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Tailgate Lower Latch Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Tailgate Lower Latch Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$200

Talent:

***

Tools:

T25, T30 Torx drivers, trim panel tool, small flathead screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Tailgate latch

Hot Tip:

Check latch and button operation before closing tail gate

Performance Gain:

Repair broken tail gate release latch

Complementary Modification:

Replace tail gate release button

The tailgate lock is electrically networked with the central locking system. The tailgate lock cylinder and the driver door lock cylinder are the external mechanical means for switching off the alarm system and unlocking the vehicle. The tail gate lock cylinder and latch work in conjunction via cables and electrical switches to open your BMW E53 X5 tail gate. The locking control functions are run by the general module (GM). On my subject vehicle, the tail gate lower latches are controlled via relay by the GM. To test the latch, you could run fused jumpers to the motor wires. On my vehicle the wiring is: yel / brn for motor power and brn for motor ground. Check the wiring for your vehicle.

The release button wears out and falls apart, maybe the most common issue. Another common issue is the latch itself failing, not holding the tail gate shut or the tail gate lid rattling.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Open the rear tailgate.
Figure 1

Open the rear tailgate. With a plastic pry tool gently lever the corner of the tailgate trim insert up.

Work your way down the tailgate trim insert until the front section of the tailgate trim insert is released.
Figure 2

Work your way down the tailgate trim insert until the front section of the tailgate trim insert is released.

Now lift up and remove the tailgate trim insert.
Figure 3

Now lift up and remove the tailgate trim insert.

Remove the Phillips screws (yellow arrows).
Figure 4

Remove the Phillips screws (yellow arrows).

Lift up the hinged plastic panel and remove the Phillips screws (green arrows).
Figure 5

Lift up the hinged plastic panel and remove the Phillips screws (green arrows).

Next, raise the tailgate and gently lever out the reflectors on both the right and left side.
Figure 6

Next, raise the tailgate and gently lever out the reflectors on both the right and left side. Use a small flathead screwdriver. Be careful not to scratch the plastic trim.

Then lift out the reflectors and remove the Phillips screws from both the right and left sides (green arrows).
Figure 7

Then lift out the reflectors and remove the Phillips screws from both the right and left sides (green arrows).

With a small flathead screwdriver, gently lever the plastic covers off (yellow arrows).
Figure 8

With a small flathead screwdriver, gently lever the plastic covers off (yellow arrows). Then remove both Philips screws beneath the plastic covers.

Now lift off the plastic trim piece.
Figure 9

Now lift off the plastic trim piece.

Next open the tailgate and lift out the panel.
Figure 10

Next open the tailgate and lift out the panel.

Remove the three T30 Torx screws securing the latch in place (green arrows).
Figure 11

Remove the three T30 Torx screws securing the latch in place (green arrows).

Then gently release the tailgate latch cable from the retaining clips by pushing the cable out of the retainers (yellow arrows).
Figure 12

Then gently release the tailgate latch cable from the retaining clips by pushing the cable out of the retainers (yellow arrows).

With a pair of plyers, squeeze the retaining tab and push it in until the retaining tab is released.
Figure 13

With a pair of plyers, squeeze the retaining tab and push it in until the retaining tab is released.

Next, with a screwdriver, push the red collar down until it is released.
Figure 14

Next, with a screwdriver, push the red collar down until it is released. Pushing this down releases the cable housing from the mounting bracket.

Then pull the cable straight out.
Figure 15

Then pull the cable straight out.

Now you can lift the tailgate latch assembly out and feed the cable out through the tailgate.
Figure 16

Now you can lift the tailgate latch assembly out and feed the cable out through the tailgate. Reverse the removal steps to installing the new tailgate latch assembly. Remember the routing of the tailgate latch cable so you can install the new one the same way. Be sure to check the operation of the tailgate latch and lock before closing the tailgate. Use a flathead screwdriver to lock the latch (with tailgate open). Then unlock it using the key and tailgate release handle.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:49:06 AM