Let’s be honest, GM is run by a bunch of cheap bean counters. Don’t believe me? Then explain why even a highly optioned truck doesn’t come with something as simple as a tailgate lock? Aside from keeping scumbag thieves from stealing your tailgate it’s also a great way to secure stuff in the bed of your truck. After all, when we haul our Chevy to the track for some racing, we often bring along a huge assortment of parts, tools, and frosty cold beverages. But it became a pain when we parked for the night at a hotel. We had a bed cover, but security was zero since thieves could open the tailgate. Well, the fix is easy and not even very expensive. GM sells a lock upgrade for all Chevrolet and GMC (Silverado/Sierra) trucks from 2000 through 2006. The part (PN 19211265) sells for less than $50 and takes a whopping 15 casual minutes to install. Best of all, the contents of our truck bed are now a whole lot safer. Follow along as we detail how to do this simple upgrade to your tow rig.
01. Behold the stock tailgate latch on a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500. It’s the same latch found on most GM trucks from 2000 through 2006.
02. The lock from GM (PN 19211265) is a pretty simple deal and came with all the necessary hardware and an instruction sheet.
03. Three 13-mm bolts on the back of the tailgate secure the stock, non-locking handle.
04. The lowest bolt of the three is replaced by either an 11mm bolt or a tamper-proof flat-head style fastener. The bolt is for use when you have a bed cover and the tamper-proof one is good for when someone can reach into your truck bed.
05. First up was removing the lower 13mm bolt.
06. The other two 13mm bolts were loosened, but not removed.
07. The lock works by interfering with the function of the stock latch. It’s a pretty simple and effective design. It won’t keep out a determined thief, but it will stop the causal one that is just looking for a quick score (and who doesn’t want to make a lot of noise).
08. With the stock latch handle loose, slide the lock up behind the handle.
09. The new 11mm stainless fastener (and washer) goes through the tailgate and into the threaded hole in the new GM lock bracket.
10. You should have one 13mm GM fastener and one stainless fastener (in our case the tamper-proof one) left over.
11. Once in all three fasteners are snugged up you can put this into the done category.
12. The kit came with two keys, and we should now be able to sleep easier knowing our car parts and tools are a lot safer.