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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have experience with replacement of the tailgate closing mechanism? I left the wagon at the airport for a trip and when I returned the tailgate would not open. I opened it manually, but when I closed it the electric assist would not engage. I can close it manually, but it doesn't lock down completely. Hence, it rattles around while driving. :(

I checked all the fuses. Is there anything else I can do short of having the locking mechanism replaced?
 

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OK- here's the deal...inside the locking mechanism, there are two arms connected by a plastic pin. The pin is designed to break away if and when the tailgate senses resistance as it is closing. This is a "feature" that BMW designed to save you from replacing the whole locking mechanism (around $200-$250). Only problem is, THEY DON'T SELL THE PLASTIC PIN SEPARATELY, so the whole idea makes no sense!

I ended up using a zip tie to keep the arms together, and the tailgate is working fine. I guess if I try to close it on a towel or something like that, it may fry the locking mechanism altogether, but I had nothing to lose, so we'll see how it goes...

To get to the mechanism, remove the entire interior trim/toolbox from the tailgate. There are about 6-8 screws which you'll see, but two are at the top, under the window lock mechanism (you'll need to remove a small trim piece). Then hit the tailgate release button on your key fob, which will make the arms move, and you'll see exactly what the problem is.

Good luck, and post here if you run into any issues. That way hopefully there will be an archived source for others who run into this issue.
 

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GJR said:
OK- here's the deal...inside the locking mechanism, there are two arms connected by a plastic pin. The pin is designed to break away if and when the tailgate senses resistance as it is closing. This is a "feature" that BMW designed to save you from replacing the whole locking mechanism (around $200-$250). Only problem is, THEY DON'T SELL THE PLASTIC PIN SEPARATELY, so the whole idea makes no sense!

I ended up using a zip tie to keep the arms together, and the tailgate is working fine. I guess if I try to close it on a towel or something like that, it may fry the locking mechanism altogether, but I had nothing to lose, so we'll see how it goes...

To get to the mechanism, remove the entire interior trim/toolbox from the tailgate. There are about 6-8 screws which you'll see, but two are at the top, under the window lock mechanism (you'll need to remove a small trim piece). Then hit the tailgate release button on your key fob, which will make the arms move, and you'll see exactly what the problem is.

Good luck, and post here if you run into any issues. That way hopefully there will be an archived source for others who run into this issue.
Great post! I will save this one for future use.

.
 

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You're quite welcome guys...before I discovered this board I used to hang around roadfly.com, and that's where I originally came across the info. Came in handy when I had this problem last week! I went back to that board and searched for "tailgate" and was able to get some details.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mission Accomplished

Thanks again, GJR. I followed your directions and fixed the problem. For others who tackle this issue, make sure that you remove all of the screws holding the panel. There is one in the center that's hard to see.

Anyway, for the benefit of all I took a picture of the installed zip tie. Works like a charm.:cool:
 

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Hey Garo,

I remember you mentioned this tailgate problem to me a year ago while we were hanging in the RF boards. Glad things worked out and glad to see you here at the Fest. :)

Can't wait for football season to start. Regards to your dad, ;).
 

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islandbeef said:
Hey Garo,

I remember you mentioned this tailgate problem to me a year ago while we were hanging in the RF boards. Glad things worked out and glad to see you here at the Fest. :)

Can't wait for football season to start. Regards to your dad, ;).
Hey Al- good to see you around too. Go Chargers!;)
 

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just a question..when yours got stuck, did yours make a retarded sound when you tried to open it??

gonna go and try to fix it now..
 

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ok, i still dont get it..maybe there might be somthing different thats wrong with mine.. according to what you have posted (correct me if i'm wrong.) is that you are zip tieing the manual release thing together??

with mine, my manual release works, and i was able to open my boot that way. But when i pressed the button the motor would make a whirring sound... did yours making a whirring sound??

btw at least my boot is closed properly for now..i was scared the boot might pop open and everything would fall out while i was driving..
 

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oh yeah and to add to what i just said, it closes fine, but makes the whirring when you press the button to open... i'm guessing its a slightly different problem?
 

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Bren517

Also check to see if the whole central locking is still working (by using the key or the lock/unlock button on the ship console). I had similar issue in the past and found out that the central locking fuse was bad. It seems that the tailgate locking mechanism and the central locking circuits are on 2 separate fuses, when the central lock fuse blown, the taigate mechanism still works (keeps moving around) but would never lock.

Tan
 

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ok i'll take a look, thanks. It probably is very likely that i have blown a fuse i think...are the fuses you are talking about, the ones in the wall on top of the battery??
 

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Yes, that's the one above the battery
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes, mine made the whirring sound when I attempted to open it. Before the fix, the door closed (manually, not electrically) but not completely, so that it rattled around when driving. The tie does not affect the manual release.

The tie connects two rods together. The horizontal rod is connected to a switch that apparently actuates the electric locking mechanism where the door latch goes into the trunk lid. If the rods are connected together with a plastic pin, this is not the fix for your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
msc said:
Dumb question.
How do you open the tailgate manually?
Not such a dumb question! It took me a couple hours to figure it out, with the help of the owners manual (always the last resort, of course!).

To open the tailgate manually, remove the side panels for the stereo and battery. This will make space for you to open the tool kit cover. On the passenger side on the inside of the tailgate there is a black plastic plug that you pull out. It is attached to a cord. Pull the cord to release the latch.
 

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Thanks for the info here. My girlfriend quickly shut the gate in the rain. Something must have been in the way.

Researched it here. Took it all apart. Pin was gone/broken. Out in Montauk at a hotel. No tools. Found a piece of wire in a old hotel mechanical room. Fixed it. Back working fine.

Rsavory, you saved me $300 -- $400 Thanks
 
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