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Discussion Starter #1
I've inherited a 2008 Element. The tailgate is banged up pretty bad, and I'd like to try to replace the thing myself. I've searched high and low for instructions on how to do this -- even paid for an Alldata subscription.... can't find this. Any tips?
 

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There are no instructions in AllDATAdiy.com, probably because if you stand there and look at it for a minute it becomes obvious how to remove it. You did not specify but I assume you are talking about replacement of the complete lower gate including the metal frame and outer skin.

With the tail gate open lift the flap that covers the gap between the cargo area and the tail gate. Remove the three screws holding the flap to the body. Remove the plastic tail gate inner panel. Just pull up on it around the edges and it will come loose. Disconnect all the electrical wiring from inside the tail gate. Pull the rubber harness grommet out of the bottom of the tail gate and pull the wiring out through the opening in the bottom of the tail gate and move the harness into the cargo area out of the way. Support the tail gate, it is heavy. Remove the bolts holding the support cables on either side of the tail gate. Remove the bolts holding the hinges to the tail gate. Hopefully it did not fall on your feet at this point.

When you install the replacement tail gate do not fully tighten the bolts that hold the hinges. Snug enough to hold it in place but not super tight. Close the tail gate slowly the first time and check that it is properly located in the opening as far as up/down and left/right. Once it is correct tighten the bolts fully. Reassemble in reverse order.
 

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There are no instructions in AllDATAdiy.com, probably because if you stand there and look at it for a minute it becomes obvious how to remove it. You did not specify but I assume you are talking about replacement of the complete lower gate including the metal frame and outer skin.

With the tail gate open lift the flap that covers the gap between the cargo area and the tail gate. Remove the three screws holding the flap to the body. Remove the plastic tail gate inner panel. Just pull up on it around the edges and it will come loose. Disconnect all the electrical wiring from inside the tail gate. Pull the rubber harness grommet out of the bottom of the tail gate and pull the wiring out through the opening in the bottom of the tail gate and move the harness into the cargo area out of the way. Support the tail gate, it is heavy. Remove the bolts holding the support cables on either side of the tail gate. Remove the bolts holding the hinges to the tail gate. Hopefully it did not fall on your feet at this point.

When you install the replacement tail gate do not fully tighten the bolts that hold the hinges. Snug enough to hold it in place but not super tight. Close the tail gate slowly the first time and check that it is properly located in the opening as far as up/down and left/right. Once it is correct tighten the bolts fully. Reassemble in reverse order.
Thanks! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
First thanks Rustedwrench for those instructions. Based off of that, I ordered a replacement part. It arrived today, and I tried using the instructions... but I'm a little stuck.

I've got two questions:

1) The most important one is about the electrical stuff. My replacement came with the wiring attached. It sounds from your instructions like I should take this wiring off the old and put it on the new. But would it be easier to for me to just put the new wiring into the Element body? When I tried removing all the wiring from inside the old tail gate, I couldn't reach inside the tail gate deep enough with my fingers to disconnect the wire in the center that has a rubber harness grommet. And then, if I were to try to just use the wiring from the new tailgate, I can't see the connection point visible in the Element body where I'd connect the end of that wire. With my Element as things are, the wiring disappears under the plastic housing on the left side of the storage area. I'm sure I'd need to remove some of that, and I'm not sure how complicated that'd be.

2) A more minor question: You said, "With the tail gate open lift the flap that covers the gap between the cargo area and the tail gate." But then should I pull that out? I'm guessing so, just making sure.



205471
 

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First thanks Rustedwrench for those instructions. Based off of that, I ordered a replacement part. It arrived today, and I tried using the instructions... but I'm a little stuck.

I've got two questions:

1) The most important one is about the electrical stuff. My replacement came with the wiring attached. It sounds from your instructions like I should take this wiring off the old and put it on the new. But would it be easier to for me to just put the new wiring into the Element body? When I tried removing all the wiring from inside the old tail gate, I couldn't reach inside the tail gate deep enough with my fingers to disconnect the wire in the center that has a rubber harness grommet. And then, if I were to try to just use the wiring from the new tailgate, I can't see the connection point visible in the Element body where I'd connect the end of that wire. With my Element as things are, the wiring disappears under the plastic housing on the left side of the storage area. I'm sure I'd need to remove some of that, and I'm not sure how complicated that'd be.

2) A more minor question: You said, "With the tail gate open lift the flap that covers the gap between the cargo area and the tail gate." But then should I pull that out? I'm guessing so, just making sure.



View attachment 205471
If it is easier to use the wiring on the new tail gate then use it.

When I said to lift the flap between the cargo area and the tail gate I also said to remove the three screws that secure it to the body. To access the wiring behind the left cargo area panel you must remove the spare tire cover then remove the plastic panels that cover the seat mount on the left side and the cover over the rear shock top mount. Obviously you need to remove the left rear seat to do that. Then remove the bolt on the floor that secures the seat belt and then remove the screws that secure the panel. Some of those screws are behind little plastic flaps that need to be carefully pried open. Once all the screws are removed you can pull the panel loose from the remaining push-in mounts.
 
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