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Exterior Modifications

VE II SPORTWAGON TAILGATE PROBLEM

Specific exterior modification information for Holden Commodore VE and VEII Series Commodores, and HSV E1, E2, and E3 models

Postby silversv6 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:19 pm

I have been having a intermittent problem with the tailgate. Every now & then it would not open. Now it will not work at all. I have popped the motor out & tested it with a transformer & it works perfectly & when connected to the car it will turn the cargo light on if I slide the lock mechanism to the open/unlocked position. I have checked the fuse & swapped the relay...not the problem. I have also hooked a test lamp up to the switch & probed the wires before the switch & could not find any power. NOW, while the tailgate was up/open, I opened the drivers door & the t/gate motor came to life on it's own for a few seconds. I have tried it with the car running & in Park & still no luck Any ideas or common problems you know of? Cheers
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Postby sportswagon » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:45 pm

Hi, I had a similar problem with my series 1 wagon, I read somewhere that its caused by moisture . I sprayed some contact cleaner and it started to work, the down side was that is made the rubber soft and it cracked , haven't had problems since, hope this helps
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Postby silversv6 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:31 am

sportswagon, you may be right. It's been pissing down here after 2-3 months of dry weather & it won't work & the last time it rained I got soaked trying to get it open!
Cheers

Talking to a guy today with an 09 Omega wagon & he can't open his tailgate when it's raining either.
Funny thing is, mine is always garaged or under cover & very rarely gets wet & it still does it!! Moisture sensitive switches?
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Postby kwaka738 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:25 pm

This is a known problem with the earlier Sportwagon. I had the problem about 6 months ago after driving through rain for about 3 hours. Yes water gets into the touchpad switch and corrodes things. You will be able to get by for a while but eventually the switch will fail. One thing I read is you can pop out the two rear number plate lights and by using a hair drier you can dry the touch pad out enough to get things going for a while. It might take 5 minutes or to dry things out but it will get wet again.

The touchpad and associated wiring loom (including new rear number plate lights) has been upgraded. The touchpad is definitely better with a more comprehensive water proof rubber membrane.

Below is a write up I did on the justcommodores forum and it might be useful to read if you are going to replace the switch yourselves. The thing to be careful of is not to break the rear (plastic) chrome strip when removing it.

(However if you want a real cheap and nasty fix (and I mean cheap) you could try this instead of doing the proper replacement job.

Pop put the switch part from the tailgate. You don't have to remove anything to pop this out, A couple of small screwdrivers should get it out. Once it's out and hanging by the two wires, chop the wires close to the switch (which is pretty stuffed anyhow. Buy yourself a pushbutton switch at someplace like Jaycar. Drill a hole through your old stuffed touchpad switch and mount your new (Jaycar) switch in the hole. Solder the wires (you cut off) onto the (Jaycar) switch. Before putting it all back together press the switch to make sure it runs the unlock mechanism. If it does push back the touchpad switch back into the spot you prised it from and you may have fixed the problem for the cost of the switch (from Jaycar) and your time.)

However if you want to do the job properly read this below (this is a cut and paste of what I did).

"Well I bit the bullet today and had a go at replacing the touchpad switch on my Sportwagon tailgate. I could still get the tailgate up with the touchpad switch but it was getting more difficult and I had the feeling it was not going to last too much longer.

So I thought I'd give an update with a description of how to do it as this information may save you the cost of buying the chrome strip at the cost of about $125 (the best price I found from ringing spare parts at a few dealers). BTW the cost of the switch pad, licence plate lights and wiring loom was $179.

You have to remove the inner panel of the tailgate. I took mine off about 6 months ago and have forgotten the detail but it was fairly easy.

Now for the hard bit, removing the chrome strip. You need to be careful not to damage this cheap bit of crap as you may as well keep the $125 in your wallet instead of giving it to your local Holden dealer. The chrome strip is held in by six nuts and two ‘snap in clips’.

