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Tailgate Latch Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Tailgate Latch Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$200

Talent:

***

Tools:

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

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Tailgate latch

Hot Tip:

Check latch and button operation before closing tailgate

Performance Gain:

Repair broken tailgate release latch

Complementary Modification:

Replace tailgate 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 tailgate lock cylinder and latch work in conjunction via cables and electrical switches to open your BMW E53 X5 tailgate. The locking control functions are run by the general module (GM). On my subject vehicle, the tailgate latch is controlled via relay by the GM. To test the latch, you could run fused jumpers to the motor wires. On my vehicle it was yel / brn for motor power and brn for motor ground. Check the wiring for your vehicle.

The release button wears out and falls apart, which is maybe the most common issue. Another common issue is the latch itself failing, not holding the tailgate shut or the tailgate 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 tailgate.
Figure 1

Open the tailgate. If tailgate will not open, you can work from inside the vehicle. Remove the tailgate interior side trim panels. Lever the panels off in the area of the red arrows. The right side is shown. The left side is similar.

Once you detach the trim panels, slide them out (red arrow) of the top trim panel and remove them from the vehicle.
Figure 2

Once you detach the trim panels, slide them out (red arrow) of the top trim panel and remove them from the vehicle. The right side is shown. The left side is similar.

After you remove the trim panel, check if the panel clips remained in the body.
Figure 3

After you remove the trim panel, check if the panel clips remained in the body. You can see one came out with the panel (green arrow) and two remained (red arrow). Squeeze the clips and remove them from the body.

Remove the tailgate interior lights (green arrows).
Figure 4

Remove the tailgate interior lights (green arrows). Lever the lights out of the body. Then disconnect the electrical connectors (red arrow) by pulling them straight out.

Using a Philips screwdriver, remove the tailgate handle (red arrows) screws (green arrow).
Figure 5

Using a Philips screwdriver, remove the tailgate handle (red arrows) screws (green arrow).

Working through the tailgate light mounting holes, remove the Phillips head screws (green arrow).
Figure 6

Working through the tailgate light mounting holes, remove the Phillips head screws (green arrow). The right side is shown. The left side is similar.

Use a trim panel tool and lever the tailgate trim panel down.
Figure 7

Use a trim panel tool and lever the tailgate trim panel down. You are detaching trim panel clips (red arrows) when doing this. Be sure to lever in the area of the clips. Once free, remove the trim panel from the tailgate, disconnecting any remaining electrical connectors.

To replace the latch, remove the three T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 8

To replace the latch, remove the three T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows).

Then, pull the latch out just enough to access the electrical connector.
Figure 9

Then, pull the latch out just enough to access the electrical connector. Disconnect the electrical connector (red arrow) by pulling it straight out of the latch.

Pull the latch further out of the tailgate lid.
Figure 10

Pull the latch further out of the tailgate lid. Use a small flathead screwdriver to lever out the plastic cable (green arrow). This plastic cable can be tough to get out. At times it is stuck and doesn't want to budge. Be careful not to poke yourself while levering it out. I also find when it is stuck, using a small trim panel tool can get a good bite on it to lever it out. To install, reverse the removal steps. 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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Comments and Suggestions:
scubatez Comments: Thanks Nick
Sorted it , broke spring was the problem.
May 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
scubatez Comments: i have the same problem with my lock on a 2003 x5.only thing is it looks to me like i have to take wiper motor out before i can get lock out. am i tackling it wrong.
May 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: if the wiper is int he way, remove it. The steps in the article should be similar to your vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Fri 12/2/2016 02:43:38 AM