Power Tailgate Switch



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Thread: Power Tailgate Switch

  1. #1
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    Power Tailgate Switch

    JCamasto's recent thread about changing out his tailgate release switch prompted me to ask the question...

    Has anyone contemplated installing a switch for the rear tailgate motor? The power sliding doors have switches just fore of the seats, mounted on the B-pillars. Very convenient for using when leaving the van (push the switch and walk away, with toddler in hand) as well as getting out. I wonder why Chrysler didn't include a similar redundant switch for the rear tailgate. After you haul a stroller out of the back, it'd be much easier to be able to push a button on the vehicle rather than digging back for your keys to push the button. For that reason, I usually close the rear gate by hand.

    I wonder aloud how hard it'd be to wire in a nice-looking switch for the tailgate.
    '11 Toyota Camry | 2.5/6AT | Sandy Beach
    '07 Chrysler T&C | 3.8/4AT | Cognac Crystal
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  3. #2
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    Now you did it Jason. JCamasto is going to be racking his brain to figure out a switch for you. You know all you have to do is make some kind of suggestion and it is like throwing a challenge up to him.

    All kidding aside. That is a great idea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    JCamasto's recent thread about changing out his tailgate release switch prompted me to ask the question...

    Has anyone contemplated installing a switch for the rear tailgate motor? The power sliding doors have switches just fore of the seats, mounted on the B-pillars. Very convenient for using when leaving the van (push the switch and walk away, with toddler in hand) as well as getting out. I wonder why Chrysler didn't include a similar redundant switch for the rear tailgate. After you haul a stroller out of the back, it'd be much easier to be able to push a button on the vehicle rather than digging back for your keys to push the button. For that reason, I usually close the rear gate by hand.

    I wonder aloud how hard it'd be to wire in a nice-looking switch for the tailgate.
    I've wondered about the same thing myself, very good question.
    Sold: 1998 DGC Sport 3.8 (Final odo: 178,000 miles)
    Sold: 1998 Chrysler T&C LXi 3.8 (Final odo: 190,000 miles)
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    1998 Audi A4 Quattro (5-Speed manual)
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    This is another one of those Really!!! useful things Chrysler should copy from the Japanese minivan builders. On Hondas and Toyotas there is no switch on the B-pillars for the door to open, but if you just pull the handle for the door release (either from the outside or inside) the door will automatically open or close. Samething for the tailgate. When its closed just press on the release handle, and when its open just give it a little push down and it'll do the rest. I can't imagine it to be very hard to instal two extra switches on each of the power doors to make it be like in the Jap. vans.

    My guess is it wont be hard to install the extra switch. Just get the wiring diagram from a Haynes Manual and splice in a switch.

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    The reason they did not do it is because they were first to the market with the power tailgate, and just didn't think of it. Once they came to market, others improved on it, and it was not probably cost-effective for them to change it midstream (though they did have a run of 7 model years).

    What I wish they had done is to disable the power tailgate from the key fob when the van is locked. I am convinced the dent in my tailgate is from something bumping the button on the fob in my pocket when I was inside the house, and the tailgate opened and slammed into the garage door, before reversing.

    The good news is that the 08 has a switch, right by the motor. Maybe Jason (or JCamasto) can order up one of those, once they come out, and retrofit it to work with the 4th gens.
    Michael
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    Other vehicles:
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    I actually DON'T like the door-actuated motors, at least on the Honda, because you HAVE to let the power motor close the door. On our Chrysler vans, if you want to pull the door closed yourself, you can.

    On our van, you have to press the button for any of the power doors twice in quick succession. Maybe this addresses the problem that mmahamm may have had, with an inadvertent actuation of the gate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darek View Post
    This is another one of those Really!!! useful things Chrysler should copy from the Japanese minivan builders. On Hondas and Toyotas there is no switch on the B-pillars for the door to open, but if you just pull the handle for the door release (either from the outside or inside) the door will automatically open or close.
    The beauty of the power door setup on the DGC and T&C is that the doors operate fully manual (which I prefer most of the time) unless I push a button. On our neighbors' Ody (which is on its third transmission BTW) it seems that you must use the power feature all of the time. I say "seems" because I've only had the opportunity to sit in back once and I recall fighting with the door when I did. So, what did I miss?

    Edit: Ahhh, I see Jason beat me to the same point.
    Sold: 1998 DGC Sport 3.8 (Final odo: 178,000 miles)
    Sold: 1998 Chrysler T&C LXi 3.8 (Final odo: 190,000 miles)
    Sold: 2003 DGC ES 3.8 (Final odo: 172,000 miles)
    1998 Audi A4 Quattro (5-Speed manual)
    2001 Honda Accord EX V6 (4-Speed automatic)
    2009 Mazda3 i Touring (5-Speed manual)
    2012 VW GTI (6-Speed manual)

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    Hmmm... I "thought" that the fancy overhead console/computer had a tailgate button - but I'm probably mistaken.

    A button on the interior to release, or release and lift (if you got the power hatch) would be nice.


    ----

    On my old second-gen, I soldered/wired a couple of push-button switches back to the dashboard release switch. Mounted one on the b-pillar, one hidden under the the exterior tailgate lift handle (2nd gens only had a key release). Even wired in a defeat switch for long term/secure parking, or where I thought someone might know of the "secret" switch.

    That 2nd gen dash switch would not operate with the van rolling - that's why I used it. But the old releases worked with a quick "pop" of the solenoid - I think for safety concerns (guessing here) the 4th gen feels like it's got a more intricate, perhaps redundant latch to unlock - it sounds more like "shwit - ooonk" than "pop".

    -Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamasto View Post
    Hmmm... I "thought" that the fancy overhead console/computer had a tailgate button - but I'm probably mistaken.
    -Jim
    The point Jason was making is it would be nice to have a second button, just inside the hatch.

    On the 2004 and later Lexus RX (we had a loaner once), the button is on the bottom of the tailgate itself, rather than being just inside the hatch. This actually makes a little more sense, because you don't have to get out of the way after pushing the button. However, it would not work as well on the van, as it would be quite a reach, especially for a short person.
    Michael
    Centreville, VA
    Currently driving:
    2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT, 99K mi.
    Former owner of:
    1988 Dodge Caravan SE, 2.5L I4 (1988-1995, 99K mi); 1995 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE "Rallye", 3.3L (1995-2004, 169K mi); 2003 Grand Caravan Sport, 3.8L, (2004-2008, 106K mi), 2008 Nissan Quest, (2008-2010, 25K mi)

    Other vehicles:
    2008 Lexus RX400h (Dark Gray), 65K mi; 2005 Hyundai Elantra GT (Blue), 65K mi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    On our van, you have to press the button for any of the power doors twice in quick succession. Maybe this addresses the problem that mmahamm may have had, with an inadvertent actuation of the gate.
    You have a sentry key, right? Maybe that's a feature of the Sentry key. On our 95, the tailgate unlock (not power open, just unlock) button required a "double click," and I liked that. Also it didn't work if the van was locked.
    Michael
    Centreville, VA
    Currently driving:
    2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT, 99K mi.
    Former owner of:
    1988 Dodge Caravan SE, 2.5L I4 (1988-1995, 99K mi); 1995 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE "Rallye", 3.3L (1995-2004, 169K mi); 2003 Grand Caravan Sport, 3.8L, (2004-2008, 106K mi), 2008 Nissan Quest, (2008-2010, 25K mi)

    Other vehicles:
    2008 Lexus RX400h (Dark Gray), 65K mi; 2005 Hyundai Elantra GT (Blue), 65K mi

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