2000 Nissan Frontier- Crewcab (nick-named Bob)
2004 Frontier update, Sep 08.
Tools - Ratchet, 10mm socket (deep), #3 Phillips head screwdriver, 3/16 flat tip screwdriver or a putty knife or a butter knife (depending on what you have on hand)
1. If your tailgate handle broke while your tailgate was closed you have the same issue I did. I have a plastic bedliner, so I had to drop the gate. You need 3 fine tipped flat tip screwdrivers or a flat piece of metal. A putty knife or butter (table) knife would suffice. You need to push the catches on either side of the gate in to let the gate open. Use the putty knife like a shim if you are working alone. Be careful because the catch has a plastic insert.
2. After I got the gate down, I pulled the push plugs loose (one on either side of the gate and one in the middle at the bottom of the gate...'04 has only two plugs on side) and removed the two Phillips head screws(middle of the inside of the gate) and pulled the liner off the gate. The access port cover plate was held by the same screws.
3. The handle operates in a "cam twist" action, moving two arms that operate the catches on the gate. The rod arms are held in place by two plastic inserts(bushing) with molded catches that hold the metal arms. Push(swing) the plastic inserts(bushing) to release the arms. Pull the arms upward slightly to remove them from the plastic inserts
4. Remove the two 10 mm nuts and pull the handle assembly out.
4a. In addition to the two nuts, the '04 tailgate handle assembly is fastened at 5 points using conehead fastener pins that seat in a plastic retainer. If the plastic retainer is squeezed together across the widest point, the elliptical shaped retainer will become circular and release the cone-headed pin. These retainers can be accessed from inside the tailgate with a bit of maneuvering.
4b. The '04 lock is removed by unfastening one bolt. The handle on my pickup failed to function because this lock actuates a slider that then is engaged by the handle. A two inch plastic pin fell out and caused the slider to deflect so that the handle no longer contacted the slider. Therefore there was no "twist" action on the cam that pulls on the side tailgate latches.
4c. Remove and reuse the '04 lock on the new assembly. If the plastic retainers were not damaged during removal they can be reused. Line up the two bolts and the 5 pins over outside top of the tailgate and press down on the front of the assembly over each pin. The cone-heads will lock into the plastic retainers.
4d. The Nissan badge can also be removed from the old assembly and re-used. It is attached with a black rubber/glue pad that covers the back surface. There are also two locater pins sticking out the back. My glue pad tore and I re-fastened using an exterior Loctite spread over the back of the badge.
Reverse these steps for installation.
First. take the old one out. Replace with New one.
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First remove gate support cables. Lower tailgate 1/2 way pull left side toward you. Swing it to the left, and hold tight
Figured it out. OPen the Tailgate and look!
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