Hardtop Liftgate Question - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-23-2019, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
Jimmyj1957
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Hardtop Liftgate Question

The lift gate on my Jeep has no locking hardware. You close it, then swing the tailgate into place and everything is held together. I want to replace the tailgate with one that drops down, that can be done easily enough. the issue is the lift gate. The tailgate would have to close first and then close the lift gate. Two questions. Can the lift gate be "rebuilt" with latching/locking hardware installed, and second would the tailgate have to be recessed so the lift gate now closes in front of it instead of behind it? Anybody done anything like this?
Jim

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post #2 of 20 Old 07-23-2019, 12:10 PM
bruinjeeper
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Yep.

CJ's.

*chuckles*.

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post #3 of 20 Old 07-23-2019, 12:27 PM
bruinjeeper
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...in all seriousness... have you looked into finding the back hatch from a CJ hardtop? Has a latching/locking mechanism. And if you were to go this route, if you located a CJ tailgate... it would complete your ideal scenario.

That said...there is no reason why you cant modify your idea to allow your drop down tailgate close after the hard top hatch securing it in place.

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post #4 of 20 Old 07-23-2019, 12:58 PM
stephencbrinson
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I don't understand why the order needs to change just because you are changing the swing on the tailgate.

Do you just want to be able to open the lift gate without opening the tailgate?

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post #5 of 20 Old 07-23-2019, 01:09 PM
Siva283
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephencbrinson View Post
I don't understand why the order needs to change just because you are changing the swing on the tailgate.

Do you just want to be able to open the lift gate without opening the tailgate?

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Because with the CJ tailgate you have to reach inside to latch it on both sides
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post #6 of 20 Old 07-23-2019, 02:33 PM
stephencbrinson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siva283 View Post
Because with the CJ tailgate you have to reach inside to latch it on both sides
Well that makes sense.

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post #7 of 20 Old 07-24-2019, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
Jimmyj1957
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Thats what I originally hoped to do. But when I compared pictures of a CJ lift gate to what i have they are much different. The CJ is much more robust, it looks like it has a metal frame inside the fiberglass cover. Mine looks like its just tempered glass with holes for hinges and such. Honestly don't even know if this top came with the Jeep or is after market. The previous owners(s) cobbled this thing together with a variety of different Jeep parts. I think (or at least I want to believe) that the front of the vehicle, frame, motor and dashboard are CJ7, anyway thats what the VIN says. Looking at pictures of early Wranglers with hardtops shows a latching handle in the middle of the lift gate. I believe I can rebuild/convert the lift gate I have to something that will lock. The only real concern I have is the thickness of the aftermarket tailgate. Will I have to recess it a bit so the lift gate will close OVER it. Anyway thanks for the help
Jim
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-24-2019, 01:17 PM
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Show us some detailed photos. The more the better.

~YJOTM MAY '16, JULY '19~


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post #9 of 20 Old 07-24-2019, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siva283 View Post
Because with the CJ tailgate you have to reach inside to latch it on both sides
NOPE....

Truck cap T handles

problem solved
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post #10 of 20 Old 07-24-2019, 08:04 PM
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The CJ hardtop's glass closes over the tailgate, not under it like the YJ. The entire lower seal edge is different, straight across with the rubber on the inside versus raised in the middle with the rubber facing out on the YJ hatch. That's why they had twist latch handles that operated spring loaded pins that caught on striker plates built into the sides of the hatch opening on the CJ tops. Retrofitting a CJ hatch to a YJ lid will work if you have an early YJ lid that also has the twist handle on the hatch (87 to 89 I think, my 89 has it). Jeep dropped the hatch latch when they realized that the tailgate was doing the job already, later lids don't have the striker plates you'll need.


Nice looking work on that CJ tailgate!!



If you're going to mount the spare on the back with a CJ gate and top, you'll need to put it on a swing out carrier, same thing if you want to run a CJ hardtop on a YJ. If the tire is mounted to the gate, you won't be able to open it without doing some gymnastics.

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post #11 of 20 Old 07-25-2019, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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Great Idea!!!!!
Gives me another alternative to consider.
Thanks
Jim
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post #12 of 20 Old 07-25-2019, 05:39 AM
Siva283
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHfireLJ View Post
NOPE....

Truck cap T handles

problem solved
That would definitly work. But in stock form my statement is still correct. I bet alot of people would love it if you did a write up of how you did that though. Looks great
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post #13 of 20 Old 07-25-2019, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
Jimmyj1957
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You're exactly correct. What I'm hoping I can do is obtain the proper hardware (twist latch, spring loaded pins, etc) and "re-create" a lift gate similar to the
87 to 89 that you mentioned. May take some creative fabrication. If, If, I mount a spare tire I was thinking about two possibilities. Buying a bumper that has a swinging tire mount attached or utilizing the two holes left in the body where the swing out gate attached and having a fabrication shop build a custom swing out tire holder.
Thanks
Jim
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post #14 of 20 Old 07-25-2019, 06:12 AM
NHfireLJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siva283 View Post
That would definitly work. But in stock form my statement is still correct. I bet alot of people would love it if you did a write up of how you did that though. Looks great
TJ tailgate install on my Rubihara. Same as on a YJ, I've done 3 installs. Also the TNT tub mounted tire carriers is a nice addition... Use your current top and the tailgate w T handles will secure it...

Not really a step by step. Used the SWAG offroad hing and cable kit....
https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/...2/index26.html POST 390, Post 400, Post 415, post 433

On my current YJL, CJ tailgate, I built my own tire carrier, designed after the TNT one... Love it. W 4 points of contact, very secure...
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post #15 of 20 Old 07-25-2019, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
Jimmyj1957
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On the SWAG kit, what parts do you get with it? Swapping out the tailgate left me with two questions. Where you would attach the tailgate at the bottom, is the metal thick enough to hold the tailgate? Was thinking about adding a piece of steel behind the body for additional strength. Second, is the CJ tailgate thicker then the YJ gate? I think I've got the lift gate thing figured out. I really like what you've done.
Jim
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