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[VE] How to remove and install a VE Ute tailgate

Discussion in 'Holden Commodore How-To's' started by TumTum, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. TumTum

    TumTum New Member

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    MY9.5 VE SV6 Ute, 2001 VXII Berlina Sed
    As far as I've seen, there's no guide to removing and installing a VE Ute tailgate so while I did mine on the weekend, I'd thought I'd throw a 'How To' together.

    This guide is for those who, like me, have damage to their tailgate and have bought a replacement tailgate that's already painted and ready to fit...

    Before you start, put something padded on the tow ball of the Ute in case you drop the gate. This will also act as a second set of hands if you’re on your own. If you don’t have a tow ball, you might need some help when the tailgate is not attached to the Ute properly as it’s fairly bulky and easy to drop.

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    1. Remove the two clips on both sides of the liner. If you don’t have a trim removal tool, two flat blade screwdrivers either side will help lever the plug up to release the clip.

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    2. Remove the five Phillips head screws securing the liner to the tailgate and the handle screw

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    3. Lifting the liner will expose the inside of the gate – this may be enough if you only need to access the wiring etc.

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    4. To remove the liner, you’ll need to ensure the weight of the tailgate is supported – either by the towball/padding or by an assistant.


    5. Remove the torx bolts securing the support cables to the tailgate and tuck the cables through the liner into the tub. The liner can now be removed.

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    6. Now the wiring loom needs to be detached. Disconnect the number plate connector from the metalwork and unplug it. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to get the plug through the grommet hole in the gate so ended up cutting the wires and rejoining them later on. My reversing camera wiring was also passed through the same opening but those plugs were easy to feed out through the gate grommet so were tucked out of the way.

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    7. The latch assembly is secured to the left and right latch rods by an L-shaped hook and clip as shown below.

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    Depending on the gate you've bought, the rods may be supplied loose

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    8. Pop the clip away from the rods and the use strong needle nose pliers to lift the L-shaped end of the rod out of the handle. As the latches are spring loaded, be aware the rods are under some tension and may snap out unexpectedly.

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    9. Remove the second torx bolt from the latch ends (the first was holding the cable) and withdraw the latch and rod.

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    10. With the wiring pulled through the base of the gate and the latches removed, the tailgate hinge bolts can be removed and the tailgate taken off the Ute. Again, if you’re working on your own, pad the bumper below with a rolled up towel and use that and the towball pad to hold the weight while you remove the bolts. Or bribe a mate to help…

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    11. As the Gregory’s manuals used to say “Installation is the reversal of the removal procedure with attention to the following”. Ensure the rod retaining clips are correctly located before and after inserting the rod ends into the handle section. And don’t tighten the hinge bolts fully until the body/tailgate alignment is checked.

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    12. If you’re swapping the number plate lamp garnish from the old gate to a new one, ensure you route the wires exactly as shown to avoid pinching them between the garnish and the tailgate. There are two yellow clips and three small bolts securing the plastic assembly to the tailgate.

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    13. Once all the wiring is reconnected, the liner can be reinstalled and the support cables reattached. Don’t do the torx bolts up too tight until tailgate alignment with the body is checked.

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    14. Carefully raise and latch the gate and check the alignment. You may need to move the gate on the hinges and/or adjust the position of the latches to ensure proper alignment.
    15. Once that’s all set, tighten all the torx bolts step back and realise the rest of the Ute is filthy in comparison to your new tailgate! :doh:

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