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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I discovered a disappointing detail about my tailgate, not sure what to do about it. I had gotten a yard of topsoil (in the bed) and after my girlfriend shoveled it all out (she's an avid gardener) I washed out the bed. I had the truck on a slight incline so the water would run out the back and used a hose with a shower setting to wash all the remaining dirt out. Not high pressure, not a pressure washer. The tailgate was down and after rinsing the dirt out of the bed I also hosed off the tailgate. I left the tailgate down so the sun would dry everything off. When I closed the tailgate a flood of muddy water gushed out of the bottom of the tailgate. WTF? It was a lot of water and seemed to come from more than one location. I know there's a hole where the wiring goes in, but there was just too much water for this to be the cause. It's disappointing how easy it was to fill it up and how much was in there. Anyone driving in the rain or snow with the tailgate down could be in trouble.

A couple of things concern me. First, what else can get up there? If I'm driving through winter salty slush, can that work it's way up there? And now that I've had muddy water sloshing around, how do I clean it out? How often do I have to clean it out. Even if the tailgate is up and drains quickly, just having another place for salt to get into the body is disappointing.

I guess I'm going to have to take it apart to clean things up and then coat the inside well with something like Fluid Film. But I need to find a way to stop water getting in at all.
 

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If you washed it with the tailgate down on an incline, you essentially filled it up with everything you washed out of the bed. The tailgate lip would have caught the runoff from the bed and the drain holes would have let it fill the tailgate. I'd pull off the access panel and wash it out, personally.
 

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The same thing happens to my first gen. The access panel on the inside of the tailgate for accessing the handle mechanism is not weather sealed at all. If you leave the tailgate down when it is raining, it fills with a small amount of water, which comes rushing out of holes at the bottom when you close the tailgate.

My truck is near 10 years old, and I have not had any rust issues with the tailgate.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I finally got back to look at how all the water got in there. When this happened I was on my way to run errands and couldn't check it out. There are a few relatively large holes in the bottom of the tailgate, easy for water to get in and out. Strange that they would design the tailgate with these big holes, I don't remember anything like this on my Silverado. I guess I'll take off the access panel to clean things up and then coat it all with Fluid Film. I wonder how the latch mechanisms, wiring etc will do being exposed to salt and slush.

It just doesn't make sense that they'd leave these large holes in the bottom of the tailgate. What's the purpose?
 

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The purpose would seem to be to allow water to drain. Dont think anyone ever though the tailgate would be down for such an extended period that it could fill with and retain water.


Drop tailgate, wash out bed, put tailgate up.
 

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I finally got back to look at how all the water got in there. When this happened I was on my way to run errands and couldn't check it out. There are a few relatively large holes in the bottom of the tailgate, easy for water to get in and out. Strange that they would design the tailgate with these big holes, I don't remember anything like this on my Silverado. I guess I'll take off the access panel to clean things up and then coat it all with Fluid Film. I wonder how the latch mechanisms, wiring etc will do being exposed to salt and slush.

It just doesn't make sense that they'd leave these large holes in the bottom of the tailgate. What's the purpose?
Purpose: Drainage.

There are four ways to handle moisture in designs:

1. Coat everything in a protective film, so moisture does not bother it. Works in a few applications, when it fails, you typically have no warning there was corrosion going on under the coating.

2. Seal the compartment up so there is no way for moisture to enter. Rarely works 100%, same issue you can't see the problem till it fails.

3. Create drainage holes so moisture can drip out and hopefully the system dries out. Use in conjunction with item 1 above and it may do okay.

4. Do nothing and hope the customer sells or scraps the product before they notice.
 

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First off tailgates are not and should not be sealed units. They are designed like doors to let water in and out. The key being out.


Second the metal is coated inside and not raw steel so rust should not be an issue. Odds are rust will start in the fold seam long before anywhere else.


Third if you feel the need to spray anything in make sure you don't plug up the holes as if you do it will retain the water even with gate up. I have seen many rust proofed cars with plugged door drains and full of water.


Finally when ever washing the bed put the tailgate up when you are drying it. The water will drain out and not be a factor.


Body panels like doors and gates have to have air to breath and drain. The salt will not do a thing to the inside and by the time any issues do arrive the rest of the bed is held together with duct tape and a chain.


Normal rust though issues are in most cases 12 years or more and major rust 20 years or more on most models unless there is damage or some special problem.


My Sonoma was fine with good care to 12 years and I had a little bit in the seam in the lower fold of the third door.


In all my trucks I have never had rust though issues on my tailgate.


The bottom line is don't over react here.
 

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All trucks do this....... I’ve had at least 3 different trucks before my Canyon and the tailgate all get water in them (as you describe) when down & washing, etc.

Have no fear.....the truck isn’t going to spontaneously combust or fall apart.

Do you realize - If you sealed up every body panel 100% (and tailgate) to prevent water from getting in...... Condensation would build up in side and never get out. And that is a recipe for RUST. You’re better off allowing water to escape and airlow to get in.

You ever see old trucks with the bottom of the doors rusted from the inside out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My paranoia stems from my 2000 Silverado, that's where I came up with the name Trusty Rusty. I put over 240K miles on it and there wasn't a body panel on it that didn't have rust. Thank you road salt. Too late to check but I don't remember it having drain holes like the Colorado does. Rocker panels, wheel arches, doors, they all rusted, weep holes or not. I think applying Fluid Film and wearing blinders will be enough. Maybe I won't keep this one for 15 years like the Silverado.

DC
 

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My paranoia stems from my 2000 Silverado, that's where I came up with the name Trusty Rusty. I put over 240K miles on it and there wasn't a body panel on it that didn't have rust. Thank you road salt. Too late to check but I don't remember it having drain holes like the Colorado does. Rocker panels, wheel arches, doors, they all rusted, weep holes or not. I think applying Fluid Film and wearing blinders will be enough. Maybe I won't keep this one for 15 years like the Silverado.

DC
With enough rust holes, weep holes become unnecessary.
 
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