I bought my 96 K1500 with no tailgate. It has a net, which I hate, so I went to a junk yard and almost picked up a nice looking tailgate but it wouldn't fit. Yes, it was from the right year, but it's actually the passenger side hinge that is giving me issues. I eased the hinge into the holder on the driver side, then went to slide the other side down over the hinge and saw that there was a gap between the tailgate and the hinge of about 1/2". The hinge itself is a little worn but it seems the problem is that the metal the hinge in bolted to is bent in away from the tailgate. With no way to pry this out that I can see, I tried to remove the hinge from the truck but the bolts just turn and don't loosen up. I assume the "nuts" are supposed to be welded to the bed. In fact, I can barely reach my hand up in there and feel the square nut turning, but I can't seem to get a tool in there to hold them.

Any thoughts on how I can either bend the metal back into position or remove the hinge?