Do it yourself, fix or replace the tailgate mechanism on your Ford Ranger, made in the year 2001. The repair might be similar in models manufactured before and after this year. To be able to make this repair, you will require a T30 torx driver and a 10 mm socket wrench. The process should not take you more than 30 minutes.
First of all, locate the eight torx screws shown in the image below, that hold a metal plate covering the entire tailgate mechanism. You can unscrew them using a T30 torx driver. In some models there is a plastic liner covering the screws. Remove it, in order to get easier access.
After you remove the bolts and the metal cover, you will get access to the latch and the handle of the tailgate. In order to remove the handle, unscrew the two 10 mm nuts that hold it, marked in the picture below, using the appropriate socket wrench. With these nuts removed, pull down the handle out of the tailgate.
Inspect the entire mechanism, because you can have problems with the rods, the latch itself, the plastic parts of the mechanism and replace them if necessary. Then, you can install the replacement handle. Position the new handle properly and secure it with the two 10 mm nuts. Check the mechanism if operates properly and finish the repair by reinstalling the covers. This is all you need to do, if you need to replace the tailgate handle on your Ford Ranger made in 2001.