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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've recently noticed my new to me 2008 Element's tailgate's plastic panels hinge bumpouts are rubbing against the bumper when I open the tailgate. First they conflict with bumper as it's opened, flexes and then make a loud bump noise as they finally slides past the bumper. I'm concerned the the plastic with break after not too many of these flexing cycles. A quick search of the site leads me to believe this has happened to others and either the plastic panel isn't properly attached inside or the bumper was distorted in a backup accident and while the plastic cover returned to near normal, the metal underneath is bent an raising the bumper up just enough to interfere.

Have any of you had experience with this problem and be willing to offer insight?

Thanks for any informed replies.

Areas of conflict circled:

Vehicle Tire Car Automotive tire Automotive lighting
 

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Hi,
This plastic likes to 'travel' as it gets older, especially here in Florida, with heat and humidity.

The front of my driver door started rubbing the back of the plastic fender and...

The only thing I could do is take a flat file and file off some of the plastic where it was hitting.

Problem solved and completely unnoticed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi,
This plastic likes to 'travel' as it gets older, especially here in Florida, with heat and humidity.

The front of my driver door started rubbing the back of the plastic fender and...

The only thing I could do is take a flat file and file off some of the plastic where it was hitting.

Problem solved and completely unnoticed!
Thanks for the insight seagiant. If all else fails I'll consider trimming the bottom of the plastic panel. If I can open up the tailgate I'll take a look if/how the plastic is held to the metal portion of the tailgate.
 

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Hi,
Look real good and just remove where you have to, to stop the rub and no more.

Not a lot more you can do?

Should not take much unless there is another problem, or there was an accidental hit?
 

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2008 LX FWD AT
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There are three screws on each side and four clips across the top and bottom of the cladding. I suspect that one or more of the clips across the bottom are broken or missing. At the expense of one or more clips, you might remove the cladding to check the condition of the clips. With the cladding off, you might try heating it some and bending it so the lower edge hugs the metal tailgate tighter when installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Fleetwood,

Thanks so much for the reply. If it's not too hard, can you give me a quick rundown on the cladding removal process? I'd sure hate to break the cladding getting it off.

Best Regards,

Hugh
 

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2008 LX FWD AT
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Remove the six bolts. remove the license plate screws. Gently pull the top edge away from the tailgate to be able to see the clips. Using a trim removal tool, get it behind the base of the clips to pop them out. Work from one side to the other. With the four top ones out, you should then be able to get to the four bottom ones. Disconnect the wiring from the license plate lights.

Tip: Park it with the rear facing the sun for a while before starting; the warmer the cladding, the more pliable it will be.
 

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Honda Element 2007 EX MT
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Remove the six bolts. remove the license plate screws. Gently pull the top edge away from the tailgate to be able to see the clips. Using a trim removal tool, get it behind the base of the clips to pop them out. Work from one side to the other. With the four top ones out, you should then be able to get to the four bottom ones. Disconnect the wiring from the license plate lights.

Tip: Park it with the rear facing the sun for a while before starting; the warmer the cladding, the more pliable it will be.
I believe i saw some info. in the service manual about adjusting the tailgate. I wonder if that might help?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just finally got around to pulling the rear cladding and found most of the plastic bits that attach the cladding to the tailgate inserted in the tailgate but not engaged with the cladding. I've popped them out and once I've dealt with a bit of rust remediation with see if the cladding can be reinstalled more tightly. It appears that it should be drawn up way closer to the tailgate. Thanks for the tips Fleetwood. It was a very quick easy process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I just finally got around to pulling the rear cladding and found most of the plastic bits that attach the cladding to the tailgate inserted in the tailgate but not engaged with the cladding. I've popped them out and once I've dealt with a bit of rust remediation with see if the cladding can be reinstalled more tightly. It appears that it should be drawn up way closer to the tailgate. Thanks for the tips Fleetwood. It was a very quick easy process.
The rust us remediated and cladding back on. There is no more interference between the cladding and bumper:) Thanks Element Owners folks!
 
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