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Unread 08-24-2011, 12:41 PM   #1
cagersXJ
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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CJ Tailgate Swap WRITEUP!!!!!

After looking for this before doing it but only finding bits and pieces Iíve decided to do a full writeup for the CJ to TJ tailgate swap. I wanted a functional tailgate, and the vintage look of the CJ style tailgate with JEEP on the back in my opinion was perfect in looks and functionality for me. The swap was pretty easy, so Iím just going to do a step by step on how I did it.

STEP 1: Source a tailgate
Any CJ gate should work and are easily found. When getting your tailgate if possible try to get all latches, hinges, bolts, cables etc. If the one you find doesnít have these items they can be ordered from most Jeep part suppliers
[IMG][/IMG]


STEP 2: Prep all parts by removing all old paint, cleaning the parts, then putting a primer on them.



STEP 3: Paint the primed parts.
I ordered paint from automotivetouchup.com they can get you color matched paint based off of your Jeepís paint code. I got my color paint in a spray can for about 20 dollars. Once I had the paint I got everything painted, and then applied a clear coat.
[IMG][/IMG]

STEP 4: Make brackets
I took some scrap 3/16 metal and cut two 2x4 pieces then rounded the edges, tapped two 5/16 holes that were lined up with the hinge holes and then sprayed them with some rustoleum. These brackets will be used to support the hinges. The bolts will go through the body then into these brackets so they have some support, and donít rip through the body.

[I also took some 4x4 angle iron and cut it down to make brackets for the tailgate cables to mount to, and for the tailgate latches to close on. I basically just mimicked a CJís latch brackets.

hinge brackets
[IMG][/IMG]

latch brackets
[IMG][/IMG]

STEP 5: Mock up tailgate and drill holes for the lower hinge bolts
Remove you original tailgate and the latch on the inside of the tub, this is pretty straight forward. Once everything is removed you will need an extra set of hands. Get the CJ tailgate and have a friend hold it in place and line the top of it with the top of the tub. Once this is done mark your holes so you will know where to drill the 5/16 holes for the lower hinges.
[IMG][/IMG]

Step 6: Insert hinge brackets
If you have a TJ you are going to have to drop the gas tank. Drop your gas tank (make sure you disconnect everything) once the tank is dropped cut 2 three sided holes so you may bend the metal up and then insert the brackets, you will need your helper here also to hold the brackets as you thread the bolts through the hinges.
[IMG][/IMG]

STEP 7: Attach your new CJ tailgate
With the tailgate in place insert the bolts through the hinges and into the brackets you made. Once everything is secured, bend the metal back down, and then it is ok for you to go ahead and put the gas tank back in, be sure to reattach everything.
[IMG][/IMG]

STEP 8: Mount the brackets for the cables
Once you place these where they need to go in the tub to catch the closing latches you will need to drill 2 5/16 holes through the tub per side, and then bolt them down. From there just lower your tailgate to a good position, and mark where the cables will need to be mounted. Once you have your location marked just drill the 5/16 holes (1per side per cable), and bolt them down.
[IMG][/IMG]

Step 9: Your finished grab a beer
Once everything is completed grab a beer, if you havenít done so already, and then sit back and admire your new vintage tailgate, and donít forget to start looking forward to all the ways youíre going to use your now functioning tailgate!

Here are some finished photos
[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

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Unread 08-24-2011, 12:47 PM   #2
wwch99tj
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Missing some photos
Sorry the photos are all there photos didn't show up on my phone app I just got on line and saw them all. Looks great


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Unread 08-24-2011, 01:55 PM   #3
hallsofstone
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Great writeup on a topic well discussed and rarely broken down for us dummies. This will be very helpful to quite a few folks...hope to include myself in that group some day. Thanks much!
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Unread 08-24-2011, 02:01 PM   #4
LiveAndLearn
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I love the JEEP writing on the back of those. they never should have done away with that.
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Unread 08-24-2011, 03:41 PM   #5
wwch99tj
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What did you do to latch it?

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Unread 08-24-2011, 04:41 PM   #6
cagersXJ
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Used the original latches, and made brackets as shown in step 8 of the writeup
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Unread 08-24-2011, 05:30 PM   #7
wwch99tj
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I c I gotta figure out something for latches that can open from outside cause I also have a hardtop
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Unread 08-25-2011, 07:19 PM   #8
HBTTarheels1
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WOW CAGERSXJ!!!!! Looks G R E A T! I'm thinking I would like to test drive ... rather, tailgate very soon!!

How bout dem TARHEELS!!!!!!!!
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Unread 11-05-2011, 01:55 PM   #9
crikeyjeepturtl
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Is there anyway that one could lock it with a key or something? I plan on making a wooden trunk that would keep my things away from thieves and this type of tailgate would defeat the purpose then...

How do cj'ers take it down with a hardtop?
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Unread 11-05-2011, 07:03 PM   #10
lucky-13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crikeyjeepturtl View Post
Is there anyway that one could lock it with a key or something? I plan on making a wooden trunk that would keep my things away from thieves and this type of tailgate would defeat the purpose then...

How do cj'ers take it down with a hardtop?
On the CJ w/HT the liftgate closed on the outside over the tailgate and also had a locking twist handle, so you had to open it first before the tailgate. The Wrangler tailgate design is probably the thing I least like about my LJ - an advantage to Chrysler because it added a tire carrier for a small increase in manufacturing cost, but a dis-service to all Wrangler owners that lost having a functional tailgate!

Check out cgmrdc's thread below, he installed some locking exterior latches that solved that problem for converted TJs (cleanest solution of the many I've seen so far) - looks like the way to go if you want to lock the converted tailgate.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/lo...wners-1007833/
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Unread 09-23-2013, 04:46 PM   #11
ThatFool
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I know I am bringing up a dead thread but I am going to start on this project soon. What is the best way to remove the old paint?
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Unread 09-23-2013, 05:04 PM   #12
wwch99tj
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Sand it all or use a chemical stripper then sand what's left

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Unread 09-24-2013, 09:04 AM   #13
OsteKuste
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I recently did a similar swap. Here's a link to my writeup.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/cj...erent-1568313/
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