Hi all. Haven't been on the board for a while. I had an interesting experience today that I thought might help someone. My tailgate latch handle had broken a couple of weeks ago. It is one of the newer plastic ones that don't last. I replaced it with another plastic one. You can buy about 6 of those for what Nissan wants, and I don't know if the one from Nissan is metal any more anyway.
When I installed the handle, I found that it would not pull the latches far enough to allow the gate to open or close. It looked exactly the same as the old one, but something was different. I took the whole mechanism apart, and I found that the wire pulls that run from the handle to the latches go into a plastic slot about 3/4 inch long on the latch mechanism. The new handle would pull far enough to use up that 3/4 inch, then about another 1/2 inch, but not enough to allow the latch to actually open.
Anyway, my two choices seemed to be to rebend the wires to make them shorter, or to fill in those slots. I opted for the second choice. I used a short piece of hard rubber tubing that I had laying around, and gooped one in place on each side. This had the same effect as shortening the wire pulls. I then reinstalled everything. Now they begin to pull the latch as soon as you begin to move the handle - no slop. Everything works fine, and if I ever have to go back to the way it was, it will be easy to remove the rubber tubing from the slot.
Don't know if anyone will ever need this, but there it is.