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Adding tailgate assist

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by evilrb, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. Jul 23, 2020 at 2:49 AM
    #1
    evilrb

    evilrb [OP] New Member

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    Hey guys, So the search button has failed me but what kit are you guys using for a tailgate assist?
     
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  2. Jul 23, 2020 at 2:59 AM
    #2
    Tundra2

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  3. Jul 23, 2020 at 3:43 AM
    #3
    evilrb

    evilrb [OP] New Member

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    Thanks, exactly what I was looking for!!!
     
  4. Jul 24, 2020 at 1:03 PM
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    Lil Steve

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  5. Jul 24, 2020 at 3:31 PM
    #5
    Professional Hand Model

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    If I had known about the torsion bar in your link I’d have tried that first. I suppose it could still be added even with the strut assist I’ve had installed since last fall which is very nice!

    Hows the upward assist on it? On the down assist, can you let the gate go and it doesn’t slam?
     
  6. Jul 24, 2020 at 4:03 PM
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    Lil Steve

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    I saw your build when I was searching but figured I'd try the torsion bar first. I was a bit skeptical but it does work and suited my needs. I would likely have done the struts if this didn't work.

    The upwards assist is pretty good, the effort is greatly reduced and I can easily lift the tailgate with just a finger or two. Of course making sure it's securely latched when closing still requires more effort than just a finger but getting it to that point is easy. Even though the torsion bar greatly reduces the opening/closing effort, it will sort of slam down if you just opened the latch and let go of the tailgate. I say "sort of slam down" because while the tailgate's weight is being mostly offset by the torsion bar, if you let it go it will drop quicker than a gas charged strut. But I can easily open/close the tailgate with one hand so that's a win for me.
     
  7. Jul 24, 2020 at 4:14 PM
    #7
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    I may get one of these torsions in addition to the strut which is a no hands let go to butter soft landing. Yours sounds like it will help on the upswing. Thanks for the review.
     
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  8. Jul 24, 2020 at 10:55 PM
    #8
    evilrb

    evilrb [OP] New Member

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    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
  9. Jul 24, 2020 at 11:00 PM
    #9
    Tundra2

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    Whats everyone's thoughts on installing a second tailgate assist on the opposite side?

    Would the tailgate not have enough weight to make a downswing on its own?

    This is just an idea. Obviously. I mean it would make things match.
     
  10. Jul 24, 2020 at 11:04 PM
    #10
    evilrb

    evilrb [OP] New Member

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    I'm thinking about that right now, but with the tension style and the gas shocks....

    Might be best of both worlds but it also might be overdoing it...
     
  11. Jul 25, 2020 at 12:43 AM
    #11
    Tundra2

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    Yes I was thinking it might be overkill also.

    Guess it depends on valving of the gas shock.

    I have no experience with the other style.
     
  12. Jul 25, 2020 at 5:09 AM
    #12
    Professional Hand Model

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    I think the gas strut coupled with the tensioner would be a good combo. I’ll be adding the tensioner to mine in the future. The strut is for the landings and the addition of the tensioner would not interfere, I do not think, but would maybe slow it a little more on the downswing? The tensioner would be for the upswing assist.

    I feel confident both would work together, like ebony and ivory, for Wurrld Peas.

     
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  13. Jul 25, 2020 at 5:29 AM
    #13
    Professional Hand Model

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    I’m willing to give it a go, as the tensioner is only $25. The only risk I see is having 2 holes drilled into my bed and I might get Turd Gen OCD and start a 12 page 3671 post thread about it. :rofl:
     
  14. Jul 25, 2020 at 5:30 AM
    #14
    Tundra2

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    Or the one about how to fix a lag bolt on a fence gate? Whom refuses to drill through the other side, and put a bolt, washer, split lock, and nut on?
     
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  15. Jul 25, 2020 at 5:33 AM
    #15
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    I missed that one but can only imagine. I just stay in the 1st Gen Section unless I feel like beating up on some turd gen’rs for fun for the day. :rofl:

    Most of them are cool, but some of these guys can’t change a light bulb. :annoyed:
     
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  16. Jul 25, 2020 at 5:34 AM
    #16
    Tundra2

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    A favorite saying of mine at work is thus.

    "I don't know how many maintenance techs it takes, but I know how many we're gonna use!"
     
  17. Jul 25, 2020 at 1:59 PM
    #17
    Lil Steve

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    I'll add a few pics below so you know what to expect.

    Only one hole in the bed, the other in the tailgate door. Even if the torsion bar was a complete fail, the holes shouldn't negatively affect anything. Well, except for OCD.