The two ‘snap in clips’ are at the outer ends and can but pushed out by compressing the clip with a pair of long nose pliers and then pushing up and they will release through the hole (in the tailgate). When you see them it will be extremely obvious. I strongly suggest leaving them to last after you have undone the 6 nuts.

The 2 nuts adjacent the snap in clips are the ones that need the most care as if you just undo them you will most likely stuff up the chrome strip. If you just undo them what will most likely happen is you will turn the nut and screw together. The square head of the screw is held in chrome strip in just a plastic groove. It can't give enough support to hold the screw head and as you turn the nut you will damage the groove holding it and the chrome strip will be damaged.

So the best way of getting this undone without buggering things (and I wish I had known this) is to clamp the end of the screw thread with a pair of vice grips (a decent pair of electricians pliers might do). Clamp it tight enough so you can hold it firm so when you undo the nut with an open ended 10mm spanner the screw won't turn and destroy the groove in the chrome strip. It may take about 3-5 minutes to undo this nut but it is time well spent. It is also relatively easy to clamp onto the end of the screw as the thread (of the screw) doesn't go all the way to the end so you aren't destroying anything. It might even be easier if you had a friend help you as it's a bit tedious doing it by yourself. Just to make life harder mine had a bit of thread lock on the screw so as it wouldn't come undone over time. (Then do the other one of the other side with the same amount of care.)

So when you have removed these two nuts the other four (inner ones in the centre area of the tailgate) should be okay to just remove with a 10mm socket. The support for the 4 inner screws is much more substantial than the other two in the previous paragraph.

Disconnect the wiring (it's a plug socket and very obvious).

Now that you have successfully removed the 6 nuts, unclip the snap in clips at either end of the chrome strip with your long nose pliers and the chrome strip will come away from the tailgate. However you will need to push through the rubber grommet on the wiring loom and you can now completely remove the chrome strip which includes the (stuffed) release switch, the rear number plate lights and the wiring loom.

When you get your new switch, which is obviously better than the one you had in the first place, you will need to remove the 2 Torx screws that hold the switch and bracket in and put in the new part. The new switch pad comes with wiring loom and number plate lights. Again all obvious when you see it.

The installation process is just the reverse of the removal process. I also got new rubber washers from Clark Rubber. (Hang the expense!).

Good luck and hopefully you won't bugger up your chrome strip!! "
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Postby morgan08071964 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:00 pm

Hi there - thanks for the info on the process regarding the touch pad for the VE commodore tailgate release mechanism.

I have 2 queries - I have located the fuse in the area near the passenger side foot well. My question is: Is this the area where the relay for the release mechanism is located? Or is the relay for the tailgate release mechanism in the large fuse box in the engine bay?

And how does the actual touch pad switch be removed from the all-too-flimsy chrome strip? It looks to me like it's all one piece...any tricks or tips would be much appreciated.

Cheers Chris
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Postby howard » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:37 pm

Thanks Kwaka so much
I am going to do the Jcar switch before the problem exhibits


kwaka738 wrote:This is a known problem with the earlier Sportwagon. I had the problem about 6 months ago after driving through rain for about 3 hours. Yes water gets into the touchpad switch and corrodes things. You will be able to get by for a while but eventually the switch will fail. One thing I read is you can pop out the two rear number plate lights and by using a hair drier you can dry the touch pad out enough to get things going for a while. It might take 5 minutes or to dry things out but it will get wet again.

The touchpad and associated wiring loom (including new rear number plate lights) has been upgraded. The touchpad is definitely better with a more comprehensive water proof rubber membrane.

Below is a write up I did on the justcommodores forum and it might be useful to read if you are going to replace the switch yourselves. The thing to be careful of is not to break the rear (plastic) chrome strip when removing it.

(However if you want a real cheap and nasty fix (and I mean cheap) you could try this instead of doing the proper replacement job.

