How Do You Replace the Tailgate on a Truck?

replace-tailgate-truck Credit: David Lees/Taxi/Getty Images

To replace a tailgate on a truck, prepare the work area, unhook the cables, lift off the tailgate, replace it with the new tailgate, and secure it. Factors to consider when choosing a replacement tailgate include its material, installation method, design and compatibility.

Choose a well-lit location to perform the tailgate replacement. Wear protective gloves for better grip and to protect the hands against the tailgate’s rough edges. Lift the latch, and open the tailgate. Make sure the tailgate is completely open and flat. Locate the tailgate cables, and unhook them. Alternatively, consult the vehicle owner’s manual for vehicles without tailgate cables. Standing at the center of the tailgate panel, hold the tailgate firmly using both hands, and lift it off its pivot points. Lift and slide the tailgate at an angle towards the pivot point for a tailgate with a single point.

Set the old tailgate aside, and carefully place the replacement tailgate on the pivot point or points. Make sure it is firmly in place before attaching the cables. Close and open the tailgate repeatedly to ensure it is secure and working properly. A second person may be required to help with lifting and installation if the new tailgate is large or heavy. Tailgates can become damaged or corroded over time and must be replaced periodically to keep cargo well-protected.