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A Trustyworthy Tailgate Latch

There are occasions when it’s the seemingly little problems that bug us more than larger issues. Higher concerns demand more attention and in consequence find faster resolution. Too often small things are mentally tossed into the “when I get a minute I’ll fix this” bin which all too often translates into nothing being done.

We own a 1995 Ford F150 that has a home with us since I can’t think of anyone I dislike enough to sell it to. We use it as a yard truck and occasional town transportation but in all those years have put on less than 80,000 miles. There are reasons for that having nothing to do with this article other than to state its been a matter of mechanical confidence or rather lack thereof and its absolutely horrible gas mileage. But that is a story in itself.

Between this truck’s many structural failures, the efficiency of its tail gate latches were among the first to fall apart. As the gate’s top center sagged like ancient fence wire everything else fell out of line and the choice was between trying to keep the structure straight, remove it, or quit using the box entirely. I stopped trying to close it years ago but running to town and parking with it open wasn’t necessarily the best solution for reasons most drivers will appreciate, parallel parking being one of its all but insurmountable limitations. Even parking in mall lots was awkward as the unit intruded onto double lane traffic.

The solution was unquestionably crude but entirely effective. Please see the photo below, a much more able description than anything I could possibly put into words.


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