clamshell tailgate assembly

Discussion in 'General Automotive Tech' started by wixom61, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. ModelT1

    ModelT1 Still Lost in the 50's

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    Great pictures and write up showing and explaining everything in detail. This alone is worth the price of admission. I don't even own a clamshell wagon----but would love to. In fact, I have never seen a tailgate lowered or raised on one of these wagons. Must be living a sheltered life! Again thanks for your dedicated help to others. :clap:
     
  2. Bretho

    Bretho Paul

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    I successfully removed my tailgate on the weekend (using David's images thank very much). Had to drill out a number of bolts as they were too rusted to remove which will be a pain, and also have found more rust around the catch. I have been taking photos so will upload them as soon as I get a bit further along.
    David, do you have another thread which eaxplains the workings of the glass as well? I also want to reco that whole part of the car, and as you did such an excellent job with the tailgate I was just wondering of you have donme the same with the tailgate window?
     
  3. tsynek

    tsynek New Member

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    Hey Wixom,
    Its tsynek from Dallas, now Houston. I just spent the day stripping a rusty 74 impala wagon. I have been pulling parts off it for months. In two months it will be a demolition derby car. I actually split the cost of it with the derbier. I get parts, and he gets to smash the rest. For all you derby haters out there be advised some old wagons are simply rusted beyond repair and an arrangement with a derbier can actually save some parts that otherwise would be trashed anyway in a recycler. For the record I do wish the derby guys never smashed a decent vehicle. Ok, anyway, I am now removing the tailgate assembly. I scratched my head alot today and failed in removing the glass or tailgate. I am glad I found this post. Next week I will actually get the tailgate off. Any advise on the glass?
     
  4. tsynek

    tsynek New Member

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    My wagon is at the body shop for tailgate area beautification. I just spent thirty minutes with the owner of the shop looking at Wixom's AWESOME PICS of the tailgate assembly. Owner says he can get my clamshell aligned and working better no problem after our study session:) He wants to put in new nylon rollers. Are they the same for regular windows? Where can I get the tailgate nylon rollers? Also what about a new tailgate motor, I thought I remember someone mentioning some motor off a big SUV back window.

    Also I removed the tailgate and window from the soon to be derby wagon, that was hard, especially the rear clamwindow.
     
  5. justin66756

    justin66756 New Member

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    Great write up!! Now the rear window installation and we'll all be set:)
     
  6. Swanny454

    Swanny454 Well-Known Member

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    So the only adjustment is done by the strikers? My tailgate runs smoothly up and down and makes no noises and just moves perfect, BUT the right side sits down about 1/2 and inch and drives me crazy since the trim/tail light do not line up.
     
  7. wixom61

    wixom61 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Swanny, the tailgate has a little bit of adjustment where the power regulator arm mounts to the tailgate, but more than likely you should make sure your tailgate is not rusted through at the LH roller mount. This is a weak spot with these systems, and it can occur on an otherwise totally rust free wagon due to metal fatigue, and moisture collecting inside the gate where very little paint was applied. The regulator being on the left side puts stress on the mount. The bummer is that it is almost impossible to see if it is rusted through without removing the LH roller mount, and that is easiest with the rear bumper removed for access. My wagon is as rust free as they come, and it had this problem, and no amount of adjustment would make the tailgate line up with out repairing that spot...the tailgate would always hang low on the RH side. Hope this helps. David :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  8. Vetteman61

    Vetteman61 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for this. I'm about to remove my tailgate and this is very helpful to see.

    Brandon
     
  9. Vetteman61

    Vetteman61 Well-Known Member

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    I know I just stated this, but seriously, these pictures were a life saver. I have the manual and they speak with words that may have made sense to a 1970's GM mechanic, but don't make much sense to me. These pictures and this write up really, really made this simple.


    Brandon
     
  10. Bretho

    Bretho Paul

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    Hi David (wixom61). Its been a while since I had my first go at fixing my tailgate, thanks to your great photos. Everything worked perfectly as we had to take all the workings out to fix some of the rust. It has worked well but never went all the way to the top , so today I decided to have a look. Pulled the bumper off and loosened all the bolts. It looks like it is catching on the stricker. My question is, does the locater (sorry not sure what to call it, but the bit that sticks out on the RH side, the same as what's on the doors), does it have a wheel on it, or is it just a post the same as on the doors? Strangely the little nylon, spring mounted part of the catch "fell out" a while ago, and I cannot put it back in yet, as the screws holing the unit on are stuck tight. Hope this make sense?
     
  11. wixom61

    wixom61 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Bretho, it has been a long time, hasn't it? It's also been a long time since I looked at that striker, but I can tell you for sure that it does not have a wheel on it. The little post just slides up into the catch channel and gives the top of the RH side some rigidity. It is strictly a locator, not a latch. The little plastic wedge and spring help the striker guide itself up into the channel, but is not essential.
    I really bet the LH roller mount, the bottom LH corner of your tailgate has cracked. This happens even in the most rust-free of clamshells, and since yours does have some rust issues, this is where I would look first to solve your alignment problem. If the LH roller mount has cracked, it results in the RH side dragging and never going fully up and level. No amount of adjusting and lubricating, etc, will solve this problem until this mounting area is strengthened and rewelded. Hope this helps!

    David :)
     
  12. Bretho

    Bretho Paul

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    Thanks David,
    I remember when we did all the rust repairs down the bottom, we checked that part, as I had used your guide. Also, my tailgate is very level. I just had another play, and put masking tape on where it stops and where it should be. If someone pushes on the top right hand corner, it goes all the way up to the top piece of tape (the correct position) but really labours the motor. I think I really need to get the striker freed up, as I think it is binding against that. Next step, I might disconnect the motor and run it up and down myself manually to see if I can feel where it is binding. Hmmm it looks like a few minor adjustments may get me there.
    Paul
     

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  13. wixom61

    wixom61 Well-Known Member

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    I think you are on the right track. If there is anyway you can remove your striker receiver, you can see if the gate goes up easily without it, and you can repair it's internal plastic guide; it slides up and down on a spring-loaded rod.
    Small adjustments can also be made to the lower mounts. The lower LH mount affects the upper RH placement, adjusting the LH lower mount out pivots the upper RH corner inward slightly. This may ease the binding of the striker, and allow the gate to close properly.
    It may seem like a hassle, but removing the rear bumper makes working on the tailgate much easier.

    David :)
     
  14. Bretho

    Bretho Paul

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    20171002_173609.jpg Yeah David, I have been putting it off for a while thinking how I was going to get that beast of a bumper off on my own, then I had an epiphany. The forklift made it so easy:):LOL:
     
  15. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo The Lost Lamb

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    You lucky sonofagun. I can't tell you how many times bumpers have hit me falling down.
     

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