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Old 07-01-2012, 10:59 PM   #1
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Drop down tailgate homemade

Hey Im looking to convert my swing out tailgate to a drop down one for my TJ, Im going to weld up some hinges but the only problem I have is mounting them

So two questions..

How do you access behind where I marked on the pic A? (The painted area right below the gate)
I took a look and it seems like the gas tank might have to be dropped?? If so how difficult is that? I don't want to just drill and put some threads on it I would rather nut/bolt it through that so I need access to the back.

Now on the actual tailgate how strong is it? Can I drill through both the layers and bolt/nut my hinge on or is the gate so thin that tightening the bolt will just destroy the gate? Same for when I go to mount the limiting wires on (I dont want to sit on it then have the bolts rip right through the thin tail gate lol. Thanks

For those that have done this how did you attach the hinge to the gate? Thanks!! (If you did a DIY tailgate conversion a few pics would be appreciated)
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:03 AM   #2
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I have not done one but, I think you may end up using what they call "nutserts" that will help in giving the thin metal some strength to hold some threads. Somewhere on here i think the "TJ6" build they welded the hinge halves to the panels. just a couple of options! by the way what are you going to do for a spare mount?

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Old 07-02-2012, 10:38 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by johninmichigan View Post
I have not done one but, I think you may end up using what they call "nutserts" that will help in giving the thin metal some strength to hold some threads. Somewhere on here i think the "TJ6" build they welded the hinge halves to the panels. just a couple of options! by the way what are you going to do for a spare mount?
Thanks for the response, I hook off one of the hinges today and seen the backing plate / nutsert on there . I can do that for the other side as well because there's a big hole where the locking mechanism goes, I was planning on having a 1/8 in plate on both sides to help support it. But still having trouble finding a way to access the rear of that panel I marked A. And I'd rather not weld it to it.

Im probably going to put spare on roof, or in the back until I build a tire carrier. Or maybe in the garage, except I know ill have a blowout the day I put it in the garage lol
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:23 PM   #4
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Bob, I was thinking on this the other night, and this is what I came up with doing when the time comes. I am going to attach the hinge to a piece of steel that will mount to the frame or bumper, which ever. the other side of the hinge will be welded to a 3/16th steel plate that I will cut and modify to accept bolts similar to the patter on the rear of the tailgate now where the stock tire carrier bolts in. Pretty simple, and only some light welding and drilling required. Add in some straps to keep it from lowering past 90* and your set. For the spare tire I was going to add two more hinges to the same piece of steel by the bumper that attach to the frame, and use a stinger type tube and use that as a "basket" to hold the spare in. mounting plate optional. They would hinge independantly just because its easy to set that up. The tire will be positioned so that it drops dow and just misses the bumper, and the tailgate will fold down on top of that. Or you could still use a traditional swing out carrier.

I am thinking materials about 150 total including the hinges and steel, shouldn't be too bad, just have to have a weekend to mock everything up and prep and put it together.
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GoldenSahara00 View Post
Bob, I was thinking on this the other night, and this is what I came up with doing when the time comes. I am going to attach the hinge to a piece of steel that will mount to the frame or bumper, which ever. the other side of the hinge will be welded to a 3/16th steel plate that I will cut and modify to accept bolts similar to the patter on the rear of the tailgate now where the stock tire carrier bolts in. Pretty simple, and only some light welding and drilling required. Add in some straps to keep it from lowering past 90* and your set. For the spare tire I was going to add two more hinges to the same piece of steel by the bumper that attach to the frame, and use a stinger type tube and use that as a "basket" to hold the spare in. mounting plate optional. They would hinge independantly just because its easy to set that up. The tire will be positioned so that it drops dow and just misses the bumper, and the tailgate will fold down on top of that. Or you could still use a traditional swing out carrier.

I am thinking materials about 150 total including the hinges and steel, shouldn't be too bad, just have to have a weekend to mock everything up and prep and put it together.
Great idea! I think we are on the same page for the tailgate hinges, except I didnt consider using the holes from the stock tire carrier that are more in the middle of the tailgate. That will probably be easier

One thing I would say tho is that I would avoid having a connection straight from the frame to the tailgate/bodytub because they have to move independently (I had thought I would just weld my hinge on the frame instead of that painted area marked A in the pic above but then realized they are going to be moving and might just rip the hinge up

Ill post some pictures of what I come up with this week

I like your idea of the tire carrier that just flips down too if you make it Id like to see it so I can copy it haha
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:33 PM   #6
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Well I made a hinge, not really too happy with it (I cut it from a piece of sheet metal , 3inch flat bar wouldve made it way nicer and easier, I might just buy some hinges
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:25 PM   #7
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I know, people keep telling me that, I forget the body on frame flexion. You can probably do nutserts on the bottom piece of the body easy enough. Jeep tubes has a nice hinge kit, so does A to Z I think , and several other places.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:06 AM   #8
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I've never checked it out but wouldn't CJ hinges be the way to go? How about a complete CJ tailgate?
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johninmichigan
I've never checked it out but wouldn't CJ hinges be the way to go? How about a complete CJ tailgate?
Hinges might work but I don't think the tail gate would
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:25 AM   #10
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Swag off road makes a kit for this. It comes with hinges, cables, mounting brackets for them for tub and gate, and 2 small brackets with the nuts welded to them and a piece of round metal for fishing through the holes behind the spot you marked A.