    The install is pretty straightforward, it's recommended to have some help with the tailgate since it has to come off but I managed to do it by myself.

    The packaging includes a template indicating where to drill the two holes. I marked and drilled that first hole at the indicated 3-3/4" height, doing it again I'd go just a smidge lower (or grind just a bit of the edge of the hinge bracket) because I have slight rubbing of the tailgate on the torsion bar when closing the tailgate.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Here you can see where the bracket for the hinge slightly rubs. I was going to take a little metal off the bracket with a file but after a little spray lubricant and opening/closing the tailgate a few times it's really not that noticeable and doesn't bother me. Just throwing this out there for reference.


    [​IMG]

    Since the torsion bar is "springy" the bracket sort of nudges it out of the way.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here is where the hole is drilled in the tailgate. The torsion bar hooks into both holes and will slightly deform the thin sheet metal slightly when both are installed. Not a problem, in my opinion, just throwing it out there for reference. I wouldn't want to be responsible for someone ruining a feather duster in the off chance it got caught up in there. :p

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2020
  18. Jul 25, 2020 at 2:48 PM
    #18
    evilrb

    evilrb [OP] New Member

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    Thanks that helps!
     
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  19. Jul 23, 2023 at 8:40 AM
    #19
    MPBTundra

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    Ah... I know I'm replying to an old thread, but I just installed this on my 2004 Tundra yesterday and ran into this exact same rubbing of the torsion bar on that bracket.

    I actually bought two of the Easylift... one for my Tundra and one for a '99 F-350. The F-350 assist is amazing... super easy to lower and raise it. On the Tundra however, it starts out okay but when the bar hits that bracket point it encounters some resistance so it actually does require a bit more force while it pushes the bar out of the way.

    I'm also concerned that over time it'll wear away at the bracket and/or bar maybe leading to rust? For now I just put a couple layers of duct tape over the bracket to protect it while I figure out if there's something else I can or should do. I thought maybe I could file the bracket a bit so the rod clears that area, but it seems like I'd have to remove more than I'd like for that not to be an issue.

    Repositioning the bar by drilling that body mounted hole a little bit lower... that could be an option. I hate to drill yet another hole but ultimately that wouldn't be a big deal. The Easylift drilling template does give a different, lower position for certain makes of truck so clearly it can work if needed, as long as it's not so low that it interferes with something else.

    I may go back out today and take another look at it and see if that's what I have to do. In the end if there's really nothing else that seems feasible, it's not like it keeps the torsion rod from doing what it's supposed to, it's just that extra little binding takes some extra "oomph" to overcome, and since I can compare it to the featherweight touch that the F-350 requires, a little OCD kicked in. LOL

    FYI, I know it says to have two people when installing since you're lifting and manipulating the tailgate, but with a little bit of effort I was able to do it solo (on both trucks). It's not easy to rotate a heavy tailgate in the way it needs, but I'm here to say it's possible. :)
     
  20. Jul 23, 2023 at 11:08 AM
    #20
    MPBTundra

    MPBTundra New Member

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    I was encouraged to go out there this morning and fix it... I drilled another hole a bit lower than the recommended one I did yesterday, but still leaving enough "meat on the bone" between them to hopefully avoid undue stress. It resulted in the torsion bar being low enough to avoid that binding on the tailgate bracket, and fortunately not so low that it interferes or rubs on the bottom of the tailgate itself. It's close, but all good. I also took the opportunity to spritz a little rustoleum onto a cotton swab and coat the drilled holes. Might as well, I had the rattle can right there.

    And I seem to be getting even better at slipping the torsion rod into the tailgate by myself, fiddling it and rotating to slide it to the midpoint of that bend where it's marked.

    It helped, in my case, to use a couple scrap pieces of lumber to hold the torsion bar (and that part that goes into the tailgate) out away from the truck by a 3 or so inches. The natural bend on it wants to point that upward part towards the front of the truck some which makes it hard to slip into the bottom of the tailgate. By moving it back a bit that gave me more space to lift the tailgate, and with my hand supporting the tailgate on the bottom middle where the hole is, I could find that rod and slide it into the hole (I'm trying hard to keep a straight face when typing things like that). Then it's a matter of rotating the tailgate to get it past the bends to the right spot, rotating back (without the rod slipping back out hopefully) and then get the left hand side mounted on the pivot point.

