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Fuel-Saving Tailgate
To boost mileage with his pickup truck, Jim Hand from Riley, Kan., removed his standard tailgate and bolted a framed-in expanded metal tailgate in its place. He notes the new tailgate can easily be removed if desired to remount the original gate. Hand says he's not sure how much gas he's saving with his new tailgate. "But there's definitely less drag now that air currents pass right through the gate."
He also points out that his new tailgate is only half the height of the old gate so there's less chance of damage when hooking up to his gooseneck trailer.
Hand adds that an expanded metal tailgate could be made full height and made to drop like a standard tailgate by incorporating a standard handle and opening mechanism into the design.

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1979 - Volume #3, Issue #2