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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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