    It sounds complicated, and it is, but that's probably why they tell you to have a helper. Great advice if you have someone available to help, but hey, friends are overrated, right? :)

    Anyway, no more binding, it still seems like it's not quite as supportive as my Ford tailgate for some reason. I lifted both tailgates off/on multiple times, rotating them and all that, and they seemed like they both weigh a lot, but maybe the Tundra tailgate is just heavier than the one on my 1-ton F350? That would be weird but I guess it's possible. Either way, it's definitely MUCH easier to open/close than before. I don't have any issues with the Tundra tailgate fully opening. It comes down and the support cables are fully extended, no slack. Which is also odd that on the F350 tailgate, it's nearly slack, and when I removed an access cover to lube up the lock mechanism, it actually wanted to close on it's own, just that weight of that panel being removed. So... maybe that tailgate is lighter. Hmm.
     
  21. Aug 17, 2023 at 9:30 AM
    #21
    daveeasa

    daveeasa FBC Harness Solutions

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    So, in summary, per @assassin10000 's install, we might drill the holes for the torsion bar 5/16" lower on the truck bedside and 1/2" lower on the tailgate itself? or 5/16" lower on the tailgate to match the bedside adjustment?

    I still have some mild hope that I make it to Sacramento and meet up with a TW guy who did the 2nd gen Tacoma bracket for 3rd gen tailgate dampener in hopes that we might be able to get one working for first gen Tundra too. It's quite similar and I think the bracket would work but we need time to tinker.

    My tailgate with MH panel is heavy AF and slams like a mofo, takes two hands or a good stance to open/close.
     
  22. Aug 17, 2023 at 9:57 AM
    #22
    assassin10000

    assassin10000 New Member

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    No change to tailgate position iirc. Just bedside.
     
  23. Aug 17, 2023 at 10:04 AM
    #23
    daveeasa

    daveeasa FBC Harness Solutions

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    Your post at the time indicates that the tailgate doesn't go all the way flat, cables do not fully tension, and you or someone suggest 1/2" lower on the tailgate itself to accommodate?
    Sort of seems like matching the drop on the bedside at the tailgate would be appropriate to me? Otherwise it's not quite aligned?
     
  24. Aug 17, 2023 at 11:37 AM
    #24
    assassin10000

    assassin10000 New Member

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    I actually pulled mine back off and bent the easy lift to accommodate the difference. The easy lift had enough strength the bone stock tailgate was a bit lightweight for it.

    If you have a heavier tailgate, then it's a non-issue.
     
  25. Aug 17, 2023 at 12:33 PM
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    daveeasa

    daveeasa FBC Harness Solutions

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    Thanks. My tailgate is definitely way heavier than yours, that MH panel is a beefcake.
     
  26. Aug 18, 2023 at 6:11 AM
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    daveeasa

    daveeasa FBC Harness Solutions

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    My intent would be no exposed parts. The 3rd gen tailgate dampener works too well in my 2nd Gen. It’d be a winner in the FGT with just a bracket to make it work. But the rod is cheap and straightforward, just a bit caveman style.
     
  27. Aug 18, 2023 at 2:53 PM
    #27
    assassin10000

    assassin10000 New Member

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    The rod also assists with closing.

    The strut does not.





    Get both. ;)



    And never get around to installing them...
     
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  28. Aug 18, 2023 at 3:09 PM
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    daveeasa

    daveeasa FBC Harness Solutions

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    This is a good point indeed, closing my '16 isn't all that easy b/c the dampener only slows the open. Still, that's the most offensive part, but definitely nice to have both. And impossible to beat the price point for the solution.

    I bet a metal insert / support piece could make the whole thing a lot better, just drill and then the insert allows micro-adjust plus eliminates the metal deformation and provides some rust protection too if you perhaps snap it into place with a plastic bushing.

    Man, if I could just do product design all day I could make a whole lot of nothing in terms of profit :)
     
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  29. Aug 19, 2023 at 9:30 AM
    #29
    daveeasa

    daveeasa FBC Harness Solutions

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    Since I dug them up, here are the videos for the mod to use a 3rd gen Tacoma dampener on a 2nd gen Tacoma. I hope to figure this out for our first gen Tundras as well, just need to get my truck to Sacramento for detailed measurements so the bracket can get built.

    https://youtu.be/u9_wJWtNLZQ
    https://youtu.be/86EVL6TTqPc
     
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  30. Aug 19, 2023 at 9:39 AM
    #30
    shifty`

    shifty` The masses of humanity have always had to suffer

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    Do all 2nd gen Tacos have that flip-up license plate bracket thing, or is that custom?

    This guy had me, like, "Hell yeah, I can see swapping out the 3rd gen latch! Then I realized ... Oh snap. That dampener is huge, I can imagine 1GT will be cutting sheet metal too.

    I don't like cutting sheetmetal. But I have no doubt someone coule probably make an adapted dampener to achieve similar.
     
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