I have a CJ tailgate and the kit from them minus the CJ hinges as they came with my tailgate. I have not had the time to do the conversion yet as this gate has the little metal tabs to hold it closed from the inside and I need to make brackets for them.

Yes CJ tailgate will work. You can do a search on here for guys who have done them.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diverdown87 View Post
Swag off road makes a kit for this. It comes with hinges, cables, mounting brackets for them for tub and gate, and 2 small brackets with the nuts welded to them and a piece of round metal for fishing through the holes behind the spot you marked A.

I have a CJ tailgate and the kit from them minus the CJ hinges as they came with my tailgate. I have not had the time to do the conversion yet as this gate has the little metal tabs to hold it closed from the inside and I need to make brackets for them.

Yes CJ tailgate will work. You can do a search on here for guys who have done them.
Where are the holes behind marked A? I cant seem to find them. There are some about the size of a quarter right under , but cant find the ones behind. Do I need to drop gas tank?
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:08 PM   #12
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I started my drop down gate conversion last week. It's been ridiculously hot here, so I work on the Jeep only about an hour at a time. Here are a couple pics. The hinges are new CJ gate hinges that I painted to (somewhat) match the color of the Jeep. I installed the CJ hinges prior to removing the YJ hinges so the gate wouldn't move. It works great. Now I need to install the CJ cables and brackets I got off eBay so the gate can support weight instead of just flopping straight down. Excuse the gas tank...I had to move it out of the way to install my rear shackles and to get underneath the body to install those CJ hinges. It was a pain in the bum, but it worked and they're SOLID. Now all I need to do besides the bracket/cable installation is re-install the fuel tank and rear bumper/tire carrier. I'll take more pics as I continue.



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Old 07-07-2012, 05:35 AM   #13
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Looks good so far!
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:42 PM   #14
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Here are some more pics for those interested in doing this mod. It was fairly straight forward. That's not to say it was simple, but it was relatively easy in the grand scheme of Jeep mods.

I had to notch my rear crossmember to fit my bumper flush against it. The hitch is welded front and rear so there is about 1/2" of receiver behind the bumper. That was an easy mod. Here is how that turned out...

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I finished fitting and installing my bumper, then I got the fuel tank re-situated and locked down. Here's a pic...



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I installed the CJ tailgate brackets I scored used off of eBay. I got them with all the mounting hardware (only some of which I used) along with the tailgate cables for something like $18 to my door. After a trip to the sand blast cabinet at the hangar and an aerosol overhaul, this is how they look...


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I attached the other end of the cable inside the tub to the wheelwell with a small washer on the inboard side and a big fender washer on the outboard side to prevent cookie-cutting the sheetmetal. As far as measurements, all I did was get a 2' level and set it up on the tailgate. When I had it where I wanted it, I marked through the cabe eyelet on to the wheelwell and drilled. Easy. I was able to get to the backside of those bolts from underneath the rear of the tub. Here's what the cable mount looks like from the inside...



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And the finished product...


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I only weigh about 180-185#, so I wasn't able to test it out with any more weight than that, but it held my weight without a whimper, so I'm happy with it.
Follow-up mods (there are ALWAYS follow-up mods) are to Herculine the interior, replace the tailgate striker, and install new tailgate weatherstripping. There is a Herculiner kit, a striker, and a tailgate weathstrip in my garage just waiting to be installed...but it'll probably have to wait for a couple weeks.
I also want to touch up the missing paint where my YJ gate hinges used to reside.

