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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks

I've searched but have not found anyone having this issue (a bit of a first for me on this forum, after so many years).

The tailgate on my '02 keeps locking whenever I pull on the handle to open, even though everything is unlocked. I have to then unlock it again, either with the keyfob or with the power button on the doors, in order to open it.

It looks like when I pull up the handle the mechanical door lock on the tailgate (the black peg with the red ring) slips down just a little and locks the tailgate.

Before I take the rear tailgate panels off to check the wire (I think), I was wondering if anyone else has had this issue. I have taken these off a few times before to fix squeaks and repair the windshield wiper motor, and I think I've broken a few of the tabs...

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Need to get at least one more year out of the van and I know OdyClub will get me there (172k miles and counting!)
 

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That is not common for sure - usually the problem is that the lock will not lock.

Anyway I think as you pull on the handle, you must be pulling the lock knob down just enough to lock the tailgate again. Must be catching on something.
 

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I have exactly this same problem. Recently I had the interior cover of the tailgate off to fix the rear wiper and I looked at the handle/lock. I didn't see anything obvious to quickly fix this lock issue, so if anyone finds a fix please post it.
--VARam1500....
 

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You have the lock arm out of position and it is under down pressure. There is a clip on the tailgate that it goes in and is very difficult to get it in. I drilled a smal hole in the plastic inner panel over the clip and a special tool to push it in the clip.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
WW - thanks for the reply. I've removed the plastic tailgate cover a few times and thought I put it all back together again correctly. Regarding the rod for the lock, I'm assuming you mean a clip on the (steel) tailgate itself and not the clip on the back of the plastic cover, right? Since it sounds like you know what this looks like, any more descriptive info would be helpful.

I will look at it again more closely this weekend.
 

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Yes the clip is on the metal part of the tailgate. I am only guessing it has something to do with the locking but it could be holding the lock solonoid doen causing the locking condition. The only way to tell is pull the cover and look at it and see if it corrects the problem.
 

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I had the same issue with our Ody. Our issue was where the rod that has the pushpin (black button that sticks out the top of the door trim) is held in by a plastic clip half way down the inside of the panel snapped out.

Here was the fix:
Remove trim
Snap rod back into clip
Tie Christmas ribbon to top of push button and feed back through trim panel -- be careful not to pull to hard or you will pop out what you just fixed.
Put trim back into place.

I hope this helps you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the suggestions.

Well, I think I fixed it. It wasn't the clip for the rod on the tailgate (I sort of knew that already; the rod was on the clip all along).

I think the issue was the broken tabs/clips on the large plastic cover. After an hour or so of opening, locking, unlocking, and staring at it from inside and out, I think what was happening was that the action of pulling the handle and opening the tailgate was somehow pushing down the entire plastic cover, which apparently was not fully fitted back onto the tailgate. The downward motion on the plastic cover pushed down the peg/rod and locked the door, typically remaining locked even though it was unlatched. (lock was on and door was not fully open).

(The neighbors got a kick out of this exercise, with me climbing in and out of the tailgate cargo area and locking myself in...)

So, I removed (and discarded) the broken clips on the tailgate plastic cover and carefully refitted it back onto the tailgate (also making sure that the rod was back on the tailgate clip). Luckily there were enough good clips left for the cover to stay back on. So far so good - I can open the tailgate again!

If you are also having this issue I strongly suspect the cause is an ill-fitting plastic tailgate cover. Try removing any bent or broken clips, and then putting it back on (don't forget placing the lock rod back on the clip on the tailgate).

Best of luck.
 
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