Rear gate latch effed! w/ One Possible Solution.

Does your Mitsubishi L300 make a strange noise? Need wheel alignment specs?
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righthandman
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Rear gate latch effed! w/ One Possible Solution.

Postby righthandman » Thu May 26, 2016 1:12 pm

Hi, My rear gate latch is stuck closed (1991 L300). I've taken off the back panel, WD-40'd the lot, wiggled all the bits that I could, incl with vise grip pliers, but it still won't budge (the lock tab moves up and down, but the latch mechanism won't budge). Handle is stuck in. Any thoughts much appreciated! :-)
(Only link I found in the archives didn't really solve the problem: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15935&p=122251&hilit=gate+latch#p122251 )
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L300 latch.JPG
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Re: Rear gate latch effed!

Postby Growlerbearnz » Thu May 26, 2016 3:59 pm

Try shoving the door closed a few times from the outside, pushing down near the latch. Try it while holding the door handle in. There should/might be enough movement in the sealing rubber to get the latch to release.

Once the door opens, you're going to need to remove the latch and wash it out with wax and grease remover. Usually the latch gums up from years of dust sticking to the grease (or sticky, dried out WD40).
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.

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Re: Rear gate latch effed!

Postby Growlerbearnz » Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:22 pm

How did it go? Tailgate latch working again?
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.

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Re: Rear gate latch effed!

Postby righthandman » Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:43 pm

Thanks for the tips! Perseverance was the name of the game- just continued to wiggle gently and lube, until I heard a "click" and it un-latched itself. After that I was able to open the gate and take the lock out from underneath and give it a clean. a bit rusty too. Also, the rear handle catch had slipped below the rod it connects to, so had to put that back into place. Now just hoping it continues to work!

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Rear gate latch effed!

Postby FalcoColumbarius » Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:00 pm

Useful link and I have found this problem, myself. Discovered something that may have some bearing on the matter. There are two braces that are glued to the door skin:

Image

They are both cracked on mine and when I lift the handle, the tag doesn't necessarily push the tab down but outward (into the vehicle), ergo it doesn't quite unlatch. Opinions?

Falco.
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Rear gate latch effed!

Postby Growlerbearnz » Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:10 pm

That can't be helping matters, eh. I re-glued mine ages ago with a giant blob of Urethane body adhesive/filler, and they're still attached (as far as I know).
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.

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Rear gate latch effed!

Postby FalcoColumbarius » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:58 pm

I first noticed it when there was this black piece of something caught up in some tape and I thought how odd. Then I noticed that as I had my arm wrapped around the bottom of the gate, operating the latch handle, I could see the inside frame shift as I lifted the handle. Then I saw the two glued frame mounds moving and the one with the missing piece that I found in the tape.

Do you think Gorilla Glue would do the job? Do you think I could keep the original adhesive mounts and glue them back together?

Falco.
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Rear gate latch effed!

Postby Growlerbearnz » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:02 pm

Hmm. Gorilla glue is technically a urethane adhesive, but I'd think it's a bit thin and dries a bit rigid. I use Urethane adhesive/filler- usually next to the silicone in the hardware store. I'd remove as much of the original urethane blob as possible, and scuff the painted surface with a scotch pad just to give it a bit of key. Squidge a big blob of adhesive between the tab and the outer panel, smear it so it covers the tab a bit, and leave it to set.
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.

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Rear gate latch effed!

Postby FalcoColumbarius » Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:28 pm

I sussed it out.
This falls under the "battery terminal/air filter category". Once upon a time, Mister Mitsubishi made a "delivery car" and called it a Delica. He put locks on all the doors, which is prudent. He used pin locks on all four doors, including the tailgate. One day he decided to put a third brake lamp in the rear windscreen. He put it over top the existing pin lock.

After many years of driving bumpy dirt roads, the cap which fits over the pin, the part that you pinch with your fingers to lift, thereby opening the lock from the inside ~ started to unscrew. Eventually, the pin cap had undone so far that when I pushed the unlock button, the cap collided with the brake lamp cover, impeding lock's ability to unlock because the pin cap was riding too high on the pin shaft.

Once I got this concept in my head (having torn my tailgate apart), I popped the two plastic rivets out by pushing the centre piece in and pulling the rivets out, then lifting the cover off and there it was... the plastic pin cap pressed against the top of the third brake lamp. I felt as though I had reached enlightenment with my third eye! I screwed the cap back down (it had gone up, like, a third of an inch, man), put the cover back onto the brake lamp and closed the gate, lock the gate with the switch, tried the latch ~ it didn't work, of course; unlocked the gate with the switch, tried the latch and it worked like a charm and has done since. Then I put the rest of the gate back together.

So if you ever find that your tailgate latch is not performing the way that it should ~ pop those two plastic rivets (by pushing the centre buttons), lift the cover off and screw the pin cap back down onto the shaft and I'm thinking you should be good. Check it out.

Falco.

P.S.: Seeing as I had the tailgate apart, anyway, I took the Gorilla Glue, squirted a little water in between the existing adhesive that was still firmly attached to the skin and the tabs, squeezed the GG in, put the gate back together, locked her up, went to bed. So far so good. FC.
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Rear gate latch effed! w/ One Possible Solution.

Postby Morganizer » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:40 pm

Thanks for your post Falco, that helped when I couldn't get my tailgate open.

I always thought it was strange that there was no way to unlock the tailgate from the inside. I even had the interior panel off before and the third tail light removed and never noticed that lock/unlock button! I never know whether it's better to leave the tailgate locked or unlocked while camping. Unlocked: it would be startling if someone opened the tailgate while I was sleeping. Locked: to wake up with the engine on fire, and want to escape through the tailgate but unable to unlock it. Hm, I'm thinking of a workaround so I can access that plunger...

Anyway, I removed the latch mechanism from the tailgate. It was useful to put three pieces of masking tape on the connecting rods before undoing the plastic clips, so I could put them back in the same positions upon reassembly. I washed the latch thoroughly in bicycle chain degreaser (a detergent available at MEC) and applied grease to the latch, and oil to the mechanism pivots. And I cleaned the electrical contacts and smeared them with a little vaseline to prevent diaper rash (or corrosion from forming).

There's mention in this thread also of the metal tabs that attach the inner and outer skins of the door (and come loose over time). I had previously rejoined most of them with butyl tape (IMHO the best product for the job) but having run out, I mended the two remaining (since I still hear a rattle from the back) with some silicone leftover from sealing the shower stall. It's probably not high temperature enough for the application, but what the heck.

Got the tailgate all back together, with some minor whining about the plastic clips that attach the interior panel, and how did this stupid design ever become an industry standard. Oh poop.

Here's the only photos I took of the procedure, just a front and back view of the latch mechanism, in case anyone needs to see what they can't see while it's buried in the tailgate.
TailgateLatch2.JPG
TailgateLatch2.JPG (243.56 KiB) Viewed 532 times
TailgateLatch1.JPG
TailgateLatch1.JPG (553.86 KiB) Viewed 532 times


Hard to believe there's a solenoid somewhere in there. No harder, I suppose, that there's a lock button under the third tail light.


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