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Home brewed tailgate re-enforcement

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Tacologist, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Feb 4, 2011 at 1:16 PM
    #1
    Tacologist

    Tacologist [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Rear leaf suspension. Home done tailgate re-inforcement.
    For those who have had no luck getting the tailgate mod done or if you are out of warranty and consequently out of luck, here is a home brewed strengthening you can do yourself with items that are readily available.

    I posted this on Toyota Nation a number of years ago and when I saw the fix that Toyota came up with, it was clear to see that great minds think alike or they just robbed my idea and modified it a bit.:D

    It has not been tested under super heavy load conditions but I have loaded a Honda VFR at over 500 pounds across it without bending.

    I stopped by my local Tractor Supply and collected a variety of items that would do the trick.

    They were, a 4' length of 3/4" angle iron. A 4' length of 1" angle iron. A pack of #10 X 3/4" self tapping metal screws and steel washers to fit.

    The entire job took about 2 hours and I honestly feel (IMHO) the gate is twice as strong now as it ever was and I didn't have to wait to bend my gate to get a warranty fix. Here is what I did.

    After removing the plastic covers with STAR wrenches, I broke free, using a box cutter, the foam like glue that secures the supports to the outer body panel on the right side of the gate in order to be able to slide the 3/4" X 4' angle iron in and under the top portion of the tailgate as shown in the picture. The pictured angle iron is not in the final position which it was secured but in the position that allowed me to get it in place.

    There is a lot going on under that shell and a 3/4" piece allowed me to secure it to the shell without bending or torquing anything. A larger piece MAY have put "point contact areas in critical spots that could cause distortion when screwed down. If I had the chance to do it again, I would have tried a 1" piece of box steel instead of the 3/4" angle iron. That would have added even more strength.

    [​IMG]


    I used a high speed #29 drill bit to go through the tailgate and angle iron support and secured it with the sheet metal screws using a driver drill at each "dip" in the body metal (as shown below), being careful to keep the angle iron in the channel that it fit in under the body work.

    If you do this mod by looking under there and feeling around you will find the grove that fits the angle iron strength member.

    I also screwed in 16" sections of 1" angle to fit under the cross bars on the gate to add strength to them. The following picture shows the cross supports and some of the screws already in place in the "dips" on the gate. The 3/4 " piece of angle is in place under the metal frame and secured by the screws.

    [​IMG]



    Here is a picture of the finished product. The screws individually are not super strong but when placed like they were, they effectively lock the angle iron into place and enhance each other to prevent bending. In other words, the overall strength is greater than the sum of its parts. I am hopin'

    [​IMG]


    You can get an idea of where all the cross sections are by the position of all the screws. I didn't put any angle iron at the bottom of the gate near the bed, because this didn't appear to be a weak spot and I felt that what I added was enough for what I would be ever using the tailgate for. I suppose a piece could have been added to the bottom as frosting on the cake. You would just have to adjust the length of the cross braces from top to bottom of the gate to fit in place and not interfere with an added piece at the bottom.

    The last step before putting the plastic back on was to re-secure the support piece that I had to move to get the 3/4" angle iron in. I used Household Goop which is a product that sticks to about anything and dries to a rubbery consistency that is not quite as soft as the original junk that Toyota used but not nearly as hard as something like Liquid Nails. A hard contact at this point may distort the outer visible body panel if a lot of weight was placed on the tailgate.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Feb 4, 2011 at 2:00 PM
    #2
    toyo freak

    toyo freak Another Toyota Enthusiast

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    Nice Job! Looks Beefy as hell!
     
  3. Feb 4, 2011 at 2:05 PM
    #3
    island808

    island808 Me l've got brains.

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    I talked to toyota and they said "the tailgate is not a load bearing part". I used to put ramps on my tailgate for motorcycles all the time (1st gen) and of course on the GMC. But now a days, I take it off to load.

    So you've added some buckling strength. How are the cable stays? Solid enough?

    Were the old tailgates just buckling in the middle when say.. someone put a single ramp up the middle? Or were they folding?
     
  4. Feb 7, 2011 at 6:08 PM
    #4
    Tacologist

    Tacologist [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Rear leaf suspension. Home done tailgate re-inforcement.
    The cable stays are stronger than the non-reinforced tailgate because the tailgates were bending well before the stays gave out. I heard stories of 250+ pound guys just sitting on them and getting them to buckle. Can't confirm that one, just what I heard.

    The original tailgates were bending in the middle under a variety of conditions but a lot gave out under center contact at the edge when loaded with what should be acceptable weight. Toyota recognized this and came up with a fix. I think it was a TSB but it was only done when the original tailgate bent. They may have strengthened the tailgate in later models.
     
  5. Feb 7, 2011 at 11:47 PM
    #5
    island808

    island808 Me l've got brains.

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    yea... a tsb has to be (generally) when a complaint is made. How can you complain your tailgate is weak without a kink in it?
     
  6. Feb 8, 2012 at 7:12 AM
    #6
    planman

    planman Member

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    Just did this last night...worked out great. I agree, it made the tailgate beefier and a lot heavier. Thanks for the write up!
     
