awfully hard contact! It is the hardest my truck has ever hit. Anyway, upon hitting the rock, the right side of the tailgate came unlatched. When we started checking it out, we noticed that the tailgate was now positioned farther left than before, so much so that the locking latch mechanism will not lock onto the fixed tab on the bedside.

    My question is, do you think it is just a matter of the tailgate being loosened at the hinges and try to reposition it, or did the right rear quarter panel section move somehow? If someone could measure the distance between the left inner body panel and the right panel, both at top and bottom of tailgate, I would appreciate it. The reason for this is that the new "gap" between the tailgate and the body is larger at the top of the tailgate than the bottom by a little bit. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, would love to hear them, I plan on working on it this weekend when I get some time.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    My 81 is pretty messed up width wise in the rear...66 3/4" wide at the bottom, 67 1/2" at the top. My tailgate is currently shut but won't open (tub is bent for sure)
    The 82 I picked up from Texas the width was 67" + or - 1/8" top and bottom. This left a nice 1/8" body gap between the sides of the tailgate and the body.

    Open your tailgate and put a straight edge on the floor along the width of the floor. My floor on my 81 is high in the center and low at the corners with both sides angling outwards. The impact may have done something similar to your's...[​IMG]

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  3. RaisedK5

    RaisedK5 1/2 ton status

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    Hey Keith,

    I got 67 1/4 top and bottom, I think the impact bent something causing the bed side to angle out at the top, It was a good smack, and loud too, don't feel bad though, my reciever has a nice ding on it from the weekend and my rear bumper it bent up on the right.

    Leland aka RaisedK5

    "Of all the things I've lost, I think I miss my mind the most!"
    "Are the voices in my head bothering you?
     
  4. kpanza

    kpanza 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the measurements guys, I will check mine when I get home. I was thinking about it, and I might try something here: The latch that is attached to the bed side that catches the "locking part" in the tailgate is removable - so I was thinking about spacing it outwards with some washers to see if the latch will catch it?? Kind of a cheesy fix, but if something is bent on frame, etc, what else can I really do (besides spend a whole lotta cash!)

    I might try that, and if it works and the tailgate stays locked shut, I will be happy. If anyone else has any other ideas, I'd love to hear em!

    Leland, man, I have battle scars all over the place from the weekend: receiver hitch got gouged by that rock, rear 14b got "shaved" all over, rear shock mount got trashed, fron diff cover got whacked when that steering stabilizer moved over, front diff got scraped, as did my Rock Rod, plus I have two of those nasty thorns in two tires, I am afraid to pull them out! Also have some "clunking" in the steering wheel when I turn back and forth... it just goes on and on!
     
  5. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    You can prolly shim for up to 1/4"...after that the thick guides on the tailgate won't go into the slots without hitting. I had to use a 2 ton chain come-along to pull the bedsides in enough to be able to close my tailgate. You could try the same and weld in some bedside support gussets...

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  6. RaisedK5

    RaisedK5 1/2 ton status

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    Thats actually exactly whats wrong with it, Its so far out of wack that the guide doesn't go into the hole, we were all mystified as to how it happened, we even tried to pull it back in with a ratchet strap but i'm a weakling, he'll probably have to do the same as you did.

    Leland aka RaisedK5

    "Of all the things I've lost, I think I miss my mind the most!"
    "Are the voices in my head bothering you?
     
  7. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Getting mine to close was an adventure...eventually I'd like to just lose the tailgate altogether but until that happens I'm just thankful the rear window works real well.[​IMG]

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  8. CrazeeBush

    CrazeeBush 1/2 ton status

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    I knows my K5 came from the factory with some shims behind the bars the tailgate latches to. Maybe 1/8" of spacing or so.... I like the idea of using brute force to bring it back close to square and then welding some support up.



    -BuSH
    '83 K5 Blazer
    '98 Monte Carlo z34
     
  9. kpanza

    kpanza 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, the thick guide is actually bent now. The tailgate closes just fine, but the right side will not lock. The large guide just barely goes in now, so I am hoping that when I shim out the latch thingy it might be enough to trip the latch-lock.

    If all else fails, I will try that come along - as Leland said, we tried the ratchet strap out there, but I guess we need more force. So, what happened?? Did the frame bend to cause the body side to move, or something else I can't see?
     
  10. Mr.Chevy4x4

    Mr.Chevy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    I would guess that your floor pan bent causing the quarter to bend outward. Just a guess though.

    '85 K5 : Run it til it breaks, then fix it and go again!
     
  11. Blazer_Boy

    Blazer_Boy 1/2 ton status

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    A come along and a porta-power can fix anything! My tub was messed up because my tailpan was toast and bed was sitting on the frame with very little support and had the hard top on. Add to that, my tailgate posts were toast so I grafted on new bottoms. When I finally got my new floor in, all the upward push made my quarter panels bow out at the top. And of course none of my bolt holes would line up, just barely off, enough to tick ya off. So I broke out those famous tools I mentioned and the welder and thing closes like a million dollars. You do have some slight lee-way with your pins because you can pry them over a bit, not a fix, but only a slight adjustment when you get it close to right.

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/bigkern76>http://www.geocities.com/bigkern76</a>
     

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