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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I have had a 2009 for about a month now. Its a V6 AWD Limited with only 46,000 miles. I'm a bit of worry wart and came here to read up. I thought I had done my research beforehand but I just read about the tailgate issue. So i checked out the hinges on the tailgate and I did find a small gap on the drivers side hinge, I can stick my fingernail in the gap. The gate closes properly at the moment but it does appear that the tailgate gap alignment is slightly off on the drivers side vs the passenger side. So needless to say I am freaked out at the moment.

Is my best course of action to have the hinges replaced and stop using the power gate altogether? Also what actually cause the bend, closing or opening? Thanks for any input!
 

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Resident Nutcase
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Its the power tailgate motor causing it; likely closing. It simply puts too much twist into the hinges pulling from one side. You can replace the hinges and stop using the power tailgate feature. The full TSB calls for the full replacement of the tailgate, it seems its structure can have issues. But mine were very bent as well, and I just replaced the hinges one day. Its been fine (for the most part, slight misalignment) since then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the reply! I read thru your DIY hoping to find some pictures of a "bad" bend on the hinge. Did yours look obviously bent?Do mine look bad? I honestly would not have noticed an issue with it if I had not come across the thread. I don't know if I am overreacting but I guess it wouldn't hurt to get them replaced now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks again. I was hoping yours was worse:grin:. Mine isn't scraping anything at the moment and seems OK. I hope getting the hinges replaced will keep me out of trouble. Well this sucks.
 

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Also, as Sweeneyp indicated, not using the power lift gate will prevent the issue from getting worse. I know that function can be turned off in the third gen, but I'm not sure if that function can be turned off in the second gen.
 

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Also, as Sweeneyp indicated, not using the power lift gate will prevent the issue from getting worse. I know that function can be turned off in the third gen, but I'm not sure if that function can be turned off in the second gen.
Yes, it's turned off with the press of a button in the glove box. I also have a 2009 Sport 4WD (should have called it AWD!) that has the issue.

One thing I did not consider until reading this thread was the possibility that the damage is caused when the tailgate is automatically lowered. If that is the case, my wife will be happy as she could then continue using the auto feature to raise the tailgate (such as when her hands are full) and then just close it manually from the center. hmm...
 

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As long as your struts are good. When new, it doesn't take much to open, but now my original struts (8 years, 170k miles later) don't open the door all the way (particularity in <50F weather). I have to help it up. I can't see it causing too much trouble opening if you have the new hinges and your struts are ok.
 

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As long as your struts are good. When new, it doesn't take much to open, but now my original struts (8 years, 170k miles later) don't open the door all the way (particularity in <50F weather). I have to help it up. I can't see it causing too much trouble opening if you have the new hinges and your struts are ok.
The struts seem to be alright. I do notice that when it opens, it does take a few seconds to open that last little bit if left on it's own. Sometimes I help it just to make sure as I'm 6Ft and always worried I will hit my head on it.

I did not even realize I had this issue with the hatch until this thread. Sure enough, the alignment is off when closed and the bottom edge barely - probably by just mm's- misses the bumper covering on the drivers side (and there is noticeably more room on the passenger side). I also have the gap/ buckle in the hinge on the drivers side. Hatch still opens and closes fine but I now realize it's going to be an issue very soon if not addressed. My wife insists she must have the silly auto feature so I ordered the hinges today. Now it's just a matter of deciding if I want to tackle it myself.

Question with regard to your diy for this....why did you remove the glass rear window? If you had a second person holding the hinge from the outside, would you still need to remove that glass rear window?
 

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The glass and spoiler mount directly to the hinges, its all gotta go.

I guess you might be able to finagle it out if your holding the glass and tailgate in place, at different elevations, while the hinge is off and its only supported from one side.....but I really really don't suggest that.
 
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