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Old 08-08-2011, 04:19 PM   #1
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YJ Tailgate conversion

So I finally went through with my idea of a tailgate conversion on my YJ. I knew that swagg offroad sells a kit and im sure its great. I just dont have a extra $200 or so to buy it, so I made mine for about $50.

The ONE thing I feel is mandatory to mention is when you place the hindges underneath the tailgate you must place a weight bearing backing plate on the other side of the tub. If you want your tailgate to be weight bearing and last this must be done due to how thin the sheet metal is in this location. I used a 1/8 X 2 X 3ft. Piece of steel and cut it into small 2-4in pieces for all my backing plates.

I still have some finishing up to do like paint and making the inside of the tailgate flush. But just wanted to see what you guys think. And hopefully inspire some people to do it your self. Let me know if you have any questions.






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Old 08-08-2011, 08:58 PM   #2
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looks great! where did u get the materials to make it?

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Old 08-08-2011, 11:51 PM   #3
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Wow that would be convenient! Nice Job!
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:43 AM   #4
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looks great! where did u get the materials to make it?
I got everything at home depot except the tailgate cables. Those i got at autozone an i believe they were for a dodge ram.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:11 PM   #5
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I like that a lot! Can I also get some info on your tire carrier/bumper?
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:37 PM   #6
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Ok so you re-used the stock hinges, I really like that (freebie), what did you use for the bolts in the tub? I was thinking just getting the pins and cables from the tailgate of a junk PU. Can we also get some ohter angle pictures like of how and where you mounted the pins on the tailgate (both sides). When opened does it sit lower than the tub or is it still even with it? Does it rattle alot on the passenger side where there is no latch?
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Diverdown87
Ok so you re-used the stock hinges, I really like that (freebie), what did you use for the bolts in the tub? I was thinking just getting the pins and cables from the tailgate of a junk PU. Can we also get some ohter angle pictures like of how and where you mounted the pins on the tailgate (both sides). When opened does it sit lower than the tub or is it still even with it? Does it rattle alot on the passenger side where there is no latch?
Ok so my tire carrier is a discontinued Valley industries I scored on craigslist. The bolts i used in the tub to holds the cables are two inch fine thread grade 8 bolts. Then 3 steel washers a piece an a half inch steel spacer. With a rubber washer for rattling. As for the pics I will snap some today for you. When i mounted the cables i made it so that the gate would sit one inch above the tub. That way if the cables stretch any or overtime the tailgate will sit level.

Finally the latch. This was my least thought out problem i ran into. It doesnt rattle on the other side at all but the stock latch has two teeth on it and was designed that when it swang closed the stud on the tub would hit the center of both those teeth at the exact same time. When i close my gate now the stud hits the bottom tooth first just bairly an this slows down the latch. I will get you a pic of this aswell. So the aftermath is i now have to slam my gate to get it to shut. But once shut not a peep. This fact doesnt bother me much because i would much rather have the fuctionality of a truck tailgate with a lil slam. Then the swing.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:43 PM   #8
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I appreciate it H2...It came out really good. I was also thinking of getting CJ hinges but like I said re-using the stock ones FREEBIE = WINNING!!!
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:14 AM   #9
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Here are those pics....

this is how I attached the cables to the tub.


Here i attached the left cable to the tailgate on an existing screw that holds on the housing for the latch. I just added a washer.


On the right side of the tailgate I used a 2inch piece of 1/8 thick angle iron and two grade 8 bolts 2.5 in. long to attach the cable all the way through the tailgate


And lastly this is the 1/8 thick backing plate I made to support the angle iron on the other side.


Hope this helps Diver and let me know if you or anyone else has any more questions.
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:21 AM   #10
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I appreciate it H2...It came out really good. I was also thinking of getting CJ hinges but like I said re-using the stock ones FREEBIE = WINNING!!!