  7. Feb 8, 2012 at 10:17 AM
    #7
    socal147

    socal147 Active Member

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    1" sq tube is too big for the top of the gate. Wont fit inside even with two inner supports unglued. I did notice the Toyota "attempt" to strengthen the gate. You see in the photos two, what appears to be fiberglass plates, attached to the outside body panel.
    I used 3/4" sq tubing for the top of the gate. I cut it to four feet. It fit easily with the two inner supports detached as noted above. Though the heads on my screws are different than the Ops, they worked well.
    I did glue and screw all parts using LocTite PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive. Using the screws in conjunction with the adhesive will be strong.
    In the vertical four supports, I used two different sizes of tubing. 3/4" sq tubing for the two inner supports and two 1"sq tubing for the outer supports. I did this to ensure that the tubing would not cause a rattle against the door latch rods. Using the 3/4" tubing gives more space between the two parts.
    One other thing I did observe. The inner supports were not attached to the outer body panel. I see this as a possible rattle point in the future. I did use DAP Tex Plus (a non-expanding foam) to attached all inner support to the outer panel. No possiblity of rattles now.

    001.jpg
    002.jpg
    003.jpg
    004.jpg
     
  8. Feb 8, 2012 at 11:26 AM
    #8
    planman

    planman Member

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    Yeah, I tried 1" sq. tube too and found it to be a little too big. I stuck with the 3/4" angle. Worked out great...
     
  9. Feb 8, 2012 at 1:18 PM
    #9
    socal147

    socal147 Active Member

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    More pictures

    planman, Either way it should be plenty strong. I am just glad to get my First Mod out of the way. The next one will be shortening those "Hippy" mud flaps. :)

    007.jpg
    008.jpg
    010.jpg
    011.jpg
    012.jpg
     
  10. Feb 9, 2012 at 6:59 AM
    #10
    planman

    planman Member

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    I hear ya! Now you're ready to do more mods!
     
  11. Feb 9, 2012 at 10:20 AM
    #11
    socal147

    socal147 Active Member

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    Today I checked my work and found the DAP to be inadequate. It fell apart when I touched it. Not meant to be. I removed all of this foam.

    I would recommend 3/4" square tubing for the whole of this mod.

    I would recommend using 1/4" x 1" bolts with NyLocks for attachment to the inner workings. There is plenty of room for the bolts. They will not touch the outside body panels. Nylocks address my other concern of loose bolts in the future. "WARNING" USE A BACKER PLATE WHEN DRILLING THE HOLES FOR THE BOLTS. DONT RISK DAMAGING THE OUTSIDE PANELS OF YOUR TAILGATE. I used a 3x3x1/8" piece of scrap steel.

    I did use the Loctite Construction adhesive to secure the inner supports. Not for strength, but to prevent any rattles.

    Now that the sq tubing is attached with thru bolts, the mod and the tailgate are absolutely attached. No chance of the connecting hardware pulling out or breaking under stress.

    There was no warping of the inside plastic cover. Pleanty of room for the bolt heads beneath them.

    001.jpg
    002.jpg
    003.jpg
    004.jpg
    005.jpg
     
  12. Feb 9, 2012 at 10:21 AM
    #12
    socal147

    socal147 Active Member

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    As you can see the panels cover the bolt heads perfectly. Hope you find the helpful.

    006.jpg
    007.jpg
     
  13. Feb 12, 2012 at 10:42 PM
    #13
    muleyhunter

    muleyhunter Git-r-Done

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    Holy shit.good to know this. I just, loaded my yamaha grizzly 400 in the back of my truck with ramps on the tailgate. Luckily my tailgate is unharmed but I know now not to do that any more!
     
  14. Nov 29, 2012 at 7:27 PM
    #14
    SOSHeloPilot

    SOSHeloPilot Well-Known Member

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    Great idea on the angle ... I might do this under the aluminum tailgate cover with a lighter duty aluminum angle. ... thanks for the idea ... :D
    .
     
  15. Nov 30, 2012 at 7:38 AM
    #15
    aficianado

    aficianado Well-Known Member

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    back to bone stock.
    i have a piece of 3/4 by 1" alum square tubing..i might give this a go. i dont load ATV's but i have been known to slam a heavy icechest up onto the tailgate.

    thanks.
     
  16. Nov 15, 2013 at 9:15 PM
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    HippyMoose

    HippyMoose Member

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    How did your beefing up of the tailgate hold up so far?
     
  17. Apr 1, 2014 at 5:56 PM
    #17
    tgrasshopper

    tgrasshopper Member

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    2013 tacoma with 10,586 kilo here. I loaded a Yamaha Nytro MTX 162 in my box. The tail gate is bent really badly. I when to my dealer, I'm not a happy camper at the moment. They told me they never seen this before, there filing a claim to Toyota Canada.
     
  18. Apr 1, 2014 at 7:59 PM
    #18
    Imageoguy

    Imageoguy Well-Known Member

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    Full OME suspension (885 front springs, Dakar leaf pack + OME shocks) + D29XL extra leaf + 3 deg. shim + RideRite airbags

    You might want to consider something like this... http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-tacomas/262713-my-taco-sled-atv-deck.html

    Plus you have extra space for your stuff in the bed.
     
  19. Nov 11, 2014 at 10:41 AM
    #19
    tacomtn

    tacomtn Well-Known Member

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    Looks good. How's it holding up to repeated loading/unloading?
     
  20. Nov 9, 2016 at 12:19 PM
    #20
    kevinl

    kevinl Member

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    Don't mean to revive an old thread but I think some pics may help someone in their searches.
    I basically has some scrap laying around and decided to weld it in to beef it up for loading/unloading a motorcycle.
    This wasn't really engineered by any means lol.. i just stuck steel wherever I thought it may help. Mainly just tying it all together made the tailgate feel much more rigid.
    I kept much of it open since I was planning on adding a power pop n lock. which I have installed now.
     
    tomwil likes this.
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