Gnarly tailgate rattle

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At around 300 miles in, my Bronco has developed a pretty gnarly rattle from the tailgate.

I will try to get a recording, but it is very loud and easily reproducible by driving basically any distance.

I had someone ride in the cargo area and they said it’s coming from within the tailgate itself, like metal pinging against metal. Not near hinges, latches, or where the tailgate interacts with the hard top window seal. I popped the accessory ready cover off on the inside of the tailgate and there are only some small holes into the interior of the tailgate, so no way to reach your hand in there or anything and it’s unclear how it could be disassembled any further, given it’s metal sandwiched together.

Ford dealership service departments around here aren’t rated well at all, and since they likely haven’t troubleshot many/any Broncos yet, I’m thinking about waiting and continuing to see if I can remediate before asking them to deal with it. Not sure how long I can go though, because it’s VERY loud!

Anyone with service manuals able to provide any insight? Is there better access from behind the spare tire? Not sure I would feel comfortable doing much more myself, but if there’s a quick and easy way in I may give it a shot..:


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At around 300 miles in, my Bronco has developed a pretty gnarly rattle from the tailgate.

I will try to get a recording, but it is very loud and easily reproducible by driving basically any distance.

I had someone ride in the cargo area and they said it’s coming from within the tailgate itself, like metal pinging against metal. Not near hinges, latches, or where the tailgate interacts with the hard top window seal. I popped the accessory ready cover off on the inside of the tailgate and there are only some small holes into the interior of the tailgate, so no way to reach your hand in there or anything and it’s unclear how it could be disassembled any further, given it’s metal sandwiched together.

Ford dealership service departments around here aren’t rated well at all, and since they likely haven’t troubleshot many/any Broncos yet, I’m thinking about waiting and continuing to see if I can remediate before asking them to deal with it. Not sure how long I can go though, because it’s VERY loud!

Anyone with service manuals able to provide any insight? Is there better access from behind the spare tire? Not sure I would feel comfortable doing much more myself, but if there’s a quick and easy way in I may give it a shot..:
Are you sure it’s not something on the spare tire itself rattling on the mount? Maybe you should have someone drive while you sit in the “back seat” and listen for it?

Rattles drive me fucking insane! I hope you find it.
 

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Maybe a piece of metal or a clip fell in? My Jeep Compass had a rattle that drove me nuts. Took it apart to find two clips rattling around loose in there. Could also be something near the tailgate and not the TG itself. Also, try a magnet. See if it 'catches' whatever it is and see if it stops.
 
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Are you sure it’s not something on the spare tire itself rattling on the mount? Maybe you should have someone drive while you sit in the “back seat” and listen for it?

Rattles drive me fucking insane! I hope you find it.
I tried messing with the spare tire and mount while the vehicle is stationary, and it feels VERY solid; little to no play whatsoever. Also can’t reproduce the rattle while the vehicle is stationary at all, opening and closing it, messing with the tire/mount, etc.

This one would definitely drive anyone crazy! It’s very audible from the cabin since there’s nothing between the passenger compartment and the metal of the tailgate lol
 

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Maybe a piece of metal or a clip fell in? My Jeep Compass had a rattle that drove me nuts. Took it apart to find two clips rattling around loose in there. Could also be something near the tailgate and not the TG itself. Also, try a magnet. See if it 'catches' whatever it is and see if it stops.
Magnet is a great call. I’ll find a strong one on amazon!
 

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I tried messing with the spare tire and mount while the vehicle is stationary, and it feels VERY solid; little to no play whatsoever. Also can’t reproduce the rattle while the vehicle is stationary at all, opening and closing it, messing with the tire/mount, etc.

This one would definitely drive anyone crazy! It’s very audible from the cabin since there’s nothing between the passenger compartment and the metal of the tailgate lol
Try removing the spare tire and driving around? I agree with the post above - Either a small magnet on a stick or even one of those cameras for looking into drains and such, if you have one, would likely be helpful. I bet it’s something stupid and easy to fix.
 

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Honestly, IF I didn't plan on hanging it on my dealer warranty (wherever you bought it- if their service dept needs improvement, you can be a great way to help them get better?), I'd pull off all the plastic bits on the inside of the gate, then, get a good friend, but not too good, who's willing to roll around back there while you drive judiciously, but otherwise just hard enough to replicate the noise, and see what they can find. Should be obvious with all the plastic off.

giphy.gif
 

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What about the little tray area under the cargo area? That might sound like the tailgate from the front seat. 🤷‍♂️
The person I had ride in the cargo area was able to pinpoint it pretty strongly to coming from the tailgate itself, but I’ll have them drive and me listen to make sure!
 

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Honestly, IF I didn't plan on hanging it on my dealer warranty (wherever you bought it- if their service dept needs improvement, you can be a great way to help them get better?), I'd pull off all the plastic bits on the inside of the gate, then, get a good friend, but not too good, who's willing to roll around back there while you drive judiciously, but otherwise just hard enough to replicate the noise, and see what they can find. Should be obvious with all the plastic off.

giphy.gif
Behind the plastic there are just small holes and slots for receiving clips to hold the plastic 😭 i was expecting a more cavernous opening into the inside but no dice.

I haven’t removed the plastic near the latch though, assuming that has a larger hole for replacing the latch assembly etc. maybe will try that too, though it’s coming from closer to the other side (passenger side), which is in the skinnier part of the tailgate further from the latch
 

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Behind the plastic there are just small holes and slots for receiving clips to hold the plastic 😭 i was expecting a more cavernous opening into the inside but no dice.

I haven’t removed the plastic near the latch though, assuming that has a larger hole for replacing the latch assembly etc. maybe will try that too, though it’s coming from closer to the other side (passenger side), which is in the skinnier part of the tailgate further from the latch
What's behind the fat part of the gate? I've been wondering this. Can't be just for cabin air pressure flaps, or is it?

Still think a minion in the back while you're driving is the only way to good research
 

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check the jack and tools. if they are not secure they can rattle. sometimes you may need to get something like a piece of dynomat. in these accessory wells.
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