How do I remove the tailgate assist handle and replace the lid with a normal
I though I would like the tailgate step and assist handle. They are always in the way and I want to get rid of the handle but keep the step if possible. Can I remove the plastic tailgate cover, pull the hande and re-install a metal tailgate cover.
If not, Does anyone want to swap a tailgate. Its red, has the back-up camera and, no dealer markings and in excellent condition.
I did exactly what you asked about. It was also for the same reason.
Remove the plastic tailgate cover. You will find 6 torx screws holding the handle in place, remove them, and do what you wish with the handle. Next you will need to cover the opening with the normal access panel from a non step tailgate. You can order if from the dealership for around $80, or you can find one off of a 1999-2012 pickup for probably a lot less. If you go the used route you will be one step ahead of me and have a painted one. You will also need shorter screws to attach the new access panel to the tailgate. I got shorter screws at Lowes because they were cheaper than the dealership. Hope this helps.
if you do go with the used access panel i hope you have better luck at the salvage yard than i do. I asked them if they had a tailgate from a 1999-1011 and they looked at me like i was retarded. they said that the part numbers weren't going to be the same. I tried to explain to them that it wasn't an issue, as i have taken measurements and any of those years would work. I think they just didnt' want to have to search for each year's model to see if they had one.