Oh and I forgot to mention. I thought the exact same thing when I was planing mine, but honestly the CJ hinges to me are no more beefy then a door hinge and the stock hinges are not only free, but there stout as hell and color matched. so that was my reasoning on that.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:56 PM   #11
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Thanks for the additional pix...Again looks great!!!!!
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:00 PM   #12
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I'd love to do this since I'm going with a flat rear end. But idk how it would be drilling through my new armor that I'll be getting for my tailgate and "lower valance"
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:05 PM   #13
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Thanks for the additional pix...Again looks great!!!!!
No prob. and thanks.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:08 PM   #14
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I'd love to do this since I'm going with a flat rear end. But idk how it would be drilling through my new armor that I'll be getting for my tailgate and "lower valance"
Well if you can convince yourself to drill into new stuff. Honestly the armor on the gate and the valance will just make it stronger. The sheet metal is fairly thin everywhere the armor will just add strength.
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Old 08-11-2011, 01:50 PM   #15
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dumb question: how much weight would you trust sitting on there? 100lbs? more?
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Old 08-11-2011, 02:55 PM   #16
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It holds me an my gf no problem. So prob about 300 LBS. Makes a great spot to eat lunch on the trail now.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:50 AM   #17
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Great job! That was a great idea re-using the factory hinges, never thought of that. Where did you get the metal plate for the inside of the tailgate? and did the year of the dodge ram matter?
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:04 AM   #18
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dose it rattle at all? and can you still put your hardtop on?
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:32 PM   #19
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Great job! That was a great idea re-using the factory hinges, never thought of that. Where did you get the metal plate for the inside of the tailgate? and did the year of the dodge ram matter?
Thanks. And as for the plate i bought a 3 ft length of it at home depot for i believe $10. And the dodge cables, autozone had some right off the shelf. I think they were 97-up.
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:34 PM   #20
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dose it rattle at all? and can you still put your hardtop on?
No rattle at all. But for the hardtop i dont have one so its hard to say. I wouldnt see why not tho because the only real factor that changed was how it opens. Not the location or anything.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:02 AM   #21
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Thanks for the reply. Another quick question. How did you mount the hinge to the body? Did you use a piece of metal on the backside?
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:47 PM   #22
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Yes i used some flush mount bolts and on the backside of the tub i cut about 3-4 inch sections of that 1/8 thick 3ft long section of steel i got At home depot. And dilled holes and painted it black. You have to put something there for a backing plate for strength. The sheet metal in the tub is very thin.
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:43 AM   #23
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Ok, Thanks for the info. Im in afghanistan right now, but when I get home Im gonna look into this mod(always wanted this done). I will post up pics of the finished project. Thanks again.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:49 AM   #24
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Ok, Thanks for the info. Im in afghanistan right now, but when I get home Im gonna look into this mod(always wanted this done). I will post up pics of the finished project. Thanks again.
Great, look forward to seeing it. And let me kno if you have any more questions. Oh and thanks for your service!
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Old 08-28-2011, 06:28 PM   #25
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great idea i like that. I think im going to do that this weekend
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:21 PM   #26
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Heck yeah man thanks very much, i can't get his mod off my mind! I just thought, maybe a third drop line instead of just two, but that doesn't really help for hinge strength
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:56 PM   #27
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Great job. I've been looking into this my self since i bent my tail gate i got a junk yard one. I think i am gonna also make a back lit oldschool cj "jeep" plate for the back of the gate to cover the old tire carrier holes.

One thing I might try too is to use the old door hinge locations on the tub to hold my spare tire. I also want to make it pin removeable for trailing. I don't need the spare off road really it can just stay with my tow rig. Plus it makes the back end flat.

I actually bent my gate becuse the tire was on there and the tire hits stuff before my bumper.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:37 AM   #28
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Looks great. I just ordered the swag kit yesterday... I thought about going your route but...well, I guess I got lazy.... Nice work
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:25 PM   #29
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Bump for thread revival. It seems like you guys have some questions. Ill do my best to answer them! And thx for everyones kind words.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:22 PM   #30
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I was wondering how's setup with one lock works? Does the right side rattle at all? ... well, unless I missed something

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