tailgate stuck question

Hello - The tailgate on my 2000 Silverado Z-71 flareside is stuck shut. I have a spray in bedliner and cannot see if there are any screws on inside.
Outside is a trim piece around handle. That came off once and was repaired with double sticky tape. . I do not remember any screw heads or anything behind there that will help me get to the troublesome parts. On top edge I have a rail protector. When I try to open the tailgate it does seem like something is releasing but the tailgate doesn't move. If I then push on it hard it does seem to re-engage and click into place. There is only about 1/16" movement.
So, how do I proceed? Do I try and find some screws on the inside, under my spray in liner? Do I pry off the trim on the outside? Remove the rail protector? Jaws of life? Suggestions please. Alldatadiy doesn't have any schematics to show me where to even begin to look for the problem.
TIA
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Greetings,
If you remove the trim piece around the outside center handle on your tailgate, you will see the mechanism for the handle and the two rods that realease the latches on the sides of the tailgate. If all you need to do is inspect and maybe do a little bit of lubrication, then this is all you need to remove. I suggest hosing down the handle mechanism with lubricant, as well as spraying the side latches from both the outside and through the hole for the handle using the red plastic straw that comes with a can of WD-40. You might get lucky and free up one or both of the latches.
However, if you need to completely remove the center handle mechanism because something is either bent or broken or jammed inside, there are three screws that hold it in place that are accessible from the inside/top surface of the tailgate directly behind the handle (which are now underneath your spray-in bes liner).
Cheers - Jonathan

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Jonathan wrote:

I had to replace my mechinism last winter on my 2000 K3500. It was worn enough that it would not relably retract one of the gate latches and allow it to open properly.
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