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Gas-Saving Tailgate Looks Like Real Thing
You can save as much as 15% on your pickup gas bills with an "air-through" tailgate, according to manufacturers, but many owners don't like their looks. Now, a Georgia-based company has designed a new air-through tailgate with louvers that open on the road but close when the vehicle is at rest, matching the looks of a standard tailgate.
Manufactured by FEWCO of Moultrie, Ga., the new gate has three 20-ga. galvanized steel louvers covering a mesh screen gate. At 25 mph, the louvers begin to open and, at 40 mph, they're fully open. Rubber pads keep the louvers from banging as you start and stop.
"The tailgate frame is made from heavy-gauge square steel tubing which some commercial companies are finding holds up even better than the original tailgates. At this time, we can fit any pickup except the smaller compacts. We ship the tailgates primed and ready for painting. Installation time takes about 15 minutes," says Ray Morgan, designer of the new endgate.
"Many pickup owners mistakenly think lowering their tailgate on the road raises mileage as much as an air-through gate. We did wind tunnel studies at McDonnell Douglas and discovered that there is a vacuum effect beneath a downed tailgate so that the increase in efficiency is only about 1%, compared with 15% for a tailgate like ours," Morgan points out.
The tailgate, which comes with a center pull latch, is not recommended for use with any type of pickup bed cover. When hauling dirt or other granular material, a board or piece of cardboard inside the gate prevents leaks. Chrome-type paint is not recommended for the louvers because of reflections.
Retail price for the louver tailgate is $179. An air-through gate without louvers sells for $127.50.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ray Morgan, FEWCO, P.O. Box 922, Moultrie, Ga. 31768 (ph 912 985-9183).

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1982 - Volume #6, Issue #1