I hope this post has helped some of you contemplating this mod. It's an easy mod, but make sure you've got your parts lined up prior to tearing your Jeep apart. Remember, you'll have to drop your fuel tank to get to the backside of those hinge bolts on the bottom.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:14 PM   #15
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Did you install the tailgate brackets with self tappers or did you tap and thread the bolts in?
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:58 PM   #16
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Sorry about the pics sucking.. This may not look spectacular but its Really strong.
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Old 08-11-2012, 02:44 PM   #17
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nice build
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:52 PM   #18
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do you guys have any problems with the right side flexing out at all since there is nothing to hold it in without the hinge there anymore? Nice mod by the way!
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Did you install the tailgate brackets with self tappers or did you tap and thread the bolts in?
Sorry, I just got back to reading this thread. Didn't mean to leave you hanging with your question. I used self tappers on those tailgate brackets.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:17 PM   #20
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do you guys have any problems with the right side flexing out at all since there is nothing to hold it in without the hinge there anymore? Nice mod by the way!
No I haven't had any issues with that happening. I bought a cool De-Sta-Co latch for that side in case I ran into those issues, but as of yet I haven't had any problems.
And thanks!
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:43 PM   #21
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Nope haven't had any problems with it flexing, but i did build my hinge really thick and big.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:33 PM   #22
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Anyone do the drop down with a spare still installed on the tailgate? I realy like this and want to do a full truck bed conversion eventually, make a half hard top, and do a front only cage with a tube cage along the inside edge of the tub.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:15 PM   #23
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Anyone do the drop down with a spare still installed on the tailgate? I realy like this and want to do a full truck bed conversion eventually, make a half hard top, and do a front only cage with a tube cage along the inside edge of the tub.
That would definitely be unique. But that might get a little heavy if you have to lift it frequently
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:54 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by cavediverjc View Post
Here are some more pics for those interested in doing this mod. It was fairly straight forward. That's not to say it was simple, but it was relatively easy in the grand scheme of Jeep mods.

I had to notch my rear crossmember to fit my bumper flush against it. The hitch is welded front and rear so there is about 1/2" of receiver behind the bumper. That was an easy mod. Here is how that turned out...

Attachment 139050

I finished fitting and installing my bumper, then I got the fuel tank re-situated and locked down. Here's a pic...



Attachment 139052



I installed the CJ tailgate brackets I scored used off of eBay. I got them with all the mounting hardware (only some of which I used) along with the tailgate cables for something like $18 to my door. After a trip to the sand blast cabinet at the hangar and an aerosol overhaul, this is how they look...


Attachment 139051

I attached the other end of the cable inside the tub to the wheelwell with a small washer on the inboard side and a big fender washer on the outboard side to prevent cookie-cutting the sheetmetal. As far as measurements, all I did was get a 2' level and set it up on the tailgate. When I had it where I wanted it, I marked through the cabe eyelet on to the wheelwell and drilled. Easy. I was able to get to the backside of those bolts from underneath the rear of the tub. Here's what the cable mount looks like from the inside...



Attachment 139053



Attachment 139054

And the finished product...


Attachment 139055

I only weigh about 180-185#, so I wasn't able to test it out with any more weight than that, but it held my weight without a whimper, so I'm happy with it.
Follow-up mods (there are ALWAYS follow-up mods) are to Herculine the interior, replace the tailgate striker, and install new tailgate weatherstripping. There is a Herculiner kit, a striker, and a tailgate weathstrip in my garage just waiting to be installed...but it'll probably have to wait for a couple weeks.
I also want to touch up the missing paint where my YJ gate hinges used to reside.

I hope this post has helped some of you contemplating this mod. It's an easy mod, but make sure you've got your parts lined up prior to tearing your Jeep apart. Remember, you'll have to drop your fuel tank to get to the backside of those hinge bolts on the bottom.


How did you secure the hinges to the tub/tail gate? did you send four bolts thru the tailgate and use bolts? also how did you bolt the hinges to the tub? PIcs if possible?
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:06 PM   #25
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SWEEET im totly book marking this thread. im so doing this once i get mine built.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:28 AM   #26
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That's frighten awesome - where did you get the hinges?
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:30 AM   #27
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I also like your rear bumper - what model is it
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:54 AM   #28
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Thats sweet where did u get those hinges?
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:32 AM   #29
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The rear hinges are Rugged Ridge Jeep CJ hinges. I got them from Amazon for around $20 or so, shipped. The lower bolts I ran all the way through the body with 2.5" allen bolts. I had to slightly drop the fuel tank to get to the back of the bolts to run the washers/lock washers/nuts on them. The upper bolts I just ran through the tailgate and locked them down with nylock nuts. One thing I'll recommend is that you leave your stock tailgate hinges installed while marking/drilling/installing your CJ hinges so that it doesn't move at all. After you get the CJ hinges installed, you can remove the stock hinges. The latch works just like it did with the hinges on the side. Hope that helps!! Feel free to ask as many questions as you like. I guess I've reached my limit of pictures on this forum since I'm not allowed to upload any more. If anyone has any information on how I can add more pics, let me know. I've been on this forum since 2007 and I've uploaded a bunch of pics. Guess I just ran out of allowable bandwidth...
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:37 AM   #30
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I also like your rear bumper - what model is it
I bought it locally through a 4x4 shop. It's a no-name bumper. I guess the shop gets them from a guy who fabs them in his shop in Kansas City. It's pretty beefy and was pretty much just what I was looking for. I had Blue Torch Fabworks front and rear bumpers on my TJ and loved them. I planned on putting the BTF bumpers on my YJ until I found the deal on the ones at the shop. Now they grace my rear and my front.

And thanks!

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