Tailgate Fixed

I believe I mentioned that the tailgate on my Mitsubishi Montero Sport wasn’t opening. Reason unknown. I need to be able to access the back of the van, of course, and this was really a problem. The solution did NOT reside online. There were no YouTube vids dealing with MY specific problem with MY specific vehicle. The few pics I could find did nothing to help.

So, the other day I went in and ripped the covering off of the back of the tailgate. There were some cut-outs that I could just barely get my hand into, and peering down to where the latching mechanism was was awful. My friend and neighbor, Capt’n Natural Lee, here deep in the swamp off the Saint Johns River in DeBary, Florida, lent me his large Dremel tool. I widened the major opening for better access  with it but despite everything I tried it still wouldn’t open. I gave up for the day and returned to my boat to cogitate.

Yesterday Lee came down and spent almost two hours pushing and pulling on the rod that activates the mechanism between the door handle and the other doohicky to no avail. In the afternoon I went to the local Ace Hardware and bought the smallest can of TriFlow lubricant they sell. Got back to the swamp and DRENCHED the damned thing and left it to soak overnight.

One way or another I was going to get the effin’ thing open TODAY! After my morning mug of espresso I went on up t the van. Pushed on the rod and same thing as yesterday. I got some light shining down into the hole and watched what was happening to the mechanism. There seemed to be a small, perhaps 1/16 to 1/8-inch something down inside the slot that was blocking the whatchamacallit from fully travelling to the end. I found a little something and after a while I was able to get rid of it. Pushed down on the rod and pushed on the door and, as we used to say when I was living in Antibes, France, VOILÀ!!!

Sprayed TriFlow on the underside, opened and closed the hatch a half-dozen times using the door handle and finished the job. Now I can go to Home Depot and get them to cut me a 3/4″ piece of plywood for a platform to lay my mattress down on and I’m one step closer to being my next “Good Adventure.”

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