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Dynolock Automatic Tailgate Lock - Product Review

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by TomRnHT, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. TomRnHT

    TomRnHT [OP] Member

    Oct 29, 2012
    2012 DC 4x4 Off-Road
    Advantage Hard Hat Tonneau Cover, Aries 3D Floor Liners, Bedrug, Go Rhino X-Treme Nerf Bars
    I debated between the Pop&Lock 5300 keyed tailgate handle and the Dynolock automatic tailgate lock. While I liked the idea of the keyed tailgate lock which functions similar to OEM tailgate locks on other model trucks, a good number of reviews critiqued the quality of the product. I also did not like that I could not have the lock cylinder keyed to my OEM key. I settled on the Dynolock based on quality and ability to lock the tailgate in conjunction with the truck doors without a separate key. Of note, I dismissed the Pop&Lock PL8521 automatic lock early on due to a number of negative reviews compared to all favorable reviews for the Dynolock.

    I purchased my Dynolock from USATruck.net as they had the lowest price plus free shipping. The item arrived in a single package containing the actuator and mounting bracket already assembled, two strands of 18/2 gauge wire (short and long), mounting hardware, and instruction sheet.

    First, do not believe the instructions that this install takes 30 minutes with basic hand tools. Installation took me three hours to install properly with a number of improvements. The instructions that came with the product were mediocre. Below is my installation procedure and corresponding photos.

    1. Remove the screws securing tailgate cover using T30 torx bit. I have a BedRug that I simply folded out of the way into the bed. (Figures 1 & 2)
    2. Remove and discard the right-most M6 bolt using a 10 mm socket. (Figure 3)
    3. Remove about 1/16” from the top-right and 1/8” from the top-left of the plastic block at a 45º angle. The 1/16” from the top right will allow the Dynolock to be rotated further clockwise for proper alignment of the actuator pin. The reason for removing the 1/8” from the top-left will become apparent below. (Figure 4)
    4. Slide the actuator approximately into place and hand tighten the provided replacement M6 bolt. Rotate/align the actuator so the pin will protrude behind the plastic tab on the tailgate handle and prevent the handle from being lifted. This will likely be at the furthest point you can rotate the actuator clockwise. Secure the M6 bolt. I also added Loctite (blue, semi-permanent) for added security. (Figure 5)

      Here is my biggest critique of the Dynolock: it is secured by a single bolt, leaving it susceptible to rotation. During a few tests with the actuator unlocked, I noticed that closing the tailgate firmly would cause the actuator to rotate out of place. To correct this I purchased a 2” mending plate, a M6 x 25 mm bolt, a ½” x 1” plastic spacer, and a #8 x ½” hex head sheet metal screw to secure the other end of the actuator. (Figure 6)

      Remove the M6 bolt nearest to the plastic block.
      Expand one of the mending plate holes using a 10 mm or 5/16” drill bit.
      Cut the plastic spacer to length (the distance between the mending plate and plastic handle housing with the mending plate lying flat on top of the plastic block).
      Hand-tighten the spacer, mending plate, and 25 mm bolt into place. Rotate the mending plate so the opposite hole approximately aligns with the center of the plastic block.
      Drill a 1/8” pilot hole into the plastic being careful not to drill too deep and hit the actuator or other bolts securing the block in place. Secure the opposite end of the mending plate with the #8 x ½” screw.

