The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Tailgate transplant

close up of truck tailgate dented and crunched

I was backing up the truck to unload another cube of cinder blocks the other day when this tree came out of nowhere and slammed itself into the tailgate.

The tree barely noticed the bump and went back to sleep when it became obvious that nobody was hurt.

I'm thinking instead of having the dent pounded out and the locking mechanism repaired I should just maybe find a replacement tailgate at a junk yard like Tracy recommended in an earlier comment and save a little time.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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been there before! You're right, it would be cheaper to just replace the entire thing
Comment by phil Sun Nov 20 19:33:07 2011
What Mark was too gentlemanly to say is that I was supposed to be telling him where to back up, so the tailgate is completely my fault. Ooops. :-)
Comment by anna Sun Nov 20 20:13:25 2011

Repairing this will be a lot of effort; I'd say you'd have to

  • Cut out the damaged stuff. (The metal has been stretched so much you won't get it back into its original shape.)
  • Hammer and pull the remainder back into shape. (It wouldn't surprise me if the whole tailgate has been deformed.)
  • Grind the paint off the cut edges (for welding)
  • Cut/grind plate and U-channel steel sections to size.
  • Weld in new plates and channel sections (Welding thin plate is not easy with a stick or mig welder. Very easy to burn a hole right through. Best to try and make plug welds. Welding experience wouldn't go amiss either.)
  • Possibly more straightening (welding can cause deformation)
  • Prime and paint to prevent corrosion.

Unless you know how to weld and/or have a lot of time on your hands, getting a secondhand tailgate sounds like a better option.

Comment by Roland_Smith Mon Nov 21 15:01:42 2011
Sounds pretty daunting. Glad to hear you agree with Mark's analysis that a junkyard tail gate replacement would be much easier!
Comment by anna Mon Nov 21 16:32:42 2011

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