You're packing up stuff for an out-of-town trip, so you load your pick-up with everything you'll need; from extra sleeping bags to a fully equipped tent, you're determined to not forget anything. You and a buddy then start to load a huge cooler onto the truck bed when, suddenly, the tailgate cable snaps. Good thing there are two of you holding the cooler, so no injured toes, busted kneecaps, or a scratched rear bumper. But before you could continue loading up stuff into the truck bed, you'll have to repair that busted tailgate cable as soon as possible. Here's a list of what you need and what you need to do:
- Torx bit
Step 1: Unlatch and support the tailgate.
Before you remove the old cable, make sure that the unlatched tailgate is properly supported by any sturdy equipment. You can also ask your buddy to hold the tailgate for you as you remove the cables on each side.
Step 2: Unbolt the lower end of the cable.
While the tailgate is properly supported or propped up, use a Torx bit and ratchet to unbolt the cable from the tailgate. Keep in mind, though, that this step may vary depending on what type of bolt or attachment accessory is used to link the cable to the vehicle; always check your vehicle manual.
Step 3: Remove the cable's upper end.
Using your hands, simply pull away the tab that connects the upper end of the tailgate cable to the stud. As you pull the tab, slide the old cable up and away from the stud.
Step 4: Attach the new tailgate cable.
Installing a new cable is pretty straightforward. You just need to insert the large hole of the new cable's upper end onto the stud on the vehicle and slide the cable in place. You'll know you've properly attached the cable if it clicks into place. Then, lock the cable's lower end in place by bolting it with a Torx bit and ratchet. Open and close the tailgate to check if the cable is securely attached.
Things to remember:
- It's best to have some slack along the cable for easier removal and installation.
- Be careful when supporting the tailgate during installation. If you don't have anything to prop it up, ask a buddy to help you out since the tailgate can be heavy and bulky. You can also use your knee or hip to prop up the unlatched tailgate. Just make sure that the tailgate won't suddenly fall down while you remove the cable. After all, you don't want to damage the bumper or injure yourself.
- When looking for a replacement cable, make sure it's a direct-fit component and is made from high-grade materials. Remember, this cable will be regularly exposed to lots of friction, heavy load, different weather conditions, and other damaging elements.
- When bolting the new tailgate cable in place, be sure to follow the manufacturer's torque specifications. This way, the bolt won't prematurely wear out.