Posted 05-23-2001 at 07:57:54
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Julie- I'm not familiar with that year, but if your pop got an access panel off it should be an easy job.
Tell him to get a pressure spray can of penetrant oil and oil the daylights out of every part of the latching and hinging mechanisms. Let it sit for a little while. Then give the side latching pins another big dose of penetrant oil.
The older models used a lever and steel rods mechanism to retract the spring loaded latching pins, which allowed the tail gate to come open. If you got the modern cable type actuators, then you might have a tough row to hoe...
Somehow, from the inside with the access panel removed, he needs to reach in there and pull and hold those latch pins to the released position.
Another thing that might help is to have somebody push the tailgate hard toward the closed positon while pulling on the latch pins. That will relieve any binding up of the latch pins.
Good luck and I hope you won't need it! IHank