Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Homestead, Florida
I don't know the purpose of those holes, but someone here should. There doesn't seem to be an advantage to permanently blocking them, though.
I purchased an aftermarket tailgate handle, to upgrade to one with a lock, and haven't had any problems with it. That was a few years ago and I don't remember the EBay Seller. One secret to keeping the tailgate opening smoothly is to insure the strikers on each end of the tailgate are lubed. Some guys, out of habit, will press in on the tailgate when lifting the latch. If you don't need the lock, you could get an OEM handle without it, for a bit less, part number 97319415