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Old 02-16-2014, 01:26 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Smittybilt GEAR Tailgate install

Well, I attempted this today. I reviewed other installs, and I went out and picked up stainless steel screws based on other people saying the hardware that comes with the kit strips easy. I used a slightly larger bit than the instructions call for as well based on other reviews. I ended up stripping and snapping three stainless steel screws off. Luckily I was able to back them out with pliers. I stopped half way through the install.

I think it may be easier to tap the holes after you drill them and then use machine screws to mount this. I also got all the way to one corner and ended up lining the last corner up with one of the spot welds, so not sure I will be able to drill through it.

I really didn't expect to have that many issues with it. It looks good, just need to finish attaching it. If I had to do it all over again, I would order the metal one on eBay.

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Old 02-16-2014, 02:47 PM   #2
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As I recall there is a welded "C" channel in places behind the metal skin of the tail gate.There are spot welds that identify the location of this channel. You will want to place the mounting holes either above or well below the level of these spot welds or you will risk breaking a drill bit or the screw if you hit the slope of the C-channel below the surface metal.

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Old 02-16-2014, 03:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by LongRifle45 View Post
Well, I attempted this today. I reviewed other installs, and I went out and picked up stainless steel screws based on other people saying the hardware that comes with the kit strips easy. I used a slightly larger bit than the instructions call for as well based on other reviews. I ended up stripping and snapping three stainless steel screws off. Luckily I was able to back them out with pliers. I stopped half way through the install.

I think it may be easier to tap the holes after you drill them and then use machine screws to mount this. I also got all the way to one corner and ended up lining the last corner up with one of the spot welds, so not sure I will be able to drill through it.

I really didn't expect to have that many issues with it. It looks good, just need to finish attaching it. If I had to do it all over again, I would order the metal one on eBay.
What is the metal one?
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Springtail View Post
As I recall there is a welded "C" channel in places behind the metal skin of the tail gate.There are spot welds that identify the location of this channel. You will want to place the mounting holes either above or well below the level of these spot welds or you will risk breaking a drill bit or the screw if you hit the slope of the C-channel below the surface metal.

Doc
YEah…I think my mistake was lining up with the door stop first and I didn't pay attention to where all the other holes would be. I'm kind of screwed now. Like I said, I may try taping the holes to keep from stripping the screws. In some spots it looks like the metal is over 1/8" thick, so I may have hit exactly what you are talking about.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by LongRifle45 View Post
YEah…I think my mistake was lining up with the door stop first and I didn't pay attention to where all the other holes would be. I'm kind of screwed now. Like I said, I may try taping the holes to keep from stripping the screws. In some spots it looks like the metal is over 1/8" thick, so I may have hit exactly what you are talking about.
When I did mine I had some self tapping stainless steel screws on my bench that I used instead of the ones from Smittybilt. I had one problem spot and ended up backing it out and putting one near it. Sorry you had such a time with yours. I really like the gear stowage but I don't put heavy stuff back there.

Oh, yes I did drill out the holes first and I used my own guesstimate of what size bit and screw to use.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:06 AM   #6
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I must be missing something i put mine on in like 5 minutes with some self tapping screws. We must be talking about something different. If possible post picture.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:41 AM   #7
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what is the metal one?
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:33 PM   #8
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Finally realized what I did wrong…..:face palm:

I used a 9/64" bit like everyone recommended instead of the 7/64" bit in the instructions. Problem was, I upgraded to #10 stainless steel screws instead of the #8 that came with it. So yeah, I used the bigger bit to keep from stripping screws, but since I used a bigger screw I needed to go to an even larger bit. I went up one more bit size and the screw went right in with no problem. Boy I feel like an idiot. Guess it has just been one of those weeks. Thanks for listening to me rant.

Overall I am real happy with the product.

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