Ever since I’ve had FrankenScout, the tailgate never latched shut. It would stay up due to gravity and its own weight, but the latch arms on either side were pointing backwards and the button was inoperable.
Saturday afternoon, after a trip to the Home Depot to pick up ten bags of mulch (about 20 cubic yards) I took twenty minutes to pop the diamondplate cover off my tailgate and removed the access panel to see what the issue was with the latch mechanism. It turned out that the spring attached to the cam which both locks and unlocks the latch mechanism was completely disengaged from its stop, so that continual pushing of the button would cause the entire mechanism to spin around and stop functioning. I screwed the mechanism down to the tailgate and pulled the spring back into place with a screwdriver, then spun the latches and reconnected the entire mechanism. It closed and latched like a dream.
This was also Jen’s inaugural ride, and I think she enjoyed herself even though the exhaust fumes were strong. We rode a short distance with the top down, but had to stop and put it up on account of the chilly wind. I’m happy to say that 20 cubic yards of mulch didn’t so much as dent the rear springs—something that would have had the Jeep looking like it had been torpedoed.