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  • CJ tailgate mod

    I know I'm being overly picky, but has anyone modified their tailgate so they can open it without having to undo their soft top and fiddle with those tailgate latches to open the gate? I have a Bestop supertop and I have to unzip my rear window on each side and reach inside and turn the latches to lower the gate. I would be great if there was someway to turn those latches from the outside. I've thought about it some, but figured why reinvent the wheel if someone else has done something similar.

  • #2
    I've been thinking about putting a YJ tailgate on my 85. It's SO much easier getting into the back of my friend's 87 than into mine. The holes left over from removing the CJ tire carrier are the same as the YJ tailgate hinge holes. Just add the striker mount and thats about it.

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    • #3
      Actualy I'm in the process of removing my YJ tailgate to instal a CJ version.

      Guess everyone wants different things.

      As far as your concern for using "outer" methods to open the gate, the easiest thing I could come up with would be a "T" handle like they use on a truck top back glass. you can pick up universal T-handles at tractor supply, northern tool, etc etc. just drill out the tab hole for the original twistlatches and mount up the T-handle. It might look a bit odd, but it would serve your purpose. ...or if your REALLY good, you could just use the whole dual sided latch assembly out of a liftglass and only have one center handle.

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      • #4
        Ueland...i like the way you think...im a big fan of having a tailgate instead of a door, and like scram-man was saying, it is a pain to have to open the rear window to get to the latches...i've got a YJ top and it doesn't connect to the tailgate at all...it has a metal piece hanging from the rear window that flips down into a channel on either side of the tailgate...on my CJ it just barely touches the top of the tailgate, so it could be swung open without messing with the top, if i had access to the latches...thanks for the idea

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        • #5
          The T handle set up would be pretty slick!! I also thought about a simple rotary latch of some sort but never went to the T even though it was sitting right there when i had a hard top... I ended up adding toggle clamps to mine instead of the little latches, easier to operate through the zipper.

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          • #6
            I hate my YJ tailgate.
            I had a door lock break. Lucky for me my rear gate does not lock.
            However I backed into the parking space so I could only open the tail gate a small amount, thus making my large butt crawl through a pain.

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            • #7
              The T latches are about the best bet. I've found folding, lockable ones from Northern Tool (I think...catalogs packed for a move) that seem to be about right and affordable.

              Also thought about locking hood latches, or even just the pins (what good is a locking tailgate with a soft top?)

              Penguin: That would suck big time!!

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              • #8
                I agree on the lockable thing. Don't need to lock up a softtop. I'm still scratching my head on this one. You know the old jeeps that had tailgates just had tailgate chains or a clip of somekind. I guess we traded smooth looks for a PITA inside latch that you can't get to with your top on.
                I'll keep scratching and see if I come up with something before a wear a hole in my head!

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                • #9
                  HOW ABOUT A WIRELESS LINEAR ACTIVATOR, THEN YOU WOULD HAVE A CLEAN LOOK OUT BACK WITHOUT A T HANDLE? pRESS A REMOTE SWITCH, AND WELLAH!!!!

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                  • #10
                    Now that would be SAAAWEEEET!!!!!!
                    Um.... where do I get a linear activator with remote thingy?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by scram-man View Post
                      Now that would be SAAAWEEEET!!!!!!
                      Um.... where do I get a linear activator with remote thingy?
                      Cool idea Richard!
                      http://www.firgelliauto.com/product_...roducts_id=136

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                      • #12
                        Does everybody really hate the YJ gate so much?

                        To me, the CJ gate is somewhat useless. It hangs down at an angle (new cables) so you can't set your beer on it. The hinges (black Kentrol) don't feel the strongest, so you can't sit your butt on it. Tailgate parties are one of its weak points. ;-) If you're trying to get in the back, now you have the length of the tailgate to deal with.

                        Now the older Jeeps had stronger hinges and the gate was removable and the chains were adjustable.

                        With a YJ, you just swing it open, it locks in that position (with the right AM device), and you have access to the back of the Jeep just that quick! Even with a soft top on. And it locks.

                        I can't see the drawback of having one.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the link Gryphon! Looks like a may have to wait on funds for awhile though. That would be really cool!

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                          • #14
                            i don't have any of the problems you mention YellaJacket...my tailgate work like its supposed to...it makes a very handy work platform/seat/ beerholder/ bed extender/everything...the CJ spare tire carrier holds a much larger tire than the YJ as well...plus it can be removed with ease...it seems obvious to me why the CJ tailgate is better...its a tailgate...i can put a motorcycle in the back of my jeep with the center console out...just tie the handlebars to the rollbar and leave the tailgate down for the rear tire to sit on...try that with a YJ

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by the Captain View Post
                              i don't have any of the problems you mention YellaJacket...my tailgate work like its supposed to...it makes a very handy work platform/seat/ beerholder/ bed extender/everything...the CJ spare tire carrier holds a much larger tire than the YJ as well...plus it can be removed with ease...it seems obvious to me why the CJ tailgate is better...its a tailgate...i can put a motorcycle in the back of my jeep with the center console out...just tie the handlebars to the rollbar and leave the tailgate down for the rear tire to sit on...try that with a YJ
                              Same here. I do understand that most of the aftermarket tailgates pretty much stink...but my stocker is great, holds my 300 pound but just fine...one of the big reasons I like it.

                              Post a pic of yours? Maybe we can help with the fit and sag issues.

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