GM Chevy Mid-Size Cars 1964-1988 Repair Guide

Tailgate

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



El Camino

See Figure 1

  1. Open the tailgate and support it in the open position.
  2.  
  3. Remove the support cable bolts and disengage the cable from the tailgate.
  4.  
  5. Using a scratch awl or permanent marker, matchmark the hinge out line onto the panel.
  6.  
  7. With the aid of an assistant (to support the tailgate), remove the tailgate hinge-to-body bolts, then carefully remove the the tailgate from the vehicle.
  8.  

To install:
  1. With the aid of the assistant, carefully lift the tailgate and position it to the body, then loosely install the retaining bolts to hold it in position.
  2.  
  3. Align the matchmarks made earlier, then tighten the hinge-to-body bolts to 14-22 ft. lbs. (19-30 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the support cable and secure using the retaining bolts.
  6.  
  7. Check and assure proper tailgate operation, if necessary, loosen the bolts and adjust the tailgate for a better fit.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Tail gate assembly components-El Camino

1964-72 Station Wagon
  1. Partially open the tailgate to achieve a neutral torque rod position or until tension on the torque rod has been relieved.
  2.  
  3. With the tension relieved remove the torque rod assist link retainer-to-body attaching bolts.
  4.  
  5. Support the tailgate in the full open position and remove the support cable-to-left upper hinge and striker assembly attaching bolt.
  6.  
  7. On styles equipped with electrical options in the tailgate, remove the inner panel water deflector and access hole cover. Disconnect the wiring harness connectors and pull the wiring from the tailgate.
  8.  
  9. With the aid of a helper, remove the left lower hinge-to-body attaching bolts.
  10.  
  11. Using a suitable tool, manually lock the right and left upper locks. Push the arm down and in to lock the left side and rotate the lock forward to second click to lock the right lock.
  12.  
  13. With the aid of a helper support the tailgate, actuate the inside door remote handle (right side) to unlock and free the right lower lock from the striker assembly. Remove the tailgate by lifting upward then rearward.
  14.  

To install:
  1. With the aid of a helper install the tailgate to the vehicle by lowering it into position.
  2.  
  3. Position the tailgate assembly so the hinge bolts may be installed. It may be necessary to temporarily actuate or release the left and right locks, as applicable, to position the tailgate.
  4.  
  5. Install the lower hinge-to-body attaching bolts.
  6.  
  7. On styles equipped with electrical options in the tailgate, install the wiring harness to the tailgate, then engage the connectors. Install the access hole cover and the inner panel water deflector.
  8.  
  9. Support the tailgate in the full open position and install the support cable-to-left upper hinge and striker assembly attaching bolt.
  10.  
  11. With the tension relieved install the torque rod assist link retainer-to-body attaching bolts.
  12.  
  13. Check for proper tailgate operation and adjust the hinges or supports, as necessary.
  14.  

1973-77 Station Wagon

See Figures 2 and 3

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the back body opening upper finishing moulding.
  4.  
  5. Peel the tape from the tailgate harness between the bendover tabs and cut the wire(s) that lead into the tailgate.
  6.  

The number of wires may vary according to power options.

  1. Remove the screw from the grommet and tube assembly clip at the roof reinforcement.
  2.  
  3. Disengage the grommet from the roof reinforcement and pull the harness remaining through the hole and tape to the inner surface of the tailgate.
  4.  
  5. Place a protective covering between the upper edge of the tailgate and the roof panel.
  6.  


WARNING
Do not attempt to remove or loosen the counterbalance support assembly (piston support) attaching nuts with the tailgate in any other position except fully open as personal injury may result.

  1. With the aid of a helper, remove both gate-side counterbalance support assembly attaching nuts, disengage from the gate and allow the support to rest against the base of the back body opening.
  2.  
  3. Use a 3 / 16 in. diameter rod, 18 in. long to remove the hinge pins from the hinge. Place the end of the rod against the pointed end of the hinge pin; then, strike the rod firmly to shear the retaining clip tabs and drive the pin through the hinge. Repeat again on the opposite side hinge and remove the tailgate from the body.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Position new retaining rings onto the notches provided in the hinge pins. Position the rings so that the tabs point toward the head of the pin.
  2.  
  3. Place a protective covering between the upper edge of the tailgate and the roof panel.
  4.  
  5. With the aid of a helper, mate the tailgate hinge with the body side hinge and install the hinge pins with the pointed end of the pin facing outboard.
  6.  
  7. With the tailgate held fully open, position the counterbalance support assembly onto the gate side mounting stud and torque a new retaining nut to 14-22 ft. lbs. (19-30 Nm). Repeat for the opposite side.
  8.  

Replace with new nuts, Part No. 9664875 or equivalent. If not available use old nuts and apply a retaining adhesive such as Loctite®.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Body side hinge attachment-1973-77 Station Wagon

  1. Pull the wiring harness into position, then engage the grommet to the roof reinforcement.
  2.  
  3. Install the screw to the grommet and tube assembly clip at the roof reinforcement.
  4.  
  5. Repair the wires which were cut during removal. Male and female wire connectors may be installed for ease of disassembly should the tailgate require removal in the future. For more information on wiring and repair, refer to Chassis Electrical of this guide.
  6.  
  7. Install the back body opening upper finishing moulding.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Tailgate alignment;1973-77 Station Wagon

1978-83

See Figure 4

  1. Partially open the tailgate to achieve a neutral torque rod position or until tension on the torque rod has been relieved.
  2.  
  3. Mark the position of the torque rod assist link on the back body pillar and remove the assist link.
  4.  
  5. Use a 3 / 16 in. diameter rod, 12 in. long to remove the hinge pins from the hinge. Place the end of the rod against the pointed end of the hinge pin; then, strike the rod firmly to shear the retaining clip tabs and drive the pin through the hinge. Repeat again on the opposite side hinge and remove the tailgate from the body. Note the direction which the pins are facing for installation purposes.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Position new retaining rings onto the notches provided in the pins. Make sure the rings are positioned so the tabs point toward the head of the pin.
  2.  
  3. With the aid of a helper, mate the tailgate hinge with the body hinge and install the pins with the pointed end of the pins facing the directions noted during removal.
  4.  
  5. Align the marks made earlier, then install and secure the torque rod assist link on the back body pillar.
  6.  
  7. Check for proper alignment and tailgate operation.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Tailgate components and installation-1978-83 Station Wagon

ALIGNMENT



The tailgate can be aligned slightly by loosening the hinge and/or the latch bolts, then adjusting them. The bottom of the tailgate on 1978-83 models can be adjusted in or out by adding or removing shims between the hinge and body.

When adjusting the hinge/latch-to-body positions, be sure to use alignment marks as reference points.

 
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