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Discussion Starter #1
I was curious if someone else with a '76 could do me a favor. After my black ice/ditch encounter my tailgate doesn't latch anymore. I was curious if someone could measure the length across the top of thier tailgate and the distance between the inside edges of the box where it latches and give me the numbers so I know if the tailgate is bent or the box walls spread out.

Thanks
 

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I'll do some measuring tonight after work and get those measurments you need.

I'll take some pics so that you can see where I am measuring. The "Classic" emblem. I am not positive but I think that the El Camino was the only thing that Chevy used that style of lettering on. I had one at one time or another. I can only find the one without the pins to attach it to the fender and one piece of the last one which says simply "ass" and another piece that says "ick".

Sorry I was on call this past weekend so I didn't get a chance to go looking through bone yards.

Have you looked at a 90s model Caprice Classic? I can't remember if that was the same lettering or not and I had a 91 Caprice Classic.
 

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I didn't get pictures tonight but I got the dimensions. I didn't actually check the tailgate just the surrounding frame it fits into.

Between the latches I measured 56" Exactly. (Outer sides)

Just under the chrome at the corner of the box from that opening to the other side I measured 57.25" (Top Corner to Top Corner)

At the bottom, very bottom of box under the tail gate hinges, I measured 64.75" corner to corner.

Hope this helped.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Much appreciated. I am really hoping it's just the tailgate and not the box. Nothing is visibly bent, but the latches don't catch. When I spun out I had one of my tires on the rim in the box and in the middle of my airborne 360 at 50 mph it flew out and took the tailgate down with it.
Once again, thanks for the help.

Brett
 

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The return spring in the tailgate on mine is missing so I have to close the handle when I close the gate. Also if you bend the inside rods it can cause the latch strikers not to stick out as far. If bad enough they could let go. If the tail gate looks good, no visible dents or buckles, then that is where I'd look.

The face of the strikers should be the same dimension as the latch plates which is ~56" maybe 55 7/8'ths or something close to 56".

Check that the strikers are going into the latch plates.

Just throwing out suggestions. Ignore all you've already done. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Finally got to compare measurements and the tailgate is bent. It has a bend in it about a foot from the right side that keeps it from latching by almost a 1/2" on each side. Now it's time to find a new tailgate.

Thanks again.

Brett
 
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