Tailgate stuck on ford f-100 1976 short bed ranger

Hi all. I read throught the mailing list here and want to understand a few things.
The tailgate won't go down anymore, it feels like there is a loose
rod(?) on the side of the tailgate that seems stuck.
I notice there is a one screw on the inside of the tailgate.
Is this something I could fix (i have no automotive skills to speak of) or should I have a machine shop look at it?
Anyhelp will be much appreicated as I really like this truck and want to learn more about it
thanks all
ps, if I can describe more, let me know what you want to hear
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remove trims and gain access to the lock/latch you may see something straight away good luck
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when i look under the latch i see a loose rod which seems to pull someting when i pull it, but what do remean remove trims?
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just remove latch then inspect, refit the rod as necc. i guess this model does't have a tailgate trim/panel
good luck
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Problem fixes, For what it is work the 1976 F 100 ford Ranger has two tiny plastic pieces that hold the steel rods (that pull the locks when the hatch is lifted) in place into the hand latch. Apparently theses can break pretty easy causing the rod to fall out making it very hard to close the gate and if the gate is slammed shut, then making it impossible to open since the rod is not longer in the hand latch mechanism so when the hand latch is pulled, it no longer pull the rod which no longer pulls the the spring locks
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