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Found 2 MJ`s at the new p-n-p looking for stingers tail lights and both have them but both tailgates have the handle gone. I admit I was in a big hurry and did not even try to open them. I am heading back and need to know what to take for tools.

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Best case scenario is that even tho the handles are gone, the rods that go from the handle to the latch on the outside of the tailgate are still there. I was in the same situation this past weekend, found an MJ that was picked clean except for the tail lights which were probably left behind because the tailgate was up and had no handle. whoever took the handle didn't take the rods, so i was able to reach in, pull both rods toward the center and down came the tailgate.

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Gates are junk unless you have none I will keep a eye out for a good one. Did you need a tool or just fingers to open it? I am sure this is why the lights are still there as they were picked.

i needed only my fingers but having pliers available wouldn't hurt. if the latches are still there the rods probably are too. i've only taken a couple of tailgates apart and when i did the rods came off with the latches. The rods could be a little lower than handle level, but they shouldn't be too far inside of the hole for the tailgate. there's a 90 degree bend in the rods near the end that makes them easy to get a hold of. the truck at the jy was fairly rust free and the tailgate wasn't too bent up which probably made things easier for me.

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I brought home a truck with no handle. It was easy to reach into the hole and pull the rods by hand -- no tools needed.

 

FWIW, someone posted awhile ago that a handle for some other compact pickup (S10 maybe?) fits and is available through the various parts chains. Does anyone remember what the cross-listing was?

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