As long as we are just venting ideas here. I usually just bend the latch piece on the tail gate to tighten up the tail gate. But, if I knew I was having a soft top with hard to get the back open issues, I'd put a hole in the tail gate in line where the latch piece bolts on and weld a tube in between the sheet metal so no water could get inside the tail gate. Then screw a relatively flat latch on over the hole. The latch would have a square where a T handle with a square would fit in and turn the latch and the arm would swing out and lock behind the side of the bed similar to how the original latch would have latched. On antique cars, these were called budget latches. Keep the T handle in the glove box and get it out when you need it. CJ7s with Wrangler tops cause this hard to open up the back situation. This method wouldn't be friendly to a nicely painted tail gate.