      A further problem I encountered after securing the actuator was that the protruding portion of the rotating disk would get caught on the plastic block, preventing it from returning to the closed position. Consequently, I had to remove an additional 1/8” from the top left of the block to prevent this from happening. Such problems should have been foreseen and addressed by Dynolock.
    5. Connect the yellow strand of the short wire to the red actuator wire and the white end to the blue actuator wire. I was not impressed by the connectors provided by Dynolock so I replaced them with quick disconnects in case I need to remove the actuator or tailgate for any reason.
    6. The directions state to feed the short wire through the drain hole in the tailgate. Similar to previous posts, I fed the wire through the plastic inserts that guide the back-up camera wires into the tailgate. Remove these inserts by squeezing the tabs on the side, then unlatching it from around the wire (it folds together around the camera wire and secures via a small plastic clip). Drill a 5/16” hole in both inserts, avoiding the latching portions of the plastic clip that holds the insert together when folded. (Figures 7 & 8)
    7. Feed the wire through the 5/16” holes and reinsert the clips. Apply zip ties along the route in the tailgate and in between the clip. About 2 feet of wire should protrude under the truck from the tailgate. This will be attached to the long portion coming from underneath the driver side door.
    8. Remove the driver side plastic step plate by gentling pulling on the interior side until it snaps out. Open the white plastic clips for easier access to the wires.
    9. Feed the long wire up through the center of the gasket. This was actually quite difficult and took a decent amount of time. The trick that worked well was to roll the gasket over itself, essentially shortening the gasket and making it easier to feed the wire through. I fed approximately one foot of wire through the gasket. I then pushed the gasket back into place and rewrapped the gasket with electrical tape. (Figures 9 & 10)
    10. Peel away the electrical tape from the section of wire not covered with conduit. Unwrap the plastic covering. Locate the blue/black and blue/pink wire. These are thinner than the others in the bundle. Connect the blue/black to the yellow and the blue/pink to the white wires, respectively. You need to clamp these connectors FIRMLY. If you are unable to get the lock to operate, these connectors are likely the culprit. (Figure 11)
    11. Take the plastic wrap that was previously removed and cut it into two pieces approximately 1/3 and 2/3 of its original length. Wrap the smaller and larger sections to the left and right of the connectors, respectively. Wrap with electrical tape to secure them. I also used two small zip ties around the connectors to ensure they remained closed. (Figure 12)
    12. I covered the remaining wire and connectors using ¾” plastic conduit and secured it with electrical tape. Replace the driver side step plate (Figure 13).
    13. Feed the long wire adjacent to the other wire bundle coming from underneath the driver side door heading towards the back of the truck. Apply zip ties as needed.
    14. Connect the short and long wire at the rear of the truck. Again I was not satisfied with the connectors provided by Dynolock. They are not weatherproof, which I feel is necessary for the underbody. Instead I chose to solder the wires together and double shrink wrap each for proper weatherproofing. A single wire of sufficient length should have been provided to avoid the need for this joint entirely. (Figure 14-16)
    15. Once connected the actuator should unlock with a double-click of the key fob or a single-click of the interior door unlock switch.
    Overall I’m satisfied with the quality of the actuator and its function. It operates smoothly and secures the tailgate handle. A couple of design improvements and clearer instructions would make the product top notch. I hope this review will be useful to anyone else considering or installing a Dynolock tailgate lock.

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  2. HawaiiTRD

    HawaiiTRD "Some people feel the rain, others just get wet"

    Mar 17, 2012
    First Name:
    2010 MGM DCSB Sport
    Debadged, Morimoto Mini D2S Retrofit HL, HID Fogs, LED Interior Dome and Map Lights, 35% Front Tint and 10% Rear, PL8521 Power Tailgate Lock, Wet Okole Seat/Dash/Center Console Covers and Floor Liner, AntennaX 14" Billet, Satoshi Grill, Plasti-Dipped Wheels & Valence
    Nice write up :thumbsup: My PL8521 has been great with no issues since I installed over a year ago. I think DynoLock is a little bit more expensive, so maybe it's better quality (not that Pop&Lock isn't).
  3. casahac

    casahac Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    First Name:
    Tollhouse, CA
    13 TRD PreRunner Double Cab w/JBL

    I found your write up to be very helpful with the DynoLock installation on my 2013 Tacoma Double Cab. Thanks for taking the time to write it out and load it up here!

    I used the DynoLock connectors to join the two DynoLock electrical cables and located the connectors as close as practical to the Toyota back-up camera wiring plug, in case there's ever a legitimate reason to remove the tailgate. I also found that a 9/32 drill bit was adequate for feeding the wiring through the plastic insert at the bottom of the tailgate. The design of my actuator was different from yours and I found that I didn't need the extra hardware that you used. I did file a small amount of material as indicated in the attached picture which allowed the actuator to rotate up and facilitate an easy and snug lockup when it's closed. The actuator model I have appears to be pretty much self-aligning.

    I spread the work over 2 100 degree days, since I was working outside and the whole job probably took me 3 or 4 hours, but most of that was me being extremely cautious about cutting into my 6 month old vehicle, NOT because of the complexity of the job. Probably the toughest part was routing the cable back along the frame from the rear axle passed the gas tank. (I zip tied it to an existing cable.)

    I'd also caution anyone doing an install to be careful at the point where you route the wires into the cab. Where the existing wire harness goes through the soft rubber seal was too tight on mine to allow the wiring to slip through with the existing harness and the seal material was too soft for drilling, so I wound up poking a hole in the soft seal with a nail, then feeding the wires through that hole.

    In the end, the DynoLock works great and I'm very pleased with the form, fit and function of it.



    DynoLock Installation.jpg
    DynoLock Installation 2.jpg
  4. Flhighby

    Flhighby Active Member

    Oct 4, 2014
    First Name:
    Montreal surroundings
    2014, TRD Sport 4X4, DCLB
    Blacked out emblems
    I'd sure like to see a pic of the result handle when tailgate is closed from the outside.
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