Like the title says, I'm thinking of welding the gate closed, but wanted to see if there was any reason I'd REALLY regret it (accessing critical bolts, etc.).
Basically, the hinges are getting blown, it rattles like crazy, we have to lift the gate to close, or bang up the tub. Obviously I'll lose some functionality, but this jeep is foremost our trial rig, and our #2 daily driver. I've already moved my back seat back to give our son more leg room, so storage is already shot. Plus if we need to haul stuff, we have a super duty we use to pull the jeep. FYI it's a 95 YJ. Thoughts?
Replace the hinges for $50? I bought a set of Crown hinges for my YJ from JC Whitney. They are cast like the newer TJ hinges and bolt right on. They aren't painted, so you may want to spray them first.
Replace hinges and adjust striker and you should be golden. It would be hard to go backwards from a welded tailgate - I wouldn't recommend it.
Well, after inspecting everything, I decided to move forward welding the gate... We're going to monstaliner the body it in a couple weeks, and wanted to clean up the body a bit. I know most people wouldn't do the same, but since my kid rides in the back, and his seat is already moved back, I'm barely losing any functionality. I also plan on keeping the jeep till it dies, or it's worth what I'd want to sell it. So...
I removed all the locking hardware, closed up the gate, dropped in some shims, and started banging out spot welds. Then I removed the thrashed hinges, and began filling everything. The only issue was that the jeep had been hit before (this probably caused a lot of the issues with the gate). So...there was a 1/2" gap between the bottom of the gate, and the tub. The back of the tub was also arched forward from the impact, then repaired with LOTS of bondo. Once I started cutting, I realized how sloppy the repair was (upto 1/2" of body filler in some places). Oh well, more cutting, more welding.
So far the sides are welded and finished. All the hinge holes are filled, and the handle hole. It was already painted with matte black Bedliner, so that got touched up. I now have a gaping hole below the gate, and the lock hole, but that will be done in a day or two. Once it's done, it will be all straightened out, beefier than it was, and ready for paint....
I know a lot of things, most of them are only correct in my own head...
Better to be judged by twelve then carried by six. I'm sure this is going to get me in trouble down the line
2000 sport, 5speed, 1-1/4 body lift, 3" zone, metal cloak front fenders, metal cloak control arms, 4.88, 35" cooper stt.