Ford Motor Complaint - Tailgate Cables Rust And Break - Safety Issue
The tailgate cables are lined with rubber. When the fastners are crimped to the cable, the ends of the crimp are left open and the cable is exposed to rain water. With the tailgate in the closed position, water enters both ends of the cable and rusts the cable in the middle. All of the broken cables that I have seen show that the cable rusts and will break in the middle.
Seal both open ends with a sealant and water can't get to the cable. If the cables have been in place for any length of time, then replace them and seal the new replacement cables.
Older cables can break when standing on them. This is a safety issue so please be careful if you have this type of cable. They have been used for years on different Ford model trucks so check yours out.