1988 - Volume #12, Issue #4, Page #09[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Replacement tailgate for Ford pickups"If you drop one bale on the tailgate of a Ford pickup built from 1973 to 1979, the tailgate will be bent for life. A spilt welded seam runs the full width of the tailgate right where the hinged straps that hold the tailgate up attach. With very little use, the outside 4 to 6 in. of the tailgate sags or bends completely down," says Pete Johnson, Ballantine, Mont., who builds a heavy-duty "replacement" tailgate.
"First I cut a piece of heavy 2-in. pipe the length of the tailgate. The pipe acts as the hinge for the tailgate so weight is not a factor. I weld the hinge sockets out of the old tailgate into each end of the pipe. Then I cut two 1 1/2-in. by 3/16 in. angle iron pieces for uprights and make a top piece from 1 1/2-in. sq. tubing. Four 2 by 1-in. channel iron pieces fit between the top and bottom pieces for strength. "Next I cut a piece of 12 ga. tread plate to fit over the inside of the gate. I always weld the full length of the outer top edge of the tread plate because of the amount of abuse it takes. I mount the latches from the old tailgate on the new one and then use four clevises and 7/16-in. rod off the controls of an old IH "tumblebug" plow, along with a lever type handle, to open and close the tailgate latches.
"I've built three of these tailgates and they've been backed into posts, bulls have walked on them, and all kinds of equipment has been dropped on them with no problems."
Contact FARM SHOW Followup, Pete Johnson, Rt. 1, Ballantine, Mont. 59006 (ph 406 967-6204).
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