Home » How to Install a Tailgate Hinge Kit

How to Install a Tailgate Hinge Kit

by M Asim

You’re all set for your weekend camping trip when you open up the tailgate to load the cooler and – what’s that grinding noise?! Ugh, it looks like your tailgate hinges could use some TLC. Not what you were planning the day before a 3-day getaway. But don’t worry, with the right replacement tailgate hinge kit you’ll be on your way in no time. We’ll give you the rundown on what to look for when shopping for a tailgate hinge repair kit, from heavy duty options for pickup trucks to basic kits for SUVs and crossovers. We’ve rounded up the highest rated kits that won’t leave your wallet too battered and bruised. Let’s take a look under the hood – er, tailgate – at what you need to know to get your tailgate back in smooth, quiet, working order.

What to Look for in a Quality Tailgate Hinge Kit

When it comes time to replace your tailgate hinges, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality kit that will last for years to come. Here are some things to consider:

Durable Materials

Look for hinges made from sturdy metals like stainless steel, aluminum or zinc-plated steel. These corrosion-resistant materials will hold up well to weather and everyday use. Plastic hinges may seem budget-friendly but won’t have the longevity of metal.

Proper Fit

Make sure the hinge kit you choose is specifically designed for your vehicle’s make, model and year. An improper fit could lead to damage or operational issues. Double check the part number listed in your owner’s manual or on a parts lookup website.

Smooth Operation

High-quality hinges should open and close your tailgate smoothly and effortlessly. Look for hinges with self-lubricating bushings or washers, and a pivot design that minimizes friction. Your tailgate should raise and lower gently under its own weight when the hinges are working properly.

Extra Features

Some higher-end hinge kits offer useful extras like a built-in handle or an assisted lift mechanism to make opening and closing even easier. An integrated damper or shock absorber is also a nice feature to prevent the tailgate from slamming down abruptly.

Warranty

Reputable brands will often provide at least a 1-year warranty on replacement hinge kits in case of any manufacturing defects. Some offer limited lifetime warranties for added peace of mind. Check the warranty details before purchasing to make sure it covers the hinges for a reasonable amount of time based on their durability.

By keeping these factors in mind, you’ll be equipped to find a tailgate hinge kit that keeps your tailgate operating smoothly and securely for the long haul. Your local auto parts store or trusted online retailer will have a range of options to choose from based on your specific vehicle details.

How to Install a New Tailgate Hinge Kit

Replacing old or damaged tailgate hinges is important for safe and proper operation of your tailgate. Installing a new tailgate hinge kit is something any DIYer can do at home to get their tailgate working smoothly again.

First, park the vehicle on a level surface and turn off the engine. Allow the tailgate area to cool if it was just running. You’ll be working in tight quarters, so the cooler the better.

Next, locate the tailgate hinges. On most trucks, there will be two hinges attaching the tailgate to the truck bed, one on each side. Some tailgates have an additional hinge in the center. Examine the hinges to determine if replacement is needed due to damage or excessive wear and tear.

Then, support the tailgate so it does not fall once you remove the hinges. You can use jack stands, blocks of wood, or an assistant to hold it in place. Make sure the tailgate is balanced before removing any hardware.

Now you’re ready to remove the old hinges. Remove any trim pieces covering the hinges first. Remove the bolts or nuts attaching the hinges to the truck bed and tailgate using the appropriate socket or wrench. Have a magnet handy to catch any dropped hardware. Remove one hinge at a time, then immediately support the tailgate.

Finally, install the new tailgate hinge kit by first securing the new hinges to the tailgate. Then lift the tailgate into place and attach the hinges to the truck bed. Ensure the new hinges are oriented properly before tightening all hardware. Test the tailgate to ensure it’s operating smoothly and securely.

Replacing damaged tailgate hinges yourself is an easy process if you have some basic mechanical skills and tools. Take your time and be sure to support the tailgate during removal and installation. In no time, you’ll have your tailgate opening and closing as good as new!

Tailgate Hinge Kit FAQs

Once you’ve decided to replace your tailgate hinges, you probably have a few questions about the tailgate hinge kit. Here are some common FAQs to help you choose the right kit for your needs.

What’s included in a tailgate hinge kit?

  • The kit will include the hinge mechanisms that attach the tailgate to your truck bed, including the hinge pins or bolts.
  • It may also come with any necessary mounting brackets or hardware to secure the hinges to your specific truck model.
  • Higher-end kits provide extra features like self-locking hinges for security, or hinges with built-in dampeners for smooth, controlled lowering of the tailgate.

How do I know if a kit will fit my truck?

  • Check the product listing for your truck’s make, model, year range, and bed length to ensure compatibility.
  • Measure your existing hinge and pin locations to compare to the new kit.
  • For the best fit, choose a kit specifically designed for your truck model. tailgate hinge kit Generic or “universal” kits may require modifications and won’t provide the same quality or features.

How difficult is installation?

  • Replacing tailgate hinges is usually an easy to moderate DIY task, depending on your mechanical skills.
  • You’ll need basic tools like wrenches, sockets, and screwdrivers.
  • The kit should come with instructions for removing your old hinges and installing the new ones.
  • If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, Anidjar and Levine a mechanic can install the kit for you, typically in under an hour.

Will new hinges improve how my tailgate functions?

  • High-quality hinge kits can drastically improve your tailgate operation.
  • They provide smooth opening and closing, eliminate sagging, reduce rattling, and make it easier to lift and lower the tailgate.
  • Upgraded hinges may also add desirable features like a damped tailgate that lowers gently under control, or self-latching hinges for increased security.

New tailgate hinges are an easy upgrade that can restore proper function and add useful features to your truck. Choose a high-quality kit designed specifically for your model for the best results. With the right tools and patience, you’ll be back on the road with a tailgate that works like new.

Conclusion

So there you have it, folks. A tailgate that won’t stay up is no fun at all. And replacing the whole thing can cost a pretty penny. But for around 50 bucks, you can get a tailgate hinge kit that’ll have that gate swinging smooth as silk again. Just be sure to match your truck specs before ordering. With a quality kit and maybe an afternoon in the driveway, you’ll be back to grilling brats and playing cornhole before the next big game. Now get out there and start wrenching so you can enjoy that tailgating life.

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