1 Disconnect the battery negative terminal.
2 Remove the Fiat Punto tailgate inner trim panel.
3 Undo the two screws and withdraw the high-level stop-light from the tailgate. Disconnect the stop-light wiring connector.
4 Disconnect the wiring connectors for the tailgate lock and tailgate wiper motor and unbolt the earth leads. Check for any other wiring connectors which must be disconnected to facilitate tailgate removal. Note: Carefully label each wiring harness connector to aid correct refitting.
5 Tie a length of cord to the wiring harness, then bind the loose ends of the cabling together using PVC tape. Prise the wiring harness grommet from the upper edge of the tailgate, then feed the wiring through the aperture in the tailgate. Untie the cord from the harness, but leave it in place in the tailgate, to aid refitting later.
6 Disconnect the fluid hose from the tailgate washer nozzle, then tie a length of cord to the hose and draw it out of the tailgate, using the same procedure carried out on the wiring harness.
7 Have an assistant support the tailgate in the open position.
8 Detach the upper ends of the support struts from the tailgate.
9 Slacken and unscrew the bolts securing the hinges to the tailgate of Fiat Punto, then lift the tailgate from the vehicle (see illustration).

Tailgate hinge retaining bolts (arrowed)


10 Refitting is a reversal of removal, bearing in mind the following points.
a) Tie the cord to the wiring harness and use it to pull the harness through the aperture and into the tailgate. Repeat the procedure on the washer fluid hose.
b) Do not fully tighten the hinge bolts until the tailgate adjustment has been checked, as described in the following paragraphs.


11 Close the tailgate carefully, in case the alignment is incorrect, which may cause scratching on the tailgate or the body of Fiat Punto as the tailgate is closed, and check for alignment with the adjacent panels. If necessary, slacken the bolts that secure the hinges to the bodywork and re-align the tailgate to suit. Once the tailgate is correctly aligned, tighten the hinge bolts securely.
12 Check that the tailgate fastens and releases in a satisfactory manner. If adjustment is necessary, slacken the striker plate retaining bolts, and adjust the position of the striker to suit. Once the lock is operating correctly, securely tighten the striker plate retaining bolts.
13 If necessary, adjust the protrusion of the rubber buffers at the lower edge of the tailgate by screwing them in or out, as appropriate.