Pop put the switch part from the tailgate. You don't have to remove anything to pop this out, A couple of small screwdrivers should get it out. Once it's out and hanging by the two wires, chop the wires close to the switch (which is pretty stuffed anyhow. Buy yourself a pushbutton switch at someplace like Jaycar. Drill a hole through your old stuffed touchpad switch and mount your new (Jaycar) switch in the hole. Solder the wires (you cut off) onto the (Jaycar) switch. Before putting it all back together press the switch to make sure it runs the unlock mechanism. If it does push back the touchpad switch back into the spot you prised it from and you may have fixed the problem for the cost of the switch (from Jaycar) and your time.)

However if you want to do the job properly read this below (this is a cut and paste of what I did).

"Well I bit the bullet today and had a go at replacing the touchpad switch on my Sportwagon tailgate. I could still get the tailgate up with the touchpad switch but it was getting more difficult and I had the feeling it was not going to last too much longer.

So I thought I'd give an update with a description of how to do it as this information may save you the cost of buying the chrome strip at the cost of about $125 (the best price I found from ringing spare parts at a few dealers). BTW the cost of the switch pad, licence plate lights and wiring loom was $179.

You have to remove the inner panel of the tailgate. I took mine off about 6 months ago and have forgotten the detail but it was fairly easy.

Now for the hard bit, removing the chrome strip. You need to be careful not to damage this cheap bit of crap as you may as well keep the $125 in your wallet instead of giving it to your local Holden dealer. The chrome strip is held in by six nuts and two ‘snap in clips’.

The two ‘snap in clips’ are at the outer ends and can but pushed out by compressing the clip with a pair of long nose pliers and then pushing up and they will release through the hole (in the tailgate). When you see them it will be extremely obvious. I strongly suggest leaving them to last after you have undone the 6 nuts.

The 2 nuts adjacent the snap in clips are the ones that need the most care as if you just undo them you will most likely stuff up the chrome strip. If you just undo them what will most likely happen is you will turn the nut and screw together. The square head of the screw is held in chrome strip in just a plastic groove. It can't give enough support to hold the screw head and as you turn the nut you will damage the groove holding it and the chrome strip will be damaged.

So the best way of getting this undone without buggering things (and I wish I had known this) is to clamp the end of the screw thread with a pair of vice grips (a decent pair of electricians pliers might do). Clamp it tight enough so you can hold it firm so when you undo the nut with an open ended 10mm spanner the screw won't turn and destroy the groove in the chrome strip. It may take about 3-5 minutes to undo this nut but it is time well spent. It is also relatively easy to clamp onto the end of the screw as the thread (of the screw) doesn't go all the way to the end so you aren't destroying anything. It might even be easier if you had a friend help you as it's a bit tedious doing it by yourself. Just to make life harder mine had a bit of thread lock on the screw so as it wouldn't come undone over time. (Then do the other one of the other side with the same amount of care.)

So when you have removed these two nuts the other four (inner ones in the centre area of the tailgate) should be okay to just remove with a 10mm socket. The support for the 4 inner screws is much more substantial than the other two in the previous paragraph.

Disconnect the wiring (it's a plug socket and very obvious).

Now that you have successfully removed the 6 nuts, unclip the snap in clips at either end of the chrome strip with your long nose pliers and the chrome strip will come away from the tailgate. However you will need to push through the rubber grommet on the wiring loom and you can now completely remove the chrome strip which includes the (stuffed) release switch, the rear number plate lights and the wiring loom.

When you get your new switch, which is obviously better than the one you had in the first place, you will need to remove the 2 Torx screws that hold the switch and bracket in and put in the new part. The new switch pad comes with wiring loom and number plate lights. Again all obvious when you see it.

The installation process is just the reverse of the removal process. I also got new rubber washers from Clark Rubber. (Hang the expense!).

Good luck and hopefully you won't bugger up your chrome strip!! "
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